21 December 2011
Preston vs the President of the Methodist Conference
The Methodist Church had appealed to the Court of Appeal against
the judgement of an Employment Appeal Tribunal that Methodist
ministers should be counted as employees and cases concerning them
heard by Employment Tribunals. Methodist ministers have always been
treated by the Church as office holders rather than employees. The
current case concerns Haley Preston (formerly Moore) who resigned
from being a Methodist minister in 2009.
The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins said: "The Methodist Church is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgement that Haley Preston's case is a matter for an employment tribunal. We are treating this matter with great seriousness as something which would affect all of our ministers and the culture of our Church.
"The church values all of its ministers, and it is clear to us that relationship cannot easily be reduced to a simple contract of employment. The call to Methodist ministry cannot be treated as just another job - it is based on a lifetime calling, expressed through a covenant relationship with the Church.
"We want to ensure that we treat everyone fairly and properly and all of our ministers have rights of redress under existing Church procedures. We are committed to caring for all who serve the Church, whether lay or ordained, paid or volunteer."