A transgender vicar has been honoured with the title of Minor Canon of Manchester Cathedral.
Rachel Mann, a vicar and poet who runs the St Nicolas Church in Burnage, Manchester, was honoured for her work within the church.
The 44-year-old recieved the honour from Rogers Govender, the Dean of Manchester, in a ceremony at Manchester Catherdral earlier this week.
Govender tweeted afterwards: “Absolute joy and privilege to admit Rachel Mann as a Minor Canon at Man Cathedral at Evensong! Our Cathedral Poet….well done Rachel!”
Mann told Christian Today that she found herself driven towards God, and was able to find acceptance despite stigma within the church.
She said: “I sensed God was there but more than that, God did not reject me.
“I know part of the reason I resisted for so long was the sense of how could God love someone who identified as a lesbian, who was trans. I had imbibed so much of that prejudice we see in the Church.”
On her identity, she said: “I see myself as a woman… it’s important that I also acknowledge my journey so I also see myself as a ‘trans woman’.
“This is by way of contrast with someone like yourself who queer theorists and theologians would call a ‘cis woman’.
“This is an area of controversy in the trans community because increasingly trans people are asking for the option to call themselves, for example on official documents, as trans rather than ‘man’ or ‘woman’.
“I am really too middle-aged and settled to see myself as anything other than as a woman.”
Watch Mann’s speech to the Youth Work Summit below: