MP support fund

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Raised by 571 people in 3 months
I have set up this website on behalf of the friends and colleagues of Martyn Percy, head of one of Oxford’s largest Colleges, and a Church of England Cathedral Dean.  This is revised version of the 'story' to reflect what has been in the media

The press has carried a number of accounts of what is happening to Martyn Percy. As Martyn has made no public comments, here are summaries of three reports.

It is claimed the college’s academics have been ‘combing the statutes’ of Christ Church – founded by Henry VIII in 1546 – to find legal justification to get rid of Prof Percy…One way the plotters believe they can force him out is through a formal complaint…That complaint will now be judged by an internal tribunal. Prof Percy, 56, is also said to have received a stream of legal letters that an insider said risked ‘financially breaking him’ after he was forced to hire his own lawyers. The insider added: “It’s a tragedy, embarrassing and a disgrace.” Mail on Sunday

The tribunal process itself raises further questions about governance. It is understood that Dr Percy was given no opportunity to challenge any of the evidence against him…a college insider said: “Chapter and Governing Body did not invite the Dean to give any response to the complaint, or put forward any documents of his own before making their decision.” Church Times

The Bishop of Buckingham fears Percy is being “hounded out” for taking “the costly path of reform” rather than seeking a “quiet life”. His lawyers have raised concerns he has been bullied, saying he has been ostracized forced to run up large legal bills. Sunday Times

It appears therefore that Martyn’s position is a uniquely powerless one. It takes just seven complainants under the statutes of the college to request a tribunal to remove the Dean of Christ Church. Three strange steps appear to have led to this position.
First, the Dean was offered no proper investigation, at which evidence from both sides could be heard, read and weighed.

Second, there was no disciplinary hearing in which he could defend any allegations made against him.

Third, to avoid unnecessary conflict, processes of genuine mediation should always happen. Such mediation is entered into in good faith by both parties - rather than being used as a means to coerce and expedite a virtually immediate resignation, which is increasingly common in workplaces today.

In any normal place of work, a Tribunal would be the very final stage: and only if the investigation, disciplinary procedures and mediation had all failed. In Martyn’s case, the first three stages did not fail: it seems they were not really attempted.

Under the college statutes, the Dean has no grievance procedure available to him either, so he can’t complain about the treatment give him. Consequently, he can do nothing about the bullying and harassment he has received. Under natural justice any person should have rights. But the Martyn doesn’t.

Finally, the Dean seems to have no right to free speech. To defend himself, he has to find his own legal costs. His speech is not free. If you think this is unjust, then please help the support fund.
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Dear donors and friends of Martyn,
As promised, here is a further update on events concerning Martyn and the progress in setting up the Tribunal.
As many of you may have seen, The Times carried a recent piece on the case, which you may find interesting - the weblink is below. Some four months after the original allegations, the College has now finally confirmed that the issues do not involve any safeguarding matter:
Despite the College claiming that the conduct of the Dean amounts to “immoral, scandalous and disgraceful behaviour”, the Bishop of Oxford confirmed last year that the complaints would not require investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure, and that the dispute is about governance. The Tribunal at which the Dean is to defend himself is now scheduled for June and July.
Now that Martyn has been granted a Permission to Officiate licence by the Bishop of Oxford – confirming him as a priest of good standing, and a person of integrity and probity – he has resumed preaching and teaching engagements. It remains the case that the only place where he is barred from ministering is the Cathedral. As the Dean can now preach and teach more widely – but not in Christ Church – a number of you have been asking for further details of his engagements. I will continue to refresh this page periodically, but recent and upcoming dates are:
• Martyn preached for Candlemas at Trinity College Chapel, Oxford, at Evensong on February 3rd.
• Thursday 7th – evening: attending Guest Lecture and Dinner at Green-Templeton College.
• On Saturday February 9th – hosting/facilitating a day for the Church of the Holy Family, Blackbird Leys (see: http://www.holyfamilybbl.co.uk/).
• On Sunday February 10th – Martyn is preaching at Saint Michael and All Angels, Lambourn, Berkshire at 10.30am (Eucharist).
• Tuesday 12th February – Bampton Lectures, University Church (see: https://www.universitychurch.ox.ac.uk/content/bampton-lectures-2019).
• Thursday 14th February – Sociology of Religion lecture (Faculty).
• Sunday 17th February – “In Conversation”, noon, University Church.
• Tuesday 19th February – Bampton Lectures, University Church (see: https://www.universitychurch.ox.ac.uk/content/bampton-lectures-2019).
• Thursday 21st February – Sociology of Religion lecture (Faculty).
• Sunday 24th February – 11am, Chapel Service at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
• Sunday 24th February, 5.30pm – preaching the University Sermon on “The Grace of Humility” as University College.
• Monday 25th February, evening – Said Business School Event.
• Tuesday 26th February – continuation of Said Business School event.
• Tuesday 26th February, 7.30pm – Speaking on “Faith and Culture” at Severn Forum, Cheltenham.
• Wednesday 27th February – Lecture at King’s College London.
• Thursday 28th February - Sociology of Religion lecture (Faculty).
• Sunday March 3rd – Church of the Holy Family, Blackbird Leys.
Martyn, his family and friends remain deeply grateful for your support, good wishes and prayers. It maybe that some people want to be able to express their support directly to him, and Martyn is happy to see individual supporters at these events.
With thanks to everyone for your continuing support and donations,
Tom Keighley (appeal co-ordinator)
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Dear Donors and friends of Martyn,
A number of you have approached since the New Year for an update, and asked what the implications are for Martyn in terms of his public engagements. The following is an attempt to answer both areas of interest: -

