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Church of England bishops slam plans to host baptisms for transgender people

Earlier this month, the church revealed they adapted the Affirmation of Baptism service for transgender Christians

2018-12-24

Ten Church of England bishops have slammed plans to host baptisms for transgender people.

Earlier this month, the Church of England has adapted the Affirmation of Baptism service to allow transgender Christians to celebrate their gender identity.

According to the BBC, the update service would see the person being addressed by their chosen name not their birth name.

The Affirmation of Baptism service isn't a second baptism but is intended for people who wish to make a renewed declaration of their faith.

This follows pressure at the general synod last year where the Church was urged to go further in welcoming the transgender community.

However, a number of bishops have called the adaptation of the service as ‘theologically and pastorally questionable’ and claim that gender is assigned by God and cannot be changed.

In a statement, the Church of England said its priests are able to refuse the service if they choose to.

They said: “There is no obligation on the clergy to offer the service… to anybody in any context (whether in connection with a person identifying in a new gender or for any other reason).

“The only services that the clergy are under an obligation to provide to individuals are baptism, marriage and burial. This does not change the doctrine of the Church of England.”