First British clergyman to marry a same-sex partner has had an NHS job offer withdrawn because a bishop will not give him the licence needed.
Jeremy Pemberton currently works as an NHS chaplain in Lincolnshire, but has been blocked from taking a new job with the NHS in Nottinghamshire. He was also told he could not work as a priest in Nottinghamshire after he married his partner in April.
“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.
Chaplains for the NHS are funded by the NHS rather than the Church of England, but a chaplain needs a licence from the relevant diocese, to work in any posting with in the NHS system. It does beg the question. If you are already a chaplain in one area of the country why do you need a special licence to work in another part of the country? If the NHS moves to abolish the need for its Chaplains to obtain a licence from the relevant diocese this could see an end to the issues that Jeremy Pemberton and other LGBT Chaplains face in the future.
Rt Revd Richard Inwood The “Acting Bishop” for Southwell and Nottingham, revoked Mr Pemberton’s permission to officiate as a priest in June and wrote to the trust isaying they would NOT give Mr Pemberton a licence for the new job.
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.