Northampton priest to appear in court on 'financial irregularities' charges

St Aidan's in Kingsthorpe, where Father Clark was serving. The priest has been suspended from his duties pending a fraud investigation.

St Aidan's in Kingsthorpe, where Father Clark was serving. The priest has been suspended from his duties pending a fraud investigation.

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A priest who has been serving at a Northampton church has been suspended after police launched a probe into alleged "financial irregularities" in a diocese where he used to work.

Father David Clark, a priest who belongs to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, has been serving in parishes in the UK for several years while conducting research at Cambridge.

Since 2014, he has been charge at St Aidan’s parish church in Manor Road, Kingsthorpe village.

But immediately before his appointment to Northampton, Father Clark served in the Diocese of Brentwood, which has now become the subject of a probe into alleged financial irregularities.

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued two charges of fraud by false representation against Father Clark and he is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates' Court on Thursday, April 13..

The bishop of the Diocese of Northampton, Peter Doyle, has suspended him from his current duties.

A spokesman for the diocese, said: "Suspension is a normal procedure and does not imply guilt.

"When Father Clark was notified of the suspension, he was offered accommodation within the Diocese of Northampton as well as clergy support.

"Father Clark had already tendered his resignation as from 30 April when the priests of the cathedral would take responsibility for the pastoral care of the parish.

"In the circumstances, this arrangement will take immediate effect. Please pray for Father Clark at this difficult time."