HAD I not been otherwise detained in the United States, I would have gone to
a very special service in St Anne’s, Soho, London.
Organised by Mark Rees, it was a service of thanksgiving for the Gender
Recognition Bill, and the fact that those who have gone through the long and
painful process of changing to the gender they felt they really were can now
have their birth certificates adjusted.
Mr Rees, who himself was once designated female, says the service started as
an act of faith, but was more than justified in the way the transgender men and
women in the congregation felt loved and accepted.
Much was summed up in the opening lines of the first reading, taken from
Dorothy McCrae-McMahon: “It’s not easy being who we are, O God, We often wonder
what you are doing, Not because we have problems about being who we are But
because others do.”
The congregation of about 50 was welcomed by the Rector, the Revd Clare
Herbert; and Canon Robert Whyte preached. The blessing was to have been given
by Bishop Hugh Montefiore, who, sadly, died the week before. His place was
taken by the Revd Ruth Howe from Newcastle, who tells me it was a very happy
service, and meant a great deal to those who were there.
But the service had also included prayers for those who had been so hurt by
the non-acceptance by some Christians that they were quite unable to go near a