‘Antisemite’ vicar in Board of Deputies complaint

The Board of Deputies has made an unprecedented formal complaint to the Church of England over the conduct of a controversial Anglican vicar.

Reverend Stephen Sizer is accused by the Board of “conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders”.

It is understood the complaint will trigger action under the clergy disciplinary process set out by Parliament.

A dossier of evidence charts what the Board says is antisemitic material which Rev Sizer has posted online or passed to contacts in the last two-and-a-half years.

The Church of Scotland has meanwhile stood by plans for Rev Sizer to speak at a conference it is co-organising on Friday, after a separate complaint from the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (ScoJeC).

Rev Sizer is due to discuss the roots of Christian Zionism at the Balfour Project conference at Edinburgh’s Quaker Meeting House.

The event marks the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

SCoJeC wrote to the Church of Scotland last week claiming allowing Rev Sizer to speak “would be perceived as highly offensive throughout the Jewish community”.

Ephraim Borowski, SCoJeC director, claimed that Rev Sizer had had repeated invited accusations of “Holocaust denial, right-wing extremism, and unabashed antisemitism”.

But Rev John Chalmers, principal clerk of the Church of Scotland, said: “We agree that antisemitism must be confronted. However we believe that SCoJeC are misguided in their allegations about Rev Sizer”.

• Full story at the Jewish Chronicle.