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Church of England begins new services for transgender people

January 2019

The Church of England has issued new pastoral guidance, creating baptismal-style services to welcome trans people into the Anglican faith.

The guidance urges clergy to refer to transsexuals by their new name and suggests presenting them with gifts, such as a Bible inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate.

The guidance notes, ‘For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service.’

It says a special service would enable trans people to ‘renew the commitments made in baptism and in a public setting and provides space for those who have undergone a major transition to re-dedicate their life to Jesus Christ.’

However, evangelicals within the Church of England have raised strong objections. Andrea Williams, a lay member of the Church of England’s General Synod accused the Church of continuing a ‘devastating trajectory towards an outright denial of God and his word’.

She added, ‘There is no need for Christians to sacrifice truth in a misguided attempt to be loving. It is not loving to mislead people, and wider society, into the falsehoods and myths of transgender ideology.’