Suffolk vicar to have crisis talks

EMBATTLED Suffolk vicar Father Philip Gray has been asked to discuss his sex scandal with his bosses.It emerged today that Mendlesham's married vicar who fathered the son of his former church organist, has been extended an invitation from two bishops.

EMBATTLED Suffolk vicar Father Philip Gray has been asked to discuss his sex scandal with his bosses.

It emerged today that Mendlesham's married vicar who fathered the son of his former church organist, has been extended an invitation from two bishops.

Last week it was reported primary school teacher Belinda Denton-Cardew claimed the Rev Philip Gray, a married father-of-five, was the father of her son Benjamin.

A court ruled Mr Gray, vicar of St Mary's Church in Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, was Benjamin's father despite his denials. He has also been ordered to pay child maintenance for his son's upbringing.

The 48-year-old divorced mother-of-three claimed Mr Gray refused to have anything to do with either her or her baby after he was born.

She forced Mr Gray, now aged 61, to undergo a paternity test at a hospital in Colchester in April 1999.

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The tests came back with a 99.999per cent positive match that Mr Gray was Benjamin's father.

She finally secured a declaration of paternity from Cambridge County Court on March 2, 2000, naming Mr Gray as the father and a new birth certificate was issued.

Residents have reacted with a mixture of shock and acceptance at the scandal.

Mr Gray is technically "self-employed", although is paid by Church commissioners. He has lifelong freehold of the parish of Mendlesham, having been appointed in 1974.

A spokesman for the Bishops office said today; "The Bishops of Dunwich and Richborough remain concerned about the situation.

"They have invited Father Gray to a meeting with them in the near future."

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