A sacked female minister in Cornwall has won a landmark ruling to bring a case against the Methodist Church for unfair dismissal. The decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal reverses an earlier decision by the Court of Appeal and paves the way for all clergy to challenge their employers in the courts.

The tribunal concluded that Haley Moore, who was dismissed as a minister in Redruth, was an employee under the Employment Rights Act and can take action against her former employer, the President of the Methodist Conference.

The Unite union, which has been fighting for equal rights at work for religious workers for 16 years, said the decision was a “significant step forward”.

COMMENT: A highly respected clergyman and good friend of mine told me that he was disappointed that I had withdrawn my employment tribunal action against the church because he thought I would have definitely won. It now appears he may well have been right.

However, the reasons I withdrew my claim had nothing to do with my bishop's original defence that I wasn't a real employee and everything to do with the eagerness my bishop resorted to smear campaign tactics and the fact that an official at Newcastle Diocese had told a union rep that anybody taking them to court would never work for the Church of England again - off the record, of course.

I notice that in line with pretty much all of the Church Universal, the Methodists are going stick two fingers up to Jesus Christ and his teachings and appeal this judicial decision.



  1. the Methodists are going stick two fingers up to Jesus Christ

    Does that equate to “the middle finger” in God’s Own American (Finger) English? (How does “two fingers” differ from the Peace Sign and/or V-for-Victory? O_o)

    Seeing this case on Thinking Anglicans, I did immediately think of yourself, MP. Hang in there.

  2. So if there is anyone out there of ministerial experience, or ministry training, with definitely a sceptical and liberal outlook, being interested in a diversity of views, and someone who doesn’t want to have to jump through doctrinal hoops, is interested in developing one small congregation (money is sorted) and fancies a different life, well you know where we are and you certainly know where I am as a means to get to where we are. Discretion, if you want it, is always assured in the first instances!

  3. JCF, everybody knows God speaks English, not American! That’s why he wrote the bible in Iambic Pentameter!

  4. Yes, JCF, exactly the same.

    In England, the peace sign is given with the palm of the hand facing forward, whilst eff off is with the palm facing towards the signaller. I don’t think we use the victory sign – it’s been too long since we won anything.

  5. And as I understand it, the 2 fingers up thing, historically speaking, comes from English archery, not a reference to body parts.

    Which, in a way, makes it scarier than the American flipping of the bird. 🙂

  6. That is definitely the explanation that I heard, Tracie. Unless it goes back to the Vikings in which case it will be something to do with body parts.

  7. Perhaps not, but I can certainly accuse those pesky Vikings of being fixated with body parts – especially the naughty body parts 🙂

  8. It’s been said that the English language developed from Danish Vikings attempting to chat up Saxon barmaids.

    Can ya blame them, as well-endowed as Saxon barmaids tend to be?? LOL!

  9. I use two fingers or one finger when indicating displeasure to other drivers, pedestrians etc. I’m versatile that way. It don’t matter as long as the back of the hand is presented, rather than the front.

  10. I have a tendency to talk with my hands, generally with my hands open and all of my fingers extended. However, when speaking with someone I really don’t like I generally just have two fingers extended. Being in the US, they don’t know that I’m repeatedly flipping them off. I guess I’m a bit passive aggressive on that count..

    WV = scroat um… I still could be passive aggressive with this too…

  11. Spartans also didn’t bother with the chat-up thing either. Hmmm. Makes ya wonder…

  12. I have never concealed my propensity towards being bilingual

    JCF feels a certain (non-Wesleyan!) warming…



    Oy vey: the distinction of “Peace” or “Eff You” is based upon merely which way one’s HAND is facing??? I couldn’t master that sober, nevermind after a visit to the Public House!

    {envisions flashing “Peace” to a homophobe, and “Eff You” at a demonstration of leftist rowdies}.

    I’m going to get the cr@p kicked out of myself if I ever again visit Blightey, aren’t I? :-X

  13. Although…and this is for real…when you work at Walt Disney World, esp. anywhere you come in contact with guests, they teach you to gesture a certain way when giving directions. When gesturing towards something, use your flat, open hand (which is what I always do) or fold your pinkie and ring finger into your palm and point with the index & middle finger held together.

    This avoids erroneously offending a guest whose cultural norms dictate that pointing at one with the index finger alone is an insult.

  14. Just a second, anonymous.

    Madpriest is a sound and good man, if a little bit deluded in his continuing attack on atheists, but he shows his beliefs very well in the liturgies he makes at St Laika’s. So, whereas he might like to make the odd trip to Newcastle Unitarians and say hello, and even present the odd service if they like him, he is not of that sceptical and liberal (theological) outlook I’m suggesting. Not really.

  15. “In Monday’s WMN, it was wrongly stated that Haley Moore had been “sacked” from her position as a Methodist Church minister. The Church has asked us to point out that, although, Ms Moore was asked to step down from her role as superintendent of the Redruth circuit, she remained a minister and resigned that role later.”

    Purely for the sake of accuracy.

    Does anyone know why she was dismissed? I can’t find any reasons given online. Do you know more, or is everyone just leaping to the conclusion that the Methodist Church must be in the wrong?

  16. Do you know more, or is everyone just leaping to the conclusion that the Methodist Church must be in the wrong?

    Take the word “Methodist” out of the above sentence and the answer is, yes, of course, every single time.