Thames Valley Police
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Body found in Oxfordshire search for missing vicar

Sat 11 Aug 2018
By Alex Williams

Police in Oxfordshire searching for a vicar reported missing in the early hours of Thursday morning have found a body in a Wallingford field.

Officers believe the body is that of 88-year-old Rev James (also known as Jim) Spence, though formal identification is yet to take place.

The body was discovered on Friday.

 

Rev James led Greyfriars church in Reading before becoming an honorary assistant priest in Wallingford (pictured below).

The Bishop of Dorchester, Rt Rev Colin Fletcher said: "We were deeply saddened by the news of the death of the Revd Jim Spence.

"He was a faithful clergyman and was well known and loved as the Vicar of Greyfriars, Reading, and more recently as an Honorary Assistant Priest in Wallingford.

"He had a long and distinguished career and will be deeply missed.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time."
 
Thames Valley Police appealed for help to find Rev Spence and a Facebook group was created to aid the search when he failed to return from a walk.

 

Inspector Nicola Douglas said: "Officers have been carrying out extensive search activity to attempt to locate James Spence.

"Sadly a man's body has now been found by those searching for Mr Spence.

"His next of kin have been informed and are being offered support.

"I would like to thank everyone who assisted us in our missing person investigation.

Sciencebloke/Wikimedia Commons

 

"Members of the community have helped us in our enquiries and I would like to pass on my appreciation for their support.

"It is with great sadness I have to inform everyone of this tragic outcome."

The death is being treated as unexplained, but is not thought to be suspicious.

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