C of E faces opposition over trans baptism services

The Church of England is facing opposition from more than 2,000 of its own clergy and office holders over new guidance on celebrating transgender ‘transitions’.

In an open letter the clergy urged the House of Bishops to “revise, postpone or withdraw” the guidance.

The C of E has said it will give “serious consideration” to the letter.

‘Misuses baptism’

The advice issued last month supports churches’ use of ‘affirmation of baptism’ services to mark a person’s ‘gender transition’.

The service would affirm their previously made promises under their new identity, and use their new name and pronoun.

But the letter sent to the House of Bishops restates that baptisms are for celebrating new life in Christ rather than new personal circumstances.

In a summary of their concerns, the signatories said the guidance “misuses the baptism liturgy” and “misreads Scripture”.

‘Think again’

Revd Ian Paul, a member of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council, said: “The fact that so many, from a wide range of traditions in the Church, have been prepared to ‘put their heads above the parapet’ is an indication of the strength of concern expressed here.”

“The bishops really need to think again and consider these things properly”, he added.

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