South Yorkshire obscenity probe vicar apologises to Bishop

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THE Vicar of Doncaster is due to be in the pulpit tomorrow after making an apology to the Bishop about his obscene Facebook comments.

Canon Dr Paul Shackerley met with the Bishop of Doncaster after his ‘jocular’ utterances on the social media site were made public and hit the national headlines.

Dr Shackerley did not deny making the comments, which included a four-letter word, and indicating an apparent reluctance to take religious services the following day.

His comments were picked up by a parishioner who made official complaints to both the Bishops of Sheffield and Doncaster, as well as other leading community figures.

After they became public, the Bishop of Doncaster moved quickly to try and resolve the issue before tomorrow’s services at Doncaster Minster.

The two men are understood to have held talks on Thursday to clear up the matter as quickly as possible and it is now considered closed after a formal apology was received from Dr Shackerley.

Yesterday the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows, issued a statement saying: “I have met with Canon Paul Shackerley and he deeply regrets the use of inappropriate language on his Facebook page which he has now removed.

“Whilst meant in a jocular sense he recognises that some of the language was unfitting. He has apologised unreservedly. He sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to the his congregation, the wider Church and, of course the people of Doncaster.

“I have received Paul’s letter of apology and have been assured that this will not happen again and that we can now draw a line under this matter.”

The Facebook comment that will most trouble his congregation was his reference to: “Alas, I have religion tomorrow. At least I’m not preaching this week.”

The parishioner who complained aid: “His behaviour makes him totally unfit to serve the Minster or the people of Doncaster and totally unfit to serve the church at all.”