The New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church has agreed to offer baptisms to transgender members, making it the first church in the United Kingdom to do so.
The decision was prompted by Jean Clements’ meeting with a couple whose transgender child wanted to get baptized in her new gender.
Clements, the worship leader at the church, proposed the suggestion after which the decision was made with a unanimous vote by the congregation.
Despite the controversial nature of the decision, Clements says that the congregation was ready to accept the change.
“I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches. I would like to thank one courageous girl for inspiring me to think carefully about this issue in the first place.'' Clements said, according to BBC.
Chief officer of the church’s General Assembly Derek McAuley said that other Unitarian congregations may follow their example, though New Chapel advised that other Unitarian Chapels should “decide for themselves whether they wish to offer similar services.”