Windward Islands archdeacon suspended for misconduct

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A former Diocese of Central Florida priest has had his license revoked by the Diocese of the Windward Islands after he confessed to charges of gross misconduct while serving in St Lucia.

The Ven. Jonathan Weekes, who served as rector of St Simon the Cyrene Episcopal Church in Fort Pierce from 1995 to 2013, and then as Archdeacon of the Windward Islands from 2014 until his retirement this year, was banned from functioning by the Rt. Rev. Leopold Friday, Bishop of the Windward Islands.

Bishop Friday told the congregation the congregation of St George’s Cathedral in Kingstown on 7 Nov 2021 that he had received a complaint alleging Archdeacon Weekes had committed acts of gross misconduct in the mid 1980’s while he was serving as priest in charge of Grace River Doree/St Paul’s Anglican Churches, St Lucia.

“Upon receipt of [the] complaint in writing, we forthwith invited the former Archdeacon Weekes to meet with us at Diocesan Office, Anglican Pastoral Centre, New Montrose, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines to address the complaint on Monday 1st November, 2021. At the meeting, we presented former Archdeacon Weeks with a copy of the complaint which he read. We then asked him to say whether the contents of the complaint were true. He responded in the affirmative and we sought advice from the Diocesan Chancellor and former Archdeacon Weekes was asked to suspend all ministry immediately,” the bishop’s statement said.

“Former Archdeacon Weekes has subsequently submitted a letter giving notice of his retirement with effect from 1st November, 2021 in which he also formally acknowledged the veracity of the complaint. Due to the very serious nature of the complaint and being a matter which is repugnant to the responsibilities and vows of a priest and which the Church regards as abhorrent and does not condone, we the Bishop of the Diocese of the Windward Islands revoked our General License with effect from November 1, 2021.”

Archdeacon Weekes may request a trial before a diocesan court, or submit to the bishop’s discipline, which may range from a temporary suspension of ministry to removal from holy orders.

The case is on-going.