Pride team at Pompey Sundays Cathedral service
Members of the Portsmouth Pride team joined Portsmouth Cathedral congregation for their all-age Pompey Sundays service on 11th June.
CP (Vice Chair), Fran (Secretary) and I went along for hymns, a queer story, round table discussion, flag waving and prayers before coffee and cake.
As we arrived before the service, the progress Pride flag was being raised outside the Cathedral which was a wonderful sight. On entering, we were offered percussion instruments to play and ribbons to twirl. After a welcome, scripture reading and the first hymn, the children were invited to sit on the floor at the front as I read the picture book 'Neither' by Airlie Anderson.
All images: airlieanderson.com
'Neither' is set in the land of This and That where only blue bunnies (this) and yellow birds (that) exist - until one day a green egg hatches "and a little creature that's not quite a bird and not quite a bunny pops out. It's neither!" The other creatures do not accept Neither, who flies off and settles in the Land of All: a place of love and acceptance for all creatures ("so many different kinds!") The book ends with a few bunnies and birds also leaving the Land of This and That for a more accepting and welcoming (less binary) home. The children (wide eyed) enjoyed the story, as did the adults (some misty eyed) in the room.
We then had questions to discuss around our tables:
what is an outsider?
what about if we go to a different place? does that make us an outsider?
how can we show we love someone as we love ourselves?
There was time for one more hymn, during which Fran and I stood at the front with the progress Pride flag (seen the previous day at the Pride parade!) and lots of small helpers, waving it as we sang together. I shared prayers based on the story, and we socialised after the service over coffee and cake.
By Abi Tuddenham (She/Her)
Volunteer Copywriter, Portsmouth Pride