The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to ‘welcome transgender people’ by considering preparing a church service as a way to “mark a person’s gender transition”.
The official church of the United Kingdom voted four to one in favour amongst the Clergy and more than two to one amongst the Laity (members who are not Clergy) at the four-day Synod, the motion reading:
“That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”
Vicar of Lancaster Priory Church, Chris Newlands, posed the motion to the Synod, saying he would speak on behalf of transgender people as the church’s Synod has none.
He said: “We need to be aware of the impact that our actions – be them welcome or rejection – have on the members of the trans community.
“I hope that we can make a powerful statement that we believe trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them.”
The BBC reports that, “Such a service would not be a second baptism, however, as the Church’s teaching is that humans are made in the image of God – transcending gender – and baptism takes place only once.”
Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu said there was a need for vicars “to welcome and affirm, in their parish, transgender people”, adding that the “theology has to be done” by the House of Bishops and “can be done very quickly”.
On Saturday, the General Synod backed the ban on conversion therapy for Christians struggling with their sexuality.
Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes said: “LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sickness. And LGBTI+ orientation and identity is not a sin.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also said the Anglican church would spend three years outlining a new stance on sexuality, with current rules banning same-sex weddings and civil partnership blessings.
In May, Breitbart London reported that a leading figure in the Church of Scotland (the Kirk) told its General Assembly there is “no theological reason” to oppose same-sex marriage, which could pave the way for same-sex weddings in Scottish churches.