A Huge Welcome to St. Mary's Coventry

At St. Mary's we are on a journey towards becoming an affirming church for all people. 

For a long time the church has had the following statement on it's home page:

We are an inclusive church, recognising that everyone is made in God's image; celebrating all people of every age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality, physical or mental abilities, culture, background, and present or past situation. 

My name is Revd Tom and I am the pries-in-carge at St. Mary's Coventry.  One of the things that attracted me to come and work at St. Mary's was their desire to be become more inclusive. I am working with people in the church to help us move into a place where we celebrate the lives of all people who worship at our church. 

A picture of Revd Tom Cook

As a church we want to fully embrace and celebrate all God's children with their varied economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, physical disability, neurodiversity, mental health, and sexuality. 

We are excited to see how this will start expressing itself throughout our community. No matter what your experience of church and the Christian faith we want you to know that you will be welcomed here. We are using the word 'Affirming' more and more rather than the word 'Inclusive' because we to tell people that they are not only allowed to be included in church but who they are is affirmed by the church and God. 

Honest Church

Honest Church is a campaign of the Student Christian Movement originally designed to encourage greater honesty about the true welcome that LGBTQ+ people receive in a church. And, as of March 2023, Honest Church has joined with WATCH (Women and the Church) to help us extend the campaign to include honesty about women’s opportunities or limits in churches.  

The aim is to prompt and enable churches to be more specific in their communication about LGBTQ+ welcome and women's roles, both in their publicity and when students, graduates and others come and ask questions about the inclusiveness of the welcome.  

On the spectrum of of scores that Honest church offers I would say that on LGBTQ+ spectrum we score a 4. 

A 4 is described as: "This is a church where there is at least some public support for LGBTQ+ people and probably a specific public welcome. Leaders are likely to be prepared to voice their affirmation and they may occasionally preach or write a blog or magazine article to explain their theological position. There may well LGBTQ+ people in the congregation and in positions of leadership. Agencies and resources which offer LGBTQ+ people support and allyship may be linked to and promoted. There may also be members of the congregation or assistant leadership who are unsure or non-affirming. This church may specifically welcome them as part of the diverse family of faith. This means that an LGBTQ+ person or couple may occasionally meet opposition or comments that are uninformed, but the culture of the church as a whole is welcoming from a theological and personal standpoint. Illustrations and modelling may still tend towards heteronormativity but will be likely to be consciously minimised. "

Women are fully welcomed and encouraged in all forms of ministry and encouraged to seek ordination as God calls them. Revd Tom was ordained priest by Bishop Rachel Treweek.

Affirming Communion Services

We are proud to support and be part of a group of Anglican church that celebrates monthly Affirming Communion services. This is a service that travels around the city and celebrates in different our shared memorial of Christ in different traditions.  We hope to update this page with the dates and locations of these commuion services. Below are some of the services that have happened so far.