Call for in­clu­sive, af­firm­ing ser­mons

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

LON­DON: The Church of Eng­land has taken the first step to­wards in­tro­duc­ing ser­vices for peo­ple who are chang­ing sex.

The move was ordered by the church’s par­lia­ment, the Gen­eral Synod, which said there was a “need for trans­gen­der peo­ple to be wel­comed and af­firmed in their par­ish church”.

Bish­ops voted 30 to two in favour, while 127 lay mem­bers voted for and 48 against, and clergy backed the mo­tion 127 to 28.

They re­jected a move to de­lay the de­vel­op­ment of trans­gen­der prayers af­ter hear­ing from a vicar who spoke of a five-year-old in his con­gre­ga­tion who is tran­si­tion­ing from Nathan to Natalie.

The Rev­erend Chris New­lands said the Church should of­fer Natalie’s par­ents

‘Trans­gen­der peo­ple need to be wel­comed’

“not just a grudg­ing ac­cep­tance, but the full sup­port and af­fir­ma­tion they will need as they jour­ney to­gether with Natalie on a path lead­ing to tran­si­tion to her new gen­der iden­tity”.

New­lands, who is the vicar of Lan­caster, said nearly half of young trans­gen­der peo­ple say they have at­tempted sui­cide.

But other synod mem­bers said the church should con­sider the prac­ti­cal and re­li­gious con­cerns around the is­sue be­fore rush­ing to de­vise new ser­vices.

The­olo­gian Ian Paul said: “This is not just putting the cart be­fore the horse. It is putting the cart 5 miles ahead of the horse.”

The pointed headgear first used 1 000 years ago were “daft sym­bols of power that shouldn’t be seen in the Angli­can Church”, he added.

The synod is to vote on whether to ease dress rules for clergy tak­ing ser­vices. – Daily Mail

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