Welcoming Transgender People


09 July 2017

The General Synod of the Church of England has passed a
motion on welcoming transgender people.

Members of Synod, meeting in York, supported a call for the
House of Bishops to consider preparing nationally commended
liturgical materials to mark a person’s gender
transition.

The motion also recognises the “need for transgender people
to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church”.

It was moved by the Revd Christopher Newlands on behalf of
the Blackburn Diocesan Synod.

Opening the debate, he said: “I hope that we can make a
powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are
cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present
through all the twists and turns of their lives.”

Speaking during the debate the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John
Inge said: “Our response needs to be loving and open and welcoming
and the passing of this motion would be a very important factor in
that.”

An amendment to the motion, moved by Dr Nick Land of the
Diocese of York, calling instead for the House of Bishops to
consider the theological, pastoral and other issues around gender
transition, was rejected by all three houses of Synod.

 
The votes in the House of Bishops were 30 for and two
against, with two abstentions.

In the House of Clergy 127 backed the motion with 28 against
and 16 abstentions.

In the House of Laity 127 supported the motion with 48
opposing and eight abstentions.

Notes to Editors

The motion passed reads:

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. 

A live stream of Synod proceedings, including previous
sessions, can be 
viewed here.