On Sunday 11th February, Bishop Nicholas Hudson was the celebrant at a regular Mass “with a particular welcome for LGBT Catholics” at the Mayfair parish of the Immaculate Conception, London – colloquially known as “Farm Street” parish. (These Masses, which have been held regularly twice a month since the end of the Soho so-called LGBT Masses, have an explicitly stated welcome for LGBT Catholics, their families and friends. After Mass, the LGBT community attending host refreshments in the parish hall.)
I had hoped to attend personally, for the Mass and to meet some visitors from a Dublin LGBT pastoral initiative. However, as I had spent the previous day in London at a planning meeting for the 2019 conference of the European Forum of LGBT Catholic Groups, had a lot of work to do result of that meeting, and will be back in London on Friday for a funeral, I reluctantly decided that I could not justify another trip up.
During the course of his Parish Visitation to Farm Street Jesuit Church (11 February 2018), Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster responsible for the Central & East London areas, presided at the Mass welcoming LGBT+ Catholics. This was particularly appropriate, given the strong themes of inclusion, rather than exclusion, in the Scripture readings for this Sunday
Bishop Nicholas also led the congregation in applause for the music provided by the Beacon Music Group, including piano, woodwind and violin accompaniment.
Concluding the Mass, Bishop Hudson complimented the parish on its inclusive mission and ministry, not least in its welcome to LGBT Catholics, parents and families. He said: The recently-installed glass doors at the church’s main entrance were a clear statement of being open to the world outside, and of welcome.
During after-Mass refreshments, joining in prayer with those gathered, he met a number of LGBT Catholics, parents, and families in the Parish Hall, including asylum-seeker members of the community, newcomers, and visitors from the All Are Welcome pastoral initiative in Dublin.