ALL are welcome. Three easy words, one short tenet – an offer and a pledge.

For Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) this is a statement made seriously, a statement lived. For the congregants of MCC Glasgow, which turned 10 this year, the words are a welcome refuge after having been turned away from mainstream churches where caveats accompany the phrase.

On a wet Sunday afternoon in July a few dozen faithful gather in the hall of Ibrox Parish Church. An order of service sits on each seat, candles are lit. Children happily clatter toys and members calmly thumb Bibles as they wait for Reverend Jane Clarke to begin.

For any church-goer it would be an atmosphere immediately familiar. Rev Clarke stands up in front of the congregation. First on the agenda might be slightly less familiar: a meeting to create banners for Pride Glasgow.

MCC is slightly out of the ordinary – a church for the LGBT community, founded in Glasgow as part of an international community of MCC churches.

Among the congregation is Solomon Adebayo, an asylum seeker who fled persecution in Cameroon. Here, he hoped to find the tolerance so lacking in his home country. Instead, he was turned away from the first church he visited.

"I went to one church and I dressed with tight jeans and the guy say to me, ‘I hope you are not LGBT, I hope you are not a homosexual,’" the 50-year-old said.

"I said, ‘Yes, I’m gay.’ And he said, ‘This church is not for you. I don’t want people to be uneasy so you have to go. Find a new church.’

"That day I was crying and I went to one of my friends, Lewis, and he directed me here. And since I have been here I am home. I am free to do whatever I want to do."

For Solomon, giving up church is not an option. Born Catholic, he is a committed Christian. Despite trying to fit in, Solomon was unwelcome.

He said: "I am a religious man, I was born in the church, so if I don’t go to church then I am [in] sin.

"When I began to try to change and wear other clothes, the guy said it didn’t matter, he said they hate me."

Solomon explains how difficult it is to be homosexual in Cameroon and how, not only are gay people punished, straight people are also punished for not reporting their gay family and friends. In the UK he thought he would find a way to live freely. Now, at last, he has.

He said: "Everything I’m doing it’s like I’m with my blood people. People are very kind, lovely people, friendly. Since I’ve been here I’ve been born.

"I have never lived the way I have lived here. Free. Before, I have always been scared. But you can see me happy, I am happy here."

It is obviously a frustration to Solomon that he was cast out by his previous church. "The Bible even says, ‘Though shall not judge.’ No-one can judge me, only God can judge me," he said.

"God create me like that, I don’t create myself like that. So thou shalt not judge."

Paul Edwards-Smyth knows similarly what it is to feel cast out. Paul is beginning a new chapter in both his romantic and spiritual lives. At the age of 48 he has found love, but this love means he is leaving behind the church that has nourished him for four decades.

Paul was Paul Smyth but now he is marrying his partner Justin and the couple are hyphenating their names. Paul was raised in the Catholic Church, played the organ for more than 30 years and worked for the church in London. Seven years ago Paul joined MCC but was no less involved in the Catholic Church. Now, however, things must change.

"I was out in the Catholic Church for a long time, for years," he said. "I didn’t go up to anyone and tell them but people knew. I decided about three months ago to leave the Catholic Church because of their views on same-sex weddings and I decided to leave before I was pushed."

Paul said his father is "over the moon" he is marrying and he has no objections from his family - only his church. While Rev Clarke will marry Paul and Justin, it smarts that he is not allowed to marry in the Catholic Church.

Paul emailed his Bishop to tell him his plans to leave the church. He received no reply.

He said: "I miss the people, I miss the music. It was sad but it was a decision I had to make and I had prolonged it. I have emailed the Bishop to tell him what I’ve done and surprise, surprise, has he responded? No. I’m gutted. I’m heartbroken. But anyway. I’m doing this for the man I love with all my heart."

Laura Howell was raised in the Methodist and then the Baptist churches but drifted away when she became a teenager and started to come to terms with her sexuality. After the death of her father last year, she felt a pull back to religion and tried attending the Church of Wales.

It wasn't quite right for her and so in January this year she joined MCC. "Unfortunately I think not all churches are as welcoming to LGBT people as MCC is and I think that faith and sexuality are two things that are such a big part of you, they are core to yourself and who you are.

"I knew from an early age I was a Christian but I also knew from my teenage years that there was something different about my sexuality. So the two things when I was a teenager didn't seem to fit together but being here they do fit together, which means I can be truer to myself."

