Religion and law round-up – 16th August

Our blog stats indicated great interest in the second report from Sir Philip Mawer, the Church of England’s Independent Reviewer. Elsewhere, however, it’s the silly season…

Beneficed clergy appointments

On 10 August 2015, the Church of England’s Independent Reviewer, Sir Philip Mawer, issued his second report on following a letter from Dr Colin Podmore, Director of Forward in Faith, enclosing an expression of concern about the operation of the House of Bishops’ Declaration in respect of the Parish of All Saints, Cheltenham in the Diocese of Gloucester. As with his earlier report on 31 July, the grievance was not raised following the passing of an appropriate resolution by the PCC of the parish concerned, as was intention of the Regulation, but was considered to be within the vires of the Independent Reviewer as it raised issues of general application, here “not only legal issues about the authorization of assistant clergy in multi-parish benefices but potentially also an important question of principle concerning the need for clarity in relation to how such authorizations are granted.”

In addition to recommending a review of the licences of the two NSMs concerned, the report clarifies the position in relation to Resolutions A and B. It also outlines a procedure in relation to the appointment of a woman to minister otherwise than as a member of the team in a multi-parish benefice in which one or more parishes has, or is deemed to have, passed the resolution set out in paragraph 20 of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.

More on invasive autopsies

BAILII  posted the judgment of 2014 in R (Goldstein) v Her Majesty’s Coroner for Inner London District Greater London [2014] EWHC 3889 (Admin), in which Mitting J and HHJ Peter Thornton, the Chief Coroner, considered the issue of religious objections to invasive autopsies. We are still hoping to see a transcript of their recent judgment in Rotsztein v HM Senior Coroner for Inner London [2015] EWHC (Admin), in the hope of producing a comprehensive post on the issue. Failing that, however, we shall post a note on Goldstein on its own. Continue reading