Gordon Newton, 40, who worked in Batley, West Yorkshire, abused the girl on a number of occasions.
Leeds Crown Court heard he had confessed to having a sexual interest in children for a number of years.
A judge branded Newton a “hypocrite” and said he had committed “a gross abuse of trust” as he sentenced him to nine years and seven months.
Prosecutor Julian Jones told the court Newton’s wife, Julie, had handed her husband’s old mobile phone to police, who found 276 indecent images of children.
Of those, 70 discovered on the device were deemed to be in the most serious category of abuse images.
A further trawl of Newton’s browsing history revealed at least one search which “suggested a search for images for children aged under three”, Mr Jones said.
In a statement read in court, Newton’s wife said she had been left unable to work full-time and suffers depression as a result of his crimes.
Judge Tom Bayliss said Newton, of Cross Church Street, Huddersfield, had ruined the child’s life, as well as his own and his wife’s.
“You held yourself out as a man of God but you’re nothing. You’re a hypocrite,” he said.
“For a man in your position, what you’ve done amounts not only to an extremely wicked series of acts, but to a gross abuse of a position of trust.
“You abused the trust of so many others in so many ways. You abused the trust of your parishioners and of the Church of England authorities.”
Newton pleaded guilty to 12 offences, including six counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13.
He will be placed on the sex offenders” register for life and a sexual prevention order was also made.