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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Psychology Teacher

Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...

International Promotions Manager - Consumer Products

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...

Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...

Geography Teacher

£19200 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?