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Reverend resigns saying he cannot support same-sex marriages or transgender baptisms

John Parker will leave his position at Fordham and Eight Ash Green, Chelmsford, in August

2019-05-29

Words: Steve Brown

A vicar has resigned after slamming the Church of England’s position on same-sex marriages and transgender baptisms.

Reverend John Parker – who is the vicar in the Fordham and Eight Ash Green parish in Chelmsford – says he can no longer support the promotion of same-sex marriages and transgender issues that the Church of England holds.

Last year, the Church of England announced they were adapting the affirmation of Baptism service to be more transgender friendly – a move that was met with criticism by clergymen.

In his resignation letter, he raised concerns about the lack of policies in place to help schools, parents or pupils understand when a child has gender confirmation surgery.

He said: “Many parents may well hold the view that sex and gender is fixed at birth and may wish to educate their children in line with those beliefs.

“Instead, trans ideology was forced on their children as fact and without their knowledge.

“Having given time through teaching, leadership and discussion for us to come to one mind on the subject, this has not been the case.

“Of course, I have considered other points of view and read counter arguments, but I have not found them biblically persuasive.

“The potential for division and ongoing conflict this has brought about, has meant that it seems wise for me to leave.”

The Reverend Tim Elbourne, director of education for the Diocese of Chelmsford, said: “Church of England schools are inclusive environments which nurture pupils to respect diversity of all kinds.

“Our schools must comply with the legal requirements of the Equalities Act 2010. Additionally, the Church of England, through its policy Valuing All God’s Children, gives guidance for Church of England schools.”