Scotland’s first female bishop has failed to have her suspension overturned following allegations of bullying.
The Scottish Episcopal Church announced on Friday that bishops had refused the appeal by a majority of three to two.
The Right Reverend Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, had been suspended in August after two formal complaints were lodged which alleged misconduct.
The suspension from office of the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney now resumes with immediate effect until further notice, while the next stage of the process takes place.
The Church said the suspension did not imply there had been any misconduct and does not constitute disciplinary action.
Bishop Dyer previously said she was “sorry” for “some of the unease felt in the diocese”.
But the 64-year-old alleged that since being appointed in 2018, she had faced “significant bullying and harassment on a number of fronts”, as well as “repeated attacks on social media”.
Report author, former Church of Scotland moderator Professor Iain Torrance, wrote that there was “systemic dysfunction” within the diocese and concluded that the bishop should permanently step back from the role.
The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, will serve as Acting Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney during Bishop Dyer’s suspension, and the Rt Rev Andrew Swift, Bishop of Brechin will serve as acting convener of the institute council. Both will continue to fulfil their existing duties in their own dioceses.
The complaints which have been received are being considered in the first instance by the preliminary proceedings committee in accordance with Canon 54 of the Scottish Episcopal Church Code of Canons.