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Meet Giles Goddard who is the Vicar at St John’s Waterloo. Giles is Gay and Christian, he explains his life journey and how he manages the ups and downs of being Gay in the Christian community. Giles has often felt conflicted throughout his life being gay and has faced many difficulties but through Christianity and the love of God he has found his true path in life. This documentary was created in partnership with the BFI during the BFI documentary residential 2024.

Let Us Love

Giles: So I think for me, love is the life force, that's the core, really, of all that I'm preaching and all that I'm teaching and how I'm trying to get this congregation to live. Love is not just about being in a relationship. Love is friendship. Love is community. Love is warmth. And love is knowing that you're cared for and knowing that you're able to care for other people. Um. Love is long suffering. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love feels. It's about being fulfilled as a person. So my name is Giles Goddard, I'm the vicar of this church, Saint John's Waterloo, which is the church by the Imax in central London. I've been here for about 13 or 14 years, and I've been a vicar for about 25 years. When I was about 15, I became a much more committed Christian, and that was very, very good for a couple of years. But I discovered and this was a long time ago, this was back in the 1970s. After a while, I worked out that there seemed to be a conflict between my sexuality and my faith, and I was being told by the leadership that, you know, it wasn't okay to be an active gay person.


I kind of struggled with that for a bit. And then I decided, or it felt as though the Christianity that I thought I'd discovered wasn't what I was being offered. So I gave it all up and decided not to be a Christian anymore. Satisfied myself that God didn't exist. I was kind of living the life of a London gay man. Um, so there was a lot of clubbing. It was great, I enjoyed it. I'm not anti clubbing. Um, but it was all a bit. I felt a bit lost. I think it was quite hard to kind of form relationships and things and I and this was also during the Aids. It was when Aids was at its worst as well. And a friend of mine, actually, who I'd been at school with, said, I think you should come back to church. I certainly didn't go back with the intention of becoming a vicar. Um, but I felt that it was a place where I could be myself, and it felt like a place where I could make friends. I had other friends, but this felt like a kind of deep kind of friendship. But the vicar of the church that I was going to began to kind of talk to me about ordination, which is becoming a priest. Initially I was very resistant. I thought, why do I want to turn my life upside down? That would be completely crazy. And why would I want to be part of an institution that appears to be homophobic? So I resisted it for probably about a year. But once it planted the seed, the seed kept growing, and I really felt that more likely to be able to change an institution from within than from outside. So I actually met my partner in church. He came from abroad and he spoke to the chaplain of his university and said, I want an inclusive place of worship. I don't care if it's a mosque or a synagogue or a church. She said, you better go to Saint John's Waterloo. So we met in Saint John's and he's actually very involved here now. Um, so I feel kind of richly blessed. It's not always the case that your partner is supportive of this kind of thing, but he very much enjoys being part of it and brings a lot to the congregation. And I think we see this as a shared journey as well. So we're both trying to work out our faith and what it means.


So I think my sexuality has certainly affected the way I understand God and the way that I relate to God. I think when I was in my teens and I began to realise that being gay was a permanent state. Um, that was a huge challenge for me. And in the 1970s, it wasn't easy. I mean, it's not easy now, but it certainly wasn't easy then. Um, I think that gave in many ways. It gave me a sense of low self-esteem and not really feeling a low sense of self-worth. I think I didn't really understand the love of God at that stage either. And I think to become involved in Christianity when I was 15 or 16 was important because it gave me a sense of the loving God. But then, as I've said earlier, it also undermined my my sense of sexuality. I think I've learnt a lot since then, and I think in a way, being gay gives you a different understanding of how society works and gives you a different understanding of who you are. And I've had to work out how to integrate that with my faith. Um, so I think my faith has got deeper as a result. But it's been a difficult journey. Of course I have doubts. And of course I have.


I feel very challenged at times. Um, there are times that I feel very depressed, um, about the way the church is going. There are times when not so much now, but certainly in the past when I was more involved in these conversations, I used to find it very, very difficult when you're being told basically that you know, you're not acceptable as a Christian or indeed as a human being. And it's really difficult. And sometimes, you know, I have thought, I just want to give up on this and go and do a proper job, but that's the reality. So the advice that I give to a fellow Christian who's struggling with their sexuality is to find someone who could support them.


