Christ Church Abingdon
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'Spiritual abuse' vicar banned from ministry for two years

Mon 12 Mar 2018
By Alex Williams

A vicar from Oxford found guilty by a Church of England tribunal of committing spiritual abuse has been barred from holding services for two years.

Leader of Christ Church Abingdon, Rev Timothy Davis was prevented at the weekend from participating in any form of church ministry until March 2020 following the judgement, which is thought to be the first of its kind.

Rev Davis, who is in his 50s, was found guilty by the religious court in December 2017 of abusing his "spiritual power and authority" over a teenager.

 

A spokesman for the Diocese of Oxford said: "The penalty imposed on Tim Davis was that he should cease to hold office with immediate effect, and he now stands prohibited from the exercise of holy orders for a period of two years.

"Should he wish to return to ministry after the period of prohibition then he will be required to undertake a formal risk assessment.
 
"The findings of the tribunal are instructive for anyone still doubting that spiritual abuse exists, and we commend the young man and his family for their courage and grace throughout this process."

The tribunal last year heard how an "intense" mentoring programme Davis embarked upon with a school boy was in breach of the Church of England's safeguarding rules.

Held at Southwark Cathedral in central London, the tribunal was told that Davis maintained a level of contact with the youngster which was inappropriate, including one-to-one private meetings in the youngster's bedroom.

No misconduct of a sexual nature was reported.

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