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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 12:19 GMT
Priest disqualified after affair
Bath Abbey
Rev Simon Oberst resigned from his post at Bath Abbey
The former Rector of Bath Abbey has been disqualified from practising as a priest after having an affair.

The Reverend Simon Oberst, 46, resigned from his post as Rector in November following a complaint about his behaviour towards two women.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Price, said Mr Oberst's behaviour had fallen short of that expected of him.

Mr Oberst has apologised unreservedly for the hurt caused.

A statement from the Bishop said: "The Censure of Deprivation was imposed by consent, Mr Oberst having acknowledged that his conduct towards two women fell short of the conduct required of a priest in Holy Orders."

Bishop 'saddened'

The married father-of-two, a singer and music lover and a Cambridge graduate, admitted at a Church of England hearing on Friday that he had made advances to two women in his parish.

One refused his approaches, the other accepted and an affair followed.

The Rev John Andrews, spokesman for the Diocese, paid tribute on Saturday to Mr Oberst's hard work during the two-and-a-half years he had held the post.

He said: "He did a lot of good work for the parish.

"It is so sad that the talent he has has not been fully fulfilled. The Bishop is greatly saddened by the events."

The process of appointing a replacement rector has begun but could take several months.


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