Now that Martyn has been re-affirmed as a priest of good standing, he has been granted a Permission to Officiate licence by the Bishop of Oxford. This means he can resume preaching and teaching across the Diocese of Oxford, the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion. It is only the Cathedral at Christ Church where he is prohibited from doing so. This prohibition follows the decision of the Governing Body of Christ Church to suspend Martyn from all his Decanal duties, despite the lack of an open and fair investigation into the issues he raised on governance. The suspension, in force since November 2018, was implemented without the Dean being given any chance to address the issues or defend himself. The Tribunal at which the Dean is to defend himself is now scheduled for late Spring or early Summer.
However, as the Dean can now preach and teach more widely – but not in Christ Church – a number of you have been asking for details of his engagements. I will refresh this page periodically, but recent and upcoming dates are:
Sunday 6th January, 10.30am – Dean preaching and presiding at Dorchester Abbey for Feast of the Epiphany.
Thursday 10th January, 10.30am – Lecture for Hereford Diocese School of Theology, Ludlow.
Wednesday 16th January, 11am – Lecture for Doctoral and Master’s programme at King’s College, London.
Thursday 17th January, 3.30pm Sociology of Religion Lecture, Theology/Religions Faculty, Oxford.
Friday 18th January, 6.30pm – Attending function at All Saints’, Cuddesdon.
Tuesday 22nd- Sunday 27th January – lecturing in the USA (Yale and Washington DC) – including keynote address on the Christian Socialism of Percy Dearmer.
Monday 28th January – address in London: theological perspectives on cathedrals and their ministry.
Thursday 31st January - 3.30pm Sociology of Religion Lecture, Theology/Religions Faculty, Oxford.
Friday 1st – Saturday 2nd February – Liverpool: keynote address for conference on mission and ecclesiology (Modern Church Union).
Sunday 3rd, 6pm – Preaching at Trinity College, Oxford, for Candlemas.
Some of these events at least will provide an opportunity for people to meet with Martyn and express their views and support directly to him.
With thanks for your continuing support,
Tom Keighley (Fund raising co-ordinator)
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Dear Donors,
Since my update earlier today, I have received the following email which it is easiest to let you have in full.

Dear Tom,
I would be most grateful if you could correct the grave error in your update that Martyn was suspended from his role by the Bishop of Oxford. As the answers to the PQs make clear, the Dean's role is held in unity at ChCh, the Bishop of Oxford did not suspend Martyn (or have any role in the decision).
With thanks,
Steven Buckley
Director of Communications
Diocese of Oxford

My apologies for any confusion.
Tom Keighley (Appeals Co-ordinator)
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Dear Donors and concerned friends of Martyn,
I am writing to update you before Christmas.
First, I understand that the Tribunal is planned to be held in late spring or early summer. In view of this, the page will remain open, as people continue to request news, to express the wish to donate, and there is now six months of legal preparation to fund, rather than just a few.
Second, the case continues to attract public attention. Some may have seen the piece in the Spectator on 8th December by Charles Moore. This is the weblink: -
Also, two Parliamentary Questions were reported on 10th December. These are the weblinks: -
If you cannot access them, please get in touch via the GoFundMe site, and I will forward the downloaded text. I hope that this public exposure reassures all of you about the concerns in the wider community that are felt about the situation as it unfolds at Christchurch
Third, as donations continue (the fund is approaching £64,000.00 as I write), the remote date of the Tribunal, and the continuing stream of requests for more information, we have decided to keep the fund open. Most of all, this maintains a way of communicating about developments and answering questions that may arise.
Finally, some good news! After the shock of Martyn being suspended from his role as Dean in the Cathedral by the Bishop of Oxford, he has now been given Permission to Officiate (PTO). This means that he can now minister across the Diocese of Oxford, the wider Church of England, the Anglican Communion, etc. Martyn plans to re-enter his ministry from January 1st, 2019. To make the obvious point, he just can't minister at all in the Cathedral.
Once more with thanks for your generosity and concern, and wishing you every blessing in this Holy Season,
Tom Keighley (Appeal Co-Ordinator)
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