PROMINENT members of the clergy in Oxfordshire have come to the support of the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, who is facing a tribunal.

The Very Rev Professor Martyn Percy, also the head of Christ Church college, has been suspended by the college’s governing body due to a dispute thought to relate to the dean’s pay - believed to be about £90,000 a year.

The 45th Dean presides over both the college and the cathedral, as well as the choir school, with its world-class cathedral choir and he has been on sick leave.

Now more than 30 honorary canons, including Rev Canon Sue Booys, Rector of Dorchester Abbey, who is also chair of the Oxford Diocese house of clergy, has written to tribunal chair Sir Andrew Smith to register concern about the handling of the complaint.

The letter has praised the Dean’s integrity and this follows the backing of Bishop of Oxford Rt Rev Steven Croft, who has said the Dean is widely respected.

The issue of the Dean’s suspension has been raised in the Commons by Henley MP John Howell. He told The Observer the suspension was a ‘great case of injustice’.

Last year the Dean said the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, was right to withdraw his nomination to be the next Bishop of Sheffield, following protests over Rt Rev North’s views on women clergy.

The tribunal is expected later this year.