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Suffolk: Clergyman arrested on suspicion of fraud over alleged discrepancies on wedding and funeral fees

16:13 05 March 2014

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Archant

A Suffolk clergyman has been arrested in relation to a suspected fraud involving alleged discrepancies over wedding and funeral fees.

Canon Ian Finn, of Haverhill, has now been suspended from his duties by the Church of England following his arrest.

The 55-year-old was questioned over alleged financial irregularities relating to part of fees which should have been passed to the diocese.

Canon Finn was detained after police went his home yesterday. He was taken to the police investigation centre at Bury St Edmunds for questioning, before being released on bail pending further enquiries.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, confirmed an arrest had been made.

He said: “A 55-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been released on police bail until April 2.”

Following the clergyman’s arrest John Howard, a spokesman for the Church of England in Suffolk, said: “The police are investigating and it is therefore inappropriate for the Church to make any comment at this stage.

“We are working closely with the parishes of Haverhill and Withersfield to support them at this time.

“I can confirm that Mr Finn has been suspended by the Church of England in Suffolk, pending the outcome of the police investigation.”

Last month the Church of England confirmed Canon Finn and The Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury, had discussed financial issues involving the Church.

It said the discussions centred on the payment of part of the fees that should have been passed to the diocese for services taken, including weddings and funerals.

At the time Mr Howard said Canon Finn was on extended leave, some of which had already been pre-arranged.

He added: “The diocese is arranging for the church to be cared for by other local clergy while Ian is away and the Rev. Cheryl Collins is to act as rural dean with immediate effect.”

A spokesman for the church wardens at St Mary the Virgin, Haverhill, said: “Ian is currently on leave. Church life is continuing and we will be supported by other local clergy who will take benefice services, minister to the needs of our congregation and ensure the smooth running of our church during his absence.”

Canon Finn was installed as an Honorary Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral In November 2011.

The father-of-three is involved with schools in Haverhill and is a member of two local school governing bodies. He was also St Edmundsbury Borough mayor’s chaplain from 2012-13.

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