Stephen Sizer’s open letter to the Bishop of Guildford

To the Bishop of Guildford:

Dear Bishop Andrew,

As a minister of the gospel it is not my role to create controversy but to seek to maintain unity between the faith communities. I therefore very much regret the distress I have caused to the Jewish community, to my church and to you by my actions, for which I take full responsibility. Following the events of the past week, and my meetings with you and the Archdeacon,

I would like to give you and the PCC of Christ Church, Virginia Water a solemn undertaking to refrain from writing or speaking on any theme that relates, directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop. This prohibition will include:

– Attendance at or participation in any conferences that promote or are linked to these themes.

– All writing, tweeting, blogging, emailing, preaching and teaching on these themes, whether formally or informally.

– All background work on these themes which will resource others to act as spokespeople in my stead.

I am grateful for your forbearance in allowing me to continue my work within the parish. I agree that any ministry outside the parish should be subject to consultation with the Archdeacon and the churchwardens. I promise that I will stay within both the letter and the spirit of this undertaking, and – should I break it at any point while serving in any post in the diocese – will offer you my resignation.

I understand that this undertaking will need to be made public, and am content that it should be so.

With all good wishes, and the sincerest apologies,

The Revd Dr Stephen Sizer

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