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.”