Archdeacon quizzed over child porn resigns after being cleared by police

A SENIOR Anglican clergyman who held posts in Sheffield, Ossett and Dewsbury, has resigned after being questioned by police over child-porn allegations, and cleared by them of committing any offence.

Archdeacon of Blackburn John Marsh, 54, a married man, was questioned by Lancashire police “following the disclosure of pornographic images of children upon a personal computer,” a force spokesman said yesterday. He added: “Dr Marsh fully co-operated with the police throughout an exhaustive investigation, which cleared Dr Marsh of having committed any offence and results in no further action being taken against him in this matter.”

The Cambridge-educated clerrgyman, Archdeacon of Blackburn since 1996, was a curate in Pitsmoor, Sheffield, 1979-81 and in Crookes, Sheffield in 1981-85, and was vicar of Ossett in 1985-96, later becoming rural dean of Dewsbury.

Following his resignation he has left his Blackburn home and the Blackburn diocese for an unknown address, a diocesan spokesman said yesterday.

Bishop of Blackburn Alan Chesters said: “I am very pleased to learn that no charges are to be preferred.

“However, it is with sadness that I have also received Dr Marsh’s resignation as archdeacon. I would like to record my thanks to John for his ministry. He and his family will be in our prayers.”