More than a hundred people gathered in St Asaph Cathedral for the historic and emotional premiere of a new LGBT+ short film.
All One in Christ. was produced by the organisers of the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize and shown with the blessing of the Archbishop of Wales and the Bishop of St Asaph.
The film is now available to watch and download at:
It was shot over two days with members of Changing Attitude, Trawsnewid Agwedd Cymru, a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and heterosexual members of the Church in Wales. The premiere was part of a mini Iris Prize film festival which took place on Tuesday (December 6) at St Asaph Cathedral.
The film is one of 36 which will be produced in partnership with communities across Wales by Iris Prize Outreach and funded by The Big Lottery Fund. All church groups were encouraged by the bishops to take part in the project and Changing Attitude responded.
Their film is part of a mini Iris Prize film festival called Telling Our Stories, featuring people’s stories from across the world. The Bishop of St Asaph,Gregory Cameron, joined a panel discussion following the premiere.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “This film will not be easy watching for church members as it reminds us how people among us have been ostracised and mistreated because of their sexuality. By sharing the personal stories of those who have suffered and been hurt I hope this powerful film will bring home to all the scale of the damage done and ultimately help change attitudes within the church.”
Mike Jones from Changing Attitude, Trawsnewid Agwedd Cymru said, “We are very grateful to the Iris Prize Outreach team, and the Big Lottery Fund Wales, for making it possible for us to produce our film, ‘All One in Christ’ and for the Church in Wales bishops who encouraged us to do it. Those who took part in the film describe the pain experienced by LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual) people, as a result of being made unwelcome, or the fear of being unwelcome, even rejected, by the Church. But the film is also full of faith, and hope, and even love, for a Church that continues to struggle with accepting people whatever their sexuality.
“We are all one in Christ. This means, for example, that everyone should be able to celebrate their marriages or civil partnerships in churches and receive God’s blessing, wherever they live in Wales. Many – and, in some parts of Wales, the majority – of church members, clergy and bishops agree. But not all do.
“Our hope is that the film will challenge and inspire the Church in Wales to fully include LGBTQIA people in its life and ministry, and be a sign of God’s love and justice in a broken world.”
Mark Williams, Project Facilitator, Iris in the Community, said, “We’ve had a spectacular start to the project working with enthusiastic communities across the country. In our first year we’ve worked with people in health, sport and government including the prison service and more recently we’ve started working with a group of asylum seekers to improve community relations.
“Changing Attitude were a delight to work with. They were happy to share their experiences on camera knowing they would be helping others. It’s a simple film with a powerful message and I can’t wait to see how the public respond,” he added.
Iris Prize Chair, Andrew Pierce said, “Film is a democratic medium which in our experience allows people to express ideas about how they feel. I’m convinced this film and the mini Iris film festival will be helpful for the Church in Wales in moving forward.
“2016 was the 10th anniversary year for Iris and as we look forward to the next decade we start knowing we have the funding to extend our outreach work across the whole of Wales. This ambitious project funded by The Big Lottery Fund is taking Iris into many communities and I hope that by the end we will have helped many thousands of people to understand the diverse make up of LGBT communities, leading to improved community relations.”