The Church of England is set to debate plans for a ceremony akin to a baptism for people who have recently undergone gender reassignment surgery.
Rev Chris Newlands, vicar of Lancaster Priory, has put the motion to the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, after he was approached by a transgender person wanting to be “re-baptised” as a man.
Recalling the conversation, Newlands told The Guardian: “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 result was a “really joyful occasion”, Newlands added.
It comes after Susan Musgrove, 62, had a “public affirmation” service at St Andrew’s Church, Corbridge two years ago after becoming a woman. She said Rev Newlands’s motion was “no big deal”, adding: “In the day and age of same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, for the Church of England to acknowledge this, to want to take it to the House of Bishops – it’s fantastic.”