New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
UK >

Canon Jeremy Pemberton loses same-sex marriage tribunal appeal

by Gavin Drake

Posted: 09 Dec 2016 @ 12:05

PA

Click to enlarge

Appellant: Canon Pemberton (right) and his husband, Laurence Cunnington, outside Nottingham Justice Centre, in June, 2015

Credit: PA

Appellant: Canon Pemberton (right) and his husband, Laurence Cunnington, outside Nottingham Justice Centre, in June, 2015

CANON Jeremy Pemberton has lost his appeal against a bishop’s refusal to grant him a licence. Canon Pemberton was refused a licence to take up a post as chaplaincy manager at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield because he married his partner, Laurence Cunnington, in April 2014 (News, 24 June, 12 September 2014) .

Last year, an employment tribunal in Nottingham ruled that the then Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, had acted lawfully in refusing to grant the licence (News, 6 November 2015). On Wednesday, that judgment was upheld by Judge Eady QC at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

“It was not for the Court to determine issues of doctrine, still less to take issue with the beliefs of the religion,” Judge Eady said. “It was for the [Bishop] to prove the official beliefs or teaching of the religion at the time his decision was taken.”

She concluded: “This was not a case where the [Bishop’s] decision was unexpected: both parties understood each other’s positions; [Canon Pemberton] was aware his marriage would be seen as in conflict with the teachings of the Church (even if he did not accept the characterisation of those teachings as doctrine) and he would thus be viewed as not in ‘good standing’, as would be understood within the Church of England.”

Responding to the judgment, Canon Pemberton said: “The result is, obviously, not the one my husband and I had hoped for. I appreciate that this case was a source of hope for many people. . . I am now going to take some time to consider the lengthy judgment with my husband, and we will decide on the best way forward.”

The judge said that the case raised important legal questions and contained “novel issues”. She gave Canon Pemberton permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesman for the diocese of Southwell & Nottingham said: “For the second time, a tribunal has found in favour of the former acting Diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, on all the claims made against him by Jeremy Pemberton.

“The Employment Appeals Tribunal in London upheld the decisions made by the Employment Tribunal held in Nottingham last year.

“Churches across the diocese continue to offer a generous welcome to people from all backgrounds and we remain fully engaged in the Church’s exploration of questions relating to human sexuality.

“The Church of England supports gay men and women who serve as clergy in its parishes, dioceses and institutions. It has no truck with homophobia and supports clergy who are in civil partnerships, as set out in the House of Bishops guidelines in 2006.

“We recognise that it has been a long and difficult process for all those concerned, and we hold them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Job of the week

Member of the Archbishops Council Audit Committee

London and Home Counties

  MEMBER OF THE ARCHBISHOPS' COUNCIL AUDIT COMMITTEE Contract Type: Initial term of office - 5 years (with possibility of re-appointment) The Archbishops' Council provides a focus for leader...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Retreat house is a family affair

Retreat house is a family affair

Christine Miles takes a six-year-old and a toddler on a half-term break to Scargill, and finds that it offers something for everyone  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

A joint commitment to our neighbours overseas

To mark Christian Aid Week, the leaders of the three main political parties write exclusively for the Church Times on the importance of international development  Read More

Tue 23 May 17 @ 20:03
.@simonjenks offers a satirical take on some of the weird & wonderful ways in which Christians express their beliefs https://t.co/thkwvIldXq

Tue 23 May 17 @ 17:30
.@SpurgeonsUK children’s charity is rekindling the memory of its founder, discovers Pat Ashworth https://t.co/4mHNOiupDK