York Minster General Synod service disrupted by attack

  • 7 July 2013
  • From the section England
Man is restrained at York Minster
Image caption A man was arrested at a General Synod service at York Minster after allegedly assaulting two people

A man has been arrested after two people were assaulted during a high-profile church service at York Minster.

The Archbishop of York was due to give the key sermon at the service, which forms part of the General Synod meeting, when the attack took place.

A spokesman for the Church of England said a man entered the minster as the service was starting and assaulted two people when he was asked to stop.

One of the Archbishop of York's staff and a steward suffered minor injuries.

The service was attended by senior members of the Church of England including the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bloodied face

Church of England spokesman Arun Arora said: "One of the stewards asked him to wait until the procession had passed and he assaulted the steward.

Image caption Police took away the arrested man for questioning

"Another steward approached him, he also assaulted them before he was restrained by a member of staff.

"The police responded quickly and escorted the man away."

The Church said Dave Smith, a member of Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu's staff, had a bloodied face and the steward suffered a bump to the back of his head.

Mr Smith was seen by ambulance staff and changed his shirt before returning to the service.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby went to the back of the minster during the traditional exchange of the Sign of Peace to speak at length to Mr Smith.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "We were there within minutes and one male was arrested on suspicion of assault."

The 42-year-old arrested man was in custody awaiting interview, police said.

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