You might remember the story of Tom Ambrose, the Cambridge Vicar who has been appearing before a tribunal to see whether there has been pastoral breakdown in his parish (here are some Church Times reports from last year to remind you: 1, 2).
Today’s reports in the Times and Cambridge News are saying that Tom Ambrose is to be sacked – ‘‘Bully’ vicar Tom Ambrose to be sacked‘ was the headline in Ruth Gledhill’s first piece, though later on after she had heard from Tom on the phone (blog link worth reading) the story was softened to ‘Vicar branded a liar and a bully should be sacked, tribunal rules‘. The Cambridge News also has an article.
I have little inside information, but it really does appear from the outside as if justice has not been done. John Pettigrew, an ex-blogger whose opinion I trust who was at the Tribunal, and he says this in Ruth’s comments:
Yes, Tom has lost. Personally, I have little idea why. He’s not always a sensible man, but he is not the monster he’s being painted as. And it is certainly the case that there is no breakdown between “the parish” and the priest. There is a breakdown between certain members of the PCC and the priest, and quite a bit of collateral damage scattered around. At the Tribunal itself, I had the distinct impression that the prosecuting lawyer was simply trying to score points and to unsettle witnesses, rather than the proceedings being a tribunal seeking facts.
The view of most of the “ordinary” parishioners at Trumpington (i.e. those outside the circles of politics that bedevil the parish) seems to be that this has been a power play from the moment Tom arrived in the parish. Neither side is guilt-free, but I am perfectly clear in my own mind where the causes lie, and they’re not with Tom. To dismiss him would be a manifest injustice.
I recommend reading the whole post if you’re interested in more background.
This is the Trumpington church website. I suspect John has something to do with it as he is good with that sort of thing.
Those who pray might like to remember Tom and his wife Gill at this present time.
Update: Reports like this one from HR zone really irritate me:
- They’ve lost the quotes around the word ‘bully’ (as used by the Times) from the headline, thereby telling the reader that the vicar in question is guilty
- The other side of the story isn’t reported, and there is no link to enable the reader to hear the other side of the story.