Cass Howes

Cass was born and lived in south London, near Brixton, until the age of 30.  She trained initially as a nurse before becoming an Methodist minister.  Her ministry has been in youth work and then university chaplaincy.  She has previous been Chair of the board of both the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Outcome – previously the LGCM Methodist caucus. Cass re-joined the board of LGCM in 2015.

“Going back to the Iona days, the other thing that I remember very strongly about Iona was standing in a very cold phone box on a windy sea front, one night and ringing LGCM, ringing Richard in the offices and saying, I need to talk to somebody!  We often talked about this in those days in LGCM, about how do people break through the barrier of how you actually do ring LGCM  and how do you talk to somebody and what do you say?  I can tell you, it’s very strange!  But Richard was very helpful and I probably became a member of LGCM from that phone call really.

I was thinking at the time that I needed to do something about the sexuality stuff.  But the life of a chaplain is so busy, it’s easy to kind of get on with that and you can forget about yourself and you don’t deal with stuff because chaplaincy is very busy.  You’re so busy dealing with other people’s problems!”

“While I was at Aston, it’s interesting, I would still think the same today, I would work with the the local Student Union LGBT Society, because my office was just across the way from where they met.  So my office would always be open and people could always drop in and see me before going  on to the meeting.  And people would.”

“And I do remember actually saying to one young lad who came and said, I think I’m gay, I remember saying, I think that’s a beautiful and a wonderful thing.  And I would still say that now.  If that happened now, that they would get exactly the same answer from me.  So although I wasn’t totally out myself, I would be very affirming of those who were taking that step, and be very supportive of people who were taking that step while they were at university.  And of course this was in the time when AIDS was quite prevalent and HIV, and people were quite scared, so there was a whole lot of stuff around safe sex and all that.  But within that nevertheless affirming of the validity of those relationships was important for me.”

You can listen to the whole of Cass’s interview here.

You can listen to Louise reflecting on her meeting with Cass here.