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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power