Fighting Father Rev David Smith has vowed to defend his wife against legal action initiated by the Anglican diocese of Sydney.
Angela Smith. who runs the Holy Trinity School of Martial Arts in Dulwich Hill with her pastor-husband, has been entangled in a civil suit through a simple receipt.
About two years ago a class member broke his leg and has now begun legal action.
Initially the injured person made a claim against the Anglican Church Property Trust, which is the legal owner of the property where the classes are conducted.
But on December 18, the insurance company defending the claim served legal papers on Mrs Smith stating she would be joined in the claim because the injured person had a receipt of payment signed by her.
However, Rev Smith said while the injured person undertook classes run by the registered school, he was not in one of these lessons at the time of the incident.
In fact, he was in a free lesson instructed by friend, who is not employed by the school but does use the church site as part of an agreement with the Smiths.
Rev Smith gained the nickname “fighting father” for his participation in boxing and martial arts contests to raise funds for his Duiwich Hill centre which often helps troubled young people.
We have insured ourselves but it’s unlikely our insurance company is going to want to take responsibility for classes we didn’t take,” he said. Rev Smith said he now found himself with two options, to fight the church or declare bankruptcy. “I can’t see myself fighting the church, it doesn’t seem right.” If declared bankrupt he may be defrocked. In a statement, Archeacon Geoff Huard said the church would offer the Smith family pastoral support.