Vicar quit over his 'affair' with curate

A MARRIED Suffolk vicar quit after having an affair with his church's female curate, it has been claimed.The Rev Keith White, vicar of St John the Baptist Church in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, and the Rev Lynne Thorpe, an ordained minister who works in the parish, shocked the congregation when they mysteriously stepped down from their posts on Sunday.

A MARRIED Suffolk vicar quit after having an affair with his church's female curate, it has been claimed.

The Rev Keith White, vicar of St John the Baptist Church in Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, and the Rev Lynne Thorpe, an ordained minister who works in the parish, shocked the congregation when they mysteriously stepped down from their posts on Sunday.

In a statement issued on behalf of the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Rev Richard Lewis, the pair indicated that “personal reasons” were behind their decision to leave.

However, church officials had refused to be drawn on whether Mr White, a father-of-three, and Mrs Thorpe, married to a milkman and a mother-of-three, were in a relationship.


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But a church insider was yesterday said to have confirmed the two had been involved in a relationship.

It is believed they embarked on a relationship when Mrs Thorpe, of King Edward Road, began working for Mr White as his curate.

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Mr White, 52, is married to a teacher, Gaynor, who is employed at St Joseph's College in Ipswich.

The Merseyside-born vicar, who lives in the vicarage in Cauldwell Hall Road, attracted many churchgoers to St John's by making references to his favourite football team Everton and posting his sermons on the internet.

He was also understood to have been a professional footballer with Tranmere Rovers reserves before joining the ministry.

Mr Thorpe, 44, began her church career as a community link worker and was later ordained a priest at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Neither were available to comment on their resignations.

Diocesan spokesman Nick Clarke refused to confirm or deny that the couple were seeing each other, claiming it was a “personal matter”. Neighbours also remained silent on the story.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Mr White has also quit as chairman of the governors at a nearby St John's Primary School, in Victory Road.

The parish will now be cared for by church wardens and ministry teams in association with the Rural Dean, Canon Peter Townley.

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