Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Marriage advice vicar had affair

A vicar who had an affair with a woman to whom he was giving marriage guidance has been banned from the church.

Andrew Gair, former rector of St Mary's, Debden, Essex, "kissed and touched" the unidentified woman "intimately in a sexual manner".

A church tribunal in west London heard the affair blossomed in 2005.

The Bishop of Chelmsford said the church would maintain the highest standards expected by parishioners. Mr Gair was banned for seven years.

The pair shared long countryside walks but never had "penetrative sex", the tribunal was told.

Clear action

Church authorities became involved after the woman's husband, identified only as Mr X, became suspicious about Mr Gair's relationship with his wife.

Mr X also went to Mr Gair for advice about his marriage and the tribunal, which concluded last week, found the conduct of Mr Gair, who was also married, was "unbecoming and inappropriate".

A "very serious aggravating factor" was the fact Mr Gair pursued a relationship with the woman at a time when he was "purporting" to counsel her husband.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Reverend John Gladwin, said: "The Church of England has the highest expectations of those who have the tremendous privilege and responsibility of holding office as clergy in our parishes.

"When individuals abuse that position, the church has to take clear action to show that the behaviour is unacceptable."

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'Swinger' claim vicar defrocked
11 Nov 08 |  Northamptonshire
Vicars 'are not employed by God'
29 Sep 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Abuse images warning over vicar
26 Sep 08 |  Mid Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific