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Dear Frank,

I don’t suppose you get a lot of gender dysphoria in Italy – still less in Argentina. But there’s a lot of it in these parts. 1 in 11000 men and 1 in 30000 women. Quite a market!

We in the CofE have decided to harvest this growth area.

Since regular churchgoers now average less than two percent of the population, this could be big. And since I know that your own figures are also falling, I thought you might like to learn something of our programme.

For some time now our evangelisation strategy has been one of ‘deconstructing the sacraments’. (How very modern!) We started with matrimony, and discovered that once you stripped out the forbidding notions of fidelity and procreation you had a much more saleable commodity. People have always been keener on the sentimental and the picturesque. Take away the outmoded theological bits and it allows you to move seamlessly into same sex marriage – which, after all, is the coming thing.

Our mission to the transgendered has led us to a similar deconstruction of Baptism. Strip out the regeneration stuff and what have you left? A joyful service of naming and affirmation! You can even (as our guidelines suggest) introduce redundant symbols like Water and Oil. ‘Natural Symbols’ are all the rage with secular ‘celebrants’ these days.

Of course, to pacify the traddies, we have been careful to say that these naming ceremonies are NOT baptism. But none of our potential clientele is likely to notice the difference!.

The exciting thing is that there are still five whole sacraments to deconstruct. If you are keen to keep the numbers favourable, I will keep you posted of our progress.

Your ever-optimistic colleague,

Justin

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