Cardinal Nichols to celebrate Mass for LGBT Catholics

The Archbishop of Westminster is to preside at a Mass that welcomes lesbian and gay Catholics on Sunday.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preside at a Mass that welcomes gay and lesbian Catholics.Reuters

The office of Cardinal Vincent Nichols said the Mass was a long pre-arranged date in his diary and was an ordinary Mass at the Jesuit church of Farm Street in London, and that it would not be correct to describe it as a gay Mass.

However, the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, which two years ago moved its gatherings from Soho to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street, announced it in a press release headlined: "Cardinal Vincent Nichols to Preside at Mass welcoming LGBT Catholics, Parents and Families."

The service begins at 6.15pm and will be accompanied by Beacon Music Group who will perform a specially composed piece, 'Live Every Day in My Love'.

The Soho Masses, as they were formerly described, moved to Farm Street and were incorporated into normal parish life after Cardinal Nichols requested the group focus on pastoral support and development for LGBT Catholics and their families in the new location.

The first Mass in London at which gay and lesbian Catholics were officially made welcome took place on 2 May 1999 in a Catholic Convent, two days after the Admiral Duncan pub bombing in Soho.

Cardinal Nichols previously welcomed LGBT Catholics to Farm Street on 4 March 2013 and took part in an open Q&A, and also attended a meeting of the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council in November that year.

The Farm Street church website has a page for LGBT Catholics, explaining that the Diocese of Westminster seeks to provide pastoral care so they feel more able to enter into the life of the Church. "This pastoral support includes support for growth in faith, prayer, the encouragement of friendship and days of reflection," the website says. "The LGBT Catholic Community meet every second and fourth Sunday to join in the Farm Street 6.15pm parish mass, as well as meeting for social and spiritual activities."