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Anglican priest discovered dead in home

AN ANGLICAN priest suspected of sexual offences against children in northern NSW has been found dead in his home.

Reverend Campbell Brown was awaiting an internal church professional standards hearing when his body was discovered in his Hunter Valley home on Sunday.

The 80-year-old was accused during the 2013 Royal Commission into child sexual abuse of making an "implied admission of guilt" that he had sexually assaulted a young boy at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore about five decades earlier.

His death came two days after former Grafton Bishop Keith Slater was removed from holy orders for failing to report claims of Rev Brown and another priest's alleged crimes to police.

The former bishop was stood-down by the same standards board that was due to look into Rev Brown's alleged admission.

Current Bishop of Grafton Dr Sarah Macneil expressed sympathy to Rev Brown's family and acknowledged the pain and complexity of emotion which surround his death.

"While many in the Diocese of Grafton remember the Rev Brown's ministry and friendship with gratitude, there are also those whose memories of him are very different and who have had the courage to come forward and make allegations of abuse against him," she said.

"The tragedy of abuse cuts into our churches and our society bringing deep emotion and pain on many levels.

"We join with the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Gregory Thompson, in encouraging people to be mindful of those who bear great struggles of mind and spirit and in emphasising how important it is to share the burden with others."

Rev Brown left the North Coast in 1966 but continued to work as a priest around NSW.

He was living in Newcastle when he died.

Anyone seeking emotional help can contact Lifeline's 24-hour crisis support hotline on 13 11 44.

Topics:  bishop child abuse child sexual abuse church editors picks north coast nsw police priest reverend


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