Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Trumpington parish update

We reported earlier on the outcome of the legal dispute at the Parish of Trumpington.

The Cambridge Evening News now has this report: Sacked vicar’s tirade over departure:

A VICAR sacked for “spitting” at his parishioners has posted a lengthy website criticism over his departure.

However, the Rev Tom Ambrose has withdrawn his bid to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights and an employment tribunal after being sacked from his Trumpington parish.

The parish becomes vacant from today and in two ‘vicar writes’ articles on the St Mary and St Michael Parish Church page of the diocese site, the Rev Ambrose is critical of the Bishop of Ely’s handling of the matter…

The two articles in question can be found (for now at least) at

Response to the Bishop of Ely’s decision

Legal representation to the Bishop

Copies of both documents have been archived: here, and also here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 11:22am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

'The process to appoint a new vicar begins today.'

I expect a very long interregnum - who would touch this with a barge pole?

Posted by: dodgey_vicar on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 5:27pm BST

..in fact if even a part of what Tom Ambrose says is true - who would take any job in Ely diocese?

Posted by: pete hobson on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 8:15pm BST

As the person legally responsible for hearing any appeal against the outcome of the case, the Bishop of Ely had to remain silent on the whole matter while it was undergoing the court process, so that he did not lay himself open to a charge of prejudging the outcome. Pastorally he had to hand over to the Archdeacon of Cambridge until everything legal was completed. This enabled the vicar to accuse the Bishop of 'not caring' although he probably was told the reason from the beginning.

Posted by: Keith Johnson on Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 11:34pm BST

I don't think it's the silence during proceedings that is presented as the principle cause of complaint. But if there is truth in the allegation of an episcopal press release of part of the findings, prior to the bishop issuing his formal response, and whilst simultaneously binding the respondent to absolute silence (an allegation it's presumably not difficult to substantiate, by its very nature), that does seem prima facie to be abuse of natural justice in spades.

The whole thing seems amply to demonstrate why the Vacation of Benefices Measure was hardly ever used, and why the Clergy Discipline Measure, rightly used, offers so much better process.

Posted by: pete hobson on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 at 11:03am BST
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