Oxford Church Appoints Outreach worker for Trans community

Oxford church appoints outreach worker for Transgender, Intersex and non-binary communities

Chrissie Chevasutt

St Columba’s United Reformed Church in Oxford is believed to be the first church in the UK to appoint an outreach worker for the trans, intersex, and non-binary communities.

Chrissie Chevasutt started as the church’s Outreach Worker in January, an appointment financially supported by the local church, the regional Wessex Synod Trust and the Legacies Fund, and the Discipleship Development Fund of the national United Reformed Church.

The role will focus on a number of areas:

  • Pastoral care – offering support and understanding to people transitioning, their families and support groups, churches, and to trans people in ministry;
  • Theological – to help with theological thinking and development;
  • Educational – to help the Church understand what it means to be trans in all its forms, to raise awareness of needs, issues, and rights for trans and non-binary people so that the Church is better informed and can offer appropriate support.

The Revd Helen Garton, Minister of St Columba’s said: “At our First Sunday LGBT+ group, I came across a number of people who identified as trans and non-binary, so it seemed obvious to me that we had a particular ministry to trans and non-binary people.

“I was aware that such a ministry needed someone who could speak from direct knowledge and experience who could offer pastoral support in Oxford and the surrounding areas based at St Columba’s.

“St Columba’s is a pioneering church and still has the energy and the heart to be ground-breaking in this area, as we are already supportive and welcoming to trans and non-binary people and are pained by the misunderstanding, prejudice, and hostility that they can experience, sometimes on a daily basis.”

“Chrissie comes to us with a heart and passion for the Gospel and the work of the church in reaching out to people. They also bring an insight from a church tradition quite different to our own, which is refreshing and helpful in understanding the spiritual needs of the people who come to First Sunday, themselves from diverse church backgrounds.

“My hope is that the United Reformed Church at large will warmly support their work, learn from their insights and receive the gifts they offer.”

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