A Church of England rector who went on the run as he was convicted of pocketing thousands of pounds of fees from funerals and weddings is now feared to have skipped the country, police have revealed.
Interpol is now assisting in the search for the Rev Simon Reynolds, the Rector of Farnham in Surrey amid signs that he has made his way to continental Europe.
South Yorkshire Police made the disclosure as the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, made a personal plea to the cleric to hand himself in, amid fears for his safety.
“Never forget we are praying for you,” the bishop, who has known Mr Reynold for several years, told him.
The 49-year-old, who previously helped oversee music and worship at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, walked out of Sheffield Crown Court – where he was on trial for theft from his former Yorkshire parish – during the lunch break on Thursday and did not return.