A church in Manchester, England has become LGBT-inclusive four years after the suicide of a 14-year-old member, but some are leaving the church in droves.
Lizzie Lowe, who thought she might be a lesbian, killed herself in 2014 out of fear that the St. James and Emmanuel church would not accept her. The church has recently been accepting those in same-sex relationships and attending gay pride events in honor of Lowe, but about 25 congregants have left in protest, telling church leaders that they’re going to hell for their decision.
The church said it’s always been welcoming, but that it didn’t mention LGBT issues publically out of fear of "stirring up a hornet's nest” — something it now regrets, reported the Washington Blade.
Bishop of Manchester and Rev. David Walker believes that churches underneath the Church of England umbrella need to start demonstrating acceptance.
"What we can do in Manchester will show churches across the country and not just in the Church of England what inclusivity means, how you can really make something of it," he said.