Wales woman hopes to launch church that will accept LGBTQ+ relationships

Wales woman Betty Harper is on a mission to launch a church that will be “wholly accepting” of its parishioners and LGBTQ+ relationships.

Harper, 21, is engaged to her partner Hannah, and the pair are hoping to marry in a church by 2025 and find somewhere accepting where they can practice their faith.

Today, Harper and her fiancée would be unable to tie the knot under the Church of England, the Church of Wales, or Roman Catholicism.

Wales woman Betty Harper is on a mission to launch a church that will be “wholly accepting” of LGBTQ+ relationships. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

While some Christian churches do welcome and accept LGBTQ+ members and denominations like the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church do perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, Harper has struggled to find a church that truly accepts her for who she is. 

“We’ve been to many, many churches around the area and a lot of them say ‘you’re welcome’. But if you’re married it’s a bit of a taboo subject,” Harper told the BBC in a recent interview.

The couple, who first met in church two and a half years ago, described one particular church that welcomed them at first, but told Harper that she could not sing with the choice because they didn’t want her to “influence the younger people”, so they eventually decided to “walk away.”

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After that, Betty and Hannah decided that if they couldn’t find a church that was “completely accepting”, they were going to start something themselves.

The idea “snowballed” from there, and Harper has launched a social media page to try and find like-minded people who would be interested in joining a wholly accepting church, as well as a pastor and a venue somewhere in Wales.

“I think of a church I would like it to look like – [such as] the churches that have very upbeat music,” she told the news outlet.

“I suppose it would be mainly directed at younger-ish people, unless some of the older people love the music; they’d be more than welcome.”

When it comes to fruition, Harper’s church will be accepting of everybody, no matter their sexuality or religious beliefs. 

“Straight people are welcome. Everybody is welcome, even if you’re not a Christian.”

But the main goal will be to create a space where people are free to love and worship how they choose.

“You’re just loving somebody, and God is love, so how can he discriminate [against] you for loving someone?”

All going well, Betty and Hannah hope they will be able to have their marriage blessed in a civil service at their own church.