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London East and South East

Vicar dies ‘after setting himself on fire’

todayJuly 30, 2017 11

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According to The Mail on Sunday, The Rev Martyn Neale was discovered dead at his rectory in the village of Hawley, Hampshire on Tuesday.

He was under investigation by the police.

Two weeks ago, he had told his congregation at Holy Trinity that had been suspended pending the outcome of the police inquiry. The diocese also said that he had been suspended ‘as a consequence of an ongoing police investigation’.   Neither Reverend Neale, nor the diocese, gave the reason for the inquiry.

He had worked as a vicar in the Diocese of Guildford for 20 years.

He became a part of the General Synod, the C of E’s legislative body , earlier this year. He was made a canon of Guildford Cathedral in 2015.

He was a prominent member of the traditionalist group Forward in Faith which opposes female priests.

The diocese said: “We were very sorry to be informed by police of the death of a man at the rectory in Hawley, believed to be Father Martyn Neale.”

Friends described Father Neale, who was not married and lived alone, as a ‘quietly-spoken but caring’ priest

Hampshire police said the death ‘was not being treated as suspicious’ and a file was being prepared for the coroner.

A senior Church of England vicar has died after unconfirmed reports that he set fire to himself.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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