The former national director of the Church of England’s New Wine network of evangelical and charismatic parishes has been suspended from the ordained ministry by the Bishop of Gloucester for adultery.
The former national director of the Church of England’s New Wine network of evangelical and charismatic parishes has been suspended for two years from the ordained ministry by the Bishop of Gloucester. On 15 June 2016 the Rt. Rev. Rachel Treweek released a statement saying “Following a meeting instigated by Revd Canon Mark Bailey at the end of January, I asked him to step back from his ministry as Team Rector of Trinity Cheltenham and St Paul. The matter concerned an extramarital affair which had just ended.” She stated: “Clergy in the Church of England are expected to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct within their ministry and such behaviour is dishonouring to God and the Church. The matter has therefore been considered under the Clergy Discipline Measure and the process has now been completed. Mark has resigned from his post as Team Rector of his own volition and I have imposed a penalty of a two-year prohibition from exercising any of the functions of an ordained member of clergy in the Church of England. This penalty has Mark’s consent. In imposing this penalty I have sought to acknowledge God’s grace whilst also taking into account the importance of living with consequences – and the need for deep inner reflection with a commitment to address the underlying issues of personal behaviour. All of this has been affirmed by Mark.” In a statement released on 31 Jan 2016 the trustees of New Wine said that it was with “the greatest sadness and regret” that they had accepted his resignation from the board of trustees and the group’s leadership team. Appointed National Director of New Wine in September 2014, Mr. Bailey has served in the ordained ministry for 27 years, the last 20 as rector of Trinity Cheltenham. His resignation comes as a shock to the Church of England’s evangelical community, who took to the internet to express their sorrow, prayers and outrage. The Rev. John Coles, who served as national director from 2001 to 2014 has been appointed interim director of the network.