Bedfordshire vicar suspended after alleged affair
Published: 9th Feb 2010 16:33:26
A vicar has been suspended for six months after his bishop received a complaint about an "inappropriate" relationship with a parishioner.
The Bishop of Hertford Christopher Foster ruled the Reverend Stephen Smith should be banned from clerical duties.
Mr Smith, 54, announced the decision to his congregation at St Mary's Church in Cardington, Bedfordshire.
A Diocese of St Albans spokesman said the complaint about a relationship with a woman was received last August.
The complaint against Mr Smith, team vicar in the Elstow Team Ministry, regarded his conduct towards an adult member of his parish.
It said this was inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders.
Parishioners were told in the parish magazine recently that the vicar had not been taking services because he had been unwell.
His suspension began on 31 January.
"This is a significant penalty," the spokesman said.
"The public and the Church rightly expect the highest standards of behaviour from clergy and take seriously any falling short from these standards.
"The disciplinary powers available exist to deal with these matters with appropriate penalties.
"The penalty remains noted on the record of the priest thereafter."
Some of the congregation lent support to the vicar, who is now married to a different woman.
Church treasurer Mary Carmichael, 76, said: "Lots of people have sex. It's not a crime.
"Reverend Smith is a wonderful vicar who is very well-liked by the congregation. It's his birthday on Thursday and we've all been sending him birthday cards.
"We are very aggrieved about the situation."
The vicar and his wife were said to be upset and distressed by what had happened.
At 11:00:52 in HeadlinesIceland raises warning level to aviation after fresh eruption from fissure near the Bardarbunga volcano
At 10:58:58 in ScotlandA man has been killed when the car he was driving crashed on the A9 near Dalwhinnie.
At 10:58:45 in EnglandA man has been charged with murdering a woman whose body is believed to have lain undiscovered for a month at a house in Greater Manchester.
At 10:55:09 in WalesA south Wales man who was critically injured after being hit by a car near Stonehenge on Friday night has died, say Wiltshire Police.
At 10:49:50 in SportDay one report to follow.
At 10:49:04 in SportDay one report to follow at close of play.
At 10:47:40 in SportDay one report to follow.
At 10:46:56 in SportDay one report to follow.
At 10:45:43 in SportDay one report to follow.
At 10:44:58 in SportDay one report to follow.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Bedfordshire vicar suspended after alleged affair [Online] (Updated 9th Feb 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/35906/Bedfordshire-vicar-suspended-after-alleged-affair [Accessed 31st Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will be switched off in China in October, marking a final end to the 15-year-old service.
Two men have been shot in a pub in Dublin city centre.
Iceland raises warning level to aviation after fresh eruption from fissure near the Bardarbunga volcano
A south Wales man who was critically injured after being hit by a car near Stonehenge on Friday night has died, say Wiltshire Police.
A man has been killed when the car he was driving crashed on the A9 near Dalwhinnie.
British bassist Glenn Cornick, a founding member of British rock band Jethro Tull, has died aged 67.