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Bishop of Gloucester interviewed over alleged indecent assaults

The Bishop of Gloucester Right Rev Michael Perham has been interviewed by police today on suspicion of indecently assaulting a woman and a girl more than thirty years ago.

Bishop Michael, 66, attended a police station in Gloucestershire today to be interviewed about the allegations which date back to 1980 and 1981.

The investigation is being run by the Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

The Right Rev Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester Credit: Press Assocation

A 66 year old man today attended a police station in Gloucestershire by appointment and was interviewed on suspicion of indecent assault of a child aged under 18 and indecent assault of a second female aged over 18.

He was not arrested.

The alleged incidents are said to have occurred between 1980 and 1981 and are being investigated by officers from the Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command. Enquiries continue.

– Metropolitan Police

Today's police announcement follows a brief statement from the Gloucester Diocese last weekend saying Bishop Michael was 'stepping down' from his post for 'personal reasons.'

There has since been no further comment from the diocese except to say that steps are being taken for the Bishop of Tewkesbury, Right Rev Martyn Snow, to take over his duties.

Bishop Michael, who has served as Bishop of Gloucester for almost ten years and was due to retire on his 67th birthday on Nov 8, did not fulfil an engagement to take part in a major World War One centenary service at Gloucester Cathedral on Sunday.

A service to say farewell to Bishop Michael had been organised for his birthday at the cathedral but it now appears that will not be going ahead.

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Gloucester pays tribute to WW1 fallen

Gloucester Cathedral has been paying tribute to Gloucestershire's fallen on the National Day for Commemoration of the start of the Great War.

From 09.00am today the names of Gloucestershire’s fallen are being read out in the Cathedral’s fifteenth century Lady Chapel where a new stained glass window commemorating the life and works of WW1 poet and composer, Ivor Gurney can also be seen.

Gloucester Cathedral Credit: ITV West Country

Mandela remembered in Gloucester

A service is being held this evening at Gloucester Cathedral to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela. There's also a book of remembrance to sign.

Meanwhile Bristol's Big Screen in Millennium Square is to show live footage of the former South African president's funeral on Sunday.

A special service is being held at Gloucester Cathedral to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela Credit: ITV News West Country

Gloucester Cathedral commemorates Mandela

The St George flay at Gloucester Cathedral will be flying at half mast today in commemoration of the life of Nelson Mandela.

“The passing of Nelson Mandela is a world event; he was the greatest man of our times. Nelson Mandela embodied the peace and forgiveness we see in Jesus Christ. Now he is free again. At Gloucester Cathedral we shall remember Nelson Mandela in our daily prayers and especially at a service at 5.30pm on Thursday 12th December, during which the Choir will sing an African song – ‘Siyahamba’ which means ‘We are walking in the light of God’. All are welcome.”

– The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester

People are also being invited to sign a book of remembrance

Service for the UK's youngest bishop

The Venerable Martyn Snow will be welcomed at Gloucester Cathedral this afternoon Credit: Diocese of Gloucester

A special service is to take place at Gloucester Cathedral to welcome the country's youngest bishop.

The Venerable Martyn Snow was appointed Bishop of Tewkesbury in August. The 45-year-old father-of-three spent most of his working life as a priest in Sheffield but says he'll work hard to get to know Gloucestershire.

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Cathedral redundancies after fall in donations

Six staff have been made redundant at Gloucester Cathedral after a fall in donations.

The Dean and Chapter were forced to make the redundancies to save £120,000 a year. Two were compulsory and four voluntary.

Whilst we have more people coming to worship, they've got less money so they're able to give us less money.

– The Dean, Very Reverend Stephen Lake

Tens of thousands of people visit the 900 year old building every year. It was described by poet John Betjeman as the sixth most beautiful building in Europe and has been used as a set for filming scenes in the Harry Potter films and Doctor Who.

The Dean said entry fees will not be introduced saying it would be a "fallacy" to think it would solve the problem.

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