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Gay Christian Movement (later the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0097 HCA/Gay Christian Movement
Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science
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Full title: Gay Christian Movement (later the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement)
Date(s): 1969-1998
Level of description: Subfonds of the Hall-Carpenter Archives
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Extent: 151 boxes
Name of creator(s): Gay Christian Movement
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Gay Christian Movement (GCM) was founded in 1976 as an ecumenical organisation with the aim of encouraging fellowship, friendship and support amongst gay Christians, helping the Church to re-examine its understanding of human sexuality, encouraging the witness of Christian faith within the gay community and maintaining links with other gay Christian groups in Britain and elsewhere. Peter Ellers and Giles Hibbert were elected President and Vice-President, and by 1977 membership had reached 300. The first Bulletin of the Gay Christian Movement appeared in May 1976, and was renamed Gay Christian in 1977. The leadership of GCM was altered in 1977 following an extraordinary general meeting which criticised the input of GCM to a BBC programme entitled The Lord is my shepherd and he knows I am gay. Motions to replace the President with a Chairperson and to have collective leadership were defeated, but the meeting refused to elect another President. Several groups have been created within the GCM, including the Womens' Group (1978), the Evangelical Fellowship (1979) and a Young Gay Christian Group (1982). There are also a number of local GCM groups, some of which were established in the very first year of its existence. GCM has been active in commenting upon and providing information for reports by several denominations on human sexuality, and holds regular conferences and seminars. It became known as the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) in 1987. In 1988, the LGCM set up a charitable arm known as the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality. A chronology of the first 10 years of the GCM can be found in Gay Christian, 39, Feb 1986.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Gay Christian Movement (GCM), 1969-1988, notably Annual Reports, 1980-1981 and 1984-1986; a copy of the GCM constitution, [1976]; minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 1977-[1982]; minutes of the GCM Committee, 1978-1980, and the GCM National Committee, 1978-1981, including a membership diary, 1981-1983; minutes of the Management Sub-Committee, 1981-1982, the Appeal Committee, 1980-1981, the Women's Sub-Committee, 1981, and the Evangelical Fellowship Committee, 1979-1980; copies of Gay Christian and other GCM magazines and leaflets, 1979-1986; correspondence and subject files, 1976-1987, including correspondence on international liaison and education; material relating to GCM local groups, 1970-1985, including lists of groups and convenors, correspondence, newsletters leaflets, and committee minutes; papers relating to the GCM Dartmouth Retreat, 1978; working papers and reports, 1977-1981 on subjects including worship, the age of consent, film censorship, Christianity, women and human rights; GCM leaflets and circulars, 1970-1983; GCM pamphlets, 1970-1980, mainly concerning Christianity and homosexuality, counselling, and law reform; a large amount of correspondence and papers relating to other organisations, 1969-1988, particularly gay and religious groups in the UK and the rest of the world; general papers, 1970-1982, including press cuttings, press releases, posters, orders of service, and administrative papers; photographs, 1979-1980, mainly of GCM events. Later papers of the Gay Christian Movement (GCM) and its successor, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), 1985-1998, including papers of LGCM committees, newsletters, papers relating to consistory court cases, records of local groups, and material collected from other organisations, including some archives of the Roman Catholic caucus; correspondence with individuals, schools, colleges and students, and other organisations; copies of Gay Christian, 1976 - 1982 (incomplete); internal records including material relating to local groups, press releases, and committee papers; photographs and tapes; material from other organisations.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, with some French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish and German

System of arrangement:

Arranged in the following sections: annual reports, minutes, newsletters, correspondence, local groups, conferences, campaigns, reports, leaflets, pamphlets, other organisations, general papers and photographs. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically.

Conditions governing access:

The earlier material is open, though some confidential files are closed, most notably the correspondence files. The two later accessions are closed until listed. Apply to the Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright retained by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Full handlist and on-line catalogue available for the first accession.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Deposited by the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality in 1988. Further deposits were made by Richard Kirker in 1998 and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in 1999.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Hall-Carpenter Archives at the British Library of Political and Economic Science hold material relating to the Gay Christian Movement in the papers of the Albany Trust, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, Friend, the GLC Gay Rights Working Party, Robert Palmer and the Hall-Carpenter ephemera collection.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science Archives catalogue. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Oct 2000

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