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World News

Minister banned for five years after inappropriate relationship

by Premier Journalist

A married priest, who admitted to "inappropriate conduct" with a female parishioner, has been excluded from ministry for five years.

Rev Peter Lambert, a self-supporting Church of England minister who worked with a number of Hampshire churches, is reported to have plied a woman with gifts making her feel “special and wanted”, according to Portsmouth newspaper The News.

The woman, who suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder, told them she had an intense short-lived relationship with Rev Lambert last year, during which he bought her and her children gifts and took them for days out.

She brought an end to the relationship, complained to the diocese and Rev Lambert was told he will “not be able to lead church services or act as clergy for five years”, according to the Diocese of Portsmouth.

A spokesperson for the diocese said: “The Rev Peter Lambert was the subject of a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure. The complaint was of conduct inappropriate for a clergy person.

“Peter has admitted this inappropriate conduct. The penalty, which was determined by the Bishop of Portsmouth, is a five-year prohibition from ministry in the Church of England, from May 2022. This means he is not able to lead church services or act as a clergy person during that time. After this period of prohibition, a risk assessment will be carried out before Peter is able to resume ministry.”

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