Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Portsmouth rector sacked over abuse allegations

A Portsmouth rector has resigned his living after the Bishop of London suspended him from the ordained ministry for five years for sexual misconduct. On 21 Nov 2016 the Diocese of Portsmouth released a statement saying the Rev Simon Sayers, rector of Rector of Warblington with Emsworth admitted that whilst serving in the 1990s in London he had engaged in conduct unbecome a priest. Mr. Sayers released a statement apologizing for his actions, noting it was a “brief above the waist incident of a sexual nature with someone over the age of consent and a brief kiss two days later.” He acknowledged his “behaviour was wrong and fell below the high standards required of a Christian leader, and I am deeply sorry for the sadness the incident and its investigation has caused.” The diocesan statement said the Church of England received a complaint about Mr. Sayers in April 2015. “Although the police had not pressed criminal charges, the Church of England takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and therefore carried out its own process in accordance with the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.” Mr. Sayers “admitted two sexual incidents with a 16-year-old schoolgirl, and his part in initiating that sexual contact. The Bishop of London – in whose diocese the incidents happened – has found that the Rev Simon Sayers abused his position of trust by engaging in sexual acts with the girl. He engaged in conduct unbecoming a clergy person and inappropriate for a married man. The Rev Simon Sayers has accepted a penalty from the Bishop of London to be prohibited from ministry for a period of five years. During this time he will be unable to work as a member of clergy in the Church of England and has consequently resigned as Rector of Warblington with Emsworth.”


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