Because the Church of England website has been totally rebuilt since this post was written, many of the links here no longer work. Please refer to a new post dated Saturday 27 January 2018.
Updated Monday morning
Welcoming Transgender People
The Revd Christopher Newlands (Blackburn) moved on behalf of the Blackburn Diocesan Synod:
13 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.
Dr Nick Land (York) moved as an amendment:
59 Leave out everything after “That this Synod:” and insert ̶
“(a) recognise the dignity of all people as made in the image of God and so affirm our commitment to welcome unconditionally in all our churches people who experience (or who have experienced) gender dysphoria;
(b) acknowledge different understandings around gender dysphoria and the field of gender identity more widely;
(c) consider that the preparation of liturgies to mark gender transition raises substantial theological and pastoral issues that the Church of England has not yet considered; and
(d) ask the House of Bishops to consider the theological, pastoral and other issues that gender transition raises for the Church and to report back to General Synod by the end of this quinquennium.”
The amendment was defeated in all three houses of Synod.
bishops: 11 for, 19 against, 2 recorded abstentions
clergy: 64 for, 103 against, 4 recorded abstentions
laity: 75 for, 108 against, 3 recorded abstentions
The Blackburn motion (as originally worded) was passed following a vote by houses.
bishops: 30 for, 2 against, 2 recorded abstentions
clergy: 127 for, 28 against, 16 recorded abstentions
laity: 127 for, 48 against, 8 recorded abstentions
Official press release: Welcoming Transgender People
That this Synod:
(a) welcome and support the proposal to establish a Covenant for Clergy Wellbeing as laid out in GS 2072; and
(b) invite the Appointments Committee to appoint a Clergy Wellbeing Working Group to bring proposals for such a Covenant back to this Synod by July 2019.
was passed on a show of hands.
The Revd Tiffer Robinson moved his private member’s motion:
16 That this Synod:
(a) call upon the Secretary of State to include provision in the Schools Admission Code requiring admission authorities to allocate places to children of clergy and other workers who are required to live in tied accommodation, and are moving into the authority’s area, in advance of the family arriving in the area; and
(b) call on all admissions authorities to accept letters of appointment as proof of residence ahead of the children of clergy and other workers who are required to live in tied accommodation moving to the area.
It was passed on a show of hands.
Hattie Williams, Madeleine Davies and Gavin Drake Church Times Synod’s ‘welcoming’ transgender motion asks Bishops to consider liturgy
Madeleine Davies, Hattie Williams, Tim Wyatt and Gavin Drake Church Times Causes of clergy stress aired in the General Synod
Olivia Rudgard The Telegraph Transgender worshippers could get church services to celebrate their new identity after synod vote
‘Poisonous’ expectations of congregations are damaging priests’ mental health
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