Beeching's God-fearing lyrics are sung by millions in America's Bible Belt. Vicky Beeching, 35, British star of the American Christian rock scene, one of the most successful artists in US mega-churches and now one of the most sought-after religious commentators in Britain, knows this too.
Here, the singer and religious commentator discusses her sexuality for the first time and reflects on the political ramifications of coming out as a lesbian There is no quicker, more effective way to destroy someone than to isolate them. There is also no better way to destroy a group of people than to ensure they do the job for you. On the first occasion, Beeching, normally enlivening Radio 4's Thought for the Day or any number of Sunday morning TV discussion programmes, sits opposite me in a café in Soho. It is a précis she has written of her background: of growing up in a conservative Christian household in Kent, first in the Pentecostal Church then in the evangelical branch of the Church of England, of going to Oxford to study theology, of the EMI recording contract that sent her to Nashville 12 years ago and launched a successful singer-songwriting career… I turn the piece of paper over and look up to see her smiling nervously."I'm gay," she says, confirming what is written.
The secrecy, the loneliness, the unerring work at churches hell-bent on attacking her own, erupted the following year.
Her body started attacking itself."I was blow-drying my hair and looked in the mirror and noticed this white line down my forehead." The scar grew and became "really noticeable – inflamed and red".
I felt there was something really wrong with me, that maybe I was so sinful and awful I couldn't be healed."She reached her first breaking point that year.
I said to God, 'You have to either take my life or take this attraction away because I cannot do both.'" Her eyes glisten for the first time.
It feels a bit mean to pick one," she replies, chiming with an earlier comment: "I'm not angry with the Church."Instead, she takes herself back to that day.
"I remember sitting in my seat at this big conference, with about 4,000 people.
Then, as we begin to talk over these implications, she slides her fringe to one side to reveal a wide, white scar running down the length of her forehead. It was viewed as a terrible evil, the cause of the floods.
I don't think that my parents brought it up – it was just a given."At 12, her feelings towards other girls at school began to deepen.