Gay vicar says Church of England needs to do more for trans people

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Reverend Chris Newlands has called for the Church of England to catch up on trans issues.

Last month he spoke about his proposals for trans naming ceremonies, which he had presented to the General Synod.

The Lancaster Priory vicar had been approached by a young trans man who wanted to be baptised again, and together they devised a “re-naming ceremony” that Rev Newlands hopes will be adopted by the wider church.

He told the Lancaster Guardian: “There’s nothing within the church about doing this, and I wanted to bring it to the General Synod.

“When we’re approached like this, we need to respond in a positive and affirming way.

“It’s about trying to get clergy who may not be so up to speed on this, and getting proper information from the church.

“It’s a special ceremony, I think it’s a positive statement for the church to make.

“I’m not looking for promotion, but I’m not frightened of saying what I believe to be true.”

He continued: “I don’t mind being visible as a gay man in a civil partnership.

“We need to understand how society is changing through our social work and our interaction.”

The Dean of St Paul’s said in February that the Church should move away from “toxic” views about gay people.


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