The Vicar of Warnham was found hanged in woodland near his home.
The Revd Christopher Loveless is believed to have killed himself on Friday (July 17).
Officers found him hanged in woodland near Tilletts Lane, Warnham at about 9pm.
The vicar was reported missing from his Warnham home shortly before 8pm.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said his death was not being treated as suspicious. The coroner’s officer had been informed and was dealing with the case.
A statement from the Diocese of Chichester said he had been suffering from stress.
The Bishop of Horsham said: “Christopher Loveless was a talented and experienced parish priest who was much loved in the parish of Warnham, where has had served since 1999.
“His sudden death comes as a profound blow not only to his family and the people of Warnham, but to the many friends who loved and admired him and to all who benefited from his gentle pastoral care. May he rest in God’s peace.”
Christopher spent his whole ministry in the Diocese of Chichester.
He was an Oxford graduate and studied at Lincoln Theological College.
He served as Curate of Willingdon and was ordained priest in 1992.
He became Vicar of Warnham after he was Curate of Goring by Sea from 1995 to 1999.
Bishop Mark said the whole Diocese would be praying for Christopher, his wife, who was ordained last year, and their two children.
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