A Napier-based Anglican minister accused of sexual violation was stripped of his "permission to officiate" when the church learned of the allegations against him.
John Hamilton Tovey, 64, a former associate priest at Taradale's All Saints Anglican church, faced court on sex and indecency charges yesterday.
He appeared in Napier District Court and was remanded on bail without plea until July 15 by a registrar.
Tovey faces one charge of sexual violation and two charges of indecent assault - all three charges relating to the same alleged female victim.
The sexual violation is alleged to have occurred in Napier in January this year.
One of the indecent assault charges relates to an alleged act on the same day, while the second indecent assault charge allegedly occurred in Napier last year.
No application for name suppression was made when Tovey appeared in court yesterday.
Tovey was a vicar in Wainuiomata for more than 10 years before he moved to Hawke's Bay in 2010 to take up the associate priest role in the Taradale parish. He left the following year.
He had earlier been a priest and youth pastor in Christchurch. The Bishop of Waiapu, Andrew Hedge, said once he became aware of the allegations he suspended Tovey's "permission to officiate" indefinitely.
The Waiapu Diocese overseen by Bishop Hedge covers Hawke's Bay and the Bay of Plenty.
"While the suspension is in place John is not licensed or authorised by the Bishop to undertake any priestly duties. This decision was made independently of any other inquiries or entities," Bishop Hedge said in a statement yesterday.
"This is a time for prayer for the community and for John and his family," he said.
Tovey's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The Anglican Church's Auckland-based communications and media adviser, Reverend Jayson Rhodes, attended yesterday's court hearing.