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It's been described as a 'baptism-like' service, meant to provide a more welcoming Church. But not everybody is welcoming the changes. 

The Church of England announced in a release this week that they are now including "new guidance for parishes planning services to help transgender people mark their transition."

The new pastoral guidance will be incorporated into Common Worship, the Church of England's library of services for use in worship gatherings.

The resource encourages clergy to be “creative and sensitive” in using liturgy to enable people to mark a major transition in their lives. 

“The Church of England welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that body into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit,” the guidance says.

The document was approved by the Church of England's House of Bishops.

The release says that its addition "follows a motion overwhelmingly adopted at General Synod in 2017 recognizing the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in churches."

Some Anglicans disappointed

In October of 2018, 11 bishops in the Church of England published an open letter pushing back against the direction the church is heading.

“Through our corporate discernment, guided by the wisdom of previous generations and led by the Spirit, we seek afresh to understand biblical truth on contested issues and offer this as public truth for the common good in our pluralist, post-Christendom society”, the letter says.

“The church must always be reformed according to the Word of God (ecclesia semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)”, the letter says, but the Church of England should not “simply abandon what we have received in order to appear relevant and avoid feeling uncomfortable."

 

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