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Discrete CollectionsHall-Carpenter Archives
TitleQuest: Pastoral Support for LGBT+ Catholics
Extent29 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryQuest is a group for LGBT+ Catholics.

It was founded in 1973, and had its inaugural meeting on 6 November 1973. Originally known as the "Catholic Gay Caucus"/"Catholic Gay Group", it was formed out of the responses to a notice in Gay News addressed to Roman Catholics who might be interested in meeting together to discuss the Church's attitude to homosexuality.

By 1996 (for example), Quest had 15 local groups around the UK, who organised meetings and events, and distributed newsletters. They also published two national periodicals: one, for members, provided news, views and information on activities; the other, distributed more widely, promoted the study and discussion of matters of concern to LGBT+ Catholics. They organised an annual national weekend conference for business, talks, discussions, and social and religious gathering. Quest worked and dialogued with any authority or individual who influenced their members' lives, especially the Churches, government, statutory and voluntary bodies and the media. They also operated Quest Linkline - a telephone helpline which provided support to those in distress or difficulty, and information to enquirers.

Today (2020) Quest describes its purpose as “to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”. In concrete terms, it aims to:
- Bring good news to LGBT Catholics
- Deliver pastoral support for LGBT Catholics
- Provide resources for LGBT Catholics
- Practise advocacy for LGBT Catholics
- Work towards safer schools for LGBT Catholics.
For more information see their website:
Custodial HistoryDeposited by Quest in 2014 (gift).
National Committee meetings:
- Minutes and circulated papers, 1975-97 (HCA/QUEST/1-5)
- Circulated papers, 1998 (HCA/QUEST/5)
- Minutes, November 2001 (HCA/QUEST/6)
- Minutes and circulated papers (incomplete), 2002-03 (HCA/QUEST/6).

Company records:
- Constitution, 1975-98 (HCA/QUEST/6)
- Annual reports, 1988-99 (HCA/QUEST/6)
- "Chair's Notes", 1989-92 (HCA/QUEST/6).

Annual General Meetings and Conferences, 1975-2006 (HCA/QUEST/7-10).
Quest's first AGM was held in 1975. Its first National Conference was held in Leicester in 1982.


- Newsletters, 1975 (HCA/QUEST/10)

- Information, News and Views, 1975-83; Newsletter, 1983-85; Journal, 1986-93; Chronicle, 1995-97; Digest, 1999-2006 (HCA/QUEST/10-11). From 1975-84, this publication was edited by Michael Stephens. It was intended to promote serious and informed discussion on how homosexual people may best reconcile their sexual orientation with a profession of Catholic faith. It was to further this purpose by "establishing and extending a dialogue between homosexual Catholics and members of the clergy through which the insights and experiences of each may gradually be interwoven and so achieve better mutual understanding both of the moral teachings of the Church and of the characteristics of its homosexual members (and) seeking wider opportunities, in the Catholic press and elsewhere, to promote fuller and more public discussion of the spiritual, moral, psychological and physiological issues involved". It was distributed to all members of Quest and was also (unlike Quest News), distributed to more than a hundred colleges, seminaries, periodicals, theologians, bishops and others.

- Quest Link, 1978-86; Quest News, 1986-93; Quest Bulletin, 1993-2011 (HCA/QUEST/12-13). This journal was intended as "a chief means of communication between the committee and the membership".

- General outputs, including pamphlets, press releases, circulars, leaflets (HCA/QUEST/14).

Other Quest outputs are scattered through the collection.

Regional co-ordination and branches, 1976-2011 (HCA/QUEST/15-18).

Subject files (HCA/QUEST/19-26), including:
- Quest sections, including Women and Youth
- Campaigns (such as "Tell a Priest")
- Pastoral care of LGBT+ people (including responses to the Vatican's pronouncements on this issue)
- Linkline (Quest's telephone helpline)
- Political lobbying (i.e. age of consent, civil partnerships and other issues relating to lesbian and gay equality)
- Liaison with pressure groups (including Stonewall and LGCM; and, criticism of Outrage!)
- Media coverage and lobbying.

- Box of papers of Peter Raspison, Convenor of Merseyside Quest and National Chairman, [1989-93] (HCA/QUEST/27).

- Box of papers of CRA (Richard) Cunliffe, Deputy Chair [1988-93], National Chairman, [1993-96] (HCA/QUEST/28).

Non-Quest print and ephemera, 1975-99 (HCA/QUEST/29).

LGCM: Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
MCC: Metropolitan Community Church
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