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Archdeacon resigns after admitting to having an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with woman while claiming he was suffering from ‘spiritual exhaustion’

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  • Paul Thomas resigned from his post and is banned from ministry for three years 

An Archdeacon has resigned after admitting to having an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a woman while he had claimed to be suffering from ‘spiritual exhaustion’.

Paul Thomas, the Archdeacon of Salop, has resigned from his post and been banned from ministry for three years, the Diocese of Lichfield revealed. 

Archdeacon Thomas had stepped away from his duties last September while the diocese investigated a complaint.

The probe revealed he had engaged in the ‘brief, consensual but inappropriate relationship’ during 2022 and early 2023 while he was reportedly experiencing ‘post-Covid depression and spiritual exhaustion’. 

Dr Michael Ipgrave, the Bishop of Lichfield, said he is ‘deeply grieved’ by the situation, but reiterated that the diocese expects the ‘highest standards of personal and professional conduct from our clergy’.

Paul Thomas, the Archdeacon of Salop, has resigned from his post and been banned from ministry for three years, the Diocese of Lichfield revealed

Paul Thomas, the Archdeacon of Salop, has resigned from his post and been banned from ministry for three years, the Diocese of Lichfield revealed

Dr Michael Ipgrave, the Bishop of Lichfield, said he is 'deeply grieved' by the situation, but reiterated that the diocese expects the 'highest standards of personal and professional conduct from our clergy'. Pictured: An aerial view of Lichfield

Dr Michael Ipgrave, the Bishop of Lichfield, said he is ‘deeply grieved’ by the situation, but reiterated that the diocese expects the ‘highest standards of personal and professional conduct from our clergy’. Pictured: An aerial view of Lichfield

The probe revealed that Mr Thomas had engaged in the 'brief, consensual but inappropriate relationship' during 2022 and early 2023 while he was reportedly experiencing 'post-Covid depression and spiritual exhaustion'

The probe revealed that Mr Thomas had engaged in the ‘brief, consensual but inappropriate relationship’ during 2022 and early 2023 while he was reportedly experiencing ‘post-Covid depression and spiritual exhaustion’

Mr Thomas became Archdeacon of Salop in 2011, but his role has been carried out by acting archdeacons since the investigation was launched last year.

The probe was triggered after a complaint was made against him under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

The investigation, overseen by the Bishop of Shrewsbury Sarah Bullock, has now concluded, Dr Ipgrave revealed over the weekend, adding that Mr Thomas had admitted to the relationship.

‘In the Diocese of Lichfield, we expect the highest standards of personal and professional conduct from our clergy,’ said Dr Ipgrave.

The Bishop also disclosed that Mr Thomas ‘consented’ to the penalty of ‘resignation as Archdeacon of Salop and a prohibition from ministry for three years’.

Dr Ipgrave added: ‘I am deeply grieved that Paul’s long service in ministry in this Diocese, which I know has been appreciated over the years by many people, including me, has been marred in this way.’

Mr Thomas will not return as the Archdeacon of Salop. Rev Jo Farnworth and Rev Mary Thomas will serve as acting archdeacons in the district until a permanent replacement is found. 





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