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Vicar sues church after being sacked over failed marriage

todayDecember 27, 2017 25

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The Rev Jonathan Gould, 59, was asked to take a four-month sabbatical from St John’s Downshire Hill in Hampstead, northwest London, to attempt to reconcile his marriage.

However, the lawyer-turned-vicar who had served at the church 21 years was unable to and the church assumed he would not return to minister.

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The Times reports that in May 2015 one of the church’s five lay trustees sent an email to the Anglican priest asking: “What if the worst scenario occurs?

“Your marriage fails and you get divorced. I assume then your pastoral ministry at [St John’s Downshire Hall] will come to an end.”

Rev Gould met three of the trustees two months later, who told him: “You preach marriage, but you do not display biblical marriage yourself.”

His lawyers have claimed that the father of four wouldn’t have been sacked if he had been single.

Rev Gould’s first attempt to sue was thrown out by an employment tribunal judge in March but that was overturned on appeal in October.

The vicar told The Sun: “It’s been absolutely devastating for me, personally and devastating for the children as we lost our home when I was dismissed.”

His wife, Beth, 53, said: “The church were very generous, as I was too.

“There is definitely still an opportunity for him to work at our marriage.”

A vicar is suing his church for discrimination after he was sacked when his marriage ended.

Written by: Rufus Olaniyan

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