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Ministers of Religion

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[Thanks to Robert Dickason of Outer Temple Chambers for preparing this case summary]

The EAT (Underhill P) has handed down its decision in Moore v Methodist Church, which is authority for the proposition that, in light of the decision of the House of Lords in Percy v Board of National Mission of the Church in Scotland, a minister of the Methodist Church may be employed under a contract of service notwithstanding the conclusion of the Court of Appeal in Methodist Church v Parfitt on materially identical facts.

The Tribunal had considered itself bound by Parfitt on the facts, if not the law, and so found that the Claimant minister had not been employed under a contract of service. The EAT provided a helpful overview of the authorities in this area and concluded that the reasoning in Parfitt as applied to the facts of that case could not stand in light of Percy. Hence the Tribunal was wrong to follow Parfitt on the very similar facts of this case.