December 22 2014 Latest news:
Peter Walsh, Crime Correspondent
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
A Norfolk priest has been arrested on suspicion of having indecent images of children.
Father David Jennings, parish priest of St Mary’s Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, was arrested by Norfolk police it has emerged.
A statement issued by the Diocese of East Anglia confirms Father Jennings was arrested on January 9 with regard to allegations relating to safeguarding issues. He has been released on police bail and will report back to them in due course.
It said: “Father Jennings has voluntarily withdrawn from all active ministry and as a governor of St Mary’s Primary School, Gorleston, and as a member of the Safeguarding Commission for the Diocese with immediate effect.
“His withdrawal makes no judgement of guilt or innocence but is in accord with the safeguarding procedures of the Catholic Church of England and Wales.”
The Right Revd Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia, has affirmed that “The safeguarding of children and vulnerable people is of paramount importance to
the Catholic Church and the Diocese is co-operating fully with the police in this ongoing investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved in this matter.”
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “A 56-year-old man from Great Yarmouth has been arrested on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.
“He has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.”
The Norwich-born Catholic priest took over at St Mary’s Church in September 2012, having previously served in Cambridge, Peterborough and Wymondham.
The website for St Mary’s Church states that, in July 2012, he was given the Freedom of the City of Peterborough in recognition of his services to the city.
It also states he is the priest member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission and the Costal Clergy representative to the Commission for Dialogue and Unity.