THINKING ANGLICANS

Hereford tribunal decision: full judgment

The full judgment of the employment tribunal in the case of John Reaney v the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance has been placed online by the Diocese of Hereford. It’s a 1.2 MB pdf file made up from scans of a fax so it’s not of the highest quality, but it is legible.

Update an html copy of this can at present be found here. (This URL will likely be replaced in the next day or so.)

An amended html copy is now available here. (Many thanks to pluralist for scanning the original PDF.)

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Ford Elmsmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)NPSimon SarmientoHugh of Lincoln Recent comment authors
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Peter O
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This is actually a win for both sides. +Hereford clearly discriminated by not applying Issues properly, but in making that ruling the Tribunal clearly demonstrates that ANY Synod motion or House of Bishops statement on doctrine is a valid exemption under section 7(3) of the 2003 Employment Equality Regulations. My analysis here – http://www.peter-ould.net/2007/07/20/hereford-judgement-online/

badman
Guest
badman

This is not about “sides”. This is about a human being who was grievously wronged by the Bishop of Hereford, even if the Bishop of Hereford is not willing or able to show any regret or penitence for what he has done.

I gather the good Bishop has an article in the Church Times on marriage this week. After reading paragraphs 37 and 42 of the Tribunal decision, I wonder why he thinks this is a good moment for him to pontificate, literally, on this subject.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

NO ! The house of bishops do not legislate for the C of E. Their ‘statements do not have the force of Law. Thank God !

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I couldnt open the link to the judgment, either here or on the Herford website, accessed by Google.

However I did come across this (below), which begins to make me wonder if there;s something in the Hereford water !

A BALANCED APPROACH TO NEW PRIESTS!
July 02nd 2007

‘ The Diocese of Hereford, the Church of England locally, ordained six new priests on Sunday 1st July at a special service in Hereford Cathedral. The six will be known as deacons for the first fifteen months before a further service in September next year…..’

Boy oh boy !

Peter O
Guest
Peter O

L Roberts,

I think you’ll find that the tribunal ruled that House of Bishops statements and documents DO legislate for the Church of England. The legal issue was not whether “Issues” was validly applied to the employment of a senior Diocesan post but rather whether in this instance it was applied correctly.

Perhaps you need to read the judgement and legal opinion on it before deciding what it did or didn’t say.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Hereford’s Equal Opportunities policy is clearly not worth the paper it is written upon. All that guff about not discriminating on grounds of sexual orientations is clearly nonsense. That’s exactly what they did. The Church by its very nature has discrimination built into its very fabric. EO statements are worthless.
Why the obsession with ‘lifestyle’? Clearly they are not interested in your house decoration, fabrics, holidays, dress sense or hobbies. What they actuall mean is what and who you do in bed. Why be so mealy mouthed about it?

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Peter O is wrong – the judgment made it clear that those issues were only taken into account because this post could reasonably be seen to be one of the ‘handful’ other than clergy where the exemption would come into play
Yet even so, they found for the claimant.
Its really a very bad result for the church, and not one they were expecting.

Peter O
Guest
Peter O

MM, Once again you miss the point. The judgement clearly states in sections 102 and 103 that Issues (and other Anglican statements / synod motions) applied in this case and would apply to all senior church lay appointments (and de facto to all clergy). The legal principle of interest here was that the tribunal ruled that ANY such Church of England statement would be a valid exemption under section 7(3) of the 2003 Act (sections 51 to 53 of the judgement). Priddis was found guilty of discrimination in section 105 of the judegment because he misapplied “Issues”. Priddis acted illegally… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

L Roberts,

I think you’ll find that the tribunal ruled that House of Bishops statements and documents DO legislate for the Church of England. The legal issue was not whether “Issues” was validly applied to the employment of a senior Diocesan post but rather whether in this instance it was applied correctly.

Perhaps you need to read the judgement and legal opinion on it before deciding what it did or didn’t say.

Posted by: Peter O on Friday, 20 July 2007 at 7:05pm BST

P.Oalds

You seem to love putting people straight.

This ruling cannot confer upon HoB statememts the legality which they lack.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

think the six “new priests” in Hereford will be called deacons for the next fifteen months because that is what they are. The further service in September next year will be their ordination to the priesthood. The list of Petertide ordinations in the Church Times (6 July 2007) lists all six as new deacons. Posted by: Peter Owen on Friday, 20 July 2007 at 5:52pm BST Of course the Church Times lists them as having just been ordained deacon. For that is what they are. However, the Hereford Diocesan website say they have been ordained priest –as the part from… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Peter, we knew that clergy were not covered in any case, and all this judgment does is confirm that only a very few other posts are covered, and even those can still have the law applied to them. Thats why the Church lost the case. Its you who has only chosen to read the parts of the judgment which you choose to. See what it says about both direct and indirect discrimination. Anyway, the Church will have to watch their step because this is just the sort of publicity they do not need. I wouldn’t imagine there would be… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

