Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Court case clergyman looks for new role

A CLERGYMAN - whose claim against the Church of Ireland for wrongful dismissal was settled in the Dublin High Court - today said that he would still like to serve the wider church as best he can.

A CLERGYMAN - whose claim against the Church of Ireland for wrongful dismissal was settled in the Dublin High Court - today said that he would still like to serve the wider church as best he can.

The Rev Niall Bayley, who told the Court he thought it unacceptable that he should have to take part in Orange Order services if given a Northern Ireland parish, said today that he still considered that he had qualities which could be of use to the church at large.

He said: "I have a strong pastoral vocation. I like working with people and I would like to find some role in the wider church.

"I am ecumenical in my approach and I believe that I still have talents to offer.

"I cannot resign myself easily to not being active in the ministry."

Mr Bayley did not have a parish ministry for a number of years but worked until recently as a chaplain in Belfast's City Hospital.

"It was strenuous and demanding work but I enjoyed every minute of it. People related to me, and I related to them.," he said.

The 66-year-old churchman is precluded from talking about details of the court case, as part of the settlement.

He said he had not taken the case lightly, but felt that he had had no alternative.

"It was a course of action which I would never have imagined myself taking. It was a painful experience, but it may have been painful for the Church as well."

The Limerick-born minister was ordained in 1965, and in 1974 became rector of Christ Church Belfast, until its closure in 1998.

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