Dean to stand trial accused of adultery

The Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, the Very Rev Brandon Jackson, is to stand trial in a church court accused of adultery. It is the latest in a series of extraordinary events that have befallen the cathedral over the last seven years.

Mr Jackson, 60, who is married with three adult children, said yesterday: "This is a ridiculous allegation, and my conscience is clear before God."

The decision to charge the dean was made after the Bishop of Lincoln and a specially chosen solicitor had examined the evidence. The bishop said yesterday in a statement: "Certain allegations have been made against the dean by a lady member of the Cathedral congregation. The lady alleges that - with her own full consent and indeed encouragement - the Dean engaged in an improper, albeit brief, sexual relationship with her in the latter part of 1993."

If found guilty, Mr Jackson can be defrocked. He could have been suspended until the trial, but the bishop has chosen not to do this. However, he will take leave of absence until the hearing, which is expected some time in the next three months.

The case will be heard in front of the Chancellor of the diocese, His Honour Judge Michael Goodman, assisted by two lay and two clerical assessors. Mr Jackson strenuously denies the claims, which were first made in February last year.

The dean has been charged under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure of 1963, which has been generally criticised as cumbersome and expensive. The last contested trial of a clergyman for adultery ended up costing the Church more than £300,000 in 1992, when the Rev Tom Tyler, a Sussex clergyman, lost his second appeal against a conviction for conducting affairs with parishioners.

Ever since his arrival at Lincoln Cathedral in 1988, Mr Jackson has been locked in often noisy conflict with other chapter members. He was appointed by Margaret Thatcher with a brief to sort out the quarrelsome chapter, whose four other members took full advantage of a medieval constitution to thwart any dean's attempts to run the place. Mrs Thatcher is said to have told her appointments secretary that she did not know Mr Jackson personally but "I know of him - there'll be blood on the carpet of Lincoln Cathedral before he's finished''. He attempted to force the resignation of the sub-dean and treasurer, Canon Rex Davis, for taking the cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta on a loss-making expedition to Australia. The trip to Expo 88 in Brisbane left the cathedral with a net loss of £56,000.

In 1990, the bishop launched a formal inquiry into the running of the cathedral, the first of its kind this century. After spending £20,000 on this, he concluded that all the chapter members should resign. This they refused to do. Canon Davis told a journalist last autumn that merely being awkward was no reason for sacking anyone. Only immorality could provide that.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there