Dudley is the freeholder of St Bartholomew’s


We’ve raised the question of what consequences there might be for the Rev. Martin Dudley, the officiant at he calls the blessing of “a ceremony … [with] knobs on” that followed the civil partnership of two men last month.

The Guardian’s religion reporter Riazat Butt writes:

Dudley is the freeholder of St Bartholomew’s, making it virtually impossible for him to be ousted. But he could face procedures which would involve someone proving there had been an irrevocable pastoral breakdown or that Dudley had acted in a manner unbecoming of a clergyman of the Church of England.

Read it all here.


Evening Standard

Rev Martin Dudley was unequivocal. “You can’t sack me because you don’t employ me. As the rector of St Bartholomew the Great, I own the church, I own the freehold, not in the sense that I can sell it, but in the sense that it gives me tenure.”

Speaking to the Evening Standard last night as he stood by the Thames waiting to meet his friend, the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Dr Dudley, 54, was not just content to hide behind the arcane, ancient medieval law – known as Parson’s freehold – that prevents him being fired except in “extreme cases of wrongdoing”.

Read it all. He is, as the saying goes, no stranger to controversy.

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