Archbishop’s child abuse inquiry finds diocese “Dysfunctional”

An investigation set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury following persistent allegations of child abuse by priests has concluded that the Diocese of Chichester is “dysfunctional” and this “continues to impinge upon the adequacy of safeguarding in the diocese.” Dr Rowan Williams established a rare…

MP gives warning on Chancel Repair Liability

Chancel Repair liability (CRL) is an issue “on the verge of explosion”, a junior government minister, Peter Luff, has said. Mr Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire, is helping the PCC of Broadway with Wickhamford to find a way to avoid registering CRL against 30…

PM backs right to wear cross at work

The Prime Minister has pledged to change the law to ensure that Christians can wear crosses at work. Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, David Cameron said that he fully supported the right of people to wear religious…

Bishop warns of austerity’s ‘social consequences’

THE BISHOP of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Price, has warned that the country faces more episodes of violent disorder similar to that which hit the nation in August last year. In an address to the General Synod on Sunday afternoon, Bishop Price…

Ban on clergy in racist groups approved

The General Synod moved a step closer to banning clergy from membership of groups such as the British National Party (BNP) when it gave final approval to the Clergy Discipline (Amendment) Measure this afternoon. The Measure doesn’t itself proscribe membership of the BNP, but gives…

Wedding-hours change will not apply to the Church of England

A relaxation of the law that places a restriction on the hours when marriages may be solemnised does not apply to wedding services in the Church of England, lawyers from Church House said this week. They warned that conducting a marriage outside the permitted hours…

Judgment by employment tribunal upholds clergy office-holder status

The chairman of the House of Clergy in the diocese of Worcester, Canon Stuart Currie, has welcomed a judgment by the Birmingham employment tribunal that clergy are office-holders rather than employees. The Employment Judge, Alan McCarry, made the ruling after a claim brought by the…

Rector loses employment tribunal case

A former Church of England Rector has today lost his employment tribunal claim against the bishop and diocese of Worcester. The Revd Mark Sharpe, former Rector of the Teme Valley South benefice near Tenbury Wells, alleged that the bishop and diocese had failed to protect…

Council and councillor join battle in court over prayers

The practice of saying prayers at the start of council meetings is akin to councillors’ reading pornographic or racist material, lawyers for the National Secular Society (NSS) told the High Court last Friday. The NSS and the former Bideford town councillor Clive Bone brought judicial-review…

Judge must decide on priests’ employment status

A former rector, the Revd Mark Sharpe, will have to wait up to three months before he finds out whether he can bring a case of constructive dismissal against the Bishop and diocese of Worcester. The chairman of an employment tribunal, A. J. McCarry, told…