Religion and law round-up – 6th September

And it’s back to work…

… but for parliamentarians this will be tomorrow afternoon, when they return for a brief 10 days before the Party Conference season recess; both Houses return for the autumn sittings on 12 October. Nevertheless, there is a busy timetable, with important debates at both ends of the week: the report stage of the European Union Referendum Bill on Monday and the second reading of Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill on Friday.

Those engaging in the CofE and CofS initiative – the Reimagining Europe blog – will have an interest in the former, where the main area of contention is the restrictions placed on campaigning by the Government and the EU during the referendum. On the latter, the BBC’s Mark D’Arcy suggests that this “will be a classic private members’ bill tactical battle, with opponents seeking to talk the bill out, and supporters hoping to muster enough MPs to force a vote and get the bill through to detailed scrutiny in committee. No-one seems to have much idea how it will play out, because this is the first real test of the 2015 Commons on this kind of free vote issue”.

A lower profile item, but nevertheless one of interest to those within the CofE, will be the questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Caroline Spelman, on Thursday morning.

Pemberton v Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham

The Press Association reports that closing submissions were made last week in the Employment Tribunal case between Jeremy Pemberton, and Richard Inwood, the then Acting Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, who refused him Permission to Officiate in the Diocese when he married his partner Laurence Cunnington in April 2014 – which meant that he could not take up the post that had been offered to hm by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust.

According to the PA report, Thomas Linden QC, representing the Church, argued that Pemberton had gone against the doctrine of the Church when he entered his same-sex marriage: Continue reading