Coulsdon Christian Fellowship minister Howard Curtis arrested after claims he stripped and spanked churchgoers
A Christian minister has been banned from unsupervised contact with children amid a police investigation into claims he convinced churchgoers to undress before spanking them.
Rev Howard Curtis, senior minister at the Coulsdon Christian Fellowship in Chipstead Valley Road, is also forbidden from attending his own church alone while the Metropolitan Police probes allegations about his conduct.
The claims are thought to centre around a movement known as Christian Domestic Discipline, which involves men asserting authority over women through physical punishment, usually spanking.
Three people have lodged assault allegations against 70-year-old Mr Curtis, who is believed to have been involved with the church for at least two decades.
They include claims he asked women to strip in his office before spanking them. The assaults are alleged to have happened between 2006 and 2009.
He was arrested in July and has been bailed until October 22 while police continue their investigation.
Mr Curtis denied the allegations, which he described as “malicious”.
Speaking outside his Chipstead Valley Road house on Monday, he said: “I have not done anything wrong, but it seems you are guilty as soon as you are accused. The police seem to think so, arresting me.
"I believe these allegations were maliciously made. I don’t even know exactly what I have been accused of, I am having to wait while the police investigate."
Mr Curtis said he had "heard of" Christian Domestic Discipline, but refused to be drawn on whether he practised it.
Worshippers at Coulsdon Christian Fellowship, which describes itself as an "independent charismatic Baptist church" in Chipstead Valley Road, also declined to discuss the practice on Monday.
They said Mr Curtis was no longer involved with the church but would not comment further.
Coulsdon Christian Fellowship in Chipstead Valley Road
Rev Dominic Warner, a minister at the church, has not responded to questions put to him by the Croydon Guardian.
Mr Curtis is also chairman of Coulsdon Chess Fellowship and listed as a trustee of the 1st Coulsdon Scout Group, both of which meet at the church.
The scout group has been contacted but has yet to comment.
It is understood his bail conditions, that ban him from unsupervised contact with children, means he cannot continue his work with the scouts.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “A 70-year-old man from Coulsdon was arrested on suspicion of three allegations of assault on July 24, 2013.
"He has been bailed to return to a south London police station on a date in late October 2013.
"The allegations relate to historic allegations of assault between 2006 and 2009."
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