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Sheffield vicar who founded 'rave church' charged with rape and sexual assault dating back to 1980s

by Premier Journalist
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BBC

A former vicar associated with the nineties 'rave church' has been charged with rape and sexual assault offenses against victims dating back to the 1980s.

The Rev Christopher Brain, 66, served as the founder and leader of the Nine O'Clock Service (NOS) in Sheffield during the 1980s, a period when his rave-inspired church garnered significant attention and drew a large following from young worshippers.

Brain is now set to appear in court following charges that include one count of rape and 33 charges of indecent assault, all alleged to have occurred between 1981 and 1995.

South Yorkshire Police conducted a thorough investigation into the church leader over a span of four years after a former member of the NOS came forward with claims concerning Brain's conduct.

Police have reached out to the public, appealing for anyone with information related to these allegations.

A police spokeswoman said that all the charges "relate to allegations of sexual offences committed against women who had joined the movement". 

Chief Superintendent Lindsey Butterfield, district commander for Sheffield, said: "These charges follow a complex and wide-ranging investigation into events dating back 30 or more years.

"An investigation team has been working hard to build up a full picture of what is reported to have happened.

"We understand this is a concerning case and one which will have an impact upon individuals and communities. We will continue to provide appropriate support and updates to those involved."

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