'GRAVEROBBER' Vicar probed over missing money from 700 funerals EXCLUSIVE.
A VICAR has been arrested over claims he pocketed fees from hundreds of funerals.
Simon Reynolds, 50, is suspended while allegations he stole cash from up to 700 bereaved families are probed by detectives.
One funeral held by Rev Reynolds was for a Territorial Army soldier, killed in action in Afghanistan. Parishioners of his former church in South Yorkshire were told of the suspension last week after a four-month investigation into irregularities. A churchgoer at All Saints, in Denton, near Barnsley, said: "It is the talk of the parish and about time it came out. It seems to me the church has tried to hush things up. They knew there was a potential problem back in October but have waited until now to reveal it to the congregation.
"We should have been told straight away."
Reverend Reynolds is under suspension as rector of his current flock at St Andrew's Church in Farnham, Surrey, where police have joined forces with colleagues in Yorkshire.
A Diocese of Wakefield spokesperson said: "The diocese is working in close cooperation with the Diocese of Guildford and the South Yorkshire Police and is supporting the members of his previous congregations during this difficult time.
"We're keeping everyone involved in this investigation in our prayers."
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police confirmed that the vicar had been arrested on suspicion of financial irregularities and he was currently on bail pending inquiries.
CLAIMS: Reynolds of Farnham
PROBLEM PARISH St Andrew's in Farnham where Reynolds is vicar