New pressure over Church trans guidance stance

Over 500 church representatives, including the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and the Bishop of Buckingham, have signed a letter in support of the guidance provided by the House of Bishops for gender transition services.

They argue that ‘criticism that the Guidance does not present a fully worked out theological anthropology misses the mark’.

“Although trans and genderqueer people are a small minority, they have always been part of the life of the Church, even though the Church has not always been — and, sadly, still is not always — a welcoming place,” they said.

The letter continues: “It is right and proper that the Church should make a loving pastoral response to trans people who are looking for a way to recognise and celebrate their transition in church, and surely the use of the affirmation of baptismal vows is a powerful statement of faith that, however our identity may seem to change, or however it might be misunderstood by others, the core identity of a Christian is to belong to Christ, who knows us better than we know ourselves.”

They said they have been ‘saddened’ by ‘the anxious and at times fear-mongering and ungracious response the guidance has received’.

“At the moment, the trans community is enduring increased criticism and hostility. We are glad that the Church of England has produced this sensitive and helpful guidance, and would be deeply saddened and disappointed if those calling for the House of Bishops to disown it should have their way,” they added.

 

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