Comments: Progress in Jeremy Pemberton's tribunal case

"Jeremy Pemberton nor his husband, Laurence Cunnington"

Seeing this in print is progress in itself.

Posted by JCF at Friday, 31 October 2014 at 7:58pm GMT

As I recall there were a couple of commentators here on TA who predicted this action would fall at the preliminary stage.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 31 October 2014 at 9:19pm GMT

And in the meantime, the nation will be focused on the love affair between the gay barman on Coronation street and a Vicar!

Posted by robert ian williams at Saturday, 1 November 2014 at 8:21am GMT

Congratulations to Jeremy Pemberton -- over the first hurdle!

Jeremy (non P)

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 1 November 2014 at 5:06pm GMT

"And in the meantime, the nation will be focused on the love affair between the gay barman on Coronation street and a Vicar!" - Robert I Williams -

Oh dear, Robert! Will it be anywhere near as sensational as the story of the R.C. clergy in the film 'Priest', I wonder? Nothing like a bit of gossip to muddy the waters, eh.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 2 November 2014 at 9:54am GMT

Simon, what is your source please? In other words, who issued the announcement?

Posted by Jamie Wood at Sunday, 2 November 2014 at 6:37pm GMT

The statement was issued on behalf of the Claimant.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 3 November 2014 at 9:55am GMT

Getting over this hurdle shows that a prima facie case has been made. The Bishops have a case to answer.

Posted by Gill Forbes at Monday, 3 November 2014 at 8:20pm GMT

I remain mystified by the total failure of any reporting of the other, London based, married priest's encounters with his bishop. His frank disclosures on the Changing Attitude Face Book page remain inaccessible to me, though Erica has now emailed his amazing story.

From what he says it appears that this committee of bishops established to ensure there is "consistency" in the way bishops respond to newly married clerics has laid out a strategy of locking people into their present posts - "to rot", as one commentator said.

My feeling is that the members of this committee too should be named as parties to this action.
It would seem that it may be demonstrated that rather than seeking consistency they have been engaged in a conspiracy to unlawfully deny employment to clergy.
I expressed amazement when this unique body was formed and still consider its existence a serious mistake and potential source of serious embarrassment to the CofE
I am sure that lawyers are already seeking to find ways to get their communications and advice into the public domain. This will be very interesting.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 7 November 2014 at 11:46am GMT

Martin,
"My feeling is that the members of this committee too should be named as parties to this action."

That would depend entirely on the terms of the action. We don't yet know the content of the claim, its grounds and its legal basis.

One difference I could imagine is that Jeremy applied for a secular job in an organisation that is not part of the CoE.

Posted by Erika Baker at Friday, 7 November 2014 at 12:35pm GMT

Couldn't agree more, Martin.

Yet again, I'll say that we need liberal bishops like Nicholas Holtam to break ranks with their colleagues, and pledge not to discriminate against LGBT clergy in their diocese. That's quickest route to change I can see.

As a diocesan, Holtam's position and livelihood are secure. Even in career terms, he's nothing to lose. He's unlikely ever to be archbishop, and in any case, it's reasonable to ask him to make that sacrifice, far less than the sacrifice demanded of LGBT clergy. He, and other liberals in positions of power, have no good reason to maintain this collegiality at the expense of their LGBT colleagues. Unity is not the be all and end all.

If he pledges to accept all priests regardless of marital status, Holtam has it in his power to end this policy tomorrow. If he's any kind of a friend to LGBT people, if he's any kind of a liberal, and if he's a good man, he'll step up. If he doesn't, we know where we stand.

Posted by James Byron at Saturday, 8 November 2014 at 6:45am GMT

As James says the present balance is uncomfortably skewed.

We are told that only one bishop has voted against the present polity of the bench. So we are faced with a situation where we can suppose that some have voted for this policy for political reasons rather than following their conscience.

The response, while not being as unprincipled, must be political and I would suggest needs to be organised.
Now we know that this extraordinary panel exists we need to test out the responses from different dioceses.

Might I suggest that clergy in civil partnerships write to their ordinary asking what will happen if they decide to convert it to a marriage.

It would be helpful if someone might coordinate and publish the responses.
It might be interesting to point out that the conversion is a paper exercise requiring no declaration and vows before witnesses, which is what the Church recognises as a marriage.

This, in my view, sets it apart from the marriages now contracted by couples using the normal civil rite.

This creates a large body of clergy who are threatened and places a much larger burden on the bishops. Also the responses may well prove useful to those in this and subsequent challenges.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 9 November 2014 at 10:42pm GMT

Martin,
yes, up to a point.
I do like the idea of CPd clergy writing to their bishops asking what would happen if they converted their CPs to marriage.

But they cannot necessarily point out that this is a paper exercise requiring no vows nor witnesses, because we now have the option to upgrade in a standard ceremony including vows and witnesses.
And I would expect that many couples will choose the full ceremony.

We should not risk getting to a place where clergy might be "allowed" to upgrade provided they only opt for informal conversion.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 10 November 2014 at 10:26am GMT

Despite Ron's dig at the Catholic Church, my point is still valid, public opinion is changed far more quickly by soap opera characters!

Posted by Robert ian wiliams at Monday, 10 November 2014 at 2:16pm GMT

Hmmm, that was precisely my point.
Erica and I have discussed this both online and privately.
Firstly, the government has NOT changed its mind in principle.
The conversion is not dependent on a declaration or vows, it is a nonessential decoration FOLLOWING the actual legal conversion which is (once again) a signed document.

IF the bishops responded as you suggest that itself would be a considerable step away from their present policy.
What we can see - even from this exchange here - is that the matter is not straightforward, that is very much to our advantage. We should make the best of this opportunity!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 10 November 2014 at 4:55pm GMT

The point of this exercise would be to demonstrate that what we have in the English House of Bishops cannot be characterised as care, clarity and consistency rather it is calumny, collusion and conspiracy.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 10 November 2014 at 9:40pm GMT

Martin, are you saying that even an upgrade with vows is not the same as a marriage because the vows aren't necessary? That hadn't occurred to me despite our conversations.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 10 November 2014 at 10:47pm GMT

I am saying that, Erica.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 11 November 2014 at 12:05pm GMT
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