Letter: A church in partnership with its congregation

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rom The Rev John Young

Sir: Without wishing to endorse all Kit Chalcraft's conclusions, I want to add my support to his basic contention that Anglican priests who lack freehold are open to all manner of unjust and arbitrary removal, sometimes for more negligible reasons, sometimes even for no perceptible reason at all. I do not understand how the Church can justify hiding behind the legal fiction that even the clergy who hold the bishop's licence are self- employed; how can we be if we hold office only at the bishop's discretion? Until licensed clergy (including members of team ministries, many university chaplains and other sector ministers and assistant curates as well as priests-in-charge) are brought within the scope of employment protection legislation or some other form of appeal or redress is devised, episcopal references to "contemporary best practice" are going to ring pretty hollow.

Yours sincerely,

John Young


18 October