Updated again Friday evening
At ViaMedia Giles Goddard has written: Shooting Ourselves in the Foot – Again!
…This is inadequate on so many levels. The Affirmation of Baptismal Faith is designed for use in a parish church after, say, a baptism as part of a confirmation service in a cathedral. It does not allow for the adoption of a new name or a newly gendered identity. To squeeze the liturgy to make it fit such a purpose would be hard – it would sound like a patched together piece of work, rather than a seamless and exciting whole, created specially for the occasion.
How hard would it have been to have listened to the request of Synod and asked the Liturgical Commission to come up with something? Not very – and I am sure that there are many on the Liturgical Commission who would be delighted to accept the challenge, and to consult widely with trans people about what they would like to see. Further, I have been told on good authority that the issue was not ‘considered prayerfully by the House of Bishops’ but was dealt with by a subcommittee which made a brief recommendation – to the dismay of many members of the House…
Harry Farley at Christian Today has reported on this and added new information:
…But questions were also raised over whether the Church of England had been misleading in how the decision was made. In a press statement it said ‘the House of Bishops has prayerfully considered’ the issue.
However Christian Today understands the issue was not debated by the House of Bishops in full and instead the verdict was reached by a sub committee of nine bishops. That committee, including the Bishop of Blackburn, Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, and the Bishop at Lambeth, Tim Thornton, then briefed the remaining bishops who rubber-stamped the decision.
A spokesman for the Church of England said that, because the House of Bishops only meets twice a year, decisions that require more thought are made in a sub committee and brought to the others for approval.
‘The House of Bishops Delegation Committee considers issues relevant to mission, ministry and general public policy, so is an ideal forum to give this question detailed consideration,’ the spokesman said.
‘The full House of Bishops was briefed on the committee’s recommendation and accepted it at the December meeting.’
…A statement issued by Church House on Monday said that the House of Bishops had “prayerfully considered whether a new nationally commended service might be prepared to mark a gender transition”. It emerged on Wednesday, however, that the Synod’s request had been considered by the Delegation Committee, made up of nine bishops. A spokesperson said that the committee “considers issues relevant to mission, ministry, and general public policy, so is an ideal forum to give this question detailed consideration”. The committee’s report was listed as “business for deemed approval” for the December meeting of the House and was accepted without debate…
Andrew Lightbown Bishops, rites and people; some thoughts.
Jeremy Pemberton Honouring the whole Body
Richard Peers Of bishops, trans people and liturgies
Ian Paul On welcoming transgender people