Transgender baptisms are to be offered for the first time in the UK by a church in Greater Manchester. The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian church in Denton, Tameside, recently agreed the move at its annual general meeting.
The church’s worship leader, Jean Clements, proposed the change after meeting with a couple who had a transgender child. Subsequently the church then decided to make the historic change in order to help people in a similar situation.
Mrs. Clements has said, “I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches. However, when the family came to New Chapel, the congregation welcomed them with open arms”.
The church also added that the transgender services would be “very similar” to an adult baptism. New Chapel has stressed that it is for other Unitarian Chapels, within neigbouring districts, “to decide for themselves whether they wish to offer similar services”.
The chief officer of the church’s General Assembly Derek McAuley has stated that it is “quite possible” that other churches would contemplate offering the same service. The Unitarian church was the first to allow divorced people to remarry and has been highly receptive to interfaith marriages.
Mrs. Clements has described her congregation as “a multi-generational community who are very willing to accept change and progress”, she also said that the Unitarian movement represents freedom, tolerance and reason.
TNT News Billy Rooney