Vandals tear down Pride flags from LGBT-inclusive church
Vandals tore down a rainbow flag and a transgender flag from a London church this week.
Popular gay London vicar Andrew Foreshew-Cain pastors St James’ Church in West Hampstead.
The clergyman is a strong proponent of an LGBT-inclusive approach within the Church of England, flying the rainbow flag from his church and engaging with the local LGBT community. He added the trans flag earlier this year.
However, both flags were cut down overnight on Sunday, with the vicar waking to discover the vandalised flagpole.
Fr. Foreshew-Cain wrote on Facebook: “To those who cut down our Rainbow and Trans flags from our Church overnight. You cannot silence us and we will not give in to your bullying and threats. No surrender.”
Speaking to Ham&High, the vicar vowed to replace the flags as soon as possible.
He said: “I decided that they weren’t going to stop us – no, we’re not going to give in to that.
“We have the flags up proudly because it’s a statement of who we are.
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“The flags show that this is a place of safety and everybody is welcome.”
He added that he has CCTV of the incident and is planning to report it to the police.
The vicar caused controversy in 2014 when he defied Church of England rules by marrying his same-sex partner, in defiance of a ban on gay clergy weddings.
However he did not face punishment, and last year Foreshew-Cain was elected to sit on the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod.
Following the Orlando massacre earlier tihs year, he put a moving memorial at the heart of the church.