A 43-year-old man is being questioned after police arrested him on suspicion of murdering Rev John Suddards, 59 from Thornbury.
The body of the St Mary's vicar was found by builders at the vicarage near Bristol on Tuesday.
Police confirmed the identity of the body yesterday afternoon after a post-mortem examination revealed Mr Suddards had died from "multiple stab wounds".
The man, who has not been named by police, may be held until the early hours of Friday for questioning. After this the police will need to go to the courts to request more time.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp yesterday appealed for help from those within the village who knew Mr Thornbury.
He said the police "did not have a good understanding of his friends and family" and appealed for help from those who attend St Mary's church.
"Who visited him? Who were the people that he associated with? And in particular I'm keen to speak to anybody who saw the Reverend after 12.30pm on Monday."
"Please don't let it rest on your conscience that you know something and you haven't told us, however small," he said.
The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Rev Michael Perham and the Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Right Rev John Went have released a joint statement saying:
"We were shocked and saddened to hear the news of the sudden and tragic death of the Revd John Suddards."
"John had only been Vicar of Thornbury with Oldbury and Shepperdine since last summer, but was already making a significant contribution to the life of the Diocese of Gloucester."
"The Diocese will of course do everything it can to assist the police in their investigations. We are praying for John and his family and friends, as well as for the communities he served as their parish priest".
The Archdeacon of Gloucester, the Venerable Geoffrey Sidaway added:
"We came down to Thornbury this morning to bring what support we can to a church and community in shock following the tragic death of their parish priest."
"John came to us from the Diocese of Chelmsford 6 months ago where he had a significant ministry as an Area Dean and parish priest. He was a person who cared deeply for people and we were all looking forward to an exciting ministry here in Thornbury."
February 16th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes