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Manx priest resigns after dispute

29 January 2016

RICHARD HOARE/GEOGRAPH

Resignation: St Columba's, Arbory

Resignation: St Columba's, Arbory

A PRIEST on the Isle of Man has pledged to serve “under alternative episcopal oversight within the Anglican Communion”, after resigning.

The priest, Canon Jules Gomes, has resigned as the Vicar of St Columba’s, Arbory, and Castletown, and as a Canon of St German’s Cathedral. In July, he brought two petitions of doleance (broadly equivalent to judicial review in England and Wales) to the Tynwald. He called for an examination of the employment rights of the clergy, concerning bullying and harrassment.

A formal complaint was then submitted against him by the Archdeacon of Man, the Ven. Andrew Brown. A spokesman for the diocese confirmed on Monday that Canon Gomes had resigned, with effect from 31 March.

Canon Gomes cited “bullying and harassment” and subsequent ill- health as the reasons for his resignation, the news website IOM Today reported last week. In his resignation letter, he wrote: “I intend to continue serving in the Isle of Man under alternative episcopal oversight within the Anglican Communion.”

A statement from the diocesan communications office said that Canon Gomes “has not consulted the Bishop of Sodor & Man about any plans to establish an independent church on the Island”.

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