In a judgment handed down by a Church of England tribunal in London, Rev Dr Stephen Sizer has been prohibited from carrying out the duties of an ordained minister for twelve years. But since he has been suspended from ministry since 2018, the penalty expires in December 2030.
It was in December 2022 that the long-serving vicar of Virginia Water in Surrey was found guilty of antisemitic activity specifically relating to a post containing a link to an article blaming Israel for 9/11.
The tribunal further concluded that in four of eleven allegations of antisemitism (all of which he denied), the 68-year-old priest’s conduct was “unbecoming to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders” in that he “provoked and offended the Jewish community over a sustained period.”
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) January 30, 2023
He was also found to have shared a platform with a Holocaust denier and had admitted meeting senior Hezbollah commander Sheikh Kaouk in 2006, claiming to have advised him to release captured Israeli soldiers.
Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews who brought the case against the vicar, told the Jewish Chronicle: “I am pleased that the tribunal has made an unambiguous statement in banning Stephen Sizer…this is the correct decision,” adding that she was looking forward to a continued strong and close relationship with the church in the coming years.
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