POLICE are investigating allegations that an Anglican priest practised

exorcisms involving internal ''cleansing'' of sexually abused women.

Old Etonian the Rev Andrew Arbuthnot is reported to have poured wine

over the victims' genitals and to have inserted crucifixes and used

fingers to make the sign of a cross in their vaginas.

Mr Arbuthnot had continued ministering to a congregation at the London

Healing Mission in Notting Hill, west London, despite having his licence

revoked last year, meaning he no longer had the backing of the Church of


A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were aware of the allegations

and were investigating the matter, although he did not name Mr


Mr Graham Baldwin, the director of Catalyst -- a counselling service

for victims of cult abuse -- said: ''The idea of the exorcisms is that

to get the demons out you have to in some way get contact with the entry

point of the demon, as well as somehow consecrating the place where the

abuse occurred. It is outrageous.''

The Rev Robert Marshall, spokesman for the Diocese of London, added:

''Following newspaper reports today, we have asked the registrar to look

at the legal situation. What we need to make clear to people who attend

his services is that he is nothing to do with the Church of England.''

Last September, the Association of Christian Counsellors ended its

affiliation with the London Healing Mission after an eight-month

investigation into ''internal ministries''.

Mr Arbuthnot, a former merchant banker who served in the Scots Guards

and stood as a Conservative Party candidate, refused to comment.