jump to navigation

Church retirement rules upheld in the Bahamas, The Church of England Newspaper, March 7, 2010 March 24, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Canon Law, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.

Senior Justice Jon Isaac

First published in The Church of England Newspaper

The Bahamian Supreme Court has rejected a petition to throw out the mandatory retirement canons of the Diocese of the Bahamas.

On March 3 Senior Justice Jon Isaac (pictured) discharged the injunction that had prevented Bishop Laish Boyd from removing 72-year old Archdeacon Etienne Bowleg from office as rector of Holy Trinity Church in Nassau, and dismissed the archdeacon’s appeal.

In his petition Archdeacon Bowleg argued the failure of the diocese to gazette, or give formal legal notice by publishing the canons in a journal of legal record, of the changes to its canons providing for mandatory retirement, rendered it void.

A similar case had been brought against the Diocese of Barbados by the Rev. Edward Gatherer, rector of St Andrew’s parish, who argued that when the Church of England was disestablished in 1969, the reorganized diocese failed to gazette its new retirement canons making them void.

The case of Gomez v Gatherer eventually came before the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Privy Council which held in 1992 the diocese had failed to follow its rules of procedure and was barred from enforcing canons not properly enacted. Fr. Gatherer, now 87 years of age, currently remains in office as priest in charge of St Andrews.

In last week’s case, Justice Isaac dismissed the archdeacon’s appeal without proceeding to the merits of his case after the diocese submitted a copy of the Deed of Institution naming Archdeacon Bowleg as rector of Holy Trinity which stated he “served at the pleasure of the bishop.”

As an ‘at will’ employee of the bishop, Archdeacon Bowleg had no standing to contest his dismissal, the court found, declining to address the constitutionality of the diocesan canons.

Bishop Boyd told the Nassau Guardian he was pleased with the ruling, while retired Archbishop Drexel Gomez said he too was pleased the issue had been “resolved for the sake of the church and for general order.”


1. bel sadler - February 6, 2011

today is a big day for me to write you, and if I do not know you, but excuse me, I think we know what the museum our brothers and sisters are facing in Haiti, my name is BEL SADLER, a Haitian, I live in a small zone called TITANYEN, things are really difficult for me to Haiti, I have no father, my mother alone, she’s jobless, because there is no job. We can not eat, we sleep well, because we have no home, just writing to help me change my face in Haiti, that God put in your hand to help me, help me, because I know you will not lose this When you help someone in need, I’m counting on your presence, I will pray for you, God bless you more. For information you can write me at this email: belsadler@yahoo.fr
Phone Number: 509 3624 1314
Thank you very much

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: