POLICE have confirmed they are investigating an historical rape claim against a vicar.

The victim, who is now a priest, alleges he was repeatedly raped at the age of 16 by the vicar in Bradford in 1984.

The victim says he made verbal allegations to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows, The Bishop of Doncaster, as well as the Right Reverend Stephen Croft, the former Bishop of Sheffield, and now Bishop of Oxford; and the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, a former Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, and now the Bishop of Leicester, between July 2012 and February 2013. He is accusing them of failing to act.

The priest has also alleged that the Archbishop of York John Sentamu and the Right Reverend Glyn Webster, the Bishop of Beverley, were also made aware when they were copied in to a letter sent to the Right Reverend Croft in June 2013.

Responding to the allegation, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sheffield which covers the bishop and archdeacons of Sheffield, Doncaster and Beverley said: "The Diocese of Sheffield takes the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults very seriously indeed. We are, of course, unable to comment on the detail of live investigations and complaints.

"However if this complaint goes forward, our bishops will make a full response to the various allegations made in due course.

"In the meantime we continue to hold all victims of sexual abuse and exploitation in our prayers.”

A spokesperson for Dr John Sentamu added: "He was sent a copy of a letter and acknowledged it. It was the recipient of the original letter who had a duty to respond."

A response from the Diocese of Leeds - which now includes the former Diocese of Bradford - said: “We reiterate the comments by the Diocese of Sheffield, ie that we cannot comment on a live police investigation, but that we regard the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults as of paramount concern.”

Police have confirmed they are investigating a report received in May 2015 of an historical serious sexual offence which is said to have occurred in the Bradford area in the 1980s.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "A crime has been recorded and a 69-year-old man has been spoken to in connection with the enquiry. Our investigations are ongoing."