Explicit snap vicar set to quit

AN Essex vicar who was suspended after allegations an explicit photograph of him had been discovered on the internet has announced he is to quit his parish.

AN Essex vicar who was suspended after allegations an explicit photograph of him had been discovered on the internet has announced he is to quit his parish.

Last month the East Anglian Daily Times exclusively revealed how the Rev Bob Locke, vicar of St Mary the Church in Burnham-on-Crouch, faced claims his naked portrait had been found on an underground website.

He was suspended from his position as vicar and also effectively barred from being a governor of the local St Mary's Primary School.

Father-of-one Mr Locke, formerly a curate in Colchester and an ex-Army chaplain, had already been on sick leave before his suspension, which according to a Diocese of Chelmsford statement followed "unsettling allegations."


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On Sunday the Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Rev Laurie Green, told parishioners that Mr Locke had "indicated his intention to resign as your parish priest."

He stressed that there was no question Mr Locke had been involved in criminal matters, and that the church was making sure it was sensitive to not only his situation, but also that of his wife and daughter.

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"I do stress that that we are mindful of the need to support Anne and Sophie as well as Father Bob himself, and I would encourage all to remember them all in your fervent prayer," the Bishop said in a written statement.

A church spokesman yesterdaysaid that although Mr Locke would no longer be a licensed clergyman after his resignation, he would retain the title of Reverend and remain an ordained priest.

He added that subject to recovering from stress-related depression and feeling able to do so, it was possible he could become a vicar again in time.

"The idea is that he can undergo a period of time with less pressure and possibly receive some counselling.

"There is always the possibility that at some future date he could return to ministry," he said.

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