Saturday, 8 December 2007

Hate campaign drives out woman priest

A woman priest who has been the victim of two arson attacks and a series of increasingly threatening letters over the past six months has stepped down from her parish duties over fears for her safety and her family.

The Rev Yvonne Hobson, 56, a curate in the Truro diocese, was advised by police and her bishop, the Right Rev William Ind, to take a break after her mystery persecutor stepped up a hate campaign with attacks that became “increasingly aggressive and threatening to person and property”, a diocesan spokesman said.

Mrs Hobson, who has been advised not to comment publicly, is being persecuted by someone who clearly has local knowledge, according to the spokesman.

She was first sent threatening letters in June expressing anger that she was a female priest. Last month logs in a basket in the porch of her vicarage were set alight, causing a blaze that was extinguished after firefighters were called to the scene.

The latest attack happened on Wednesday when a lit candle was forced through the passenger window of her car. Although it failed to set fire to the car, it caused damage to a passenger seat and persuaded Mrs Hobson to step down from her work. Read more
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