But the advice I'd really give us to come to Saint John's Waterloo, actually. But, um, if they don't live nearby, then, um, find a church which is welcoming and there are inclusive churches around the country that you can find or find a friend. Don't give up on God because God is the ground of our being. Different faith traditions, you know, have the same sorts of challenges. But within all those traditions, there are people who are struggling with their sexuality as well. Um, I've spoken to many Muslims and Jewish people and Hindus. Um, and within all of those different traditions, there are people who are working up the answers to the same sorts of questions that we've got. And God works in so many different ways. Um, so you don't have to be a Christian to understand God fully. Um, so my message, to the future is take action and be involved. Don't give up. Don't sit back, don't lose hope, but find people that you can work with. A million lights, a million little lights together can make one bright light. But if we don't have any of the little lights together. You don't get the bright light.

Let Us Love

Video length - 06.49
Published date - Jun 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Just Me – “I’m just me… It’s like coming up for air.”

As Jaz and Charlie make a final attempt to keep their relationship alive, one of them comes out as non-binary (meaning they don’t identify as a boy or a girl), sparking a conversation that will change them both forever.

A film by Adam Tyler.

Starring Ffion Evans and Sam Buchanan.

Shortlisted for Best British Short at the Iris Prize Festival 2020 which celebrates the very best in current LGBT+ short and feature filmmaking.

Advice for young people who are thinking about gender identity can be found at the following sites:



Gendered Intelligence

Just Me

Video length - 13.15
Published date - Feb 2020
Keystage(s) - 4 and 5

The View from the Classroom – Gender – What is gender? Is it something people are born with, or something they choose? How does someone’s gender affect their lives and choices? Students from Key Stages 4 and 5 in schools all around the country give us the view from the classroom.

Advice for young people who are thinking about gender identity can be found at the following sites:



TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:
Component 2: Thematic studies: Theme A: Relationships and families:Sex, marriage and divorce Families and gender equality - Gender roles, Gender equality, Gender prejudice and discrimination including examples.
Area of Study 1 - Beliefs in action – Religion and Ethics: Marriage & Family - Varying religious and personal attitudes towards gender and gender rights.
Component Group 2–Religion,philosophy and ethics in the modern world from a religious perspective - relationships and families - religious teachings about the nature and purpose of families in the 21st century, sex, marriage, cohabitation and divorce. Issues related to the nature and purpose of families; roles of men and women; equality; gender prejudice and discrimination.
PART B- Theme 1: Issues of Relationships - Issues of equality: gender prejudice and discrimination
Component 1 (Route A):Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World : Theme 1: Issues of Relationships:Issues of equality: gender prejudice and discrimination

The View from the Classroom – Gender

I am female and I do like being a female.

I'm male.


I identify as a female.

I'd say my gender is a male.

I am a woman, and I like being a woman because I don't know, I just like it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm a male.

It's my own gender is female.

Yeah, I like being female. I think that's the way I'll stay.

Gender. Ah, there's different genders like male, female and transgender. Is it a type of gender?

Someone's gender is the way they identify themselves.

Maybe a boy that feels they're more of a girl, or the girl feels more they're a boy.

They could identify as something else, like non-binary, where they don't identify as either gender. They're just themselves.

I think someone's biological sex is like what they were born as, but then someone's gender identity is what they choose to be.

There is a difference in what you're born with and regard yourself as. But the question is, should we accept that? And is what you think more important than your physical body?

In my opinion, there's only two types, right? If you're born a man, you're born a man. If you're born a woman, you're born a woman.

We have things in our bodies that determine what we are.

It's easier to go the male or female based on their, like, sexual organs, really.

My personal belief is that there are only two genders. There's nothing else other than that.

I'm not exactly the most masculine guy, but I'm still a male in with my gender. I don't need to identify as anything other just because I'm not the stereotype.

I think some people do view it as not good and going against God's wishes, I guess, but it's kind of none of their business. It's if that person doesn't feel comfortable and doesn't feel as if they know themselves in that skin and they don't want to be themselves, it's their choice.

