C of E schools and transgender

Jun 5, 2019 by

“A vicar has resigned following a bitter dispute with his bishop over the way a Church of England school handled an eight-year-old pupil’s plan to change gender”, reported Sanchez Manning in the MailOnline.

Rev John Parker was alarmed that staff and parents were being misled by transgender lobby group Mermaids; he and other governors were not permitted to question the decisions being made. He said his concerns were brushed off by the Diocesan Education Department, who supported the Mermaids consultancy. This happened in the context of a long running dispute between Parker and the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, over the Bishop’s public support for celebrating same sex relationships, and other doctrinal issues.

More reports and comment (most recent further down):

Vicar resigns after being silenced over trans ideology concerns at church school, from Christian Concern (includes audio from the training session given by Mermaids at the school).

The transgender agenda in rural England, by Roger Kiska, Christian Concern

Rev John Parker’s statement explaining his decision to resign

Comment from Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: C of E’s ideological capitulation makes more clergy resignations inevitable

Ashenden, Conger and Kallsen discuss the issue on Anglican Unscripted (starts at 14.25)

Church of England school endorses transitioning for 8-year olds. Report by Jules Gomes featuring comments from Lisa Nolland.

Concerned parent group Transgender Trend offers a careful analysis of the Mermaids press statement from a legal and medical perspective. It concludes:

Although this exercise felt a bit like marking the paper of a very poor student – with mounting horror – the result (a resounding Fail) is not funny….The care of gender dysphoric children must be based on robust medical evidence which can withstand scientific scrutiny. The press statement from Mermaids…[succeeds]… in exposing how ideological belief can overtake reality. This cannot ever be seen as an acceptable basis for the treatment and care of children and young people.

The Bishop of Chelmsford responds by questioning John Parker’s account: “I’m at a loss to know where this has come from” – Bishop responds to transgender accusations, from Christian Today

The Bishop’s Ad Clerum addressing the issue can be read on the Chelmsford Diocese website here

Church of England Bishop refutes vicar John Parker’s allegations in escalating transgender war: David Virtue’s report and comments with criticisms of Rev Parker and Christian Concern

What bishop would tell a vicar: ‘You’re no longer welcome in the Church of England’? Archbishop Cranmer

Anglican Mainstream comment: 

In this case, a vicar has been effectively barred from exercising his role as vicar and governor to hold a school to account by questioning policy on an issue requiring great wisdom. More generally, as a respected bible-believing pastor he feels increasingly marginalised and out of step with the theological direction of his Diocese and the Church of England.

In his Ad Clerum, the Bishop of Chelmsford has attempted to shift attention away from these facts. Instead, he focusses on the accuracy of detail of who said what when, on the vulnerability of the child, and on the need for people with different views to live together in peace.

Regarding the transgender issue, he assumes, following LGBT ideology, that the best way to support a child with gender dysphoria is to enable the school to normalise and validate the ‘transition’, a process which involves suppression of proper scrutiny. Following the Archbishops’ lead on ‘radical inclusion’, in which he said “there are no issues or problems, simply people”, Cottrell effectively denies that there is a clash between Christian understandings of the human person and the ideology of transgenderism, and reduces the gospel to how the church supports and affirms hurting people.

Other recent articles on transgenderism:

The impact of transgenderism on young people, by Michael Bird, Psephizo. A summary and review of a book critiquing transgender ideology from an eclectic number of feminist, queer, disability, and psychoanalytic authors.

Scientists blast ‘inaccurate’ GCSE paper which replaced the word ‘sex’ with’ gender’ as they accuse examiners of bowing to political correctness, by Sanchez Manning, MailOnline

Prominent gay atheist: transgenderism is a ‘lie’. Agreeing to it demoralises you, by Jonathan van Maren, Lifesite

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