PARISHIONERS have been left in the dark following the suspension of a Catholic priest.

Reverend John Clohosey, of Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert's RC Church, in Crook, was suspended from duties for reasons unknown to the community.

Parishioners said they were told the news in a special service by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.

One parishioner said: "We were told by the Bishop that he had been suspended but nobody has seen Reverend Clohosey since.

"We thought it must have been serious when the bishop came to the church."

Diocesan safeguarding coordinator, Angie Richardson, said: "The safeguarding department of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is currently cooperating with Northumbria Police to assist with their investigation.

"It is standard practice for the Bishop to support parishioners in these circumstances. No further comment is available at this time due to an ongoing investigation."

Northumbria Police were unable to provide a comment.