Symon Hill, author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion and Associate Director of the Ekklesia thinktank, will walk from Birmingham to London this summer in repentance for his former homophobic attitudes.
Hill said: ‘I have been deeply moved by the many messages of support and encouragement I have received since announcing my plan. They have made me more determined than ever to demonstrate repentance of the harm I have caused and to challenge the Church’s whole attitude. This is a matter of love and justice, integral to our calling to live by the spirit and teachings of Christ.’
Talks are scheduled along the walking route, including at St Columba’s United Reformed Church in Oxford on Sunday 26 June. Other locations will include Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Daventry. Hill will leave Birmingham on or around 16 June, aiming to arrive in London on Friday, 1 July.
He will finish with a talk at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church at 7 pm on 1 July. People of all religions and of none will be welcome, whatever their views on sexuality. Hill will join in the Pride march the following day.
The walk has been welcomed by the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and endorsed by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, Ekklesia, Courage UK, Workshop/Anvil Trust and Inclusive Church.
Jeremy Marks, director of Courage UK, an evangelical group supportive of gay, lesbian and bisexual people, said: ‘Symon Hill’s pilgrimage of repentance is one of those projects that truly warms and encourages the heart of any gay person, because it recognises deeply held views yet illustrates the process of repentance in a very real and inspiring way. Let us pray that Symon’s example will inspire many others to reconsider their views and similarly repent of their homophobia.’
Find out more about the pilgrimage of repentance, including the dates and times of talks, at http://www.repenting.wordpress.com
Symon Hill is associate director of Ekklesia and author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Religion (published 2010). He has written for publications including the Guardian, Morning Star, The Friend, Third Way and Baptist Times. He is a signatory to the Common Wealth statement of Christians committed to economic justice and opposed to the government’s cuts.