They're not harming anyone else, so why discriminate against them for it?

I think people should be able to change their gender because if they don't feel comfortable in their body, then if it makes them happy to change gender, that's better for them.

I think men are better at some jobs, like the hard labour jobs like building, because they have like more muscle and strength, while women, they're pretty good at doing like makeup and like nail salons and stuff like that. I know I'd be judged if I went into like the nail business and stuff.

You do get men where they are involved in makeup, hairdressing, stuff like that, and it is frowned upon by some people, but by others, they see it as them embracing their own what they are doing, what they love. And you can't stop that, because if they love what they're doing, then they should carry on doing it.

People do get bullied for like not doing things that are stereotypical for their gender. I think that's because most girls and boys are brought up like the same way, so they think they can only do certain things. But as you get older, you become more independent and you realise that, um, you can do anything you want to do.

Well, I know a few boys that do want to go into like hair and beauty and stuff like that, and they're doing quite well, to be quite honest with you. But you do get the stereotype that you are, um, gay and stuff like that because you're doing something a girl would normally do, which isn't the case. And I think that's kind of wrong that people do stereotype.

I believe gender is a social construct due to representation in the media. So for example, as simple as adverts for toys with children, we are presented with the ideas that boys like construction and girls like makeup.

I think your upbringing, like the toys you get, can affect it because a lot of girls clothes or toys have things on, like be pretty and stuff like this, where on boys it's always be strong and all of this. So it kind of teaches girls from a really early age that girls can't be strong and girls can't do this and can't do that, and boys can't.. That boys can't cry, for example, and boys can't be emotional.

I think if you're a girl and in society they mostly like girly stuff like unicorns and makeup, so bringing them up like that shouldn't really make that much of a difference. I think boys should also be brought up, as in having toy cars and stuff, because that's what you're going to do in the future, most likely.

I was brought up in like Guiding and Brownies and stuff like that, and then I went into Scouting and enjoyed that a lot more, but because I was a girl, my mum put me into brownies first. And I think a lot of people do that with children.

I think kids should be free to choose what they want to play with or what they want to wear, as it depends on how they feel really. They may not want to be in the girly stuff if they're a girl.

The gender pay gap is where on average, females tend to earn a certain percentage less than males for doing the same role in a job.

I think being a male gives me many advantages in life.

If it's a male and female who have the exact same ability, which is really top calibre, then they deserve the same pay despite the gender, because they do, they fulfil that same role.

At the end of the day, if we're both doing the same job, why is someone else getting paid more than I am? I just don't think that's right. And if you're putting it down to my gender, that's even worse. Because what's different?

Females aren't inferior to men, so they shouldn't be earning less.

People are starting to widen their horizons and people are just making new rules for themselves.

We are all just humans. So if a girl wants to be strong and pretty and all of this at the same time, she can do that, like a boy shouldn't have to sit there and hold all his emotions in and keep it all inside of him.

We should all just accept who someone is, like, we're here to be loving. We're not here to judge people and decide that this is wrong and this is right.

I just say let people be what they want to be. You shouldn't have to live by a set of rules that have been in place for hundreds of years and haven't been updated.

The View from the Classroom – Gender

Video length - 06.37
Published date - Oct 2019
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

The View from the Classroom – Abortion – What is an abortion? What does the law say about abortion? What are your opinions about it? Students from Key Stages 4 and 5 in schools all around the country give us the view from the classroom.

Advice about pregnancy and abortion can be found at the following sites:



Marie Stopes

NUPAS (National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service)

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 2: Thematic studies:Theme B: Religion & Human Life - The origins and value of human life - Religious teachings, beliefs and attitudes about abortion, including situations when the mother’s life is at risk.



Area of Study 1 - Section 4: Matters of Life and Death - Implications of the religious teachings about the value and sanctity of life for the issue of abortion.



Religion, philosophy and ethics in the modern world:Freedom of expression • Freedom of practice • Equality in society • The value of human life •Self-determination - Potential clashes between religious teachings and scientific development in medical ethics, including: • abortion



PART B -Theme 1: Issues of Life and Death - The origin and value of human life



Component 1 (Route A):Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World: Theme 2: Issues of Life and Death: The origin and value of human life.

