A CANVEY vicar is still suspended after four and a half years despite being cleared by police of indecent assault allegations.

The Rev Canon David Tudor was arrested in April 2019 on suspicion of indecent assault, but the investigation was dropped last August.

Mr Tudor was suspended as rector of the Parish of Canvey in 2019 and remains suspended due to a Church of England investigation.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chelmsford said: “David Tudor remains suspended from his role as team rector of the Parish of Canvey while he continues to be subject to investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

“We continue to work closely with the relevant statutory authorities and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”

Community leaders believe Mr Tudor is unlikely to return to his role and have expressed frustration at the lengthy decision-making process.

Ray Howard MBE, former long-standing Canvey councillor, has written letters to authorities and called for a decision to be made.

Mr Howard is wary of the impact the situation is having on the vicar’s “lovely” family.

He said: “David was so well liked and respected in Canvey Island, I have written to several authorities and received a response from the Bishop of Chelmsford.

“She was very nice and honest, even coming down to one of our Sunday services, which was greatly appreciated. I have known David and his family from the day they first moved to Canvey to be part of our parish team.

“It didn’t take long for him to become loved and respected by the parishioners of Canvey Island, with attendance significantly increasing at St Nicolas Church.”

Mr Tudor has been rector of St Nicholas Church since 2006 and it was alleged the offence took place in the 1980s.

Mr Howard added: “I have to say to you that we on Canvey Island have always felt David has been treated unfairly.

“The police dropped all the charges and we were hoping he would come back as I go to church every Sunday.

“I feel for David and the family but what can you do?”