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Monday, 24 November 2014

Married Priest Sacked For Having Sex With Church Member

Vicar sacked for having sex with parishoner

A married vicar has been sacked after having an affair with one of his parishioners.

The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, had sex with the woman in a courtyard after meeting her in a bar – three days after he was ordained as a priest.

The pair exchanged as many as 80 texts a day, many of them filled with sexual innuendo, over three months.

However, they slept together on only two occasions.

The woman, who he was mentoring, accused him of rape, which he denied, and the case was dropped after a police investigation.

Mr Vincent, who worked at St Giles church in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, told The Sunday Telegraph he had made a ‘huge, stupid mistake’. He said: ‘In one day I lost my home, my job, and in some ways I nearly lost my family as well. It is the thing I regret most in my life.’

Mr Vincent has been banned from working as a priest for eight years following a hearing by a Lichfield diocese disciplinary panel over the affair that took place in 2012.

His family are also facing eviction from their home, which is owned by the Church of England.

However, his wife Erin, 30, with whom he has three young children, is standing by him. She described her husband as an ‘amazing’ person who ‘made some silly decisions’.

A spokesman for the Lichfield diocese said Mr Vincent had ‘betrayed his wife, his family and his church’.

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