A PRIEST has been charged with possessing almost 23,000 indecent images of children.

David Renshaw, 61, a Church of England priest, appeared at Worthing Magistrates Court on September 7, to answer charges of possessing 22,500 indecent images of children.

Renshaw, of Wallace Avenue, Worthing, pleaded not guilty and the case was sent for trial.

He is on court bail and the case is due for an initial hearing at Lewes Crown Court on 10 October.

All necessary safeguarding enquiries have been carried out and there is no risk to any identifiable children, Sussex Police said.

None of the images are believed to be of local children.

A spokesman from Sussex Police said: "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."