A vicar has been told he cannot claim unfair dismissal because he is “employed by God”.

Reverend Mark Sharpe alleges he was forced out of his position after receiving abuse from local parishioners and he maintains the church in Teme Valley South, near Tenbury Wells, didn’t give him enough support.

His claim was initially being supported by the Unite union, however lawyers for the Diocese of Worcester say he cannot sue because he is “employed by God” and the Lord cannot be sued.

Ecclesiastical laws state clergy employees are office holders taken on by God.

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