David Renshaw, 61, a Church of England priest, of Wallace Avenue, Worthing, appeared at Worthing Magistrates Court on September 7, to answer charges of possessing 22,500 indecent images of children, police said.
Renshaw pleaded not guilty and the case was committed to Lewes Crown Court for trial. He is on court bail and the case is due for an initial hearing on October 5, they added.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “All necessary safeguarding enquiries have been carried out and there is no risk to any identifiable children.
“None of the images are believed to be of local children.
“The charges, authorised by the CPS, follow an intelligence-led investigation by the Sussex Police Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT).
“Officers have had full co-operation from the Diocese of Chichester throughout the investigation.”