KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- The Anglican Church of Canada says its first bishop of a large diocese in British Columbia has resigned and left the ministry after allegations of inappropriate conduct were made against him.

A statement from Linda Nicholls, the church's archbishop and primate, says Lincoln Mckoen resigned as bishop of the Territory of the People in the B.C. Interior on June 10.

The statement on the church's website says allegations were received on May 27 that “inappropriate sexualized electronic communications” had been sent to another adult with whom Mckoen had a pastoral relationship.

It says Mckoen “acknowledges that the allegations are well founded.”

Mckoen has not been reachable for comment.

Mckoen was appointed bishop of the recently named territory last September and was based at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Kamloops, where he was responsible for parishes stretching from Merritt to Prince George.

Before being named to the post, Mckoen earned a master's degree in divinity at the University of Toronto and worked in communities in Ontario and along the B.C. coast, including Alert Bay and Campbell River, says a news release announcing his election on the territory's website.

A letter on the website sent June 1 to the territory from Archbishop Lynne McNaughton says she had decided to “inhibit” Mckoen from his duties, adding that the church has a “commitment to ensuring that those who hold positions of trust or power in the church do not take advantage of, or abuse, that trust or power.”

An administrator for the territory will be appointed “for the coming months,” McNaughton says in the letter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2021.