David Huntley, 54, was suspended for two years in 2016 after he had an affair with 28-year-old barmaid Charlene Goudie, a member of his congregation.

He has now been sacked for faking a letter to insurers MMS in a false redundancy claim, a church court heard.

He even used the bishop’s official headed paper.

The disciplinary tribunal described this as “grave, indeed criminal, misconduct” in its ruling; adding: “It fell very far short of the high standard of behaviour expected of clergy.

“The claim was fraudulent and in making it, the respondent acted deliberately, deceitfully and dishonestly.”

Huntley ‘was probably’ guilty of fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, the panel added.

The vicar caused scandal among his congregation at St Lawrence the Martyr Church in South Shields, South Tyneside, when he had an unplanned pregnancy with Miss Goudie.

She and Huntley were caught together late at night by the father of her two other children, Kevin Scott.

He thumped the vicar and stormed out, leaving the new couple to sleep together for the first time, a church court was told.

At the time, Miss Goudie hit out at criticism, saying they were ‘madly in love’ and that it was ‘what God intended.’

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