Thursday, August 20, 1998 Published at 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Sex change priest goes online
Clergy: No established views on sex change ministers
A long-serving Welsh church minister could face the sack because he wants to become a woman.
Reverend Bill Parry, 59, recently told his stunned wife and congregation that he can no longer resist his "female impulses".
He now intends to set up an Internet site to provide information and support to other Christians going through gender crises.
Rev Parry has changed his name to Dian Parry and is living as a woman. He has started taking female hormones prior to a planned sex change operation.
Rev Parry, who is a grandfather, has been minister of Afan Valley, south Wales, for 11 years. But he may lose the post as a result of his decision.
"It will hurt me if they are unable to accept me, but that is something I will have to understand," he said.
Senior clergymen will now decide whether or not he should be defrocked.
Dian added: "Ever since I was a little lad I have fought against my female impulses and the fact that I am trans-sexual," he said.
"Last year I underwent a profound change. My body began to alter and I knew I couldn't fight it any longer.
Rev Parry's wife of 28 years, Anita Parry, 57, is standing by her husband and has even helped him choose a wardrobe of new dresses and seven grey wigs in different styles.
Mrs Parry said: "I was shocked and it has been a very emotional time for he whole family.
"But I still love Dian and now we go shopping for clothes together."
Rev Parry said: "She has been my rock and offered me support since I told her I could hide my true identity no longer."
He has appealed to the local community to accept him and allow him to live as "a quiet gentlelady" in peace.
"I want people to know that I am not homosexual or a paedophile, and I am not mad," he said.
His congregation has given a positive, but guarded response.
One parishioner said: "People are getting used to seeing him in dresses. I admire his wife for sticking up for him."
Rev Parry is the author of a book called Peculiar Preachers.
His Website is not yet online but he can be e-mailed at: dian.parryukon-line.co.uk.