The Church of England is considering adding a ceremony its services for “transgender” persons who seek to be re-baptized in their new gender identity and under their new name. According to reports, Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the addition to the General Synod after being approached by a girl who identifies as a boy who wished to be baptized again under her male name. “I said, ‘Once you’ve been baptized, you’re baptized.’ He said, ‘But I was baptized as a girl, under a different name,’” Newlands recalled to the Guardian.
“I said, ‘Let me have a think about it.’ So we did and then we created a service, which was an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity,” he said. Newlands soon submitted a motion for the issue to be considered by the denomination as a whole. “That this Synod, recognizing 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,” it read. The motion was approved by the parochial church council, the Deanery Synod and the Blackburn Diocese, and is set to next be debated by the General Synod. However, it may be some time before the matter is discussed as it is among a queue of other topics up for consideration. FULL REPORT