C of E approves transgender liturgies

Dec 12, 2018 by

The Church of England publishes guidance for gender transition services

[Editor’s note: Guidance was published by the House of Bishops in December 2018, to permit the marking of gender transition through reaffirmation of baptismal faith with a new name and gender identity. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, initially commended the Guidance in his role as Chair of the Delegation Committee; he later stood with other leaders of the Church of England Evangelical Council (of which he is President) critiquing the Guidance. 

Below are listed further reports and comment on what appears to be a major shift in understanding of Christian anthropology from the Church of England, signs of cracks appearing in the collegiality of the Bishops, and growing opposition to the revisionist programme among clergy and laity, including a petition asking the Bishops to withdraw the Guidance, signed by more than 2000 clergy and laity…]

Recent reports and comment:

Letter supporting the House of Bishops – Full List of Names, Wheels Along the Camino

Letter to Church Times in support of guidance from Rev Jo Kershaw

House of Bishops’ sexuality project loses transgender member by Paul Handley, Church Times

A plea to the bishops on trans guidance: please listen and respond by Ian Paul, Psephizo

‘Transgender baptism’ – how should we respond? Suggested resources for PCC’s and other church groups, from Gafcon UK

A Response to the House of Bishops’ Guidance on Transgender Welcome: Open letter and signatories

1,800 sign letter urging Bishops to reconsider transgender services by Cara Bentley, Premier

Bishops always say they’re listening: are they listening to us about transgender? by David Baker, Christian Today

Church of England says it will give ‘serious consideration’ to letter opposing transgender services, Christian Today

A crisis of authority? by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream.

And: some articles supporting the liturgy celebrating gender transition, and opposing the petition:

Why the bishops are right by LGBTQ Faith

A Trans Priest’s Response to the “Harmful” Open Letter, by Tina Beardsley ViaMedia.News

Talking of baptismal rites. It’s time for the bishops to stand firm, by Andrew Lightbown Theore0

Earlier articles about Bishop Julian Henderson’s clarification of his views:

Leading evangelical bishop apologises for role in gender transition liturgy guidance – and now opposes it, by David Baker, Christian Today

Report of the January 2019 Meeting of the Church of England Evangelical Council

Comment on the follow-up Statement from the Church of England re. liturgies to mark gender transition, from Gafcon UK

The House of Bishops and transgender: fifteen wasted years, by Martin Davie, Reflections of an Anglican Theologian

See also: Believing in the body by Martin Davie.

“Much modern Western thought…has denied the unity of the human person. Following a tradition going back to Plato it has held instead that the true self is a purely spiritual entity which is only tangentially and temporarily attached to a body…

…The disregard of the importance of the body which results in… denial of belief in the resurrection of the body is what also lies behind the modern arguments for the acceptance of same-sexual activity and gender transition.”


Posts before 31 December 2018:

Baptizing the Spirit of the Age, by Matthew Lee Anderson, First Things

Statement from the Bishop Primus, Free Church of England

Dissent in the Church of England over new guidance on transgender services, Christian Today

GAFCON chair slams CofE transgender guidance as ‘false teaching’, Christian Today

Church of England’s plan for transgender baptisms outrages bishops by

Bishops and priests line up to rebel against trans baptisms by Nicholas Hellen, Sunday Times (£)

Letter to the Archbishop of York on Liturgy Celebrating Gender Transition by Julian Mann, VOL

Statement in response House of Bishop’s Guidance on welcoming Transgender people by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

Concerns raised on Bishops’ transgender guidance by Ian Paul, Church Times

What does gender have to do with genitals? by Julie Bindel, UnHerd

Accommodation is not Guidance by the Bishop of Maidstone

Anglicans and Transgender A series of reflections by Andrew Symes, published on the Anglican Mainstream website ‘Editorial Blog’ pages, 2015-2018

No need to get baptised again just because you’re changing sex by Christopher Howse, Telegraph

That was the week that was… from Northern Souls blogspot

Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, from The Society

C of E dives down the trans rabbit hole by Will Jones, The Conservative Woman

What does it profit to bishop to give his soul, not for the whole world, but for transgenderism? Low drama, high farce and  spiritual tragedy in the C of E by Gavin Ashenden

Anglican bishop who hailed transgender rite as biblical calls it flawed in shambolic U-turn by Jules Gomes, Rebel Priest

A response to the House of Bishops’ “Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition”, from Church of England Evangelical Council

[Editor’s note: This lengthy critique of the House of Bishops’ guidance concludes that the transgender liturgies “establish a position which is incompatible with biblical teaching”, and calls for “clarifications and…modifications”. It is signed by a number of CEEC officers including Bishop Julian Henderson himself, after he had previously described the liturgies as “rooted in Scripture”.]

Baptism-style ceremony for men who ‘transition’ to female? Why Church of England has imploded by Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSite

A Sex-Change Ritual in the Church of England – Bishop Keith Ackerman

The Church of England’s New Transgender Service Subverts the Bible, Will Drive People Away by Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

Statement from Bishop Andy Lines following the Church of England’s guidance on liturgies to celebrate gender transition, Gafcon

Wisdom and folly: the bishops’ guidance on transgender welcome by Ian Paul, Psephizo

Anglican Transgender ‘Confirmation’ by Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

Transgendered baptism: Anglican Unscripted with Kallsen and Ashenden

‘Baptism and the transgendered in the C of E’: the cruelty of the ‘would-be kind’ and incompetent, by Gavin Ashenden

Transitioning a liturgy, by Lee Gatiss, Church Society

Church of England crosses red line as it blesses ‘genital mutilation’, by Jules Gomes, Rebel Priest

New C of E guidance on gender transition services follows ‘devastating trajectory’, from Christian Concern

The secular, postmodern re-shaping of church and society, by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream


See also earlier posts following the previous announcements on transgender liturgies earlier this year

What’s wrong with transgender liturgy? By Ian Paul, Psephizo

Synod debates about liturgy open up bigger questions about truth and religious freedom, by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream

Lex orandi, lex credendi and the proposals for the affirmation of same sex relationships and gender transition by the Church of England. By Martin Davie

The transgender issue is a first order Gospel issue, by Carys Moseley, Christian Concern

C of E vicar protests against use of ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ in schools. Anglican Mainstream report


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