An Accommodation Too Far

The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church has become the first church in the United Kingdom to offer (re)baptisms to transgender members.

Jean Clements, worship leader at the church in Tameside near Manchester, said the accommodation was proposed after meeting a family who has a 10-year old girl to be baptised in her new gender. Derek McAuley, the chief officer of the Unitarian General Assembly meanwhile said that it is possible that other Unitarian congregations will follow suit.

The Church of England has also disclosed plans to add a ceremony to its services for "transgender" persons who seek to be re-baptised in their new gender identity and under their new name, according to reports. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory said he proposed the addition to the General Synod last year after being approached by a girl who identifies as a boy who wished to be baptised again under her male name.


No, no, no, no, no.

A baptism is not a naming ceremony.

I would have no problem with baptising a transgender person for the first time under whatever name that person wished. I wouldn't even bother to refer it to anybody. I would be more than happy to cobble together a (re)naming ceremony for anybody of any gender for whatever reason. But baptising someone who has already been baptised is out of the question. When a transgender person transitions they do not become another person, they publicly assume the person they have always been.

Full story at Christian Today.


An Accommodation Too Far — 2 Comments

  1. Hmmm. For me, it’s an “Economy of Grace” thing. If the person in question feels they need it, then they need it. I wouldn’t stand in their way, on a soteriological/ecclesial point.