The View from the Classroom – Abortion

An abortion is a removal of a foetus.

A foetus is a developing unborn child.

So the law says about abortion that you have to have two doctors approval.

An abortion is only legal up to 24 weeks.

Personally, I believe it should be more like 5 to 10 weeks because, sort of at 24 weeks, the child's already started to properly develop into a person.

If a pregnancy is 40 weeks and then 24 weeks is just a bit over halfway, then a baby who's after that point will have developed most of the way and could be seen as a person.

I think it should be lengthened a bit because it's a really big decision. It's life changing and to me, 24 weeks in the grand scheme of things is nothing. So I think it should be lengthened to give people more time to think about what they really, really want and to consider different options.

But if it was longer, it might be more difficult for the person who is having the baby and it could hurt them more. The operation and stuff could be more difficult to do.

Well, at the core of it, just deciding that I don't want the child is essentially murder in a sense of that, you just deciding that you want to end the life of this child because it'd be an inconvenience to you.

I don't think abortion is murder as such. It's more like the baby hasn't been born, so if it can't survive out of the mother's womb, then you can't really be murdered, can it? Because the baby would die. Like anyway.

If you define as being life, I suppose you'd have to consider it being the same as a full a fully grown human. So I don't go as far as say it's murder, but it's, to me, you'd have to consider it to be the same thing.

I don't see it as killing personally, because it hasn't lived, it's not, it won't remember because the memory isn't developed then. So no, I don't see it as killing.

Well, but in the pregnancy, the baby is moving and you can kick and stuff, so it kind of is alive.

Is a foetus in the womb, a living thing, or is it, does it become alive when it's born?

Personally, I believe life starts when a baby is born.

I think life begins when, like the child is born, when it comes into the world.

That's when you can see the the child, hold the child, and then you can realise that that child is yours and then has its own rights.

I think really the life starts after you're born.

I think life begins when you have a heartbeat. Just because you're not born yet doesn't mean that you're not alive.

I think that life begins when, if, when the baby can survive without the mother's help, so it could, it could be born early and it could be like, maybe put in, like an incubator and it could survive.

I definitely don't think life starts right at conception where the sperm meets the egg. I think it's probably when the baby becomes self-aware and starts sucking its thumb.

If it can kick, that means it's alive.

To me, when that sperm touches the egg that is a baby, to me, that is a life to me already. Like, I believe in, like the body and the soul as two separate things, so that is a soul in there already, to me.

I believe life begins when the sperm meets the egg.

Even though it's not really breathing and everything on its own. It's still alive and it's still growing. And that's the living thing.

I think it's still life because you're still being created. You're in the process of becoming someone.

What makes the difference between a minute before it's born and a minute after it's born?

I would think a religious person would say that it's, it's a God's choice who's born and who's not. So, I can't just change God's decision.

Catholics believe sex is for procreation, and if you are to have sex, then you should allow whatever the outcome is. And have an abortion means that you're stopping, like, God's way.

Playing God is like someone does something and, like, it's like they're doing something that's not natural.

To me life comes from God, and he puts people on the Earth for reasons, to help other people, to make the world a better place.

We shouldn't get the choice to choose who lives and who dies, because ultimately it isn't up to us.

It's linked in with the sanctity of life. In essence, that life is so precious to us.

God created children like babies for a reason, and he created everyone for a reason.

What I believe is that life has a meaning behind it.

When we were growing up, we were taught that God is the one that gives us life, and God is the one that takes away life.

Islam thinks that abortions are murder most of the time. However, if it's for the greater good, for example, if the mother was to be ill, if she had the child, then it's allowed to have an abortion.

Usually Sikhs are pro-life and they would say to, go to not, um, abort.

Pro-Life is when someone believes that the woman should not have the choice to have an abortion because-

the foetus has the right to live.

Pro-Choice is when you think that a woman should have a decision in whether she has a child or not.

Abortion shouldn't be used as a form of contraception because there's already a living life form, whereas contraception is used to prevent a living life form from being created.

I feel like if you don't want to get pregnant, then try not to get pregnant. Don't just be like, oh, I'll have an abortion.

