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A church flying LGBT flags was told they were ‘of Satan’. Its reverend is ‘heartened’ after locals told the troll ‘not today’

Reiss Smith December 16, 2019
Rainbow and trans flags outside of a church told it is 'of Satan'

St John's Church flies the rainbow and trans Pride flag most Saturdays. (Facebook)

The reverend of a church which flies trans and rainbow flags said he was “heartened” by support from the local community and parish after an anti-LGBT+ troll left a homophobic ‘Satan’ note was left on his altar.

St John’s Church in Felixstowe flies Pride flags most Saturdays “to let people know we are open to everyone”.

“We do our bit to gently wave a flag for LGBTQ and trans people,” reverend Andrew Dotchin told the Ipswich Star.

On Sunday, December 15, reverend Dotchin arrived at church to find a letter on his altar which read: “The worldly flags of Satan you fly outside this building are not of God.”

He shared a photo of the note to Facebook, asking the anonymous critic: “Who put the colours in the rainbow?”

“I worry about people who hate for hate’s sake,” he told the Star.

“One of my elderly parishioners said they were worried about the quote because it is not who we are at the church.”

After sharing the note online, reverend Dotchin was inundated with messages of support.

“My son is part of the LGBTQ community and was extremely excited to see this little acceptance the other day so thank you for making him feel like he can belong,” wrote one local.

“I’m not religious but my love for this church and its acceptance is strong. They support my daughters LGBTQ+ group and my son got married there in September,” added another.

Many told the church to continue flying the flags, with one follower adding: “Regardless of your views on Christianity, or religion in general, acceptance tolerance, and humanity are the building blocks of being a good person.”

Shows like this make me feel safer to hold my girlfriend’s hand in public.

One woman thanked the church “for keeping it flying despite the adversity.”

She added: “Shows like this make me feel safer to hold my girlfriend’s hand in public.”

Reverend Dotchin told the Star that he has been “heartened by the reaction” and reassured LGBT+ people that they are welcome at the church.

“For too long the church has dragged its heels on the issue,” he said.

“If you feel left you are left out by the community for whatever reason, come on in.”

More: Christianity, Felixstowe, Homophobia, Ipswich, Satan

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