Vicar creates service to mark transsexual’s ‘new identity’

A Church of England vicar has created a baptism affirmation service for a woman who now lives as a man, to “introduce him to God”.

Revd Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, spoke about the service as he called for the Church of England nationally to consider services to “to mark a person’s gender transition”.

The Church has said the idea is “unlikely to be debated imminently”.


Speaking to The Guardian, Revd Newlands explained that a church member had asked to be ‘re-baptised’.

The minister said this was not possible, but created a service for the transsexual woman.

He said it was “an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity”.

‘Gender transition’

Revd Newlands is seeking support from the Church of England’s General Synod on the issue.

His motion states: “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.”

The Blackburn Diocese supported the motion in April.


The Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council commented: “Any of the 42 diocesan synods is free to propose items for debate at the General Synod.

“The Blackburn motion will join a queue of motions for debate and is therefore unlikely to be debated imminently.

“As the motion itself makes clear, any motion passed at General Synod would be the beginning not the end of a process.”

In 2013 a Church of England church in Northumberland designed an affirmation liturgy for a service for a transsexual man.