Church of England bishops face questions over controversial transgender guidance

Feb 20, 2019 by

from Christian Today:

Church of England bishops were grilled at Synod on Wednesday about new guidance on services of welcome for transgender people.

Bishops came under pressure from Synod members concerned that the Church is departing from its historic position on gender and human sexuality.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Synod member for Chichester and head of Christian Concern, asked whether bishops planned to follow up the recent controversial guidance on transgender baptismal services with guidance ‘to affirm and welcome those who wish to detransition to their biological gender’.

Bishop Hardman answered that the existing liturgy could be used on ‘many, many, many occasions’ , including for those who want to detransition, and that there was ‘no reason at all why the affirmation of baptismal vows could not be used by somebody who is deciding that they wish to reverse that decision’.

‘The House of Bishops hasn’t issued guidance on transitioning,’ she added.

Several Synod members asked whether the bishops should have waited until the completion of the Church of England’s Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project that is considering Christian perspectives on relationships, marriage and sexuality. The results of the project are due to be published next year.

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