POLICE have confirmed they are investigating an allegation of indecent assault made against a parish rector.
Rev Simon Sayers, rector of the Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended from his position as the Metropolitan police carry out an inquiry.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the alleged offence took place in the Islington area of London.
He 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 January 23 and has been bailed to return, pending further inquiries, on a date in early April.
People in Emsworth have spoken of their shock as Mr Sayers is very popular and well-respected.
Over the years he has helped with St George’s Day events and the Christmas lights switch-on.
Officials at the Diocese of Portsmouth said their ‘prayers are with all of those involved in this difficult situation’.