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Church of England considering trans naming ceremonies

Naith Payton May 23, 2015

The General Synod of the Church of England is to debate naming ceremonies for transgender people.

Similar to a baptism, the ceremony is to celebrate a person’s transition and their new name.

Reverend Chris Newlands of Lancaster Priory proposed the notion after performing such a ceremony for a member of his congregation.

He told the Guardian a young trans man had approached him and asked to be baptised again: “I said: ‘Once you’ve been baptised, you’re baptised’. He said: ‘But I was baptised as a girl, under a different name.’

“I said: ‘Let me have a think about it’. So we did and then we created a service, which was an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity.”

The Archbishop’s Council confirmed they has received the proposal but it would not be debated very soon.

Rev Newlands said: “It’s an absolute trauma to go through this, with the surgery, as people get a lot of transphobic bullying. The church needs to take a lead and be much more proactive to make sure they are given a warm welcome.”

Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Tim Farron has called for the disestablishment of the Church of England.

More: Church of England, cofe, General Synod

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