"In February 2015, Dr Stephen Sizer undertook to refrain from writing or speaking on themes relating to the current situation in the Middle East and to its historical backdrop for as long as he remained a parish priest in the Diocese of Guildford. Until now, this agreement has been upheld in letter and spirit, however Dr Sizer recently attended an event which clearly engages in these themes, and around which there has subsequently been understandable controversy. Additionally, Dr Sizer published a social media post relating to the event, also contravening his agreement.
Dr Sizer has already given notice of his resignation as vicar of Virginia Water from Easter 2017, and said that he attended the event in question on the understanding that our agreement no longer stood now that his resignation had been tendered. This is certainly not the case. I have spoken with Dr Sizer to make clear that I am disappointed by his actions and to clarify that our agreement categorically must run until the end of his tenure of office.
Dr Sizer is aware how seriously I view this and has stated to me that it was not his intention to break the agreement which he has upheld until now. However, with its terms now clarified beyond any doubt, Dr Sizer has been warned that any further breach of the agreement must result in his tenure of office ending with immediate effect." [Emphasis added]
|Time to de-friend John Hannah and Harriet, vicar.|
"Stephen Sizer has breached the terms of the undertakings he gave to the Church of England by attending and publishing a social media post about a particularly ugly and inflammatory event with Jenny Tonge in the chair. Tonge was subsequently suspended from the Liberal Democrat Party as a result.
The terms of Sizer’s agreement – drawn up after he repeatedly shared antisemitic material on social media – required him to refrain from writing or speaking on themes relating to the current situation in the Middle East and to its historical backdrop for as long as he remained a parish priest in the Diocese of Guildford. By attending an event where the audience is alleged to have applauded the suggestion that Jews were responsible for the Holocaust, he clearly flouted the agreement, earning him a stinging public rebuke from his bishop in the Diocese of Guildford. The Bishop’s statement makes it clear that while Sizer intends to leave his post in 2017, his ability to reach that date by his own accord now hangs by a thread.
Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl said: “A repeat offender in the trafficking of antisemitic slurs, the ‘soon-to-be-ex’ clergyman Stephen Sizer has spectacularly flouted his written undertaking to the Church of England by attending an event filled with toe-curling antisemitism. If he had any shred of decency, Sizer would have fulfilled the terms of the agreement and tendered his resignation with immediate effect. He now guarantees that he will end his clerical career under a cloud. The sad irony that this divisive figure is moving on to a charity called ‘Peacemaker Mediators’ is not lost on us.” [Emphasis added]I guess that until his resignation on Easter Sunday the vicar will stop pressing the "Like" button on other Israel-bashers' social media posts, then, as in this "Like" regarding a comment from Baroness Tonge disparaging pro-Israel commenters who have taken to countering her anti-Israel observations on Facebook: