Preston vs the President of the Methodist Conference

The Methodist Church had appealed to the Court of Appeal againstthe judgement of an Employment Appeal Tribunal that Methodistministers should be counted as employees and cases concerning themheard by Employment Tribunals. Methodist ministers have always beentreated by the Church as office holders rather than employees. Thecurrent case concerns Haley Preston (formerly Moore) who resignedfrom being a Methodist minister in 2009.

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins said: "The Methodist Church is seekingleave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgement thatHaley Preston's case is a matter for an employment tribunal. We aretreating this matter with great seriousness as something whichwould affect all of our ministers and the culture of ourChurch.

"The church values all of its ministers, and it is clear to us thatrelationship cannot easily be reduced to a simple contract ofemployment. The call to Methodist ministry cannot be treated asjust another job - it is based on a lifetime calling, expressedthrough a covenant relationship with the Church.

"We want to ensure that we treat everyone fairly and properly andall of our ministers have rights of redress under existing Churchprocedures. We are committed to caring for all who serve theChurch, whether lay or ordained, paid or volunteer."