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Sydney stays out of court

THE DIOCESE OF Sydney has reached a confidential out-of-court settlemenwith a woman who sued her rector and an assistant bishop for defamation.The woman, Dr Belinda Goodenough, a psychologist who specialises ipaediatric pain-management, was stripped of her lay-ministry roles in heparish last year, after what she said was a light-hearted email exchange witits Rector, the Revd Steve Bainbridge, of St Pauls, South Coogee, a beachsidsuburb (News, 31 March). Although she immediately apologised, Mr Bainbridgsaid her comments demonstrated unsuitability for a leadership role in thchurch.Press reports stated that Dr Goodenough was removed from her position, whicinvolved working with children, during a Sunday service in February 2005, awhich she was not present. She claims she was not given prior notice, and thashe became the subject of ugly gossip, after the Rector said she had been stoodown for inappropriate action. A select meeting convened by the Bishop oSouth Sydney, the Rt Revd Robert Forsyth, supported the Rector. Dr Goodenougthen sued for defamation in the NSW Supreme Court.Bishop Forsyth issued a statement indicating that a small payment had beemade for a sum less than Dr Goodenoughs legal expenses. He also expressed hisupport for the Rector, and for the right and responsibility of the ministeto stand down from voluntary public ministry in the church those whom he cometo believe may not be suited for it.Dr Goodenough  was quoted as saying, What intelligent woman is gointo want to join a denomination like this

Job of the week

National Adviser & Archbishop's Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs

London and Home Counties

With its network of parishes covering the country, the Church of England plays an active role in national life, bringing animportant Christian dimension to the nation as well as strengthening community....  Read More

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How we took our pick

How we took our pick

Paul Handley explains why we began our quest for the best 100 Christian books, and how we reached our verdicts  Read More

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When the nation needs a shared sense of sacrifice

War memorials have been made more Christian, but this has blurred distinctions between faith and patriotism, says John Wolffe  Subscribe to read more

Sat 27 Sep 14 @ 17:18
RT @CatholicHeraldBishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton announces shock resignation: http://t.co/X8kGsHWpwu

Sat 27 Sep 14 @ 16:52
RT @The_TabletBishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, has resigned. In letter to parishes he apologises for being "unfaithful to vows"