An Anglican vicar has been banned for life for having an intimate affair with a married parishioner who came to him for pastoral support.
The Rev. Simon Sayers, who was a vicar for over 30 years, received a permanent ban from a Church of England through a disciplinary tribunal in the Diocese of Portsmouth last week.
Sayers, who pastored at a parish in Warblington with Emsworth, was already serving a six-year suspension in 2016 for two “sexual incidents” with a 16-year-old girl in 1995, which drew a police investigation at the time but no criminal charges were filed.
According to the tribunal’s decision, media reports surrounding Sayers suspension in 2016 led to further accusations being made against him.
According to the document, Sayers was also accused of having a “sexual relationship” with the unnamed married woman in the fall of 2010, where he allegedly sent the woman “sexually explicit texts” and failed to maintain professional boundaries.
In a 2017 letter sent to the president of tribunals, Sayers called the affair “brief but shameful.”
“We were both facing painful issues, and mutual comfort and support strayed appallingly into an affair,” Sayers allegedly wrote in the letter. “I can offer no excuse, only my profound sorrow for betraying my wife and my calling once more, after that terrible incident in 1995.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith