TWO "conciliators" have been appointed by the Bishop of
Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, to attempt to resolve a
complaint by the Board of Deputies of British Jews against a
In October last year, the board lodged a complaint under the
Clergy Discipline Measure against the Vicar of Christ Church,
Virginia Water, in Surrey, the Revd Dr Stephen Sizer. The board
said that Dr Sizer had made statements that it regarded as
"anti-Semitic", and "posted internet links to articles on racist
and anti-Semitic websites".
The Crown Prosecution Service investigated a complaint last year
that Dr Sizer had posted a link on his Facebook page to a website
that had anti-Semitic content. The CPS concluded that Dr Sizer had
not committed a criminal offence (News, 4 May
Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Professor Emeritus of Judaism at the
University of Wales, wrote to Bishop Hill last year, saying that
accusations that Dr Sizer was an anti-Semite were "completely
without foundation" (
News, 13 April 2012).
A statement issued by Guildford diocese on Monday of last week
said that both the Board of Deputies and Dr Sizer had "recently
accepted the Bishop of Guildford's proposal of 'conciliation' as
provided for by the Clergy Discipline Measure. He has asked for the
process to be concluded within three months."
Two conciliators - one Jewish, and one Christian - had been
nominated by Bishop Hill, and agreed by Dr Sizer and the Board, the
A spokesman for Guildford diocese said: "While it would be
inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage until the
process is complete, this development clearly represents important
progress, given that the aim of conciliation under the Measure is
to achieve a positive and constructive outcome, with expert
support, through dialogue."
The Board said in a statement that it was "more than happy to
test whether the complaint can be satisfactorily resolved by