Priest Held over Child Sex Claims

Grantham Journal
January 26, 2012

A Church of England priest has been arrested by Sussex Police investigating historic allegations of sexual abuse on young boys in the late 1980s.

Semi-retired Father Wilkie Denford, 76, was held with an unnamed 68-year-old man who worked as an organist in the Lewes area of East Sussex, sources confirmed.

Both were arrested by Sussex Police child protection detectives on November 3 on suspicion of sexually abusing two young boys at locations in West Sussex in 1988.

The pair, whose arrests have only just emerged, have since been released on police bail until March 1.

Fr Denford was suspended from his church duties once the allegations surfaced.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chichester said: "We can confirm that a retired priest and another man, who has worked as an organist in the Lewes area, were arrested in November 2011 and are currently on bail.

"The Diocese of Chichester is working in full co-operation with the police and other public authorities.

"We cannot comment further whilst this investigation is under way. All necessary safeguarding procedures are in place."

Last December, Lambeth Palace announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury was setting up an inquiry into child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester.

Child protection arrangements will be scrutinised and recommendations will be made. A preliminary report from the inquiry is due at the end of February.








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