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Dean investigated over relationship steps down

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 11, 2011

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THE DEAN of Truro Cathedral who was investigated over his relationship with a divorced mother of three while married is quitting his job.

The Diocese of Truro has announced Christopher Hardwick, who has been on sabbatical leave since October, is leaving at the end of August to take up a new post, but refused to say where.

It is believed to be in the north Devon area.

He was known to be in talks with the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Tim Thornton, over his future at the cathedral.

Dr Hardwick, dean of the cathedral since 2005, was suspended amid allegations of an affair in April last year but cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal church investigation.

The 53-year-old always denied any physical relationship had taken place with Sarah Sainsbury, whom he was counselling about her marriage breakdown.

The father of two also said she had no bearing on the collapse of his marriage to wife of 28 years, music teacher Linda. Their divorce was finalised in September.

He said he had begun seeing Ms Sainsbury following his own divorce and their relationship only blossomed in subsequent months.

He is believed to be moving to Devon with Ms Sainsbury, 37, and her three children. They were understood to have married last month in a registry service at St Austell.

Parishioners were given the news of his decision on Sunday.

A statement from the Diocese of Truro said: "The Very Rev Dr Christopher Hardwick is relinquishing his post as dean of Truro and will be moving later this month to take up a new appointment outside Cornwall."

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