BBC to broadcast service from gay church

By staff writers
April 17, 2007

The BBC is to broadcast a service from a San Francisco church which has been an 'inspiration' to gay and lesbian Catholics around the world.

The specially recorded prayer service from the Catholic Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer, in San Francisco's Castro district will go out on Sunday morning, 29 April, on BBC Radio 4.

The parish offers a 'spiritual home' to all, including "those who are straight, gay and lesbian."

Based in the heart of San Francisco's heavily homosexual Castro neighbourhood the congregation is mainly gay and lesbian.

In the service to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Fr. Donal Godfrey SJ of the University of San Francisco will preside.

James Alison, Catholic theologian and author of 'Is it ethical to be Catholic? – Queer perspectives', will be preaching.

"It is the style of ministry and liturgy at places such as MHR that influenced many of us familiar with these parishes, and so inspired us to develop the kind of parish-set ministry with LGBT Catholics that we now celebrate in Central London" said a statement from the Roman Catholic caucus of the lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in the UK.

The service was recorded by the BBC in October, but has yet to be broadcast.

The pastor at the church, Father Stephen Meriwether got into hot water last year after he allowed a controversial homosexual activist group to hold "revival bingo" games.

The broadcast from the Catholic Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer, in San Francisco's Castro district on Sunday morning, 29 April 2007, at 8.10 am (GMT) on BBC Radio 4. This can also be heard on the BBC's 'Listen Again' facility for one week after original transmission, on:

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