Anglican priests temporarily suspended

MORE THAN 100 Anglican priests across the county have been temporarily stopped from working until child safety checks have been completed.

Church officials say some clergy with Permission to Officiate had not had their Criminal Records Bureau check renewed within the past five years.

They said “administrative oversights” were to blame and the situation would be remedied as soon as possible.

Most priests should be allowed to return once they have the correct documents and an acceptable Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

The “oversight” also means those affected cannot work with children or vulnerable adults.

In total, there are 250 part-time priests who help out in churches across Sussex. Initially 106 were suspended from continuing their duties, with 80 currently under restrictions. It is understood the priests who have been stopped from working are mainly retired clergy.

The Diocese of Chichester, which runs Church of England churches in Sussex, said it undertook the review to maintain the highest safeguarding standards.

However, it is not clear how many priests had been working without an up-to-date CRB check.