Anglican Vicar Undergoes 'Gender Re-Assignment' Operation
Religion News Service, December 1, 2000
English Vicar Undergoes 'Gender Re-Assignment' Operation
(RNS) For the past four years the parishioners of St. Philip's Church in Upper
Stratton, a suburb of Swindon, a railway town 80 miles west of London, have been
ministered to by the Rev. Philip Stone. Next Sunday (Dec. 3) their services will
be conducted by the Rev. Carol Stone.
At the age of 46, their vicar has had a sex-change operation -- or "gender
re-assignment," as the church's news release -- and is at last the woman she --
or he -- always wanted to be.
"I only have two vocations in my whole life," Stone told a news conference in
Swindon on Tuesday (Nov. 28). "They are to be a priest and to be a woman. My
last prayer at night was that I'd wake up a girl."
Stone, twice divorced and with an 18-year-old daughter, has had the support of
her family, her congregation and her bishop, the Rt. Rev. Barry Rogerson of
Bristol, who said last June he could see no reason in church law why Stone
should not continue as a priest in the Church of England after the sex-change
"I don't believe there's a moral issue here," he said. "This is a medical
condition and can be dealt with medically, now."
Stone acknowledged some people might find her change of sex unacceptable.
"As a priest you always have to be prepared for people to come and go," she
said. "There will obviously be those people who won't come with me, and they
will be sorely missed, but there will always be a place for them at St.
Copyright © 2000 Religion News Serviceì.