The following statement has been issued by the Acting Bishop of Lincoln: 

A complaint was received against the Reverend John Girtchen in February 2018. Since then he has been suspended as a priest and remains suspended. The complaint was in regard to sexual acts with a married person, with whom he had a professional relationship and was in a position of trust as a leader in the church. He also engaged with text messages of an inappropriate nature with the same person. These were acts which amounted to conduct unbecoming and contrary to the Church’s teaching on marriage and a failure to observe appropriate professional boundaries. 

Mr Girtchen agreed to a penalty of resignation as Vicar of the Benefice of Barrow and Goxhill and a period of four years prohibition as a priest from May 31st 2020.