UPDATE: Police have more time to quiz Freckleton vicar and family over suspicious baby death

Holy Trinity Freckleton graves shortage. Graves. Rev Jim Percival in front of graves.
Holy Trinity Freckleton graves shortage. Graves. Rev Jim Percival in front of graves.
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Lancashire police have been granted an extension to question Reverend Jim Percival and his family over the suspicious death of a newborn baby boy.

Rev Percival, vicar at the Holy Trinity Church, in Freckleton and his daughter, Ruth - were arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to conceal the birth of a child.

His wife, Susan, 65, has also been arrested for conspiracy to conceal the birth of a child.

Lancashire police have said that nobody has been charged and they have gained an extension..

Reverend Terry Scholz led prayers for the vicar and his family at the Lytham Road church this afternnon.

Mr Scholz, who is also based at the Holy Trinity Church, urged people not to ‘jump to conclusions’.

And he called on residents of Freckleton to pull together and pray for the vicar.

He said: “I simply said they could not be unaware of the tragedy that had befallen them, Reverend Percival and his family.

“We must pray that we keep our faith and pray for the family.

“They are all nice people and, like any family going through difficult times, they will pull together.

“Like any family when it’s going through troubles, you close ranks. They are all upset and concerned.”

But residents of Freckleton are in a state of shock after the arrests of the 64-year-old vicar and his 28-year-old daughter, who works as a school dinner lady and office cleaner in Lytham.

Mr Percival has been at the Holy Trinity Church since 2003 and previously preached in parishes in Preston and Blackburn.

And residents of the picturesque village have told of their shock.

A neighbour said: “It’s all a bit of a shock. They are a quiet family. We only know them to say hello. I didn’t even know the daughter was pregnant.”