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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 08:12 GMT
Church reveals decision over sacked vicar
Mr and Mrs Brown
Mr and Mrs Brown held a news conference in their home
The Church of England is due to reveal its official decision on the appeal by a priest who was sacked over allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

The Reverend Harry Brown pre-empted the Church by announcing on Tuesday he had lost his appeal and his career in the church was over.

Mr Brown, 49, was sacked by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Reverend Graham Dow, in September 2001 following the allegations by parishoners.

He had appealed to the Archbishop of York after his licence to preach in the parishes of Crosscrake and Preston Patrick was revoked.

His wife Lynn, 50, said on Tuesday the ecclesiastical tribunal, which was held in September last year and January this year, had found all the allegations proved.

She told a news conference at The Vicarage in Crosscrake, near Kendal, her husband was not allowed to reveal the findings until the Church officially announced them on Wednesday.

Allegations denied

In her statement Mrs Brown said: "The Archbishop of York, on the evidence presented to him, has decided that he should uphold the decision of the Bishop of Carlisle."

"Once again we both deny the allegations made against Harry.

"The bottom line is as Harry stated... two years ago he never expected to win the case as the establishment always backs the establishment."

Mrs Brown said she and her husband presented evidence connected with an appeal, but the church treated it like a trial.

Legal advice

She said: "We would point out the similarities of the stories and how they [the victims] presented them in court in a similar fashion although the Archbishop rejects this and concludes this argument is part of Harry's deception.

"I can only say that that is his opinion and he is the judge, jury and hangman."

Mr Brown said he would be meeting his legal team on Friday to discuss his next move.

He said he had been told he has three months before he has to leave his home.

Dismissed clergyman appeals
04 Sep 02 |  England

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