Christian parents are calling on the Church of England (CofE) to urgently abandon transgender guidance which says that children as young as five should be affirmed if they want to identify as the opposite gender.
In an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, Nigel Rowe and his wife Sally have called on the CofE to urgently scrap its 'Valuing All God's Children' (VAGC) guidance which covers 4,700 CofE primary schools.
The letter follows the Rowes' recent legal victory against the Department for Education (DfE) which led to a £22,000 settlement for legal costs and a commitment from the government to reform its transgender policies.
The Rowes had taken legal action against the DfE after they and their six-year-old son were labelled 'transphobic' by a Church of England primary school for refusing to 'believe' in transgender affirming policies.
They had raised concerns after two boys in their sons' classes were allowed to come to the Isle of Wight school identifying as girls.
The school had stated that they did not "require any formal medical/psychological assessment and reporting when a pupil seeks to be treated as transgendered."
The Rowes said they were subsequently given an 'accept it or leave' ultimatum by the school after they were told that their son would be demonstrating "transphobic behaviour" if he showed an "inability to believe a transgender person is actually a 'real' female or male" or refused to "acknowledge a transgendered person's true gender e.g. by failing to use their adopted name or using gender inappropriate pronouns."
The local Church of England diocese backed the school's position based on its 'Valuing All God's Children' guidance on challenging homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying.
The guidance covers the CofE's 4,700 primary schools and says that children as young as five should be affirmed if they want to identify as the opposite gender.
The Rowes then decided to home school their two sons as they believed the school's policies were harmful and in direct opposition to how they wanted to raise their children's understanding of human identity.
They wrote to the DfE calling on the Secretary of State for Education to intervene in their case and called for the Cornwall Schools Transgender Guidelines to be scrapped. The guidelines provide schools, teachers, and governors, with guidance on how transgender ideology can be embedded into the fabric of a schools' culture.
However, after their calls were rejected, the Rowes pursued a judicial review at the High Court. Rather than facing a full hearing, the DfE has now settled the case and have awarded the Rowes £22,000 in costs which they intend to donate to the Christian Legal Centre.
In their letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rowes call on him to : "commit to scrapping the Valuing All God's Children guidance as a matter of urgency so that staff and children in Church of England schools are properly safeguarded and protected from harmful transgender ideology and practice. We also request a meeting with you to discuss these points and what the Church of England will do about them at your earliest convenience."
This week a charity which was cited by VAGC in 2017 as a reliable source on transgenderism for C0fE schools in the UK was rocked by scandal following revelations that they offered 'chest binders' to children without parental knowledge.
You can read the full letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury here : CC-Resource-Misc-Letter-Justin-Welby-Rowes-20221007.pdf (christianconcern.com)