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Priest steps down from ministry after investigation leads to arrest

PUBLISHED: 17:13 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:22 04 October 2019

Rev Matthew Payne from Christ Church, Lowestoft, has stepped back from the ministry amid an investigation.

Rev Matthew Payne from Christ Church, Lowestoft, has stepped back from the ministry amid an investigation.

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The reverend of a parish church has stepped down from his position after being arrested.

Matthew Payne was reverend of Christ Church, Lowestoft, until he reportedly resigned last Sunday, September 29.

Suffolk Police said they arrested the reverend on Thursday, September 19.

Mr Payne has 'stepped down' amid an investigation, the Church of England has confirmed.

A spokesman for the police said: "A 57-year-old man from Lowestoft was arrested on Thursday 19 September in connection with an ongoing police investigation.

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"He was taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning and was subsequently released on bail until Thursday, October 10 pending further enquiries."

Suffolk Police refused to say what the arrest was in connection with.

The Diocese of Norwich said: "Matthew Payne has stepped back from the ministry at this time as a matter has arisen which is now being investigated. He was arrested on September 19 in connection with an ongoing police investigation and was subsequently released on bail.

"Under the Clergy Discipline Measure he was immediately suspended from all ministry and will remain so whilst the police investigation and legal processes are completed.

"We follow police guidance as to what we can and can't say publicly and therefore cannot comment further at this stage."

A spokesperson for the Christ Church declined to comment.

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