….perhaps you could also look at 107 which states clearly that lay people should not be expected to be celibate! I think, Peter, the fact that you are the sole optimistic voice speaks volumes. And you are the only person whose convoluted thinking extends to seeing this as another way of trying to deal with civil partnerships even though the relevant legislation has nothing to do with employment law. The reason the Church doesn’t want to do anything about civil partnerships is simple. Their stance has, constantly, stated that civil partnerships are not gay marriage. To issue a ban on… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

“It’s official: love comes first” So begins a Church Times piece by Anthony Priddis. Not a commentary on this weeks’s big news – which was too late for the print-run – but on parents who are too busy earning a living to devote time to each other or to their children, and on the importance of marriage. I could agree with most of what the bishop said. Plenty in the Judgement to read, mark and inwardly digest. It is noteworthy that “religion” is defined as “The Church of England” and not “Anglicanism”. “Issues” – which quaintly refers to “homophiles” and… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

This was an interesting case, one that (nearly!) all concerned say should never have happened. Apart from the tenor of the interview between the bishop and Mr Reaney the “facts” of what had happened to him were not in dispute. The proceedings began with the bishop reading his statement into evidence and it was immediately clear how the claimant was almost certain to succeed. Our canon lawyer was in court and made notes for the claimant’s legal team on all the salient “claims” made by bishop Priddis for authority etc., some of which Peter Ould mentions above, but despite this… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Martin cites a letter from Richard Chartres who says, ” “Issues in Human Sexuality” set up one moral standard for the laity and another for the clergy. This is clearly an incoherent position which is demeaning to the laity”. Paradoxically, the Tribunal made an entirely coherent position out of an incoherent one, which was quite the opposite of being “demeaning to the laity”! And the Archbishop Council’s submission which became Regulation 7(3)fell on the two limbs in(b). So far from the assertion made by the Bishop of Carlisle in his letter to the Church Times this week (concerning the interpretation… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

“And the Archbishop Council’s submission which became Regulation 7(3)fell on the two limbs in(b).” Correction: The Respondents’ case fell on 7(3)(c)(i)&(ii), on whether Reaney complied with Issues. As Martin seems to say, if the Respondents would so easily fail on (c), there was no need to dwell on (b) – doctrine and religious conviction – which was harder to unpack. Although the (lower) Tribunal does not set legal precedents, the Church will be forced to examine the wider implications whether an appeal is forthcoming or not: the regulation of Equal Opportunities policies, corporate governance and systems and controls to prevent… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Hugh asked
“Who foots the bill for successful claims like these?”

Perhaps NP and his megachuch mates could organise a whip-round, since they seem to approve of +Hereford’s antics?

NP
Guest
NP

mynster – quite happy to help the good bishop!

Since you raise the issue, who is paying for all the TEC law suits???

(Answer: dead people who gave money to the church and never imagined TEC with its current heterodox leadership let alone VGR)

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

NP – off topic, but at the moment the legal goings on in the US see to be finding in favour of TEC. If a bishop wishes to behave illegally on ‘moral’ grounds, I think he does have some explaining to do to his people: however, if someone attempts theft, then not to try and prevent it is a dereliction of duty. TEC is doing the equivalent of installing burglar alarms!

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Peter O wrote: “the Tribunal clearly demonstrates that ANY Synod motion or House of Bishops statement on doctrine is a valid exemption under section 7(3) of the 2003 Employment Equality Regulations.” Err, no. The tribunal ruled that the requirement being imposed was “so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion”. That was a necessary but not sufficient condition for the exemption to be valid. To be a valid exemption a whole series of tests has to be passed. See paras 100-108 in their entirety. In this particular case it failed the third limb in both respects, i.e. –… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

mynster – personally, I think they faithful Anglicans who are being pursued through the courts for building they have often paid for (!) should just leave the buildings…..TEC needs to money to fund its decline and will sell the assets to Starbucks or MacDonalds in the end…..but real churches are made up of people and those people can get new buildings….. I am sure the ABC does not want to see this sort of thing in England…..so I do not think he is going to let people push their particular agenda in the CoE (as TEC has done to the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“real churches” And the rest of us attend what, covens? Come on, NP, you can’t say this kind of thing then turn around and claim you don’t revile your fellow Christians by denying their faith. Sadly, you don’t realize how much this feeds the antiChristian stereotypes that are justifiably hated by, not just the world, but other Christians. This is why other people are hostile to you at synod, NP, not because your Churches are so “successful”. You can’t even see how much this kind of thing goes against the Gospel and is something you (and I, since I do… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

There is a real spiritual problem with outrage at ‘people being pursued through the courts for buildings they have often paid for.’ The theology of gift (on which an awful lot of the faith is based) is ultimately one of abandonment of ‘rights’ over that which one gives away. Some of my stewardship money has gone to things I’m not happy with, but nevertheless I give. “L’eglise n’est pas moi” if you get my drift. The idea that you give something away and yet retain control over it is a bit more like the corrupted form of ‘Corban’ attacked in… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“It’s not shaking off the dust so much as being serious about the (rightful) powerlessness of the giver.”

Oh but humility is not nearly as attractive as the hissy fit! It’s so much more romantic to see one’sself as shaking off the dust contaminated by the unGodly than it is to practice Christian humility.