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Huntington Beach rector defrocked for misconduct

Michael Archer deposed for violating pastoral directive during financial investigation

The rector of St Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach, Cal., has been deposed from the ordained ministry by the Bishop of Los Angeles for misconduct. 

On 16 Nov 2018, the congregation was informed the Rt. Rev. John Taylor had deposed the Rev. Michael Archer after he violated a pastoral directive issued after charges of financial misconduct were raised against the Orange County rector.

On 2 Sept 2018 the wardens of St Wilfrid of York, Joan Pashley-Baynes and Allison Hainlen, wrote to the congregation saying the bishop was investigating allegations of Archer’s having improperly accounted for expense and discretionary accounts. Bishop Taylor placed Archer on administrative leave on 29 Aug, telling the Orange County Register “Canon Archer has promised to cooperate fully,” and adding: “Under the Episcopal Church’s canons, respondents are presumed to be innocent until the facts show otherwise.” 

However, Archer declined to follow the bishop’s instructions and attempted to communicate with parishioners about the financial misconduct allegations. The 16 Nov letter further noted that subsequent investigations found Archer had not been entirely straight forward in stating the circumstances of his having left the ministry of the Church of the Nazarene.

Archer served the ministry of the Church of the Nazarene for twenty years before being ordained deacon and priest by Bishop J. Jon Bruno in 2008. He has been serving as rector of St Wilfrid of York for the past ten years, and at the time of his suspension was a member of the Diocesan Standing Committee, an area dean and honorary canon of the Los Angeles cathedral.

As of our going to press, the diocese has not released a statement on the deposition through its website.

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