Church in Wales’ newest vicar on the church and being transgender

Dec 2, 2018 by

By Abbie Wightwick, Wales Online:

Sarah knew from childhood she was different and hopes people hearing her story will understand the church is diverse.

The new vicar of Cardiff’s city centre parish St John The Baptist has ambitious plans to make it more open to the whole community.

After six weeks in Cardiff, the city’s newest vicar says she loves her inner-city parish but there is lots of work to do with issues such as homelessness and drug addiction literally staring her in the face on the doorstep.

[…] She had an unusual route into ministry. Leaving school at 16 after her parents’ marriage broke up she had to change her original plans:

“I wanted to go to university but that disappeared overnight. I got a job in a music shop and I realised that I really enjoyed interacting with people”. Over the years she had a variety of jobs in sales and training in the music business and in industry.

However this is not the most unusual part of her background. Sarah was brought up as a boy and is the first Anglican priest to have undergone a gender change before being ordained into the church.

“I looked like a boy and there was no reason to doubt it when I was born. However I knew from the age of six or seven that I was more one of the girls than one of the boys.

“I was slightly different. I did fit in and I wasn’t bullied but by secondary school I knew deep down inside that I should have been one of the girls.

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