Wales

Church in Wales premieres sexuality acceptance film

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Media captionRev Sarah Hildreth-Osborn: "I have begun to discover what it means not to have to live a frightened life"

Clergy have spoken out about personal persecution in a film to encourage acceptance of people's different sexuality among the church community.

It is being promoted by the Church in Wales and premiered in a film festival at St Asaph Cathedral, Denbighshire, on Tuesday.

One gay contributor said the church had once felt a "painful place".

In April, the Archbishop of Wales issued an apology to gay people for prejudice shown in the past.

Rev Sarah Hildreth-Osborn, rector at Llanrwst in Conwy county, said: "Over the last two or three years I have begun to discover what it means not to have to live a frightened life, hidden away, terrified of what other people might think of me if they find out I'm gay.

"I don't live like that any more. I'm very happy."

The film "All One in Christ" was filmed over two days with members of Changing Attitude a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and heterosexual members of the Church in Wales.

Image copyright Changing Attitude

Mike Jones from Changing Attitude said contributors described the "pain experienced" as a result of being made to feel "unwelcome" or "rejected" by the church

"But the film is also full of faith, and hope, and even love, for a church that continues to struggle with accepting people whatever their sexuality," he said.

The film has been made with Lottery funding and produced by organisers of the Iris Prize, the LGBT short film prize.

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said: "This film will not be easy watching for church members as it reminds us how people among us have been ostracised and mistreated because of their sexuality.

"By sharing the personal stories of those who have suffered and been hurt I hope this powerful film will bring home to all the scale of the damage done and ultimately help change attitudes within the church."

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