Revd Sara Chesterfield-Terry (formally known as Darcy Terry, Chandos 00)

“I have something very personal but very important to me to share with you. I am transgender, meaning I identify as female, but I was born male. I would like to introduce myself, I‘m Sara.

Being transgender is not that common of a condition, it is something that about 1% of the UK population are. It is a very strange feeling, which is probably best described as if you are right-handed but trying to write with your left, you know that it feels wrong. Everything about it seems wrong. It is uncomfortable. It is difficult. It doesn‘t work the same. You can do it, but you‘d feel a lot happier using your correct hand and when you do switch to your correct hand, everything just feels right.

For me, living as Darcy was a bit like using my wrong hand – I could do it but it wasn‘t comfortable. Being Sara I am being my authentic and real self. I‘m happier and feel complete. I‘ve felt this way for an awfully long time – decades really – but is something I never really had the language to express or articulate. I remember when I was a teenager, I tried to explain it to my Mum but because I didn‘t really understand it myself, I didn‘t know how to express it. It was during the first lockdown in 2020, when we were all forced to stop and there were no distractions that I had time to re-evaluate and re-assess myself – it was at that point that I recognised that Sara is who I really am. As soon as I admitted this to myself, everything started to make sense.

I spoke to my wife back in August 2020 and told her how I was feeling and what I was going through but sadly, she didn‘t feel as though she could continue my journey with me, so we have divorced. We have a son, who is at the centre of everything, so we are both dedicated to helping him get through this time as well. However, the truth of the matter is that I‘m still me. I‘m still the person that everyone has always known but now I can be fully me; I can be who I was always meant to be. I have a friend who suggested it is ‘the same contents but a different packaging’! There are changes in the way that I look but my personality has not changed. I am just now being my authentic self, which is a good thing. Everything that has been going on over the last couple of years has been in collaboration with the Bishop and Archdeacon and the Area Dean who, along with my congregation, have all been incredibly supportive. I‘m very blessed that my mum, dad, sister and the rest of my family are all fully accepting and they love me for me. This is a new part of my journey; it‘ll bring new challenges, but new opportunities and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been.”