Leading evangelical bishop apologises for role in gender transition liturgy guidance – and now opposes it

Jan 12, 2019 by

by David Baker, Christian Today:

A leading evangelical bishop who oversaw the production of controversial Church of England guidance about gender transitioning has apologised – and confirmed that he now doesn’t back it.

The Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, was chair of the House of Bishops’ Delegation Committee, the body which oversaw the publication of guidance last month on how to use the existing Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to enable transgender adults to mark their transition.

When the guidance was published, the official Church of England website quoted Bishop Henderson as saying: ‘This new guidance provides an opportunity, rooted in scripture, to enable trans people who have “come to Christ as the way, the truth and the life”, to mark their transition in the presence of their Church family which is the body of Christ. We commend it for wider use.’

But just a few days later, the Bishop was the lead signatory on a statement from the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), of which he is president. The CEEC statement described the guidance as ‘highly divisive and theologically and pastorally questionable’. The statement said the guidance ‘also risks raising serious concerns both within the wider Anglican Communion and ecumenically’.

The seeming contradiction drew criticism and derision from online commentators. But now, in response to repeated requests from Christian Today over the past few weeks, Bishop Henderson has sought to explain his apparent volte-face via a new statement from the whole CEEC, declaring that he is ‘sorry for the confusion that my different roles and statements have created’. He also makes it clear that he no longer supports the guidance, even though he was in charge of the committee overseeing it.

Read here

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

See also: Anglican bishop gives masterclass in the art of the apology, by Jules Gomes, Rebel Priest



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