Anglican priest Edward Gatherer who successfully fought against his compulsory retirement at age 65 has tendered his resignation as the incumbent priest of St Andrew’s Parish Church at age 89.
He served at St Andrew’s for 55 years and Archbishop Dr John Holder has bestowed on him the title of Honorary Canon.
Gatherer’s resignation, which takes effect on March 27, closing active ministry of more than 60 years to the Anglican Church in Barbados.
Almost 20 years ago, Gatherer sued the diocese for wrongful dismissal and the case was taken as far as Britain’s Privy Council which ruled in his favour. The Privy Council determined that there was no legal requirement compelling the church to retire priests at age 65.
Gatherer claimed $12 million damages but was awarded $200 000 by the court.
After a two-year absence, Gatherer returned to St Andrew’s Parish Church, vowing he would not leave until God took his last breath.
Yesterday Archbishop Dr John Holder told the WEEKEND?NATION that the title of Honorary Canon had been bestowed on Father Gatherer “in appreciation of his 60 years of ministry in the diocese”.
“I think that he has made a contribution to the diocese and he takes his ministry and his priesthood very seriously.
“I think in light of all that he has done, it was fitting to recognise him as an honorary canon as opposed to those Canons who hold stalls in the St Michael’s Cathedral,” Holder stated.
The archbishop likened the title of Honorary Canon to that of the MBE awarded in recognition of work done in the community and he said Gatherer had done “a lot of work in the diocese of St Andrew”.
Canon Gatherer will preside over his last service at St Andrews Parish Church on March 27. He will be succeeded by the Reverend Allan Jones.