The Church of England is said to be investigating after a newspaper published a video appearing to show a vicar from East London taking cocaine and watching explicit videos from his church owned home.
He is seen staring at a TV, apparently watching porn, and adds: “It f***ing turns me on when I have this and I watch that.” Stennett Kirby, vicar of West Ham Parish Church in East London since 2007, then makes a crude mouth action reference and refers to women in a lewd way.
The vicar and his pal also discuss hiring a follow and he says: “I wish I could. If I had money, I would. I’ve only got £10 left.” When his friend tells him he prefers prostitutes to having a relationship, unmarried Mr Kirby — on sick leave from work — agrees.
In a video released by the Sun on Sunday, the footage also apparently showed Rev Stennett Kirby talking about buying poppers which gives users a head rush from a shop in Soho.
(Purchasing poppers – a liquid which induces a head-rush high – is not a crime.)
Clear footage showed the 64-year-old priest sitting on his sofa, saying “I feel really good now” after reportedly taking cocaine.
The video also shows Rev Kirby, who has been a vicar of West Ham Parish Church since 2007, watching [allegedly] pornography with a friend.
The Church of England told the Sun on Sunday it was investigating the footage, while a spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We take this matter very seriously.”
In other footage Mr Stennett Kirby, whose brother is a minister, can be seen snorting coke. His pal says taking it off the back of his hand is easier. Seconds later Mr Kirby says approvingly: “That is good.” Our revelations bear similarities to the case of “Crystal Methodist” Paul Flowers.
The shamed minister and former Co-op Bank boss was suspended from the church in 2017 after he was filmed in a car counting out £300 to buy cocaine and crystal meth in a drug deal. Mr Kirby lives in a £1.5million house owned by the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Rev Kirby, who is unmarried, has reportedly been placed on sick leave.
A spokesman for the Church of England said: “We are taking this matter very seriously.
“Revd Stennett Kirby has withdrawn from all ministerial duties and a disciplinary investigation is already under way.”