A well-respected married Fife minister has been suspended by the Church of Scotland over allegations of inappropriate conduct.
Reverend Professor Ian Campbell Bradley, who was previously Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Spirtual History at St Andrews University, has been stripped of the status and functions of a ministry for a year, following a probe into his behaviour by the Kirk.
Claims were made to the Presbytery of St Andrews and the 68-year-old admitted to a special committee hearing he engaged in “inappropriately initimate sexual relations” with another woman on the afternoon of September 10 2016 and during a stay in a cottage in Argyll between October 22 and 25 2016.
Committee members heard there was no intercourse between the pair and that no conduct of a sexual nature has taken place since, but the Church of Scotland deemed the accusation serious enough to warrant the suspension now imposed.
A Church of Scotland spokesman confirmed: “An allegation of conduct that could constitute a disciplinary offence was considered by a court of the Church of Scotland on August 25.
“The individual at the centre of the complaint admitted inappropriate conduct.
“He was suspended from the status and functions of a ministry for a fixed period of one year.”
Under the Discipline of Ministry Act 2001, engaging in sexual relations while married is classed as conduct declared “censurable by the word of God”.
Married with two children, Prof Bradley, who was previously principal of St Mary’s College, an associate minister of Holy Trinity Church in St Andrews and a university chaplain, has researched and written widely on religious matters and has published works on the subject of hymnody, monarchy, the Victorian era, Gilbert and Sullivan and musical theatre.
He has also penned more than 30 books and has contributed to several national newspapers and TV programmes. He is honorary life president of the St Andrews Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
The Courier understands two allegations made by the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, were initially considered by a special committee consisting of convenor Robert Hynd, Rev Ann Inglis and Rev Hugh Conkey, and further investigations were subsequently initiated.
The first centred on claims by the woman that Prof Bradley bullied her in a restaurant in Glasgow on or around December 14 2017 by shouting at her and using language which upset and demeaned her, causing her alarm and distress.
However, while the special committee agreed that the lunch meeting in the restaurant took place, the first allegation was thrown out as what happened on that occasion was in dispute.
Prof Bradley denied the allegation of bullying and, given the lack of evidence, the special committee concluded there was no case to answer.
However, Prof Bradley admitted the allegation of inappropriate conduct and told the hearing he “felt, and continues to feel, remorse for his past conduct”.
A spokesperson for the University of St Andrews said: “Ian retired from the university last year after a long and distinguished academic career, and is currently on voluntary leave of absence from his position as an Honorary Chaplain.”
Prof Bradley was approached for comment but did not return messages.