Vicky Beeching is a writer, broadcaster, speaker, and equality campaigner. She is based in London. You can contact her here.
Vicky is a regular commentator on LGBT equality, religion, and current affairs on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4, Radio 2, Radio 4 and a frequent contributor to national newspapers.
Drawing on her theological studies at Oxford University, she has presented programmes like Songs of Praise for BBC1, and delivers Thought For The Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, as well as Pause For Thought on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Breakfast Show.
Previously, she was one of the best-known writers and performers of religious music in the UK and USA - a career that began in her teens when Christian record labels discovered her talent and began recording and publishing her compositions. Vicky worked on her songs throughout her years at University, then went full-time in music after graduation.
Her songs became some of the most-sung in churches around the globe and have been translated into numerous language. Vicky regularly sang in America's biggest 'megachurches', some having congregations of ten thousand people.
That career ended in 2014 when, at the age of thirty-five, she came out as gay and faced total rejection from the traditionalist churches who had bought her albums and sung her songs in their worship gatherings.
Since then, instead of singing, she has focused on writing, broadcasting, and campaigning for change. This new work has garnered accolades - The Telegraph placed Vicky in their “Top 100 Britons” for her fresh and inspiring contributions to media debates. The Guardian called her “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” for her work championing diversity and inclusion within the church. The Independent newspaper placed Vicky as the 4th most influential LGBT person in the UK in their annual "Rainbow List".
Harper Collins published her memoir, UNDIVIDED in June 2018. The book was endorsed by well-known British figures like Clare Balding, Nicky Campbell, Owen Jones, and Brian May (guitarist from Queen), and by American thought-leaders like New York Times best-sellers Rob Bell and Rachel Held-Evans.
Her work campaigning for LGBTQ equality and for mental health awareness has led to various award nominations including Stonewall's Hero of The Year, National Diversity Award's Inspirational Role Model and British LGBT Awards Broadcaster of the Year. Vicky has won a Christian New Media Award for her writing and a European Diversity Award for her work in LGBTQ campaigning. In 2017, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, gave Vicky a Thomas Cranmer Award for her contributions to the church.
Vicky delivers keynote speeches on diversity and inclusion in corporate settings, telling her story and giving input on how to help LGBTQ staff feel comfortable and reach their full potential in the workplace. Companies who have booked her as a speaker include KPMG, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Heathrow Airport, Linklaters, Prudential, the Co-Op Group, Sainsbury's, the Houses of Parliament, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Wherever she goes, and in whatever context, Vicky's mission in life is simple and focused: To try and make the world a more inclusive and accepting place for LGBTQ people and to raise awareness about mental health.
Vicky’s portfolio of work focuses on the theme of diversity in various contexts:
(1). DIVERSITY WITHIN RELIGION
With degrees in Theology from Oxford, and current doctoral research at Durham University, Vicky has studied Christianity in great depth - both its ancient past and its current ethical dilemmas.
One of her major interests is the intersection of Christianity and LGBT identity. This includes questions around how the Church of England responds to calls for gay marriage within its walls; how LGBT people of faith can feel fully equal and welcome in faith communities; how we understand what the Bible says about relationships; whether the current tensions will eventually split the Church.
As a gay Christian herself, with a personal journey that’s equally harrowing and inspiring, Vicky brings both an academic and a personal perspective when she writes on or speaks about this area.
She is one of the most well-known Equality Campaigners in the UK for religious LGBT inclusion and has been recognised with various awards and nominations for this work.
Vicky is frequently on TV and radio discussing the latest advances in this area, as well as broader stories about religion and the church.
From time to time, she exchanges her ‘TV commentator’ hat for ‘TV presenter’- guest-presenting religiously-themed shows like BBC1’s Songs of Praise and BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live.
If you listen to the radio in the mornings, you can often catch her delivering the spiritually-themed segment 'Thought For The Day' on Radio 4’s Today Programme, or 'Pause For Thought' on Radio 2’s Chris Evans Show.
(2). DIVERSITY IN THE CORPORATE WORKPLACE
Vicky’s second area of focus is what’s known in HR as ‘Diversity and Inclusion'.
This is a huge issue for employers; ensuring that people can bring their ‘whole selves’ to the workplace and not feel certain aspects are unwelcome (e.g. sexuality, gender identity, mental health).
An in-demand speaker on Diversity and Inclusion, and an executive leadership coach , she is regularly booked by companies including Heathrow Airport, KPMG, PwC, BNP Paribas, Co-Op Group, Linklaters, The Crowne Estate and Prudential.
Keynotes - When giving keynotes, Vicky draws on her unique, powerful and inspiring personal story as well as on teaching materials on best practice. She tailors each new talk specifically for each event. Topics include: Everyone wins when you bring your whole self to work; greater openness around mental health; the cost of living in the closet; gender equality; a multi-faith workplace; embracing difference, and various others. Some of Vicky's talks include the theme of faith, but many of them do not. She liaises with each event planner and writes her talk to compliment the overall goals of the event.
Coaching - Vicky delivers one-to-one coaching with senior staff at various UK companies. These sessions strengthen each staff member's sense of career direction, purpose, confidence and professional identity - e.g. finding a greater sense of purpose in your career; personal sustainability/wellbeing; creating a personal brand online; making an impact on social media, honing public speaking skills; getting equipped for TV or radio appearances; developing confidence in networking skills. Her coaching has produced outstanding results, seeing clients progress into major promotions, find that they enjoy public speaking (rather than dread it!), and sense a new level of purpose and meaning in their career.
(3). DIVERSITY & IDENTITY WITHIN TECHNOLOGY
Her third area of interest relates to her doctoral research at Durham University. This has takes an ethical and philosophical focus; exploring how technology affects human identity and whether technology promotes or impairs diversity.
Looking at current forms of tech - and also those on the distant horizon - she explores what it means to be human in a digital age.
With a special emphasis on VR (virtual reality) and AI (artificial intelligence, robotics), her academic work addresses how behaviour and wellbeing are influenced by being online, by accessing virtual environments and by engaging with machine intelligence. The type of questions she attempts to answer include:
What does it mean to be a embodied in an increasingly disembodied virtual society?
What significance do sacred places retain when virtual environments become a bigger part of our daily existence?
How do we use technology for social good?
How can harmful behaviours like trolling and cyberbullying be stopped without limiting the free speech of online platforms?
How can children and young people engage with the Internet safely?
Vicky's passion is to have one foot in academic research and one foot in media and journalism. She frequently speaks/writes/broadcasts about tech stories in the news.
She has delivered keynote speeches, coaching and consultancy on technology for a diverse range of companies including Adobe, the BBC, the Church of England, Heathrow, and Disney.
For more on her technology work, including TV and radio clips, see here.
You can visit her academic profile page on the Durham University site here.
Vicky can be contacted here.
Watch her 'coming out' story on Channel 4 News here.