The Church of England's school guidance has a troubling Stonewall connection

In June 2023, there was a drag march in New York. It achieved notoriety online overnight when the marchers took up the chant "we're here, we're queer and we're coming for your children" (warning: graphic).

The growing sexualisation of children has become one of the saddest and most distressing aspects of progressive ideology.

It has taken a while for this strategy to begin to emerge into daylight. As the progressive trajectory has developed and evolved as an engine of changing culture, both the consequences and ambition of the movement become clearer.

Part of the problem was that nothing was what it seemed. What we saw, or were presented with, was not what we got. Beginning with a feminism that presented itself as a catalyst for equality and fairness, it instead produced the masculinisation of women. Motherhood and femininity were exchanged for work and the pursuit of power. Having turned their backs on the virtues of Christian marriage and children, feminists were among the foremost advocates of homosexual marriage, a move that sped up the de-Christianisation of culture.

Third wave feminism created a new platform for reality. What was real was what you longed for or imagined in your head. It trumped objectivity and even biology and science. It ushered in the tsunami of transgenderism that was going to energise the mental illness of gender dysphoria, producing an exponential rise in referrals for sex changes, in particular amongst adolescents and then children.

It took some time for the average person to grasp that a central part of the progressive strategy was the sexualisation of children. We can see this in the extraordinary campaign by drag queens to read to children in public libraries through the phenomenon known as Drag Queen Story Time.

One of the critical changes that emerged in the progressive strategy was the gay turf war with so-called TERFS (transgender-exclusionary radical feminist). Lesbians reacted strongly against their newly won men-free zones being invaded by men pretending to be or presenting themselves as 'women'. One of the effects of this was to split gay lobby group Stonewall.

Stonewall had been one of the most effective agencies for progressive change and moving the gay agenda from one of cultural inclusion to a more aggressive weapon of exclusion against anyone who remained committed to the concept and practice of Christian heterosexual marriage.

But under the leadership of a new chief executive, Nancy Kelley, the transition to making trans rights central to its campaigning strategy split its constituency and led to a civil war in Stonewall. Matthew Parris, one of the 14 original founders, wrote an article in The Times claiming Stonewall had become "extremist" and ought to stick to LGB rights without the T. While gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell lept to the defence of Kelley and the new focus on trans, Prof Kathleen Stock, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, claimed Stonewall had encouraged a definition of transphobia that was far too wide.

"Through its Diversity Champions scheme it's disseminated this very widespread idea that an attack on the theory – or an attack on the particular interpretation – of identity is an attack on trans people. And that has really made the whole discourse incredibly toxic, given its enormous reach within national institutions," she told the Guardian newspaper.

That reach within the institutions, it has now been revealed, stretches as far as the Church of England. Anglicans were deeply disturbed when the Church launched an education policy entitled Valuing All God's Children. Despite the deceptive euphemism of its title, its content suggests to primary children as young as five that they might be born into the wrong bodies and be 'transgender.' Astonishingly, the encouraging foreword was penned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, while Christians across the denominational spectrum found it hard to understand how Justin Welby had been able to promote it.

An answer to a formal question in a recent session of the General Synod of the Church of England has been illuminating. The episcopate had originally tried to deflect questions about Stonewall's possible involvement, the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, having previously denied that Stonewall had written the report when faced with questions about it earlier. But that was only technically true; the wrong question had been asked.

When the right question was asked, Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Portsmouth, was forced to admit that what had actually happened was that Stonewall had funded it instead. He refused to disclose how much money Stonewall had given the Church of England but we can guess that, as is often the case with such funding, the whole point of the money changing hands - certainly from Stonewall's perspective - was to ensure that the Stonewall agenda was promoted by the Church of England. It is unlikely to have been a gift with 'no strings' attached.

Miriam Cates, the Tory MP for Penistone and Stockbridge, quoted by the Daily Telegraph was excoriating in her criticism: "Activist groups should not be enabled by any education providers to push their political agendas on schools...taking money for essentially allowing Stonewall to dictate the Church of England' s policy is a complete failure by those in authority."

The deception over who provided the funding and the attempt to hide the fact that the Church of England was acting as an ideological mouthpiece for Stonewall ought to be a matter of deep shame for the Church and a betrayal of its own people and values.

But worse still is the betrayal of the children who were entrusted to its care. By its willing promotion of transgender propaganda it helped turn the serious and deeply debilitating mental illness of gender dysphoria into a rampant social contagion among the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.

If, as the Gospels insist, we stand in the middle of a battle between good and evil and are invited in our recognition of Jesus as saviour to pick sides, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that in this matter, the C of E has changed sides.