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GOD IS NOT MY BOSS; Rev appeals to the Lords.

Byline: By Donna Watson

A FORMER Kirk minister yesterday challenged a legal ruling that she was effectively employed by God.

Helen Percy claims she was forced out of her job after being accused of having an affair with a married church elder.

Yesterday, she took her sex discrimination case to the House of Lords in a bid to overturn rulings at an employment tribunal and the Court of Session.

Percy, 39, had been told that she was an officebearer, not an employee of the Church of Scotland. She claims sex discrimination.

In her statement to the law lords, Percy said the Kirk "had not taken similar action against male ministers who have had and are having extra-marital sexual relations."

Yesterday, she admitted having sex with the man once.

Percy's case dates back to 1997, when she was an associate minister in the Presbytery of Angus. She was advised to leave the Kirk after an in-house investigation into her alleged affair.

Percy, who was minister to six parishes around Kilry in Perthshire, claimed she was raped by the elder but he was cleared after a police probe.

Her application for sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal was dismissed in September 1998. Her appeal to the Court of Session was rejected in March 2001.

Both findings related to the Church of Scotland Act 1921, which gave the Kirk power to rule and discipline itself.

Percy claims that was superseded by the Equal Treatment Directive of 1976.

Susan O'Brien, QC, for Percy, said: "Earlier hearings failed to implement the European directive which provides that men and women must be treated equally at work. " The hearing continues

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CONTROVERSY: Helen; Percy and our 1997 story
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 25, 2005
Words:281
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