If a teenager or someone in a relationship get pregnant unplanned and they abort it, it's bad because they should have planned ahead instead of killing the, like, baby that's not even been born yet.

I think, like, abortion shouldn't be allowed. If you can't take care of your baby, then you should put them up for adoption.

I think it's a bit selfish for you to decide that you're going to abort a child just because you don't want it.

I think it's fundamentally wrong because it is killing a new life, and I don't think, I don't think that's okay, except in some cases you need to.

Such as in the cases of, um, incest, rape, or in the case of when the child will be born, it will either result in the death of the mother or the child.

I think it depends on the situation. Like if the, like, mother was too young or wasn't healthy to give birth, then it should be allowed to have an abortion.

I think that a woman should have the right to decide whether she wants to abort.

I think that abortion should be totally the woman's choice, because it's her that's going to have to carry it, her that is going to have to actually give birth to it.

I think most of the time, yeah, it should be the woman's choice because she's the one giving up her body and she's the one going through all these changes. And although a man might say that they can understand it, they really can't, and even other women can't understand it until they've been through it themselves.

I don't think anyone should be able to stop someone from doing it, because it's their decision and it's their body.

You shouldn't choose if other people should have an abortion. If you're against it, don't abort your own children. Simple as that.

The View from the Classroom – Abortion

Video length - 07.07
Published date - Sep 2019
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Life Growing Up – Part 4: Telling People – “It’s very hard telling people.”

This film, and three more like it, have been created using the true stories of young people with HIV, and performed by actors. What’s it like to find out you have HIV when you are a child? Part 4 – Telling People looks at what can happen when telling friends, or a boyfriend or girlfriend about having HIV. The films aim to raise awareness and understanding of the experiences and needs of young people living with HIV.

Courtesy of the Children’s HIV Association – and follow the link for more help and information.

Life Growing Up – Part 4: Telling People

Video length - 03.48
Published date - Feb 2019
Keystage(s) - 4

An Untold Story – Robyn is a young filmmaker from a small town in Scotland. She is used to telling other people’s stories, but has never put her own on camera. So in this film, she describes how she came to realise that she was gay, the initial shame she felt (and was made to feel) before proudly accepting herself for who she is.

An Untold Story

Video length - 08.50
Published date - Jan 2019
Keystage(s) - 4

One-to-One – James has been outed at school before he could come out on his own terms, and he’s afraid of what his parents will say when they discover he’s got a boyfriend. With everything getting too much for him, James visits his youthworker to talk it all out, one-to-one.

A short coming-of-age drama by Toby Lloyd and Conor Deedigan.

Nominated for the Teen Award at the Children’s BAFTAs 2019.


Video length - 13.25
Published date - Sep 2018
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

First Love – Girl meets boy for their first date. That’s it. Oh, apart from the fact that they both have disabilities. But will it make any difference?

First Love

Video length - 07.46
Published date - Jun 2018
Keystage(s) - 3

You Can’t Play With Us – Anna plays centre back for Hampstead Women’s Football Club. She’s proved all the boys who said girls can’t play football wrong by winning an international cap, and so – at 18 years old – it’s time to decide whether to pursue a career in professional football.

Directed by Cray Smith and made during the BFI Film Academy’s documentary filmmaking residential course run by our friends at VividEcho.

You Can’t Play With Us

Video length - 06.56
Published date - Jun 2018
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Screwball! – A comedy drama for SRE (or RSE) lessons about Ryan and Natalie – two young people struggling through their first sexual encounter, and having to deal with each other’s expectations, a shiny trumpet and way too many cats. It’s ideal for opening up discussion about consent, peer pressure and the internet’s influence on relationships.

A film by Adam Tyler.


Adam Tyler (who wrote and directed the film) won the Writer category of the BAFTA Children’s Awards 2017.

Alhaji Fofana (Ryan) won the Performer category at the BAFTA Children’s Awards 2017

Savannah Baker (Natalie) was also nominated in the Performer category.

Winner of the Educational Film Award at the Learning on Screen Awards 2018

Winner of the Children’s Award at the Sandford St Martin Trust Awards 2018


Video length - 12.22
Published date - Jun 2017
Keystage(s) - 4 and 5
Downloadable resources