Roy Clements, a former member of the British Evangelical Alliance management team and pastor of Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge for 20 years, has decided to end his marriage to pursue a same-sex relationship.

Clements is known internationally as a conference speaker and the author of several books and sermons about biblical truth and morality. His decision jolted the evangelical church in England.

Clements resigned his church post for a sabbatical break six months before he told his wife and close friends that he was choosing to leave his family for a "celibate friendship with an other man," according to the Evangelical Alliance. Since his announcement, read aloud to the Eden Baptist congregation at the end of September, Clements has been out of contact with family and relatives.

Clements's wife, Jane, and their four children must now leave their parish home in Cambridge because it belongs to the church.

Sir Frederick Catherwood, president of the Evangelical Alliance and a member of Eden Baptist, told the London Times that congregation members feel betrayed.

"The church's view is that it does not matter how you are unfaithful—whether it is with a man or a woman—it is the infidelity that is a sin," Catherwood says. "This is not a homosexual issue."

"Roy has dedicated a significant portion of his life in service of the church," says Evangelical Alliance general director Joel Ed wards in a prepared statement. "I hope now that the church could stand by Roy and his family over the coming weeks and months, giving them the love and compassion they need."

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