Clergyman sues two bishops over reference that cost him job

London's High Court

A clergyman has issued a writ against two Church of England bishops under data protection laws over information in a reference, according to a report today.

Dr Jonathan Morshead Knight says a bishop passed on untrue information in a reference claiming that he had been "drunk in bed when he should have been taking services," according to The Sun. Another bishop also passed on a "blue file" containing sensitive information about him, he claims.

An offer of a £51,000 job as higher education adviser at the Archbishops' Council was then withdrawn.

Dr Knight, 56, who stopped drinking a decade ago, is suing the office of the Bishop of Ely and the office of the Bishop of Oxford. The High Court writ does not name the individual bishops.

In the writ, according to The Sun, Dr Knight says he was ordained in 1998 and later became chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford, a job he left in 2003 to carry out academic research.

Barrister Philip Coppel told The Sun: "The blue file included information that was neither accurate nor up to date."

Dr Knight is seeking compensation for distress, loss of earnings and future pension.

Christian Today has reached out to the Church of England for comment.