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Sacked cleric lodges appeal; FORMER CURATE TAKES HIS CASE TO ARCHBISHOP.

Byline: By ANNETTE MORGAN

A CLERGYMAN who worked at Coventry Cathedral is set to appeal after he was dismissed following concerns about his "inappropriate" behaviour with teenage girls.

Doug Roper, 32, who worked as an administration worker at Coventry Cathedral's International Centre for Reconciliation until earlier this year, had his licence revoked by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Colin Bennetts, last month.

The move followed an investigation into complaints of "inappropriate behaviour" involving teenage girls, which were made while Mr Roper was working as a curate at St Matthew's Church in Warwick Street, Rugby. The police were made aware of the complaints but no action was taken against Mr Roper.

After the investigation was launched last year Mr Roper, who had worked in Rugby from 2000 to 2003, was seconded to Coventry Cathedral's International Centre for Reconciliation.

Although he was still an ordained minister he was employed purely as an administration worker while at the cathedral.

Mr Roper, who has since moved from just outside Rugby to Cambridge, has now lodged an appeal with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The appeal is expected to be heard over the next few months.

Coventry diocese spokesman the Rev Mervyn Roberts said he could not comment on the nature of the complaints or how many were made.

He said: "The bishop was made aware of concerns relating to inappropriate behaviour by Doug Roper with teenage girls.

"The bishop investigated and decided to revoke Mr Roper's licence as a curate," he confirmed.

"Church procedures were followed and appropriate agencies were involved.

"There have been no criminal proceedings."

The Evening Telegraph has been unable to contact Mr Roper for comment.

CAPTION(S):

APPEAL: Doug Roper
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 30, 2004
Words:281
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