A senior vicar in the Church of England who was under investigation by police has died after reportedly ‘setting fire to himself’. The Rev Martyn Neale was found dead at his village rectory in Hawley, Hampshire on Tuesday. Friends described the 60-year-old General Synod member as a “quietly spoken but caring” clergyman who had worked in the village for 20 years.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the Diocese of Guildford said that Rev Neale had been suspended “as a consequence of an ongoing police investigation”. Two weeks ago the congregation at Holy Trinity was told he had been suspended pending a police inquiry but no further information was given.
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.” A spokesman for Hampshire police said the death was not being treated as suspicious and a file for the coroner was being prepared.