Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Regret as gay canon NHS job revoked

Jeremy Pemberton, left, tied the knot with Laurence Cunnington in April

An NHS Trust has expressed its regret after being prevented from recruiting a gay clergyman because a bishop refused to license his appointment.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton had hoped to work as a chaplain for the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, but was not granted authorisation by the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham because he entered into a same-sex marriage in April.

In a short statement confirming it had revoked its offer to the clergyman, the trust's executive director of human resources, Karen Fisher, said: "Jeremy Pemberton's offer of employment was subject to an approved licence from the Church of England and authorisation from the interim Bishop of Nottingham and Southwell.

"This licence was not granted and regrettably the trust has withdrawn the offer of employment.

"We wish Jeremy all the very best for the future."

Canon Pemberton has called on church leaders to urgently examine the bishop's decision to refuse him a licence to work as a chaplain.

The bishop, the Rt Rev Richard Inwood, announced last month that the canon's permission to officiate in the diocese had been revoked in view of the Church of England's pastoral guidance on same-sex marriage.

Canon Pemberton has questioned the legality of the church's stance on gay marriage.

Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham at the weekend, the clergyman said he was very disappointed he would be unable to take up a position as a chaplain and bereavement manager.

In a statement issued on July 9, the Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham said: "In its pastoral guidance on same-sex marriage, the House of Bishops said that getting married to someone of the same sex was clearly at variance with the teaching of the Church of England.

"The statement said it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage."

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