Soho Masses: A Visitor’s View

I have written often enough about the Soho Masses.  For an independent perspective, you may wish to read the report of Sarah Whitmore, the American journalism student who visited and interviewed me a fortnight ago.  Sarah writes:

“LONDON — As the church bells chime 5 o’clock, the organ prelude begins. Late-comers hurry to take their seats. The congregation is mostly single men, with some couples and even a handful of families—all with the shared goal of unhindered worship.

Our Lady of the Assumption & St. Gregory’s Catholic Church capitalizes on the oxymoronic by offering mass for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community the first and third Sunday of each month.”

But also:

“Others, however, try hard to make it clear that you can’t be both.

Like clockwork every other Sunday, the opposition arrives at St. Gregory’s. An elderly woman, armed with a folding chair and rosary, sets up outside the church. Minutes later, she’s joined by another elderly woman and then a younger man of about twenty. They kneel and pray intently or speak to passers-by.”

Then ends:

“When the LGBT mass ends, those who came purposefully can take pride in the statement they made.  Those who wandered in for the first time leave with the satisfaction of being part of something bigger than themselves. The funny part is that they probably had no idea they were attending an LGBT mass.”

For more,  see here

Sarah was accompanied by her photogarpher friend Alex Flamini, who writes:

“I accompanied Sarah Whitmire to document with my camera London’s Soho community. We explored the neighborhood that is home to St. Gregory’s, a church that hosts gay Catholic masses the first and third Sunday evenings every month.

My slideshow provides a visual portrait of the community to the Indigo Twin’s song Power of Two.”

For Alex’s photo-essay of the wider Soho area,  see here

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