Ekklesia author speaking at Greenbelt on sexuality and social change

By staff writers
August 27, 2016

Ekklesia author Savitri Hensman will shed more light on how the church grapples with issues of sexuality and social change when she speaks at the Greenbelt Festival 2016 today.

Her talk will be on Saturday 27 August from 11am-noon in the Treehouse, then she will join a panel from 5-6.15pm in the Pagoda, to discuss whether to ‘Scrap The Church?’

Each year thousands gather at Greenbelt, which is being held near Boughton House in Northamptonshire. On Saturday morning Savi will look at how Christians have helped to shift attitudes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, in wider society as well as the church. Often it is claimed that churches which celebrate loving same-sex partnerships are just following the world’s lead. But in reality the way that change has happened is very different.

Later Hensman will discuss with the author and journalist Andrew Brown and Lutheran minister Nadia Bolz-Weber whether the church is still needed and why. Churchgoing has become far less common in many countries, including the UK, yet many still identify spirituality as important in their lives.

Savitri Hensman is an Anglican who was born in Sri Lanka, lives in London and has written for many years on issues of economic and social justice, faith, health and care. Her book Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness: Same-Sex Love and the Church (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22613) has been highly acclaimed.

The book argues that a helpful approach moving forward would be for church leaders to open up about their differences while acknowledging the common ground in the middle.

Savitri Hensman says:  “I am looking forward to being at Greenbelt again and to have a chance to explore some hot topics with others there. Christians need to wrestle with some difficult issues if we are to witness convincingly to God’s love."

Her 11am talk is at the Treehouse on the Greenbelt Festival site (http://www.greenbelt.org.uk). The panel is at the Pagoda at 5pm. There will be a book signing at 6.30pm. 

Also from Ekklesia at Greenbelt:

*  Ekklesia COO Virginia Moffatt will be speaking about her book 'Echo Hall', which offers fresh perspectives on war, peace and Remembrance from women's experience, at the Quaker Stand, GSource, at 3.30pm on Saturday 27th August.  

* A panel on housing (featuring Andrew Francis, the the editor of the Ekklesia book Foxes Have Holes: Christian reflections on housing need, will take place at 6.45pm at the Pagoda, Saturday 27th August, hosted by Virginia Moffatt. 

* Ekklesia associate and Peace Pledge Union coordinator Symon Hill, author of The Upside Down Bible, will speak at the Quaker stand, G Source, at 6pm on Saturday 27 August. On 28 August there will be a book signing. And at 5.30pm on 29 August Symon will be giving a further talk at 5pm. 

[Ekk/3]

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