Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire rector suspended following indecent assault allegations

St Thomas à Becket church in Warblington Image copyright warblingtonchurch.org.uk
Image caption St Thomas à Becket church in Warblington is paired with St James CoE church in Emsworth in the parish

A rector from Hampshire has been suspended by the Bishop of Portsmouth while police investigate allegations of indecent assault.

The Rev Simon Sayers, from the Church of England's Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended by the Right Rev Christopher Foster.

The Diocese of Portsmouth said it was "aware" of the investigation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said a man was arrested over alleged offences in the Islington area in the 1990s.

"A 55-year-old man was arrested on 23 January and has been bailed to return, pending further inquiries, on a date in early April. Inquiries continue," the spokesman added.

A diocese spokesman said their "prayers are with all of those involved in this difficult situation".

The St James CoE Church in Emsworth and St Thomas à Becket Church in Warblington will get "alternative arrangements for ministry".

He added: "The bishop has suspended the Reverend Simon Sayers while the investigation takes place."

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