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.’