PRESS STATEMENT: Stephen Sizer Penalty Judgment

PRESS STATEMENT: Stephen Sizer Penalty Judgment

30 January 2023

Statement from the Acting Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Debbie Sellin

The Acting Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Debbie Sellin, has received the penalty judgment of the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Winchester following the finding that the Revd Dr Stephen Sizer has committed misconduct under the Clergy Discipline Measure. The Tribunal follows a complaint made to the Diocese of Winchester in 2018 by Mrs van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

It is the Church of England’s task to lead in the work of enabling mutual understanding and strong, peaceable inter-faith relationships for the common good of society, and its ministers must take very seriously their role in initiating positive relationships between communities, locally, at diocesan and regional level, as well as nationally and internationally.

Moreover, as a report from the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission affirms, the Christian-Jewish relationship should be viewed as a ‘gift of God to the Church’ to be received with care, respect and gratitude. As Archbishop Justin Welby said in 2018, in a joint letter with other Christian and Jewish leaders, antisemitism has no place in our society and those in positions of power and influence must listen to concerns about it.

The penalty of prohibition until December 2030 reflects the seriousness of the misconduct found by the Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s misconduct finding can be found here: