Gay clergyman has NHS job offer withdrawn after bishop blocks licence

Jeremy Pemberton said he has been treated in ‘unfair and rather harsh way’

Jeremy Pemberton, the first gay British clergyman to have a same-sex marriage, has had an NHS job offer withdrawn because a bishop refuses to grant him the licence he requires to work.

Mr Pemberton, currently the NHS chaplain in Lincolnshire, was offered the position of chaplaincy and bereavement manager for Sherwood Forest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in June but has been blocked from taking a new job due to his marriage status.

After marrying his partner in April, Mr Pemberton was informed he would not be able to work as a priest in Nottinghamshire.

The Acting Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, issued a statement, which said it would "not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church's teaching in their lives."

Mr Pemberton’s permission to officiate in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham was revoked. He was also told that for "reasons of consistency" he could not take up the new NHS post. The offer was withdrawn on Friday.

Mr Pemberton told BBC Radio Nottingham he was "very, very disappointed" not to be able to take up Trust position. "I’ve now been treated, I think, in an unfair and rather harsh way in Southwell and Nottingham, whereas I'm now going to carry on doing the job I have been doing in Lincolnshire where I have a licence," he said.

NHS chaplains are funded by the NHS rather than the Church of England, but a chaplain needs a licence from the relevant diocese.

Mr Pemberton, whose case was raised in the House of Lords, said he would "not bow out gracefully" and planned to test the decision in the courts.

The trust said it would consider its response after receiving the Bishop’s letter, then withdrew the job offer on 1 August.

Mr Pemberton said: "I think the problem now is that it appears that I'm stuck in the job I'm doing, and if I try to move I could be blocked. There are, to be honest, quite a lot of gay and lesbian Church of England chaplains working in the health service. Now we don't know, if any of them try to move, will the same thing happen to them, and should it?"

He said he did not know this would happen when he married his partner. "I didn't, and neither did the House of Bishops, appear to know what would happen."

"As soon as they put their pastoral guidance out that very obvious question was asked of them, and the bishops said, 'Oh no, we don't know, we will have to take it on a case-by-case basis."

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss