Parishioners in Hellingly voice concern as vicar withdrawn from ministry

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Some parishioners at Hellingly and Upper Dicker churches say they are concerned about the continued absence of their vicar.

Rev Charlie Hill joined the parish around two years ago but has not been present for part of that time.

The diocese of Chichester declined to comment further on Rev Hill’s absence other than he was off for personal reasons.

A spokeswoman said: “Rev Charlie Hill, parish priest of Hellingly and Upper Dicker churches, has temporarily withdrawn from ministry for personal reasons and we ask that privacy is respected during this time.

“He has the full support of the diocese.

“The Rev Tony Fiddian-Green has been appointed to the parish to take services and undertake the responsibilities of the Parish Priest until Charlie Hill’s return.”

Parishioners are expected to raise their concerns about the lack of a full-time permanent vicar at the annual meeting on April 23.

Parishioner Roger Paine has written letters to the diocese on a number of occasions asking for an explanation. Each time he has not received adequate answers, he said. He is still awaiting a reply to his latest letter.