MCC makes efforts to be as inclusive as possible: for communion, the bread is gluten free and the wine is non-alcoholic. Rather than asking people to stand for the hymns, the words "stand if you are able" are used.

Laura calls Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader who stepped down over his religious views regarding homosexuality, "patronising" in his response.

The 38-year-old said: "There's that term that's bandied around: love the sinner, hate the sin, which can actually make you feel really bad about yourself, it can make you feel somehow you're not good enough, that you're not going to be accepted.

"But I think the core message of Christianity is about loving one another and I think I don't believe that there would be a god that would be so cruel as to create people who are gay or bisexual or trans but not love us all."

After the service there are coffee and biscuits in the church hall as everyone gathers to catch up. Paul and Justin have brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts to supplement the Digestives.

Long-standing members chat with those who are new, a dad keeps a close eye on his two young children as they race around the hall.

Nathan, who prefers not to give his surname, is the son of a minister but, at the age of 17, began rebelling and moved away from the church. However, his faith never left him and, in his 20s, he returned.

Nathan, who is transgender, said: "I tried my local Baptist church but I got into a discussion about women and about ministers and that got us into a conversation about being gay and a Christian – it became clear very quickly that we weren't going to find common ground."

Around two years ago he found MCC and it was a perfect fit. "The welcome you get at MCC is very much what I believe the message of Jesus is: if you genuinely ask for forgiveness you will get it. There is no hierarchy of sin."

Nathan describes the confusion he felt as a teenager. Transgender was not a word he knew, although he knew he felt differently from his peers. For a time he thought he was gay but the advent of the internet opened up new possibilities and he realised in his early 20s who he was.

Finally, he transitioned five years ago and now is at one with his church and himself.

"God has a plan and that involves shaping you into the person he wants you to be," the 35-year-old said. "MCC is just like a jigsaw piece that fits perfectly.

"The idea that Christianity and LGBT people cannot coexist has done a lot of damage and driven a lot of people away from God. You can have both. It is a safe space, to use a common term. I have never blended in, I've always stuck out like a sore thumb."

Rev Clarke and her wife Kate, who is Scottish, moved from London where the minister was head of MCC East London after a call from God to plant a church in Glasgow. From a small start, the church has grown to around 40 members with plans to expand. MCC Glasgow is now the only MCC in Scotland after MCC Edinburgh merged with Augustine United Church.

Rev Clarke was raised by a Humanist father but was still sent to Sunday School. One of five children, "it got us out of the house." She sang in the church choir, loving the "ruff and little medallions" but, as a teenager, her sexuality began to cause conflict.

"I was 16 and I fell in love with a woman and we started a relationship, which the church found really hard to deal with. So I left," she said.

"And I have no regrets because I had a fabulous teenage years, threw myself into LGBT politics and got myself involved in lots of wonderful things I'm sure most teenagers don't get to do."

Eventually the church called her back. "Around 24 I just felt that nagging call of God, that little niggle in the back of the head going, 'Church is there, you know'." After attending a few services, she asked God for his advice.

She said: "One day I went for a walk and sat down by the River Thames and just went, 'Ok, God, I really feel you calling me. I will turn my back on everything, on LGBT politics and I will give my life to you and do whatever you want me to, I'll give it all up.'

"And I swear I heard the voice of God say, 'I don't want you to give anything up, I just want you.' It was just floods of tears stuff. So I went back to the church the next week and stayed."

Rev Clarke is vocal on the issue on Tim Farron's resignation. "Firstly, I want Christians in politics, I want Christians who are into social justice and liberation in politics. I just don't understand how [Farron] can find Christianity incompatible with liberalism because to my mind that's the Sermon on the Mount.

"I think it is distressing because I think we need people of faith in positions of power who can tell us why they have their faith. Something I do absolutely love is the whole human rights thing when you have people with faith saying, 'My faith tells me this is wrong but the human rights of you as a created, beloved child of God tells me that actually it's right’. And I love that people can reconcile those things in them and he just couldn't. It's a shame."

While Rev Clarke hopes MCC Glasgow will continue to expand and grow, becoming a resource for other churches and for the LGBT community, for now the congregation is looking forward to Glasgow Pride in August.

Members attend the event in black and white, to stand out in the sea of rainbow colour. "People say, 'Who's that in black and white? Oh no, it's the Christians.'"

The minister says she hopes they can show other LGBT people that faith can be fun.

"We pray, we go on demonstrations, we love each other, we nurture each other, we fight for social justice, we fight for the green environment," she says. "What is it we're doing that is so offensive?"