Gay rock star Vicky Beeching recognised by Church of England for contribution to worship

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Gay Christian rock star Vicky Beeching has been recognised by the Church of England for her contribution to worship.

The star, who came out back in 2014, earlier this year took to her Twitter account to say she was forced to take a break after reading vile abusive comments about herself on social media.

But the rock star has returned, and shared an official letter from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury awarding her for her “contributions to contemporary worship music”.

Vicky Beeching tweet with Cranmer Award

She was given the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sharing a photo of the award, Ms Beeching wrote: “Still amazed this happened last Friday. Never thought, after coming out as gay, that I would receive an award like this. Means so much.”

Speaking to PinkNews, Ms Beeching said: “The award ceremony was a day I’ll never forget. My parents were able to attend and it was a really special family moment for us all.

“It seems a very positive step that the Church of England gave an award like this to an openly gay person – and that they mentioned that aspect of my life on the award certificate, rather than brushing it under the carpet.”

Adding: “When I came out as gay, many churches around the world boycotted my songs in protest, no longer using them in their worship services. Hopefully those congregations will soften in their attitudes in the coming years. I’m encouraged that my songs still get used a lot in progressive places of worship.

“The church needs to become fully welcoming and affirming towards LGBT people, and I hope that including someone like me in this year’s Lambeth Palace Awards is a positive sign that inclusivity is on the horizon.”

The letter, shared on Ms Beeching’s Twitter page, reads: “Vicky Beeching is a leading Christian singer-songwriter but also a writer, broadcaster and speaker with academic interests. After reading Theology at Oxford University, she developed her career as a singer-song-writer, moving to the USA in 2002 and remaining there for several years.

“Her support for gay marriage and her announcement in 2014 that she herself was gay led to rejection by some of her erstwhile followers but also brought her to prominence in the UK as a commentator on religious and social affairs. In 2013 she embarked on a PhD at Durham University, exploring how identity is affected by technology. She is a regular commentator on several UK radio and television channels and a frequent contributor to national newspapers. She also now addresses corporate clients on issues of diversity. Vicky’s portfolio of work focuses on the theme of identity. One of her major interests is the intersection of Christianity and LGBT identity.

Vicky Beeching and the Archbishop of Canterbury

“This Award is for her major contribution to contemporary worship music. Her Christian songs, have become staples in churches around the glob. They have featured in the Top 100 iTunes chart and the Top 10 CCM chart and have featured on gold albums, while her lyrics have been translated into many languages. Her music has brought the Gospel message to many who would otherwise not have heard it. The Guardian called her ‘arguably the most influential Christian of her generation’ for her progressive impact on the Church, and the Telegraph placed her in their ‘Top 100 Britons’.

“The Impact of her songs on contemporary worship has been outstanding.”

According to the Church of England “was first awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby in March 2016. It is named after Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to 1555, who wrote the Book of Common Prayer. It recognises outstanding contributions to all aspects of worship in the Church, including both words and music. It shows the words ‘Kyrie’ and a musical stave.”

As well as her music career, she is a regular guest on a number of national radio and TV programmes and has appeared as a commentator on a range of topics.

She came out in support of same-sex marriage a year before coming out herself.

Click here to read a list of 24 wonderful LGBT+ women and allies.

US Pastor Scott Lively shortly after Beeching came out, told her that she has “given in to a lie” by coming out as gay.

She had a brilliant response when she was targeted by the adamantly homophobic Westboro Baptist Church.