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Vicar under investigation after calling trans archdeacon a ‘bloke’

by Marcus Jones
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The Church of England is investigating, after a priest misgendered a trans archdeacon in a way which was deemed "intentionally derogatory and disrespectful”.

Rev Brett Murphy, who has since left the Church to join the Free Church of England, spoke on his Youtube channel which has 13,000 subscribers.

Addressing the appointment of Rev Rachel Mann as the new Archdeacon of Bolton and Salford, he said: “Now you may wonder, ‘Is that really newsworthy, Brett?’ You may roll your eyes, if you are a complementarian, that another feminist is getting a prominent high-ranking position in the CofE, but this is worse than that.

"Rev Rachel Mann is in fact, biologically, a bloke, who identifies and lives as a woman.”

The comments were originally investigated and dismissed but the case has been reopened by Bishop of Loughborough, Rt Rev Saju Muthalaly who labelled the comments “intentionally derogatory and disrespectful” and “not appropriate as a Clerk in Holy Orders, irrespective of the right you have to hold and express views.”

Rev Murphy has been warned that a penalty of a 'rebuke' is likely but has been invited to give an explanation.

In a statement, the Diocese of Leicester said: “The complaint is being dealt with under the procedure set out in the Measure and will be finally determined by the Bishop of Loughborough in due course. No further comment will be made about this matter.”

The case is one of four complaints made against Rev Murphy while serving as vicar of St David's in Coalville. Three of the complaints are linked to comments about gender and sexuality.

He's being supported by Christian Legal Centre who says Rev Murphy is one of many clergy facing push back over similar comments.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “The Christian Legal Centre is dealing with a huge volume of cases involving clergy who have been intimidated and punished simply for expressing standard Christian beliefs on marriage and sexual ethics.

“Promoting same-sex blessings is a catastrophe for the CofE. It is a clear departure from the biblical model for marriage. We will continue to see the Church of England decline if it insists on continuing this course.

“The churches that are growing in the UK are the ones that hold fast to traditional biblical teaching on marriage and family. This is what people want and expect from the Church.

“People expect the church to be a standard bearer for the world. They don’t expect the church to be following the ever changing culture of the world.”

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