Church of England May Rebaptize Transgenders According to New Identity

An altar and baptismal font in an Anglican church.
An altar and baptismal font in an Anglican church. (Facebook)

The Church of England is considering a proposal to rebaptize transgenders in ceremonies celebrating their new identities and to "introduce" them to God with their new names.

Rev. Chris Newlands, vicar of Lancaster Priory, has introduced a motion for the church's General Synod to debate the issue. Newlands, who is in a civil union with another man, has stirred controversy before over the church's stance on sexual issues, claiming in 2012 that there was a glass ceiling for openly gay clergy.

"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," the proposal reads.

Newlands conceived of the notion when conversing with a transgender church member who was born female but now identifies as male. The church member told Newlands that she wanted to be rebaptized, despite the church's teachings of one water baptism being sufficient for life, since, as the vicar recalls, she was baptized as a female, under her birth name.

"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," Newlands told The Guardian. And now, he wants to make this ceremony part of official church doctrine through his proposal.

Executive Secretary of the Anglican Mainstream Andrew Symes realizes the gravity of the proposal, and doesn't think it will pass without a fight.

"The Christian faith has always taught that people are created male and female," he told The Guardian. "We speak for the conservative traditional point of view. We are aware there are a number of people who want to change from one gender to another and that's a new thing for the church to deal with. It would be something that would go against the teachings of the church up till now. It would be something that would cause controversy."

"To recognise all people is something the church should be doing but to have a service of blessing for someone to change their gender is a new idea," he added. "It's not been discussed before in the Church of England. It would need a lot of discussion and debate by theologians and I would need to know whether there are other agendas by the people bringing it. I would be very surprised if the diocese has passed the motion without a lot of discussion and debate."

Though unthinkable just a few years ago, the proposal may not have as slim a chance of passing as Symes believes. After all, the very fact that this was offered by an openly gay vicar in the church shows how much Anglican church doctrine has shifted with regard to LGBT issues in recent years.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective