Reverend suspended over indecent assault allegation in Islington


- Credit: Archant

The rector of a village church has been suspended while police investigate an allegation of indecent assault in Islington in the early 1990s.

Parishioners at St James CoE Church in Emsworth, Hampshire, and St Thomas a Beckett Church in Warblington were informed by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster before services yesterday morning that the Rev Simon Sayers had been suspended from his position.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Detectives from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command are investigating allegations of non-recent indecent assault.

“The offences are alleged to have taken place in the Islington area during the early 90s.

“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.”

A spokesman for the Diocese of Portsmouth said: “We are aware of an ongoing police investigation into a serious allegation made against the Rev Simon Sayers, the rector of St James Church, Emsworth, and St Thomas a Becket, Warblington.

“Because the investigation is ongoing, we can make no further comment at the moment. The bishop has suspended the Rev Simon Sayers while the investigation takes place, and is making alternative arrangements for ministry in the parish. Our prayers are with all of those involved in this difficult situation.”