Unitarian Congregation Becomes First in UK to Offer ‘Transgender Baptisms’

Baptism Credit Mee Lin Woon-compressed
Photo Credit: Mee Lin Woon

MANCHESTER, U.K. — A Unitarian congregation in the U.K. has announced that it is now offering baptisms for “transgender” members after a couple began attending services with their son, who identifies as a girl.

Jean Clements, the worship leader at New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church in Tameside near Manchester, told the BBC that she proposed the accommodation after meeting the family.

She described her congregation as “a multi-generational community who are very willing to accept change and progress,” and said that Unitarians as a whole are proponents of “freedom” and “tolerance.”

“I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches,” Clements said. “I would like to thank one courageous girl for inspiring me to think carefully about this issue in the first place.”

Derek McAuley, the chief officer of the Unitarian General Assembly, told the outlet that it is possible that other Unitarian congregations will follow suit. There are approximately 170 Unitarian congregations in the U.K.

As previously reported, the Church of England is likewise considering adding a ceremony to its services for “transgender” persons who seek to be re-baptized in their new gender identity and under their new name.

Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, proposed the addition to the General Synod last year after being approached by a girl who identifies as a boy who wished to be baptized again under her male name.

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“I said, ‘Once you’ve been baptized, you’re baptized,’” Newlands recalled to the Guardian. “[But] he said, ‘But I was baptized as a girl, under a different name.’”

“I said, ‘Let me have a think about it.’ So we did, and then we created a service, which was an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity,” he said.

Newlands soon submitted a motion for the issue to be considered by the denomination as a whole. It was approved by the parochial church council, the Deanery Synod and the Blackburn Diocese, and is set to next be debated by the General Synod.

But some note that the proposal runs counter to Christian values.

“To recognize all people is something the church should be doing, but to have a service of blessing for someone to change their gender is a new idea,” Andrew Symesn of the Anglican Mainstream told reporters. “The Christian faith has always taught that people are created male and female.”

“We are aware there are a number of people who want to change from one gender to another and that’s a new thing for the church to deal with,” he stated. “It would be something that would go against the teachings of the church up till now.”

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  • Amos Moses


  • afchief

    The great falling away continues…..

  • Emmanuel

    These people must be reading a different bible.

  • HisChild

    My bible says, “. . .Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38/NKJV). This so-called ‘church’ is re-baptizing people into their sins. This is not the true church of Christ.

  • pndoverst@att.net

    “where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity” — (1) so God couldn’t recognize him now w/o an introduction? And (2) Seems to me that our identity is supposed to come from Him, not our own misguided ideas.
    Peggy Overstreet, author
    “Gladness in Your Presence

  • Lexical Cannibal

    I mean, if you want to split hairs, I know some Wiccans who’ve been doing this for years, but they’re Wiccans so that’s not precisely shocking, I guess.

  • Unitarians say they do not believe that Jesus is God. They have a squishy pseudo-Jehovah’s witness-like view of Jesus. Are their baptisms in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? Apparently not: they say, “Adult baptism is unusual among Unitarians. It takes
    place when an individual wishes to make public witness of her or his commitment to Christian discipleship and the way of Jesus.” This water-borne event sounds like a public commitment by an individual to live in the way of falsehood under a false identity.

  • John_33

    Why would they want another baptism service simply because they believe they were born as a different gender? If they are a new creature in Christ, then that would still apply to them regardless of the gender they perceived themselves to be. This should be a hint that there’s more to this: an ex-transgendered individual explained that when he transitioned, he spoke of his wish for his male persona to die and that he wished to even hold a funeral service for it – (url below). Sadly, this appears to be the same idea in that they feel that anything they did under their ‘old’ gender doesn’t count. This is quite sad. They need help, but this so-called church is not explaining doctrine or giving them the compassion they need. Wholeness cannot be found in changing gender. There are other underlying issues that cause distress. Transgenders need to know that there is hope.

    www (dot) thepublicdiscourse (dot) com/2016/01/16191/

  • Josey

    It’s the blind leading the blind.

  • Steven

    All kinds of craziness going on in this article.

    Unitarian but…have baptisms but don’t belief in Jesus Christ as our savior and God…pagan roots and structure…false identities (vicar, female church leader)..reset identities (male, female) …multiple paths to God–I should say to a god…etc…

    I see no unitarian structure.

    “But some note that the proposal runs counter to Christian values.”


  • FoJC_Forever

    Their baptism doesn’t mean anything before the LORD anyway, so this dunking is just another twisting of the Truth about water baptism. Water baptism doesn’t save a person. The baptism that saves is the one Jesus performs on those who accept God’s Word.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

  • The Guest

    “Unitarian” is NOT Christian, it is religious hodgepodge where anything goes. “Christian” is following Christ, the Word, and God the Father. No other way.

    “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:7

    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44

    “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” John 6:37

  • Concern

    Would they also baptise the “cat woman” as a cat….

  • Gena B

    The word “Unitarian” says it all. It is the “oneness” lie that the modern world is falling into. ‘United in feelings, genders, we are all one…spiritual but not religious’ mess. It’s so far from Christianity you can’t even call it a ‘watered down gospel.’ Like ‘Christian Science’ it’s not Christian and it’s not science. Or Grape Nuts, not grapes and not nuts. Now days anyone choosing to believe whatever ‘they’ want you keep looking and you will find a place that agrees with whatever you want to believe in. Don’t add, and don’t take away, just read Gods truth.