Today, Thursday, John Reaney gave evidence to the tribunal, see this report from the Press Association Bishop ‘embarrassed’ gay job applicant:
…At the meeting on July 19, Bishop Priddis wanted to ask Mr Reaney, who currently works for the Weston Spirit charity, the reasons why he had left his youth worker post in the Diocese of Chester in 2002 after 16 months.
Mr Reaney told the tribunal today he resigned after being asked to choose between his partner and his job.
Around four months prior to the meeting with Bishop Priddis, Mr Reaney said this five-year relationship had come to an end.
During a two-hour meeting at The Palace in Hereford, which was also attended by John Chapman, the chairman of the Hereford Diocesan Board of Education, Mr Reaney claims the Bishop first asked him about his relationship history.
“I said I was not in a sexual relationship and was not looking for one and that I was able to exercise self control,” said Mr Reaney.
“The Bishop put it to me that this situation could change. I made it very clear to the Bishop that I was not seeking a relationship and would adhere to his wishes if I were under his authority.
“I would communicate with him if I was struggling. He asked me ’what would you do if you met someone?’
“I told that if I felt a relationship might develop in the future, I would discuss it with him.
“However, I reiterated to him that I was not in a sexual relationship and I did intend to remain that way and I explicitly told him that I was certainly happy to remain celibate for the duration of the post.”
He added: “When the Bishop asked me if I thought it was appropriate for a Youth Officer to have such a homosexual relationship, I turned to the Bishop and said ’before we go any further what is your stance?’
“His words to me were ’whilst many of our colleagues are becoming more liberal on the issue, I find myself becoming more conservative.’
“At this point my heart sank. That was the turning point in the conversation for me.”
Mr Reaney said he was left “very embarrassed and extremely upset” following the meeting…