Uni Vicar Resigns Over Abuse Allegations
The Vicar, and Fellow of Queens’ College is being investigated following accusations he had sexual relationships with vulnerable young men in his care
A Cambridge University vicar has resigned after the Church of England launched an investigation into complaints he had relationships with vulnerable young men in his care.
The Rev Canon Dr Fraser Watts was vicar-chaplain at St Edward King and Martyr in Cambridge run by Trinity Hall.
The acting vicar-chaplain of St Edward’s Dr Malcolm Guite told churchgoers of his “sudden resignation” in a newsletter.
It is understood a number of young men who sought Dr Watts’ spiritual guidance and support have made complaints against him.
The BBC has reported that sources say some of the complaints are of a serious sexual nature.
Dr Guite said in the newsletter: “I’m conscious that we’re all, including myself, still reeling from the shock of Fraser’s sudden resignation.
“It is understandable that people would like to know more about the reasons for that resignation, but I am sure that, when it is possible, we will know them.”
It is believed the Diocese of Ely received a complaint against Dr Watts four years ago, but police said there was insufficient evidence.
Dr Watts is understood to have been told not to have contact with vulnerable young men, but his colleagues were unaware of the safeguarding concerns.
The Queens’ College fellow and reader in theology and science has been banned from officiating by the Diocese of Ely.
A Diocese of Ely spokeswoman confirmed there was an “ongoing safeguarding investigation” and it is “working in close partnership with police and other agencies”.
She added: “The diocese takes seriously its responsibilities and obligations under national Anglican safeguarding policies and until all inquiries within the investigation are fully and properly completed, we are unable to comment further.”
Cambridge University yesterday confirmed Dr Watts has stepped down and is not working with the university in any capacity.
A university spokesman said: “There is a safeguarding investigation instigated by the Diocese of Ely and that investigation has not concluded yet.
“The university is co-operating with the church.”
Cambridgeshire Constabulary said the force has not received any complaints.
But added: “We are aware of a potential safeguarding matter and we are looking into it.”