Age Limit Guidance

Guidance under Regulation 29A (10) Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009

On 10 August, we cross-posted Patrick Shorrock’s summary of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (“the Regulations”)which came into effect on 1 July 2017, changing certain aspects of the provisions governing how clergy over 70 hold office. There were first published in the National Archdeacons’ Forum: Archdeacons’ News, Bulletin no. 26 July 2017, and Patrick kindly permitted us to post a revised version. On 3 October, the Archbishops’ Council published its Age Limit Guidance relating to the Regulations on the Church’s Document Library.  Continue reading

CofE clergy over 70 – changes to terms of service

New legislation governing septuagenarian priests

The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into effect on 1 July 2017 changing certain aspects of the provisions governing how clergy over 70 hold office. Patrick Shorrock, HR Adviser at the Archbishops’ Council, summarized these in the National Archdeacons’ Forum: Archdeacons’ News, Bulletin no. 26 July 2017, and has kindly permitted us to post the following revised version. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 17th September

Brexit (inevitably), school dress codes, clergy employment, humanist marriage, religious karaoke – another mixed bag…

Brexit

On Monday, the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was given its second reading: Ayes, 326: Noes: 290. The Bill stands committed to a Committee of the whole House for eight days of detailed debate.

The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government both declined to recommend that legislative consent be given to the Bill by their legislatures unless it is amended to address their specific concerns.

Primary school uniform

Also on Monday, we reported the case of a husband and wife who had withdrawn their six-year-old son from his Church of England primary school after a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress to school. Continue reading

Károly Nagy v Hungary: the Grand Chamber judgment

Background

The applicant, Károly Nagy, brought a compensation claim against the Hungarian Reformed Church following his dismissal as minister of Gödöllő parish. Disciplinary proceedings had been brought against him in June 2005 after a local newspaper had reported him as saying that state subsidies to a Calvinist boarding school had been paid unlawfully. He was immediately suspended and eventually dismissed, with effect from 1 May 2006, following a decision by the ecclesiastical courts. His attempts to sue in the labour and the civil courts failed for want of jurisdiction and the Supreme Court held that there was no enforceable contract between Mr Nagy and the Church. Continue reading

Baggage-handling, pastoring and sexual orientation: Houston

Colin Houston worked for Swissport as a baggage-handler at Belfast International Airport. He is also a heterosexual Christian pastor who disapproves of same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage. He was dismissed in September 2016 following a series of incidents [6]. He took his case to a Fair Employment Tribunal, claiming direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation on grounds of sexual orientation and/or religious belief/political opinion [28(1)]. Continue reading

Limits on preaching in a prison chapel: Trayhorn

Background

In Trayhorn v The Secretary of State for Justice (Religion or Belief Discrimination) [2017] UKEAT 0304/16/0108, Mr Trayhorn was a gardener/horticulturalist at HM Prison Littlehey, which houses a large number of sex offenders and young offenders. He has also been an ordained Pentecostal minister since 2009. At a Pentecostal service in the prison chapel on 31 May 2014, he spoke to a congregation of prisoners about homosexuality as sinful, quoting from 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11.

There had been a previous complaint by the LGBT coordinator in February 2014 about Mr Trayhorn’s comments during a service on 8 February 2014. Continue reading

Nurses, patients and inappropriate conversations about religion: Kuteh

The issue of nurses having inappropriate conversations about religion with patients has come up again.

In Mrs S Kuteh v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (England and Wales: Unfair Dismissal) [2017] UKET 2302764/2016, the Claimant, a nursing sister employed by the Trust, was a “committed Christian” [12]. In March and April 2016, staff in her department told her superiors that patients had been complaining that when they were being assessed by Mrs Kuteh she had been raising matters of religion and faith with them: Continue reading