Created was the seed of an idea in the summer of 2016 when friends, Sal and Rebecca, met up for coffee and pondered on how wonderful it would be to know of other LGBT+ Christian folks in the Norwich area. Since nothing seemed to exist to bring people of faith and LGBTQ+ identity together, they thought they'd create something... And so, Created was born!
I'm Sal, a Scottish lass who has lived in Norwich for the past 10 years. I know I'm still far from being a local but I love Norfolk and its Fine City.
I was brought up in a strict Christian home in Scotland. I went to a Church of Scotland in the small parish of Knapdale.
Ever since leaving home as a young teenager, I have dipped in and out of churches and in and out of my relationship with God. I never managed to settle emotionally or at a church because I never thought I could combine being gay and being a Christian. My sexuality won the battle most of the time so I gave up going to church and chose to ignore God as much as possible. After a long journey (and by no means has the journey finished) I am now much more content with being gay and loving God, I believe it is indeed compatible.
I have been going to St Stephens church in the centre of Norwich for a few years and feel very welcome there and reasonably comfortable (still working on that bit).
I continue to learn and to love, two things I hope I will never stop doing.
And I truly hope that Created will bring more of us together to support, learn and share.
I became a Christian while at art school in Norwich and soon found a church home at an independent evangelical church in the north of the city, which I loved. For 14 years, I served, led and worked for the church as a children's community work, but alas, this all came to an end when I came out. A year before this, In anticipation of what I feared would happen, I stepped down from the leadership team and from paid employment and continued serving as a volunteer. In 2011, the church leadership asked me to step down from all involvement, because ultimately, they disagreed with my view that Christianity was compatible with loving someone of the same sex. While I wasn't surprised, it broke my heart to be told that I was no longer able to serve the church and the community I so dearly loved. I know I'm not alone in this kind of situation and that breaks my heart too.
I'm grateful for those that supported me through this time and kept journeying with me. I'm also very grateful for my time at St. Stephen's church in Norwich, which became a place of healing in the years following.
A decade on, I'm now part of St. Andrews in Trowse, Norwich which is the church in my very own Parish. Trowse church is an amazing, loving and inclusive group of people, led by the wonderful Rosie Braby. What a gift it is to be welcomed unconditionally!