Clergy Warns Church Transgender ‘Welcome’ Service Will ‘Harm’ Children

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Over 2,000 clergy and laity have signed a petition calling for the Church of England to withdraw guidance on “transgender welcome” services, warning that celebrating sex changes could “harm” children.

In response to the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion issuing instructions in December to parishes on how they should hold “celebratory” ceremonies to mark a parishioner’s gender-swapping, conservative Christians said recognition of the theory that gender is not immutable “carry potential for harm in terms of the psychological and developmental needs of children and young adults.”

“The many ordinary parents and teachers who now express concern about these new theories do not wish to cause harm to the tiny number of children afflicted by gender dysphoria; but neither do they want to harm the potentially larger numbers of children by prematurely imposing untried and untested ideas on young children,” the open letter said.

The signatories also said that the House of Bishops’ guidance for gender transition services “lacks the serious theological analysis” and “raises some significant issues for the Church’s belief and practice.”

The Bible-orientated Christians added that, contrary to promises from Church of England progressives that there would be no new liturgy — which could put a transgender baptism on par with significant services like weddings and christenings — they were “deeply concerned” about the “misuse of the liturgy” due to the “service’s” use of oil, holy water, and existing wordings of worship.

“Although reaffirmation of baptismal vows might well be appropriate at certain seasons of life, it should primarily be focussed on celebrating new life in Christ rather than a new situation or circumstance, as set out in Common Worship: Christian Initiation, and should always centre on salvation, repentance and faith rather than ‘unconditional affirmation,’” they said.

The scale of the rejection of the pro-LGBT revisions was described as “unprecedented” by the Reverend Ian Paul, with the member of the Archbishops’ Council telling The Times, “This is the voice of the Anglican core.”

The number is likely to rise ahead of the church’s General Synod on February 20th. A Church of England spokesman told The Telegraph bishops will give the letter “serious consideration, especially in the context of the preparation of a major new set of teaching and learning resources on identity, relationships, marriage and sexuality which will be published next year.”

The Church of England already permits transgenders to marry in their places of worship, and at the end of last year backed plans for the government to make it easier for a person to legally change their sex, saying “excessive bureaucracy” was neither “welcoming nor affirming.”

“Trans people with gender recognition are already able to marry in our churches. Being transgender does not prevent someone offering themselves for ordained ministry and we have transgender clergy as well as laity,” Reverand Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church of England’s director of mission and public affairs, said in October.

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