Bishops reach out to transgender people with baptism-style service
The Church of England has encouraged its clergy to create baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people to welcome them into the Anglican faith.
New pastoral guidance, published yesterday, advises clergy to refer to transgender people by their new name, though it stops short of being a baptism.
The guidance, which was approved by the House of Bishops on Monday night, also details how elements including water and oil can be incorporated into the service.
It also advises that as part of a special service, they can be presented with gifts such as a 'Bible' inscribed in their chosen name, or a certificate.
"For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service," the guidance notes.
As a central part of the new service, called the affirmation of baptismal faith, the minister lays their hands on the candidate or candidates, addresses them by name, and prays for them.
The Church is clear that this does not constitute a second baptism.