Worship artist, theologian and media commentator Vicky Beeching this week announced that she is a lesbian.
The U.K.-born singer said this week in multiple interviews that the revelation comes after an inner struggle with same-sex attraction that began at age 13.
“Waking up & knowing you can truly be yourself is such a refreshing feeling,” Beeching tweeted this morning. “Slept better last night than I have in years.”
Beeching, 35, has released five projects over the last 12 years, including Yesterday, Today & Forever, Painting the Invisible, and Eternity Invades. She has been mentored by the likes of Matt Redman and Tim Hughes, among others, and is known for songs such as “Yesterday, Today & Forever”, “Captivated”, “The Wonder of the Cross” and most famously, “Glory to God Forever,” which she co-wrote with Steve Fee.
In addition, Beeching has been described as one of the “most sought-after religious commentators in Britain,” having appeared on multiple networks there including BBC News and Sky News. She also is a theologian, having received her theology degree from Oxford University. She has a close relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his family.
Beeching told The Independent that multiple times throughout her teenage and young adult years she prayed (and had others pray) unsuccessfully for her desires to change.
She said keeping quiet about her struggles ultimately led to her developing a degenerative, stress-induced auto-immune disease called linear scleroderma morphea—which forced Beeching into chemotherapy treatment.
During that treatment, Beeching said she decided to publicly acknowledge her lesbianism, and now says that sexual orientation needs to be embraced “as a God-given gift,” despite the prevailing evangelical belief that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.
The announcement has drawn both support and criticism from within the Church. Fellow worship leader and friend Carlos Whittaker posted support for Beeching today on social media, writing, “Thanks for showing us what it means to be brave.”
“Her identity is is Christ,” Whittaker wrote in response to criticism of Beeching’s decision. “Trust me. I've had many conversations with her.”
Beeching says she still depends on royalties earned from churches using her worship songs, and believes her announcement will impact that. She said a number of “conservative American churches” have contacted her since she began publicly advocating for same-sex marriage last December, informing her they will boycott her songs.
“As someone who works in Christian ministry and has had a long career in Christian music, all of those people tend towards the conservative view, so it just makes me feel like I probably need to find a new livelihood,” she told Britain’s Channel 4 News.
Beeching is the latest Christian musician to come out as gay, following Christian music pioneer Ray Boltz, gospel singer Tonex and, most publicly, Jennifer Knapp.
Despite criticism, Beeching says she isn’t leaving the Church. Rather, she believes she has a new mission within the Church.
“My faith is stronger than it’s ever been,” she said in a recent interview. “I love the Church. I want to be part of the change. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”