A monk has been suspended from a public school for hugging a 17-year-old boy.

Father John Bolton, 58, a monk at Worth School in Turners Hill, admitted hugging the teenager while they were alone in an office at the adjoining Worth Abbey.

Father John, who worked as Master of Ceremonies at the Abbey, organising church services, has been suspended from his duties as a priest and has been ordered to move out of the monastery while the investigation continues.

Deputy head and child protection officer Peter Armstrong said apart from the hug there was no further action or physical contact.

He said a member of the school staff told him that the 17-year-old student had felt uncomfortable after the incident.

He said: "I followed the school's child protection procedures and immediately contacted the police child protection unit.

"Following investigation and an interview with the student, it was established that Father John had met the student in an office at the church and the meeting ended with Father John embracing the student."

He said the allegation had been put to the monk and he admitted the action.

Headmaster Father Christopher Jamison said: "My primary concern is the wellbeing of the student, whose parents have been kept fully informed.

"They have expressed complete confidence in the school's procedures. The parents and the boy are keen for his career at the school to continue without interruption."