A UK church, The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian in Denton, U.K, has announced that they will be the first in Britain offering baptism services for transgender churchgoers. Or rather, re-baptism for those that transition so that they can be baptized as their preferred gender. The church came to this decision after spending some time with a family that includes a transgender child. Their hearts went out to the family, as they were not having luck finding a church that would accept them.
“I felt saddened by the fact that this family were (sic) being shunned by many mainstream churches,” worship leader Jean Clements told the BBC. ”However, when the family came to New Chapel, the congregation welcomed them with open arms.”
In fact, the congregation voted unanimously to allow the young girl to be baptized.
“It felt entirely natural, There was no controversy when they voted at our annual general meeting. They spent more time discussing the autumn fair and whether we might move it to the summer. Now that was controversial.”
The unnamed girl also released a statement about the situation.
“I am so happy that they have now said I can be baptized because although I was previously baptized, it was as a boy, with a different name,” it read. “I feel as though it was not really me who was baptized, but somebody else. At the moment I feel separate from God and as a child who has a strong faith I want to be close to Him.”
It’s also important to note that The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church was the first church in the area to sanction and perform gay wedding ceremonies. As a matter of fact, the first ceremony performed was for the parents of the young trans girl.