A new church service for transgender people could harm children, it was claimed by clergy.
An open letter, signed by 2,155 bishops, priests and lay members of the church, condemns new guidance released on gender transition last month, the Telegraph reported.
The Church of England announced last December that services would be held so transgender people could celebrate their new identities.
But the new proposal has not been wholly accepted and open letter was produced.
The Church of England announced last December that services would be held so transgender people could celebrate their new identities. Stock image
Signatories say rapidly-developing theories about gender could cause ‘more harm than good’ to children experiencing gender dysphoria.
As a result, they are calling on the C of E’s House of Bishops to ‘revise, postpone or withdraw’ them until concerns have been addressed.
The letter, seen by the Telegraph, claimed that while gender dysphoria was an ‘emotionally painful experience that requires understanding, support and compassion’, the House of Bishops appears to have ignored the potential for damage caused by ‘novel and largely untested theories about sex and gender’.
Two archdeacons, two former bishops and a member of the Archbishops’ Council are all senior Anglicans to have signed their name on the open letter.
The C of E Evangelical Council also criticised the service saying in a statement the guidance was ‘highly divisive and theologically and pastorally questionable’.
The C of E Evangelical Council also criticised the service saying in a statement the guidance was ‘highly divisive and theologically and pastorally questionable’. Stock image
A spokesman for the C of E told the Telegraph: ‘The guidance is not a restatement or a new statement on matters relating to gender, nor does it change the Church of England’s teaching.
‘The bishops will give the letter their serious consideration, especially in the context of the preparation of a major new set of teaching and learning resources on identity, relationships, marriage and sexuality which will be published next year.’
Despite this opposition many in the C of E want the church’s hierarchy to move faster and further in affirming LGBT people.
Transgender priest, the Revd Tina Beardsley, who who helped draw up the new service, said: ‘It does seem a little strange to be saying ‘I’m sorry but you’ve got to wait another two years and possible longer beyond that before we can actually pray with you’.
‘That doesn’t feel right to me.’