Community News

IDAHO Day: Croydon

Besi Besemar May 20, 2013

IDAHO in Croydon

On Saturday, May 18, local churches, and local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups, came together in a common cause in North End, Croydon. The event included stands for each of the groups and churches. Leaflets and Quaker chocolate were handed out. Musical was provided by member of the Croydon Brass Band.

The event marked IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Several. of the stands carried printed prayers for the victims of homophobia.

IDAHO in Croydon

Rainbows Across Borders, a new group who support LGBT asylum seekers were present, several of whom told tales of extreme and violent persecution in their native countires.

Fr Geoffrey Thompson of St Stephen’s Norbury and Thornton Heath, said:

“At the heart of our faith is the belief that all people are made in the image of God. Victims of homophobia will always find a welcome at St Stephen’s.”

IDAHO in Croydon

Rev Dwayne Morgan of Metropolitan Community Church South London, added:

“At Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) we don’t just fully welcome gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons, we celebrate them! We thank God for LGBT people because we believe that God created all of us in our wonderful God-given diversity and everyone should be celebrated.”

Rev Art Lester of Croydon Unitarians, continued:

“Unitarians have long welcomed people of the LGBT community into our churches and our professional ministry. This is more than mere tolerance. It is an active appreciation of the gifts of many who have found themselves outside the supposed mainstream of human sexuality, just as we live outside the mainstream of popular religion.”

David Page, Chair of Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS,) said:

“In Croydon we try to support lesbian and gay citizens from around the world who seek asylum here to escape persecution, and even death, from homophobic regimes in their homelands”

Roger Burg, organising the event on behalf of Croydon’s LGBT Community, concluded:

“North End often seems to attract individuals and groups who want to proclaim their specific or conflicting religious interests, and it was good to see so many different people working together and doing so very happily.”

IDAHO in Croydon

‘The churches taking part were:

• St John the Evangelist Upper Norwood:
• The Regeneration Project the Leader, Rev Paul Bailey, was in the news in March as “the first” black, Pentecostal  leader to back the introduction of same-sex marriage:
• Croydon Unitarians:
• Purley Quakers:
• Metropolitan Community Church South London:
• St Stephen’s Norbury and Thornton Heath:

LGBT groups present included:

• Aurora, Croydon’s LGBT police consultation group:
• Silver Rainbow, for the over-50s:
• Rainbows Across Borders, representing LGBT asylum seekers:
• Croydon Trans Group:
• Croydon Area Gay Society:
• The Rainbow Reading Group:

For more information about LGBT organisations in Croydon, CLICK HERE: