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OCTOBER 20 2020 – “GIBBS: INDEPENDENT BODY WILL SUPERVISE CHURCH’S SAFEGUARDING” – CHURCH TIMES – HATTIE WILLIAMS

“Gibbs: independent body will supervise Church’s safeguarding” – Church Times – Hattie Williams

INDEPENDENT trustees will hold the National Safeguarding Team of the C of E to account, the lead bishop of safeguarding, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, has confirmed. In addition, an independent panel will be set up to approve support packages for survivors. “Whatever it costs, the money will be found,” he said.
Dr Gibbs, who is also the Bishop of Huddersfield, was speaking on Monday after the House of Bishops unanimously endorsed a motion to accept the investigation report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), and “unreservedly apologise” to victims and survivors for the harm done by the Church. The House also committed itself to “urgently implementing” the Inquiry’s recommendations.
One of these recommendations was to upgrade the post of diocesan safeguarding adviser (DSA) to diocesan safeguarding officer (DSO) in order to allow them to be able to take the lead on safeguarding matters, including reporting serious incidents and commissioning investigations and risk-assessments.
To do this, the House agreed unanimously to establish an independent safeguarding structure, with a new trustee body, to take over responsibility from the Archbishops’ Council. The Bishops also agreed that an interim arrangement be put in place for additional independent oversight of safeguarding before the new trustee body is established.
Dr Gibbs explained after the meeting: “The key thing is that we are all agreed that safeguarding needs to be independent: we can’t have bishops, diocesan secretaries, making decisions about safeguarding for two reasons: because they are not professionally qualified in safeguarding, and because there is an element of structural conflict of interest. They have a diocese to look after and to run, so there is always a potential conflict.”
He reported full support among the Bishops for the independence of diocesan safeguarding advisers. The Bishops were “very happy to explore changing their name and status to diocesan safeguarding officers, but really in order to be affective that needs to be picked up in terms of how we structure the whole question of independence. . . and accountability.”
He clarified that under current guidance, DSAs are already able to report safeguarding issues without seeking permission; “but the reality is that they are employed within the diocese and line-managed by diocesan secretaries and bishops, and we need to cut that.”
It was an issue of balance, Dr Gibbs said. “You need people to have a proper degree of independence; but, on the other hand, they need to be rooted and integrated in the diocese if they are really going to bring about culture change.”
The new trustee body would oversee the National Safeguarding Team and hold it to account, rather than the Archbishops’ Council, as at present. Whether or not the independent trustees would have any relationship to the Church was “still to be worked out”, he said. “It has to be credible, partly that they are not answerable to and being line-managed by the National Church Institutions.”
The Church Times understands that the body would be established, and members appointed by an independent body, such as the Charity Commission.
Dr Gibbs said that both Archbishops were keen to implement this “very soon”. There would be a management board with an independent chair and the equivalent of non-executive directors. “You then have to think who represents the Church on that; some have suggested the lead bishop; but there clearly needs to be a majority of independent members on that board who are holding the NST to account on their safeguarding work.”
The NST has been criticised recently for its handling of safeguarding cases, particularly in relation to core groups, as in the case of the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy (News, 11 September). Dr Gibbs said that a full review and consultation on the core group process was “imminent”.
“The [2017] guidelines were written for someone who had been alleged to have abused someone; the complicated cases we have been dealing with recently are whether this senior church person has properly handled the process: that is a different issue. . . We certainly need to clarify at what stage and how are people represented; what are the procedures for making sure that things are being done properly; what is the process for appealing.” There was “a lot to do”.
Asked about the interim redress scheme for survivors to provide immediate financial and pastoral need, Dr Gibbs said: “We are aware of particular cases where there is urgent financial need and for other kinds of support . . . counselling, therapy, life coaching, debt advice. . . We recognise that we have a lot to learn about how we do this, which is why it is a pilot scheme.”
He described a system designed to repair the damage caused not by the original abuse but by how complaints were handled subsequently. “We are not revisiting at this stage the original claim; that may come later in the [full] redress scheme. What we are looking at is what has happened to [survivors] since they have first disclosed: in particular how has the Church responded to them?
“Sadly, some survivors have found that the whole process of disclosure — and how that has been handled by the Church and its representatives, i.e. insurance companies and lawyers — has left them in a worse place than before they disclosed. That is deeply shocking.”
A “package of support” would be decided upon and offered by an independent panel, which is currently being convened so that decisions about the case are not made by the lead bishops or by members of the NST.
“That would include an independent chair who has worked with survivors, a survivor voice in the panel, and someone with expertise in understanding trauma: a psychologist background.”
There was a fund to get this started, and the Church Commissioners had been approached to work out when and how redress might be costed, Dr Gibbs said. “Even in the interim phase, we need access to serious money to do this job. The needs of survivors will be funded to the extent that they need to be funded; this is about compassion, justice, and, dare I say it, generosity.
“Whatever it costs, the money will be found. That is a matter of honour as far as I am concerned. We have failed people dreadfully in the past.”
A new “more demanding” suite of training had also been developed to change attitudes to safeguarding on the ground. It brought people face-to-face with the kind of clericalism and deference highlighted in recent television documentaries, he said, which were also used in training. Recruitments processes were also being revised.
What was significant at the meeting on Monday, Dr Gibbs said, “was the fact that we had 100-per-cent support from the bishops — to recognise not only the need for cultural change, but their role in helping to drive and lead cultural change.”
Dr Gibbs, who has two more years as lead safeguarding bishop, said that there was “a small window of opportunity” to listen to survivors in order to bring about cultural change and establish training and independence. He did not want to waste it.
“We are starting from a very low base of trust. I am well aware that there is a well of frustration, anger, hurt, about the way that survivors have been treated in the past. I am very grateful for their willingness to work with us at all. I am very conscious that we have a very small window of opportunity to take this forward.”
While his role is primarily strategic, he said, “my contacts with individuals also massively influences my whole perspective.”
The House of Bishops is due to release a full response to the IICSA report in the coming weeks.

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OCTOBER 16 2020 – IPSO RULING AWAITED ON MONSTROUS ‘BISHOP BELL’ ARTICLE IN BRIGHTON ARGUS

IPSO RULING AWAITED ON MONSTROUS ‘BISHOP BELL’ ARTICLE IN BRIGHTON ARGUS

“If Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner had been unequivocal in clearing the name of Bishop George Bell, such articles would never have been written”

Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

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“CHURCH OF ENGLAND FORGIVING PEDOPHILES EN MASSE ALLOWED THEM TO CONTINUE WORKING WITH CHILDREN, INQUIRY FINDS” – RT NEWS

“CHURCH OF ENGLAND FORGIVING PEDOPHILES EN MASSE ALLOWED THEM TO CONTINUE WORKING WITH CHILDREN, INQUIRY FINDS” – RT NEWS

Church of England forgave pedophiles en masse, allowed them to continue working with children, inquiry finds

6 Oct, 2020 11:57 / Updated 4 days agoGet short URL

Church of England forgave pedophiles en masse, allowed them to continue working with children, inquiry finds

© PickPik/ file photo

A shocking new inquiry has found that, not only did the Church of England forgive some 400 pedophiles, but it allowed them to continue working with children.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) found that between 1940 and 2018, some 390 people employed by the church, as clergymen or in trusted positions, were convicted of child sex abuse. 

They were ‘forgiven’ for their crimes by the church and allowed to continue their duties, often in close proximity to children, the IICSA found. 

“The culture of the Church of England facilitated it becoming a place where abusers could hide,” the report reads. 

The inquiry found the church repeatedly failed to respond in a consistent manner to victims and survivors of abuse, compounding their trauma over a period of decades.

In 2018 alone, there were some 2,504 concerns raised about possible abuse of children or vulnerable adults, including 449 allegations of recent sexual abuse. 

“Over many decades, the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome,” chair of the inquiry, professor Alexis Jay said.

The IICSA lambasted the church for regarding forgiveness “as the appropriate response to any admission of wrongdoing.”

One such case highlighted is that of Timothy Storey, a man who was permitted to continue working with children after apologising “for everything he had done wrong.” Storey is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for multiple offences against young girls, including rape. ALSO ON RT.COM‘I’m ashamed of our history’: Church of England is ‘still deeply institutionally racist’ says Archbishop of Canterbury

As part of the findings announced Tuesday in the damning report, the panel found that record-keeping of abuse claims was “almost non-existent.”

The panel decried the church’s willingness to pervert the course of legal justice by meting out its own ‘forgiveness,’ precluding sex offenders from being held responsible for their crimes and prevented from re-offending.

The church was also blasted for its handling of the reverend Ian hughes scandal, in which he was convicted in 2014 of downloading 8,000 child porn images, including 800 in the most serious category. 

At the time, Bishop Peter Forster claimed Hughes had been “misled into viewing child pornography”.

The report further condemned what it dubbed as “tribalism” within the church, which placed loyalty to its own over the safety and wellbeing of children. It cited a “culture of fear and secrecy within the Church about sexuality” which then facilitated a climate of sex abuse.

The church issued an apology and expressed shame after the inquiry’s findings were released. “The report makes shocking reading and while apologies will never take away the effects of abuse on victims and survivors, we today want to express our shame about the events that have made those apologies necessary,” said the Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs.

“The whole Church must learn lessons from this Inquiry. Our main focus in response must be recognising the distress caused to victims and survivors by the Church’s failures in safeguarding,” Gibbs added.

The inquiry held public hearings in July 2019, which led in part to the findings of the report. 

The panel made eight recommendations, including an improved complaints process for victims of abuse, the reintroduction of immediate expulsion from the church for anyone convicted of child sex offences and improved funding and support for victims and survivors.

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OCTOBER 9 2020 – “RESIGNATIONS, DYSFUNCTIONALITY AND THE HOUSE OF BISHOPS” – VIAMEDIA NEWS – JAYNE OZANNE

Resignations, Dysfunctionality and the House of Bishops

Posted on October 9, 2020by Jayne Ozanne

by Jayne Ozanne, Editor of ViaMedia, Director of the Ozanne Foundation and Member of General Synod

I resigned from my Bishop’s Council this week.

The decision has been a long time coming – I’ve felt I’ve been hitting my head against a brick wall over our failure to prioritise the poor and disadvantaged, especially given we are such a rich diocese, for years. In fact, I’ve been banging the drum since I got onto Council five years ago. Interestingly, even though we constantly rated serving the poor in our diocese as a “the top priority” during our discussions, it rarely seemed to make the cut into any paperwork . In virtually every meeting I can remember I have had to remind those in authority of the commitments we had agreed as a Council.

I realised things would never change when after one Diocesan Synod meeting I was told, when the priority yet again failed to be mentioned to those gathered, that it was because it was too long to fit on the slide! All rather ironic given that we’d just had a report that emphasised the real issue in our diocese was that of “hidden poverty”!

In truth, I know I was as tired of banging my drum as Council members were of hearing it.

So, eventually, it got to the point where I felt that the best way for them to hear me was by my absence. You see, sometimes leaving is the only way left for people to be heard….

Since I resigned, I’ve been reflecting on why it is so difficult for those in the central Church or Diocesan structures to hear what those outside or on the fringes of the Church see as completely obvious. It came into sharp focus again this week with the IICSA report which stated what so many of us have been saying for some time now – that we need a completely independent safeguarding system in the Church in order for it to be fully functional.

I have decided that the real problem is that our boards and councils are populated by mostly white, mostly male, mostly middle class and mostly middle aged (and that’s being kind) people who all hold virtually the same world view – and who are incapable of recognising that there is legitimacy to any other view other than their own. Because they all end up endorsing each other, they confirm their own legitimacy, and nothing therefore ever changes.

That’s why we find it difficult to embrace those from other backgrounds – those that are different to the monochrome “norm” that the Church of England has built into the warp and weft of its very foundations. You just have to look at the make up of General Synod to see what I mean.

It is why we’ve an appalling record on nearly every measure of diversity – we are seen by those “on the outside and margins” as racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic. We are outrageously bad at dealing with people with differing abilities too. Although it’s “not good show” of course for us to admit this in public.

And what does this “monochrome” system result in? Well, I won’t be popular in saying this, but I believe this ultimately results in the single most critical problem for us as a Church. It’s the real root of most of our problems, which few are prepared to admit let alone publicly name – it is that we have a leadership structure that is, I’m afraid to say, deeply dysfunctional. It seems our House of Bishops operates like a boys public school, with prefects and head boys who whip the younger boys (and they are of course mostly boys!) into line. It may seem like the body that so many aspire to, but once you’re there you get sucked into colluding with a system that few feel able to break free from. Although thankfully, there are some brave individuals who do.

It is interesting to question why so few have called this out publicly over all these years?

Especially given that to many of us on the outside and fringes this dysfunction is plain to see. We have bishops leading double lives, which no one seems to bother about or challenge. We have bishops preaching one thing and practicing another, particularly when it comes to the way in which they treat LGBT+ clergy in their midst. We have bishops who lament safeguarding failures, but whose own record is pretty poor. It all leads to a postcode lottery, which everyone knows about but no one does anything about because they (we?) have all got too much to lose…or worse, that they don’t think that somehow anyone will notice.

But we do, and we all know. The charade was up a long time ago.

It’s just like my own experience with Bishop’s Council – no one can be bothered to bang the drum any more. We are resigned to letting it all continue, with no one rocking the boat.

But time is running out. Many are tiring of this game. And they’re leaving.

So much so that soon the primary problem won’t be the fear of people rocking the boat, but rather the fear of ensuring that there are still people who are prepared to sail in it!

So reform is needed – and it needs to start at the top.

The House of Bishops is about to release resources for the Church of England to engage with over sexuality. What they seem to have failed to see (again!) is that the vast majority of people in the pews made up their minds about LGBT issues long ago….what they’re waiting for is for the House of Bishops to finally do so themselves. And to do so in a way that has some credibility.

So it’s time the House of Bishops had an OFSTED inspection. They need to turn the mirror on themselves and take a long hard look at what they see. They need to be honest about their dysfunctionality, their divisions and their double standards.

Miracles can happen – and with God’s grace this might just be one of them. Goodness knows we need it!

8 Responses to Resignations, Dysfunctionality and the House of Bishops

  1. Roy Clements says: October 9, 2020 at 8:20 am You have fought the good fight, Jayne. But at last you have realised that the real problem with the C of E is its unreformed ecclesiology. There is no biblical warrant for the kind of centralised authoritarian episcopacy it perpetuates. Baptists, congregationalists and other independents have their faults, but they can CHANGE!
  2. Kim James says: October 9, 2020 at 8:37 am Kicking issues into the long grass is quite a speciality in many organisations that are embarrassed by their own failures. The CofE is very good at it at all levels of the hierarchy – from PCC subcommittees all the way up to Synod and the archbishops.
  3. Susan Paterson says: October 9, 2020 at 11:20 am Absolutely nailed it – well done. We need a Reformed Anglican Church – though sadly the initials are already taken!
  4. Philip Feakin says: October 9, 2020 at 11:34 am Excellent. It is a great pity that you have had to resign. The Church needs more people to be speaking out about the Church’s very evident shortcomings.
  5. Jan Dean says: October 9, 2020 at 3:12 pm And that pattern repeats all the way down to parish level where the skin of my teeth is finally giving up.
  6. James Normand says: October 9, 2020 at 6:16 pm Speaking as a white, middle class, late middle-aged man, not (yet) on General Synod, I think your assumption that we ‘all hold virtually the same world view – and .. are incapable of recognising that there is legitimacy to any .. view other than [our] own’ is far too much a generalisation and simply not true.
    That is not to say that I’m critical of your decision to resign from the Bishop of Oxford’s Council. I fully appreciate that ‘there comes a time’ and I’m very sorry that that time has come for you – who have done so much to open the eyes of old fogeys like me.
    Keep battling on, Jayne, in the forums which you continue to inhabit – and, in particular, through your Foundation and Via Media.
    • Jayne Ozanne says: October 9, 2020 at 6:22 pm All generalisations are, by their very nature, that – generalisations. But given the exceptionally large number of people who have today agreed with this caricature of Church of England Boards and Councils I think those who fit this description need to reflect on how diverse their groups actually are…
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OCTOBER 9 2020 – LIST OF ‘RESIGNATION’ SIGNATORIES – OCTOBER 2020 LETTER

Dear Editor


Following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse [IICSA] investigations, we call upon Justin Welby to consider his position as Archbishop of Canterbury.


The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said on October 2:“As we await IICSA’s report…we continue to pray for survivors and all those the Church has failed”.

Archbishop Welby has failed the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell [whose 62nd Anniversary fell on October 3], and will continue to do so until there is a full exoneration by the Archbishop, calling on him to withdraw his “significant cloud…great wickedness” remarks, and for 4 Canon Lane in Chichester to be renamed back to George Bell House.


Justin Welby still appears to believe there is ‘no smoke without fire’, even though the IICSA and two separate investigations by Lord Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – both commissioned by the Church – have shown there is ‘no smoke and no fire’.


The Archbishop has been given every opportunity to right this wrong against Bishop Bell, but still refuses to use his power to heal the very serious divisions caused by this miscarriage of justice.


Our endeavour is to right this wrong.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Revd. Forrest William

BOYS, Geoffrey

CHARMLEY, Professor John

DONALD, Revd. Steve

GOMES, Dr. Jules

INESON, Revd. Matthew

MARTIN, Terry

MORGAN, Dr. Gerald

MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter

OSBORNE, Noel

RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles

ROBINSON, Dr. Steven

SIMS, Kevin

SYMONDS, Richard W.

SYKES, Bishop Nicholas

VIRTUE, David W. DD

WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this letter and its signatories, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

West Sussex RH11 0NN

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

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OCTOBER 8 2020 – “CHURCH OF ENGLAND CHILD SEX ABUSE: SUSSEX FAILINGS FOUND” / “CHURCH ‘FAILED TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM ABUSERS, INQUIRY FINDS” – THE BRIGHTON ARGUS – OCTOBER 8 2020

Church of England child sex abuse: Sussex failings found / “Church ‘failed to protect children from abusers’, inquiry finds”

By Aidan Barlow  @ArgusAidan Crime Reporter

Professor Alexis Jay has chaired an inquiry into child sex abuse in the Church of England, including against former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball

THE Church of England failed to protect children from sexual abusers in Sussex, an inquiry has found.

An independent inquiry into child sex abuse within the Church looked at the conduct of former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball and former Bishop of Chichester George Bell.

It found the Church fostered a culture where sexual predators could “hide” – and got more support than victims of sexual abuse.

The inquiry found that 390 clergy have been convicted since 1940.

Last year there were 2,500 safeguarding concerns raised and 449 allegations reported.

Photo: Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball

It had investigated claims against figures in Sussex, which is part of the Diocese of Chichester.

Victim Philip Johnson, from Eastbourne, was a victim of Bishop Peter Ball in 1978.

Ball admitted abusing 18 young men between 1977 and 1992 and was jailed in 2015. He died last year aged 87.

Mr Johnson previously agreed to waive his right to anonymity and said the inquiry has taken a step in the right direction.

He said there is a need for more independent oversight and safeguarding and a need for more thorough support for victims and survivors.

Photo: Philip Johnson has spoken out about the abuse

In 2015, following Ball’s conviction, the then Detective Chief Inspector Carywn Hughes described how Bishop Ball had abused 12 victims at his home in Litlington near Lewes over many years.

The DCI said: “It became clear that under the guise of his status as a Bishop, Ball had systematically abused the trust of the victims, many of whom were aspiring priests, while others were simply seeking to explore their spirituality.

“He abused that trust and used religion, through his Give A Year For Christ scheme, as a cloak behind which to carry out his grooming activity, the principal aim of which was to satisfy his sexual interest in and desire for young men.”

Ball was guilty of misconduct in a public office and sexual assault.

He admitted misusing his position in authority between 1977 and 1992 “to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification” in relation to 16 young men.

He also admitted indecently assaulting two men in their late teens between 1980 and 1983 and between 1990 and 1991.

Ball was Bishop of Lewes between 1977 and 1992 and Bishop of Gloucester from 1992 until his resignation the following year.

Read more on this story:

The inquiry found that public support was often given to clergy like Ball by the Church of England, regardless of the evidence against them.

Bishop George Bell was the wartime Bishop of Chichester.

A victim, who The Argus previously referred to as Carol to protect her identity, said she was five years old when he molested her.

She also explained she had informed the Church of the abuse in 1995, and again in 2012, and again in 2013 – at which time Archbishop Justin Welby saw to it her complaint was fully investigated.

In October 2015, the Church issued a £16,000 payout and an apology for the way the complaint had been dealt with.

Inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said: “Over many decades, the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome.

Photo: Professor Alexis Jay chaired the inquiry

“To ensure the right action is taken in future, it’s essential that the importance of protecting children from abhorrent sexual abuse is continuously reinforced.

“If real and lasting changes are to be made, it’s vital that the Church improves the way it responds to allegations from victims and survivors, and provides proper support for those victims over time.

“The panel and I hope that this report and its recommendations will support these changes to ensure these failures never happen again.”

Photo: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

The current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologised for church failings and said he felt “ashamed”.

He said the failings revealed were “profoundly and deeply shocking”.

LETTER TO THE ARGUS – OCTOBER 8 2020

Dear Aidan Barlow

As the Argus crime reporter, would you please maintain your journalistic integrity by amending your surprisingly sloppy piece of journalism [“Church ‘failed to protect children from abusers’, inquiry found”, Argus, Oct 8].

There is a distortion of facts, and therefore truth, if the case of the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell is confused – deliberately or otherwise – with the case of ex-Bishop Peter Ball.

Peter Ball was found guilty in a criminal court of law. 

George Bell was found not guilty by two separate investigations by Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – both commissioned by the Church.
I would urge you to amend your article accordingly.

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages Ifield Street, Ifield Village Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only – Very deaf] Email: richardsy5@aol.com

RWS COMMENT

Here is an example of sloppy journalism which damages truth and justice for those victims and survivors of abuse, and those victims and survivors falsely accused of abuse.

When reading the Argus article, be aware that ex-Bishop Peter Ball was found guilty in a criminal court of law, while wartime Bishop of Chichester was found not guilty by two separate investigations by Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – both commissioned by the Church.

I look forward to the Church of England Comms correcting this media sloppiness – just as I look forward to flying pigs getting landing rights here at Gatwick.

Dear Richard, 

I agree with you that Aidan Barlow’s report is sloppy.  It is more than that: it is reprehensible and Bishop Bell would have grounds to sue the Argus for damages for defamation were he still alive. 

The report does not say in terms that Bell was guilty of abusing ‘Carol’, but that is the clear inference from referring to her as a ‘victim’ (rather than as complainant or claimant) and the £16,000 ‘payout’ by the Church, without making any reference to the subsequent investigation and Review by Lord Carlile.  

The article contains a link (Read more on this story: Fresh material given to police in Bishop of Chichester George Bell case) to the report by Joel Adams in the Argus on 31 January 2018 referring to the ‘information’ received following publication of the Carlile Review in December 2017.  At least that report includes an accurate summary of the conclusions of Lord Carlile QC (though wrongly elevating his status by calling him a ‘Law Lord’!) and refers to Carol as ‘the alleged victim’ (emphasis added), but this does little to correct the position when there is no reference in the current report to the subsequent Sussex police statement (in March 2018) “The matter is now closed as far as Sussex Police are concerned and the Church of England have been informed of this” (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/22/bishop-george-bell-abuse-investigation-dropped-sussex-police/amp/https://virtueonline.org/uk-bishop-george-bell-investigation-dropped-sussex-police) nor to the Briden report, dated 17 January 2019, finding the new allegations to be “unfounded”: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2019/1-february/news/uk/archbishop-welby-apologises-for-mistakes-in-case-of-george-bell.  

The IICSA report published on 6 October 2020 does refer to the Bell case on pages 70-71, but (I would suggest) in a disingenuous way, leaving the innuendo that Bell might have been guilty of the abuse alleged. 

First, on page 70, it records criticisms of Lord Carlile’s report voiced in evidence by Ecclesiastical (EIO) claims director David Bonehill (a witness who had to be recalled on 12 July 2019 to correct misleading evidence given earlier).  The report makes no comment on those criticisms and, so far as I am aware, Lord Carlile was not asked for his response to them.  

Second, at page 71, para 39, the IICSA report states simply in respect of ‘the second George Bell case’: “Mr Briden concluded that no further allegations were proven on the balance of probabilities.”  The footnote reference (footnote 578) is not a reference to Mr Briden’s report but to inquiry document ACE027643_138-142. |This is pages 138 to 142 of Graham Tilby’s witness statement dated 14 June 2019 in which (at para 348) he purports to summarise Timothy Briden’s conclusions.  His first bullet point states simply, “Alison’s complaint was not considered to be proved on the balance of probabilities”, omitting Mr Briden’s reason, namely “her evidence being unverified by independent sources and her account unreliable.”  Likewise, Mr Tilby’s second bullet point states “The incident described by witness K was not considered proved on the balance of probabilities”, omitting Mr Briden’s reason, “the hearsay account being inherently unconvincing and without corroboration.” (See Appendix III).  Further, Mr Tilby makes no reference to Mr Briden’s overarching conclusion at his para 43: “Concentrating exclusively on the allegations remitted to me, I have decided that they are unfounded.” (emphasis added). 

I should add, for the sake of accuracy, that Lord Carlile did not find Bishop Bell ‘not guilty’ of the abuse alleged by Carol as his terms of reference precluded him from doing so (see paras 9, 10 and 258 of his Review), but reading between the lines of his criticisms of the flawed core group investigation, it is pretty clear that that is his (unstated) view. 

In view of what I have set out above, I am copying this e-mail, inter alios, to Alex Carlile. 

Kind regards, 

David.  

David Lamming – General Synod member

RWS NOTE

General Synod member David Lamming has called this sloppy piece of journalism by the Brighton Argus as “reprehensible” – but it represents a part of the media which is beyond ignorant – and dangerously distorts the truth – deliberately or otherwise.

There needs to be pastoral care and support, not just for the victims and survivors of abuse, but also the victims and survivors of those falsely accused of abuse.

COMPLAINT TO ARRON HENDY – ARGUS EDITOR

Dear Arron Hendy
Please register this as a formal complaint – one of accuracy [lack of] due to poor research by a professional journalist.
If this complaint is not dealt with by the end of today (Friday October 9 2020), I will formally complain to IPSO.

1. Accuracy

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published.

Yours sincerely 

Richard W. Symonds
2 Lychgate Cottages Ifield Street Ifield Village Crawley West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only please) Email: richardsy5@aol.com

IPSO COMPLAINT

IPSO

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The Argus (Brighton) (Newsquest Media Group)

“Church’s child sex abuse shame” [Hard Copy] + Church of England child sex abuse: Sussex failings found / “Church ‘failed to protect children from abusers’, inquiry finds” [Online], date of article 08/10/2020

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https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/october-8-2020-church-of-england-child-sex-abuse-sussex-failings-found-the-argus-october-8-2020/

Clause(s) breached:

1 Accuracy

The integrity of the professional journalist concerned is questioned with an inaccurate, poorly researched and sloppy piece of journalism.
There is a distortion of facts, and therefore truth and justice, if the case of the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell is confused – deliberately or otherwise – with the case of ex-Bishop Peter Ball.
Peter Ball was found guilty in a criminal court of law. George Bell was found not guilty by two separate investigations by Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – both commissioned by the Church.

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Mr

Richard W. Symonds

richardsy5@aol.com

2 LYCHGATE
IFIELD STREET
CRAWLEY
RH11 0NN

07540309592 [Text only – Very deaf]

Victims call for the Archbishop of Canterbury to quit as he says findings of ‘shameful and disgraceful’ CofE child assault inquiry are a ‘big wake-up call’

  • Archbishop of Canterbury resisted calls to resign, insisting ‘I’ve got to do better’
  • Justin Welby’s position was question after a bombshell report into church abuse 
  • It recommended that bishops lose their responsibility to keep children safe
  • They said alleged paedophiles were being given more support than victims 

By DAN SALES FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 09:45, 7 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:24, 7 October 2020

47 View comments

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has refused calls to resign over a damning Church of England child sex assault inquiry’s ‘shameful and disgraceful’ findings.

The religious leader, 64, admitted he understood why victims may be asking for him to step down, but he insisted he was better staying in the role to continue his work.

It came after a 60-year-old abuse survivor – known only as Gilo – said such failings in any other sector of life would have left their jobs.

Archbishop Welby said: ‘I know that since I came into this job I have worked as hard as I could to move the church to a different place. I understand his anger. I’ve got to do better.

‘The whole system has been broken. It needs to move towards much more independent oversight of safeguarding

‘I am confident now that whenever we know about something we deal with it straightaway

‘I had a disclosure of safeguarding as late as yesterday, around this time as it happens, in an hour it was reported to our safeguarding people and it was in their hands.

‘I think we have been poor with dealing with redress and in dealing with the victims and survivors.’The Archbishop of Canterbury said it had received a new safeguarding report yesterday+3

The Archbishop of Canterbury said it had received a new safeguarding report yesterday

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse said the church put its own reputation above protecting them. 

It recommended that bishops lose their responsibility to keep children safe because alleged paedophiles were given more support than victims.

The IICSA said reports of recent abuse have continued – with 449 in 2018. 

Hundreds of paedophiles have been harboured by the Church over almost 70 years, the report found, undermining its ‘moral purpose’ as a Christian institution. 

It said the CofE has been guilty of ‘neglecting the wellbeing of children in favour of protecting its own reputation’. 

From the 1940s to 2018, 390 clergy or people in positions of trust associated with the Church have been convicted of sexual offences against children. 

The damning report was released yesterday and painted a terrifying picture of abuse+3

The damning report was released yesterday and painted a terrifying picture of abuseChild abuse inquiry: Anglican Church failed to protect children.

Archbishop Welby added to Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It’s shameful and disgraceful and reveals exactly what they said, a culture in which there was cover-up and hiding and it’s deeply shaming.

‘It didn’t come as a surprise because we’ve been working on this, as the report said later on, we’ve begun a journey of changing that and now certainly over the last few years it is a very serious matter, a disciplinary matter, for anyone to cover up any abuse at all and we’ve strengthened that and multiplied the amount of money for example that we’ve spent on safeguarding ten-fold, but it wasn’t a surprise because I’ve lived that for the seven-and-a-half years I’ve been in post and we’ve been working hard to change it and the report says we’ve begun a journey and quite rightly says we’ve not gone quick enough or far enough yet. 

‘I didn’t wonder, I knew. I was shocked by the level when I came into this job by the extent to which it was happening but one was aware that we had a history that was not so good, we knew about Peter Ball, I was ordained in 1992 which I think was about the year where he resigned as the Bishop of Gloucester so one knew about that from that moment onward.

‘In each place where I was working from my parish onwards we tightened up on safeguarding very sharply’

Last night on the radio station’s PM programme survivor Gilo – whose abuser is dead – told them top management should look at their own positions.

Ball, a friend of the Prince of Wales, who was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sex abuse against boys carried out over three decades, had been allowed to continue unchecked+3

Ball, a friend of the Prince of Wales, who was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sex abuse against boys carried out over three decades, had been allowed to continue unchecked

He added: ‘Senior figures, including Archbishop Welby should seriously question themselves about whether they should be resigning.

‘In any other sphere of live, you know if look at Government department’s, ministers, etc, you would see failure marked by resignation.

‘I think it’s very clear from this report that the church has failed and continue to fail despite being aware of its failings.’ 

The findings of the inquiry, set up by Theresa May in 2014 following the Jimmy Savile scandal, amount to a wholesale condemnation of the attitude to sex abuse of both bishops and more junior clergy.

It said Bishop Peter Ball, a friend of the Prince of Wales, who was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sex abuse against boys carried out over three decades, had been allowed to continue unchecked after being first caught in 1993 because of the leniency of a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

It said Lord Carey ‘simply could not believe the allegations against Ball or acknowledge the seriousness of them regardless of evidence, and was outspoken in his support of his bishop’, adding: ‘He seemingly wanted the whole business to go away.’ 

It concluded: ‘Many of these cases demonstrate the Church of England’s failure to take the abuse seriously, creating a culture where abusers were able to hide. 

‘Alleged perpetrators were given more support than victims, who often faced barriers to reporting they simply couldn’t overcome.’   

Paedophile dean silenced accusers

One of the Church of England’s most highly-placed paedophiles used the seal of the confessional to protect himself from exposure and disgrace, the report said. 

The Very Reverend Robert Waddington, who was Dean of Manchester cathedral in the 1980s and 1990s, was responsible for repeated sexual abuse of boys in Australia and England over five decades and his case was covered up at the highest level. 

The young man whose complaints finally exposed Waddington in 2013 – six years after his death – had been told he must keep quiet to avoid breaking a sacred trust. 

One of the Church of England's most highly-placed paedophiles, Robert Waddington (pictured), who was the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, used the seal of the confessional to protect himself from exposure and disgrace, the report said
Waddington was exposed after former chorister Eli Ward, pictured, came forward in 2013

One of the Church of England’s most highly-placed paedophiles, Robert Waddington (left), who was the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, used the seal of the confessional to protect himself from exposure and disgrace, the report said. Waddington was exposed after former chorister Eli Ward (right) came forward in 2013

The man said ‘Waddington had told him – falsely – that he could not disclose the abuse, as Waddington had been “absolved of sinful child abuse in the context of the sacramental ministry of reconciliation”.’ 

The Church has never acknowledged that the scandal was central to its internal debate over the confessional. 

Waddington was exposed after former chorister Eli Ward came forward in 2013 to speak publicly about how from the age of 11 he was groomed and then sexually abused by him. 

Mr Ward, now 47, said he was sleeping in the dean’s bed by the time he was 13.

THE VERY PUBLIC EXCORIATION OF AN ARCHBISHOP ENTANGLED IN A VERY ENGLISH WEB OF CORRUPTION AND DECEIT LYING DEEP WITHIN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

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OCTOBER 6 2020 – THE PUBLIC EXCORIATION OF AN ARCHBISHOP ENTANGLED IN A VERY ENGLISH WEB OF CORRUPTION AND DECEIT LYING DEEP WITHIN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

THE IICSA REPORT – OCTOBER 6 2020 – A VERY PUBLIC EXCORIATION OF AN ARCHBISHOP ENTANGLED IN A VERY ENGLISH WEB OF CORRUPTION AND DECEIT LYING DEEP WITHIN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

LETTER SUBMISSION ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE [IICSA] REPORT – OCTOBER 6 2020

Dear Editor


Following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse [IICSA] investigations, we call upon Justin Welby to consider his position as Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said on October 2:

“As we await IICSA’s report…we continue to pray for survivors and all those the Church has failed”

Archbishop Welby has failed the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell [whose 62nd Anniversary fell on October 3], and will continue to do so until there is a full exoneration by the Archbishop, calling on him to withdraw his “significant cloud…great wickedness” remarks, and for 4 Canon Lane in Chichester to be renamed back to George Bell House.
Justin Welby still appears to believe there is ‘no smoke without fire’, even though the IICSA and two separate investigations by Lord Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – both commissioned by the Church – have shown there is ‘no smoke and no fire’.
The Archbishop has been given every opportunity to right this wrong against Bishop Bell, but still refuses to use his power to heal the very serious divisions caused by this miscarriage of justice.
Our endeavour is to right this wrong.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Revd. Forrest William

BOYS, Geoffrey

CHARMLEY, Professor John

DONALD, Revd. Steve

GOMES, Dr. Jules

INESON, Revd. Matthew

MARTIN, Terry

MORGAN, Dr. Gerald

MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter

OSBORNE, Noel

RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles

ROBINSON, Dr. Steven

SIMS, Kevin

SYMONDS, Richard W.

SYKES, Bishop Nicholas

VIRTUE, David W. DD

WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this letter and its signatories, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

West Sussex RH11 0NN

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

IICSA KEY FINDINGS

  1. The Anglican Church Investigation Report
  2. Part B: The Church of England
  3. B.4: Civil claims and redress in the Church of England
  4. B.4.5: Allegations against deceased individuals

B.4.5: Allegations against deceased individuals

29. The Church does not keep records about the number of allegations made against deceased individuals.[1]

30. If a claim relates to an individual for whom there would have been a valid insurance policy were they alive, it is dealt with by the EIO and the principles and procedures set out above would apply. If the claim relates to a deceased bishop – such as Victor Whitsey, Peter Ball or George Bell – it is managed by the Church Commissioners, whose role is to ensure proper investigation before taking decisions about settlement.[2]

31. The Church Commissioners (who are responsible for payment of compensation in claims which are not insured) are considering introducing mediation as part of their process for redress.[3]

The first George Bell case and the Carlile review

32. A complainant known as Carol alleged in 1995 and again in 2013 that she was abused by the late George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester. When Carol sued the Church for damages in 2014, a core group was convened. The Church settled Carol’s claim, apologised and issued a public statement.

33. Lord Carlile of Berriew was instructed by the Church to consider its response to the allegations. In his report (dated December 2017), he was critical of the Church’s actions, particularly in making a public statement about the allegations and the settlement reached. In the Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report, the Inquiry expressed concern about a number of Lord Carlile’s conclusions. These included that:

  • a confidentiality clause should have been included in the settlement;
  • considerable weight” should have been given to the “high esteem” in which George Bell was held; and
  • the core group was criticised for relying on the evidence of “a single complainant”.[4]

34. Lord Carlile’s recommendations only apply to a small minority of claims, those that are uninsured or where no claim is issued.[5] There may also be claims where there was no insurance policy in place.

35. In Mr Bonehill’s view, the process suggested by Lord Carlile was not consistent with the approach that an insurer would take in insured cases, and that it was “something that certainly we would not be able to support”.[6]

35.1. Lord Carlile recommended the assistance of advice from a lawyer with practical knowledge of criminal law and procedure. Although civil claims are judged on the balance of probabilities, Lord Carlile stated that “the examination of a case of this kind against the criminal standard is a useful and instructive exercise”.[7] Mr Bonehill said that this would not be considered relevant to an insured claim because the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities.[8]

35.2. Lord Carlile stated that the core group was wrong to dismiss the defence of limitation.[9] Mr Bonehill did not agree and repeated the EIO’s position that limitation should be used very sparingly.[10]

35.3. Lord Carlile considered that where a claim was settled without admission of liability the settlement should generally include a confidentiality provision. The EIO does not and never has insisted on confidentiality provisions unless they are sought by the complainant, but there is no distinction between claims settled with liability and without.[11] In Mr Bonehill’s view:

serious consideration would need to be given to enforcing such a clause. In reality, it is difficult to imagine a situation where it would be considered ethically proper for an organisation to seek to claw back a damages and costs payment from an individual who, potentially, has been a victim/survivor of abuse”.[12]

The second George Bell case

36. Following the publication of Lord Carlile’s report, a further allegation of abuse by Bishop George Bell was made by an individual known as Alison. This second George Bell case is the most recent example of how the Church of England manages an uninsured allegation against a deceased individual.

37. The National Safeguarding Team convened a core group to oversee and manage the response to the allegation, to comply with Lord Carlile’s recommendations.[13]

38. A former detective superintendent, Raymond Galloway, was appointed to undertake an investigation. His investigation was thorough and included as many witnesses as possible.[14] An independent consultant was also appointed to represent the interests of Bishop Bell’s family, with an independent sexual and domestic violence adviser to ensure that Alison’s viewpoint was heard.[15] Both were subsequently represented by counsel during the process. A senior ecclesiastical judge, Timothy Briden, was appointed as the decision-maker in relation to the complaint.[16]

39. The core group concluded that no reasonable tribunal could find that the allegations were proven on the balance of probabilities. Mr Briden concluded that no further allegations were proven on the balance of probabilities.[17]

‘THINKING ANGLICANS’

Comments

Richard W. Symonds 

Marion Owen:
“So this is why the Church of England was holding back from any fundamental reforms to its safeguarding policies in advance of the IICSA report: hedging its bets to see what it could get away with in terms of retaining control of its processes. Long term, this is not going to lead to a thoroughly victim and survivor focused enterprise. Doubtless, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Luther Pendragon will continue to be key players.
As a retired bishop recently remarked, when a church has to employ reputational management consultants, you know the game’s over and the emperor has no clothes”

IICSA Report – The George Bell Case – Lord Carlile QC and Mr Bonehill – Ecclesiastical Insurance Office [EIO]

33. Lord Carlile of Berriew was instructed by the Church to consider its response to the allegations. In his report (dated December 2017), he was critical of the Church’s actions…
35. In Mr Bonehill’s view, the process suggested by Lord Carlile was not consistent with the approach that an insurer would take in insured cases, and that it was “something that certainly we would not be able to support”.[6]
35.1. Lord Carlile recommended the assistance of advice from a lawyer with practical knowledge of criminal law and procedure. Although civil claims are judged on the balance of probabilities, Lord Carlile stated that “the examination of a case of this kind against the criminal standard is a useful and instructive exercise”.[7] Mr Bonehill said that this would not be considered relevant to an insured claim because the standard of proof is the balance of probabilities.[8]

39. The core group concluded that no reasonable tribunal could find that the allegations were proven on the balance of probabilities. Mr Briden concluded that no further allegations were proven on the balance of probabilities.[17]

FURTHER COVERAGE [Hat-Tip: ‘Thinking Anglicans’]

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its long-awaited report on the Church of England and the Church in Wales. The report totals 154 pages.

Here is a link to the Recommendations section of the report. And here is a link to the Executive Summary.

Press releases:

Initial media coverage:

THINKING ANGLICANS

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Statement

on Tuesday, 6 October 2020 at 5.45 pm by Simon Kershaw
categorised as Church of EnglandSafeguarding

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued the following personal statement following the publication of the IICSA report:

To fail on safeguarding casts a profound stain across every good thing we do. I have said this before and I continue to stand by it. But I am acutely aware as we come towards the end of this year that while there is a genuine commitment for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults to be the highest priority of all parts of the Church, it is evident we still have not got it right.

The report published today is a stark and shocking reminder of how so many times we have failed – and continue to fail – survivors. Apologies are vital, but they are not enough. We have to listen. We have to learn. And we have to act.

In calling for the enquiry, through a letter to the then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2014, I was aware that although it would be something that survivors had demanded it would also be a deeply painful process to tell their stories. I am very grateful to them for their courage. We cannot and will not make excuses and I must again offer my sincere apologies to those to have been abused, and to their families, friends and colleagues.

There is clearly much to respond to and an in-depth consideration of today’s report is vital. IICSA has shone a light on the past and present to help us better inform our future safeguarding work. They are owed our thanks which we give wholeheartedly. I pray this report and its recommendations will result in the changes needed to make our Church a safer place for all now and for future generations.

 

Richard W. Symonds

The Archbishop’s all-too-familiar apologies and platitudes don’t wash with me, I’m afraid. He should consider his position as the one ‘in charge’ of his Bishops who have been stripped of their responsibility for safeguarding. This has been on his ‘watch’. Reply

Fr. Dean Henley

Fr. Dean Henley 

The Archbishop should be making an appointment with Her Majesty to offer his resignation. Reply

Jeremy Pemberton

Jeremy Pemberton 

I agree with these comments. His words come too glibly – and he has a list of people he has promised to meet and listen to and he has not done anything about it. His own knowledge of John Smythe and Jonathan Fletcher has not been fully explained and he has done all he can to avoid straight answers about the importance Iwerne had for him. There has been a very significant conspiracy of silence around evangelical misdoings, and unless he comes out with much more honesty around all of that I don’t think he is credible any more. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds Reply to  Jeremy Pemberton

IICSA – a government-ordered inquiry – concludes that the Church of England “facilitates a culture where abusers can hide”.

The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is Her Majesty The Queen.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby must now do the honourable thing and offer his resignation to Her Majesty. Reply

Helen King

Helen King 

Is it true that, as the Archbishop suggests here, he was responsible for ‘calling for this enquiry’? Reply

Nigel LLoyd

Nigel LLoyd Reply to  Helen King

I am not sure that the ABC did call for the IICSA enquiry to be set up. But I do remember that, when the enquiry was being set up, the ABC asked, as a matter of urgency, that the CofE should be at the front of the queue for investigation. Reply

Helen King

Helen King Reply to  Nigel LLoyd

Thanks for that clarification. That makes sense. Reply

Matthew Ineson

Matthew Ineson 

Justin Welby should resign immediately along with all who have ignored abuse, ignored disclosures of abuse, covered up for those who have done the above and treat victims badly. He cannot have all the privilege he has and not take responsibility. He has persistently taken ‘no action’ in complaints in order to protect bishops, refused to personally apologise on behalf of the church to victims who have suffered horrific abuse. This is on his watch. He repeatedly says he has no power, only influence. This is blatantly untrue. He has power to discipline bishops, suspend bishops and impose penalties for… Read more » Reply

Colin Coward

Colin Coward 

Why does the Church of England have a culture in which abuse is systemic?

Why is no one asking the question: What action has the church taken and is the church now taking to change the abusive institutional elements in Christian teaching and practice that are integral to the culture of abuse? Reply

Dave

Dave

If there is a “genuine commitment for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults to be the highest priority of all parts of the Church” why are diocesan websites, and twitter feeds silent? Take Manchester, for example, (and there will be many other examples) where a former Dean of the Cathedral was investigated. The website makes no mention whatsoever of the report, no request for prayer, no statement. The Bishop says via Twitter of all things (!) that the report was ‘pretty shameful’ (what an insensitive understatement) and then actually goes on to say as long as abusers exist, nobody… Read more » Reply

Janet Fife

Janet Fife Reply to  Dave

The Bishop of Manchester’s statement on Ch 4 news last night was awful: no compassion or concern for survivors; saying how much the Church has improved; praising Justin Welby for the great job he’s doing. Clearly. David Walker has learned absolutely nothing from the IICSA Report, and therefore his diocese can’t look for much improvement. He too should resign. Reply

Bill Broadhead

Bill Broadhead Reply to  Janet Fife

The script had probably been written for him, Janet, by EIO, Luther Pendragon and the legal office at Church House, Westminster. Bishops cannot say what they really want to say in case it ends up costing money. And don’t forget Manchester Diocese only collected 40% of parish share last year, so he won’t want to upset the Commissioners and those doling out the Strategic Development Fund money. Reply

Marise Hargreaves

Marise Hargreaves 

Less than a root and branch reform will achieve nothing. Accountability, transparency and all things safeguarding out of the hands of the church would be a start. Resignations need to happen from the top down and a recognition the institution as it now exists cannot continue. More words upon words achieve nothing. Actions speak louder and so far the actions are less than impressive. Reply

Fr John Harris-White

Fr John Harris-White 

A sad day indeed for the Anglican church. But an opportunity to turn round and face the future in the strength of the forgiveness of Our Lord. But it needs changes at the top of the Church of England, and in particularly the resignation of Archbishop Welby. I would be willing to sign such a petition, calling him to be a man, and resign. his position.

Fr John Emlyn Reply

Just Sayin'

Just Sayin’ 

All too often it seems Archbishop Justin offers himself as innocent observer. He has had plenty of opportunity to influence the culture of the C of E and the House of Bishops in his time yet has chosen not to do so.

From comments on this site and elsewhere he has, as they say ‘lost the dressing room’. If he has any shred of self worth or conscience he really should go. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds

‘Virtue-signalling’ Archbishop refuses to stand down after scathing abuse report:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8813903/Victims-call-Archbishop-Canterbury-quit-shameful-disgraceful-CofE-report.html

LETTER SUBMISSION – OCTOBER 7 2020

Dear Editor
All serving Anglican bishops should offer their resignations en masse to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England Her Majesty The Queen [“C of E bishops should lose responsibility for safeguarding children, says inquiry”, Guardian, Oct 7], just as all Catholic bishops in Chile offered their resignations en masse to the Pope in 2018:
They should re-apply for their jobs, be asked at interview what they would do to put things right, and have their jobs and stipends back only if they satisfy the interviewing panel. Their expressions of regret, apology, and promises they will learn lessons, might then have some credibility.


Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

West Sussex RH11 0NN

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

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OCTOBER 5 2020 – IICSA REPORT TO EXPOSE “A VERY ENGLISH FORM OF CORRUPTION“ LYING DEEP WITHIN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

IICSA REPORT EXPOSES “A VERY ENGLISH FORM OF CORRUPTION“ LYING DEEP WITHIN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH

Looking ahead to IICSA report day on Tuesday

Stephen’s Blog Stephen Parsons

by Gilo

By no means a comprehensive list. Just a brief visit across a number of things we may probably see further comment upon after the Inquiry makes its final Anglican report.

Mandatory Reporting

It’s possible that any expecting to see the much needed recommendation for Mandatory Reporting as part of the statutory framework – will be disappointed. It is long overdue.

The argument is won.

And this presents an ideal moment as the Church has come round to acceptance of MR after a rather circuitous route of yes we do, no we don’t. Many of us suspect the Inquiry want to hold on to this as a ‘big ticket’ recommendation for the final report at the end of 2021. Why wait until then? Current policies across many institutions in regulated activities have been called “bags of bits” by Mandate Now; labyrinthine policy jungles which would become largely redundant with MR. Culture change will happen in a single weekend with its eventual introduction. But I think we have to wait until the Inquiry gets the last train home.

Independence

The Archbishops Council statement was notably vague on this. That the Church is keen to put this theme out just before the final Anglican report suggests that the Inquiry will call serious question to the Church’s fitness for self-governance. There is an overwhelming need for the National Safeguarding Team to be given independent oversight, well away from the control of Archbishops’ Council secretariat. The current NST is almost an entirely new team, but part of the difficulty facing Melissa Caslake and her newbies is picking their way through the considerable wreckage of the previous era which has left many survivors deeply suspicious of the NST.

Many disaster sites might have been avoided, or reached quicker resolution, if the NST hadn’t been shaped by the culture of Church House, its comms and lawyers and managers, and at times, the Church’s own dodgy reputation launderers.

The Christ Church core group debacle would in all likelihood have been avoided. I am told the probable outcome of this independence will be the formation of a new NCI (National Church Institution) – called Safeguarding – with independent members alongside Church appointees in an oversight committee to beef up scrutiny. We will have to wait and see how and when this happens.

Archbishops and Bishops

Many of us expect to see Archbishop Justin Welby and former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, criticised. Both their hearings were embarrassing. When each had an opportunity to apologise to a survivor sat directly behind them, they failed to do so despite being invited by the Inquiry. Those watching sensed that the Inquiry took a dim view. The wider existential crisis of the bishops – how many senior figures and their dioceses have responded, or failed to respond – is likely to come under heavy fire.

The walls of silence to major questions that so many of us have experienced as a pattern across the bishops is something we hope the Inquiry will highlight.

I know that Bishop Jonathan Gibbs is keen to see more vigorous accountability injected into the structure. At present it is at best variable, at worst: absent.

Some bishops are thrown under the bus. Others get away with run-for-the-hills behaviour and hope the fallout from their denial and distancing will not follow them.

The National Safeguarding Steering Group, the church’s current overarching board of governance, to many of us seems to resemble a shielding for senior figures who should be facing critical questions. It includes bishops who have managed to hide within the structure behind dysfunctional processes and a culture of protection.

Ecclesiastical Insurance

Many of us expect to see the church’s insurer take a substantial hit following the recall to IICSA when Ecclesiastical Insurance tried to pull the wool over a government inquiry.

It’s worth pointing out that Carl Beech is serving 18 years in prison for perverting the course of justice and lying under oath to the police. But Ecclesiastical, a big corporate, have managed so far to get away with apparent dissembling in front of a government inquiry – under oath!

It’s also notable that their lawyer, top QC Rory Phillips, had only one client at the Inquiry and a very small handful of statements to be across. What a mess he made. I don’t think anyone assumes he knew his client was being dishonest. But to be candid, he could have done an hour’s easy homework – and realised he was representing a client who was being considerably less than ‘sufficiently full and frank’ in their testimony. It took the Inquiry less than 45 mins to devastate their testimony on three significant counts. Now, much more is emerging about malevolent psychiatric reports used against survivors, ‘genetic predisposition’ defences, desk-topping, and other strategies deployed by EIG and their lawyer – much of this reflecting dubious ethics.

But I doubt these will be visited in the report as some of these have only recently started to emerge, despite being brought to the attention of senior church figures over the years. But I would expect to see the Church criticised for its duplicity in some aspects of its relationship to the insurer.

It has sought to protect a corrupted nexus, from whom it derives substantial income through the owner of the insurer, AllChurches Trust. It has been, as one cleric put it, “a very English form of corruption”.

Interim Support Scheme

This is not part of the Inquiry. But it’s definitely worth comment – as the Church announced this flagship scheme last week perhaps as an attempt to plea-bargain with the Inquiry, and certainly to address widespread concern at the lack of compassion towards survivors. My understanding is that this scheme will help up to ten people initially (to help create the structure) and then quickly scale up. Quickly being the operative word.

If it fails to do this, or rows back on its promises, and becomes another smoke and mirror delaying tactic – then it will raise much more ire.

The proof will be in the extent to which it is prepared to rescue economies of those left in wreckage as result of reporting and re-abuse. And not just the initial ten or so. But fifty, then a hundred, and so on. This is not the redress scheme and should not be confused with it. It is the interim support prior to redress. My understanding is that there is no figure attached to this scheme – instead the lead bishops have argued for an open credit line – which I think is the right approach. The final redress scheme will cost a great deal more. The figure that has been talked about in the longer term has been £200million. But many of us think this will not be sufficient.

What happens after?

Will the Church go back to sleep after the Inquiry? My sense is that the current lead bishops are keen to use this opportunity to bring about as much culture change as they can and I think they recognise that this is required across the top of their Church.

My own view is that a Truth & Reconciliation initiative may be needed, in which bishops end the long procession of crafted apology statements, and apologise for real. But that has to go hand in hand with real justice and genuine repair of lives.

About Stephen Parsons

Stephen is a retired Anglican priest living at present in Cumbria. He has taken a special interest in the issues around health and healing in the Church but also when the Church is a place of harm and abuse. He has published books on both these issues and is at present particularly interested in understanding the psychological aspects of leadership and follower-ship in the Church. He is always interested in making contact with others who are concerned with these issues. View all posts by Stephen Parsons →

← Is the Church of England ready for new moves in Safeguarding?

2 thoughts on “Looking ahead to IICSA report day on Tuesday”

  1. Gilo BBC Radio Sunday. 25mins in. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000n4vyReply
  2. Jane Chevous Thank you Gilo, your predictions sound spot on and give us some hope that things will change. I know that you and others are working behind the scenes to do this and am very grateful for all you do.
    I do hope the report calls for independent scrutiny & that this results in a total reform of the core group process, because this is where the real canker is. It’s unfit for purpose and often reabusive. And as you say, fails to hold abusers and especially bishops who do nothing, to account. Nothing is happening to either of the bishops who failed (refused) to respond to my report of clergy rape.
    A redress scheme doesn’t bring justice. I hope the idea of a restorative justice process, including a Truth & Reconciliation commission, does gain traction. Counselling and compensation alone do not bring justice, or repair the rupture of abuse
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OCTOBER 3 2020 – FROM THE ARCHIVES – ARCHBISHOP WELBY REFUSES TO PUBLICLY CLEAR BISHOP BELL, REFUSES TO RETRACT “SIGNIFICANT CLOUD” REMARKS AND REFUSES TO WITHDRAW “GREAT WICKEDNESS” COMMENTS – DAILY TELEGRAPH – JANUARY 24 2019

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

FROM THE ARCHIVES – ARCHBISHOP WELBY REFUSES TO PUBLICLY CLEAR BISHOP BELL, REFUSES TO RETRACT “SIGNIFICANT CLOUD” REMARKS AND REFUSES TO WITHDRAW “GREAT WICKEDNESS” COMMENTS – DAILY TELEGRAPH – JANUARY 24 2019

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises ‘unreservedly’ for CoE’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations

Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) apologises 'unreservedly' for CoE's 'mistakes' in handling Bishop Bell allegations
Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) apologises ‘unreservedly’ for CoE’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations

24 JANUARY 2019 • 2:51PMFollow 

The Archbishop of Canterbury was accused yesterday of persisting with a “malign” attack on Bishop George Bell after he refused to exonerate him following a “copycat” allegation of historic child sex abuse.

An official report published yesterday concluded that a 70-year-old allegation against Bishop Bell was unfounded. It found that the evidence of the complainant – a woman named only as “Alison” – was “unreliable” and “inconsistent”.

Alison had written to the Church of England, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the bishop in 1949 when she was aged nine.

The letter was sent a week after the Church of England was found to have wrongly besmirched Bishop Bell in its handling of a previous complaint brought by a woman known only as “Carol”.

The latest report suggested that Carol’s allegation had “prompted a false recollection in Alison’s mind”.

Yesterday, the Most Rev Justin Welby “apologised unreservedly for the mistakes” in the handling of the complaint made by Carol. But he declined to publicly clear the former Bishop of Chichester of any wrongdoing or retract a statement that he had a “significant cloud … over his name” and that he had been accused of “great wickedness”.

In a private letter, however, sent to Bishop Bell’s closest surviving relative, his niece Barbara Whitley, he wrote: “Once again I offer my sincerest apologies both personally and on behalf of the Church. We did wrong to you and before God.”

Bishop Bell, one of the towering figures of the Church in the 20th century, has been unable to defend himself, having died in 1958. But his supporters urged the Church to restore his reputation after two reports exonerated him.

Ms Whitley, 94, said yesterday: “I would like to see my uncle’s name cleared before I die.”

Desmond Browne QC, a leading barrister who acted for the bishop’s family and who was christened by him in 1949, said: “What is now clear is that the investigations by two experienced lawyers [have established] George Bell’s innocence. But not once [has] the Archbishop of Canterbury offered Bell the presumption of innocence.”

Alison had alleged that Bell, the former bishop of Chichester, had sat her on his lap and “fondled her”.

But the report by Timothy Briden, an ecclesiastical lawyer and vicar general of Canterbury, concluded that in her oral evidence “her attempts to repeat what had been written in the letter displayed, however, a disturbing degree of inconsistency”.

Alison had alleged in the letter the abuse had taken place indoors in front of her mother but in oral testimony thought she had been assaulted outdoors. He concluded that her claim was “unfounded”.

The existence of Alison’s complaint made in December 2017 was made public by the Church of England at a time when it was facing increasing criticism for its handling of the earlier allegation by Carol. Alison’s claim was passed in January 2018 to police, who then dropped the case.

Bishop George Bell pictured at home in 1943
Bishop George Bell pictured at home in 1943 CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE/TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY

Mr Briden also investigated a separate complaint made by an 80-year-old witness – known only as K in the report – that his mother had told him that she had seen Bishop Bell “carrying out a sexual act with a man over his Rolls-Royce” in 1967. 

Bishop Bell died in 1958 and did not have a Rolls-Royce. The report said: “The longer that the statement from K’s mother is analysed, the more implausible it appears.”

Lord Carlile, the QC who carried out the damning inquiry into the handling of Carol’s claim, was scathing of the Church of England’s decision to make public the police inquiry into Alison’s complaint.

Lord Carlile said: “I am astonished that the Church [made] public the further complaint against Bishop Bell and the error has been proved by the conclusion of this latest inquiry.”

Prof Andrew Chandler, Bishop Bell’s biographer and spokesman for the George Bell Group, said “the claim by Alison appeared a copycat of Carol’s complaint”. Carol was paid £15,000 compensation in a legal settlement in October 2015.

In his statement yesterday, Archbishop Welby described Bishop Bell as a “remarkable role model”, adding: “I apologise unreservedly for the mistakes made in the process surrounding the handling of the original allegation against Bishop George Bell.” 

But he went on: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation … and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet.”

The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, also declined yesterday to exonerate his predecessor. But he accepted that a public statement he made signifying Bishop Bell’s guilt and released in 2015 after Carol’s claim was settled was probably now an error. 

“Knowing what we now do [we] would want to re-examine that and I don’t think we would [make that statement].”

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OCTOBER 3 2020 – BISHOP BELL PORTRAIT BY WILLIAM COLDSTREAM AT THE PALLANT GALLERY IN CHICHESTER [IN STORAGE]

Bishop George Bell [1883-1958]

GEORGE BELL DAY – ALL SAINTS CHURCH SIDLEY, BEXHILL CELEBRATES THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER GEORGE BELL [1883-1958] – THE 62ND ANNIVERSARY

Featured post

OCTOBER 3 2020 – BISHOP BELL DAY [OCT 3] – ALL SAINTS CHURCH, SIDLEY, BEXHILL CELEBRATES THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER GEORGE BELL [1883-1958] – 62ND ANNIVERSARY

All SAINTS CHURCH, SIDLEY, BEXHILL, EAST SUSSEX

Bishop Bell Day [October 3]

“Today, on Bishop Bell Day [Oct 3], I shall be celebrating the Eucharist at All Saints’, Sidley and giving thanks for our great former bishop and his courageous witness, and confidence that he prays with us and for us in the Kingdom of Heaven. And let’s hope that the much awaited statue of Bishop Bell to be placed on the west front of Canterbury Cathedral (where he served as Dean before coming to Chichester) will soon be erected”The Rt Revd Nicholas Reade

The Rt Revd Nicholas Reade – Bishop of Blackburn [2004-2012]

UPDATES AND INFORMATION

BISHOP BELL DAY 1 – FROM THE ARCHIVES – 50TH ANNIVERSARY ADDRESS BY ARCHBISHOP ROWAN WILLIAMS AT CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL – OCTOBER 3 2008

BISHOP BELL DAY 2 – FROM THE ARCHIVES – A SPECIAL SERVICE AT ST MICHAEL’S CORNHILL, CITY OF LONDON – OCTOBER 3 2016

BISHOP BELL PORTRAIT 1 [BY WILLIAM COLDSTREAM] AT THE PALLANT HOUSE GALLERY IN CHICHESTER [IN STORAGE]

BISHOP BELL PORTRAIT 2 [+ PLAQUE] AT THE CATHEDRAL LIBRARY IN CHICHESTER [IN STORAGE]

WARTIME BISHOP OF CHICHESTER GEORGE BELL – “PEACEMAKER”

GEORGE BELL STATUE 1 – CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

GEORGE BELL STATUE 2 – CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

THE BELL CHRONOLOGY

‘THINKING ANGLICANS’

FROM THE ARCHIVES 1 – ARCHBISHOP WELBY REFUSES TO PUBLICLY CLEAR BISHOP BELL, REFUSES TO RETRACT “SIGNIFICANT CLOUD” REMARKS AND REFUSES TO WITHDRAW “GREAT WICKEDNESS” COMMENTS – DAILY TELEGRAPH – JANUARY 24 2019

FROM THE ARCHIVES 2 – ARCHBISHOP WELBY REFUSES… TELEGRAPH – JANUARY 22 2018

FROM THE ARCHIVES 3 – ARCHBISHOP WELBY REFUSES…GUARDIAN – JANUARY 22 2018

Bishop George Bell [1883-1958]

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SEPTEMBER 30 2020 – “CHURCH HAS FAILED BISHOP BELL. PUBLIC RETRACTION SOUGHT” – ‘VIRTUE ONLINE’

https://virtueonline.org/church-has-failed-bishop-bell-public-retraction-sought

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Home»News»The Church has failed Bishop Bell. Public Retraction Sought

The Church has failed Bishop Bell. Public Retraction Sought

By Richard W. Symonds
September 28, 2020

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York stated last week [“New scheme ‘marks turning point’ in Church’s treatment of survivors”, Church Times, Sept 25]:
“As we await IICSA’s report…we continue to pray for survivors and all those the Church has failed”

The Church has failed the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell, and will continue to do so until there is a public retraction of the “significant cloud” remark by Archbishop Justin Welby, and the name of George Bell House is restored by the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner.

Archbishop Welby and Bishop Warner still appear to believe there is ‘no smoke without fire’ regarding the Bishop Bell abuse allegations, even though the two separate investigations by Lord Carlile QC and Timothy Briden – commissioned by the Church – have clearly shown there is ‘no smoke and no fire’.

Both have the power to heal serious divisions within a Cathedral community – and beyond it.

It is also within their power to commission another investigation into ‘mistaken identity’. ‘Carol’ was clearly abused when she was 8 years old — and she should be fully believed and supported — but there is now clear evidence her abuser was not Bishop Bell.

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley – Gatwick
West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]
Email: richardsy5@aol.com

Below is the Church Times article.

New scheme ‘marks turning point’ in Church’s treatment of survivors

By PAUL HANDLEY
The Church Times
26 SEPTEMBER 2020

THE Archbishops’ Council has approved an interim pilot scheme for survivors of abuse in the C of E, as part of what the Archbishops of Canterbury and York describe as “a turning point” in the Church’s treatment of survivors.

The sum available has not been disclosed, but is believed to be in six figures. Survivors campaigning for redress had argued in the past that anything less than £250,000 would not be worth offering.

The announcement of the fund on Friday was accompanied by a commitment by the Archbishops’ Council “to urgently pursue the principle of independent safeguarding recognising the need for greater independence and transparency of safeguarding”.

The Church’s hierarchy has long accepted the need to address the question of redress for survivors of church-based sexual abuse, but survivors have been frustrated by the time it has taken to come up with a scheme.

The issue has gained fresh impetus with the appointment of the Bishop of Huddersfield, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, as the Church’s lead bishop of safeguarding, and the imminence of the final report on the Church of England from the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), due to be published on 6 October.

Five weeks ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury released emergency funds for “VB”, whose business was in danger of going under because of a severe bout of depression linked with his abuse (News, 21 August). It is understood that VB has been offered further sums from the new pilot scheme.

The pilot scheme is geared to those survivors’ cases which are already known to the Church, “where the survivor is known to be in seriously distressed circumstances, and the Church has a heightened responsibility because of the way the survivor was responded to following disclosure”, a statement said on Friday.

Lessons learnt from the pilot will inform the creation of a full redress scheme.

A statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, joint chairs of the Archbishops’ Council, spoke of “a long, honest, and soberingly frank discussion. . .

“The issue of independence is something we have taken a personal lead on and are very committed to. We are glad that the Church is now going to make this happen. Along with providing redress for victims and survivors, this is the next step we must take.

“Today’s meeting and these decisions feel like a turning point. As we await IICSA’s report into the Church of England, we continue to pray for survivors and all those the Church has failed. We are profoundly sorry for our failings, but today our words of sorrow are matched by actions that we believe will lead to real change. We hope that this will provide some hope for the future.”

Dr Gibbs described the move as “an endorsement by the Archbishops’ Council of General Synod’s unanimous vote in February for a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress”.

The interim scheme is expected to help between five and ten survivors initially, although any survivor of church-based abuse “who is in dire straits” can request help. This can be at any stage of their case management, even if they have already accepted a settlement with an insurer.

If it is a recent case, the diocese would be expected to support the application, but a survivor unwilling to engage with the diocese can apply direct. The presumption is that the survivor’s present difficulties are wholly or partially a consequence of past abuse “and/or the re-abuse through the Church’s actions in response to their report of abuse”.

The scheme will be able to offer cash sums, but the emphasis will be on funding support such as financial/debt counselling, therapeutic support, seed funding to help with employment. Help with housing is also a possibility, but is expected to be offered rarely.

Andrew Graystone, who has worked as advocate for victims of abuse, said on Friday: “It is good that the Council seems to have acknowledged — I think for the first time — that the Church cannot deal with safeguarding failures in-house.

“Victims have said for a long time that independent scrutiny and management of safeguarding is the only way to make the church safer. I’m glad that the Archbishops are both now committed to this. I fully expect that IICSA will demand nothing less.”

He said that survivors remained sceptical that a full redress system would be in place in 12 to 15 months, a suggestion from the safeguarding bishops. The interim pilot support scheme was therefore welcome.

He warned, though, that it had to be properly funded. “If the fund runs out in three months, victims will be further damaged.”

And he reminded the Church of the severity of the need. “The Church shouldn’t look at this as an act of generosity, but as the very beginnings of paying its debt to survivors of abuse. The lead bishops know that this fund will do nothing more than rescue a few survivors from the cliff edge. It’s not a repair fund, but a suicide-prevention budget.”

In the view of survivors, the Church should restore them to the place they were when they disclosed their abuse. “No one should be worse off because they have disclosed what was done to them,” Mr Graystone said.

“Beyond that, the needs of survivors are very varied and lifelong. They may include housing, counselling, information, and apology, as well as financial support for lost income. It’s never just a matter of writing a cheque to make things better. I’m glad that the Lead Bishops recognise this, and are committed to designing bespoke packages for individual survivors.”

END

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SEPTEMBER 25 2020 – MARTYN PERCY AND CHRIST CHURCH – CHURCH TIMES LETTER [MARTIN SEWELL AND DAVID LAMMING]

Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford

CHURCH TIMES LETTERS – SEPTEMBER 25 2020

From Messrs David Lamming and Martin Sewell

Sir, — The further attempt by malcontents on the Governing Body at Christ Church, Oxford, to oust the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy from his position as Dean of the college has spectacularly failed, as an investigation by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team (NST) found that he acted “entirely appropriately” in respect of four instances when he received confidential information from former students of the college, all competent adults (News, 11 September).

The statement by the lead bishop on safeguarding, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, does not just report a finding that Dr Percy is “not guilty” of the baseless allegations: it is a positive affirmation that the Dean acted wholly properly.

Accordingly, the college’s announcement on its website, stating that it “will be reviewing the NST’s findings with regard to Christ Church’s safeguarding responsibilities”, is graceless: it ought to celebrate the reassurance that the Dean understands safeguarding practice better than his accusers, who should now consider their own positions on the Governing Body.

But there is also a lesson for the Church. We are the “two supporters” of the Dean who wrote to General Synod members in June stating that the NST was being “used” by the malcontents (effectively as a cat’s paw) to further their vendetta against the Dean, having lost a costly 11-day tribunal hearing in 2019 chaired by a retired High Court judge (News, 19 June).

As we pointed out, “No person, survivor of abuse, or vulnerable adult has made any complaint, ever, against Dean Percy.” The NST announcement on 8 September vindicates our assessment.

While the outcome for the Dean is indeed welcome, there must now be an investigation into the way in which the Church came to be so embroiled. As the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, has commented (on the Thinking Anglicans blog), “a full interrogation of how the NST became the patsy of the CC Oxford dons/plotters and into the procedures the NST employ must now take place.”

On 14 August, you reported the letter sent to the Charity Commission by many survivors, lawyers, academics, and Synod members, urging the Commission to intervene in the light of the Archbishops’ Council’s failure to call to account those with operational responsibility for the Church’s safeguarding practice. That letter was acknowledged on 11 September, a senior specialist case manager noting the “serious concerns” that the letter raises.

The Archbishops’ Council should now state how it intends to respond.

DAVID LAMMING
Boxford

MARTIN SEWELL
Gravesend


(General Synod members)

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SEPTEMBER 13 2020 – NO SMOKE NO FIRE – SILENCED VOICES OF THE FALSELY ACCUSED

NO SMOKE NO FIRE – SILENCED VOICES OF THE FALSELY ACCUSED

OIP (26)
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FACEBOOK PAGE

NO SMOKE NO FIRE – SILENCED VOICES OF THE FALSELY ACCUSED

MAKING A CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDING SERVICE

BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

Burnett, Dr Ross – “Wrongful Allegations of Sexual Child Abuse” [OUP 2016]

F.A.C.T. – Falsely Accused Carers & Teachers

Jones, Dave – “No Smoke No Fire” [2009]

McCarthy, William – “The Conspiracy – An Innocent Priest” [Bloomington 2010]

Pierre, David F – “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” [Mattapoisett USA 2012]

Price, David R & McDonald, James J – “The Problem of False Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse” [Risk Management. January 2003]

https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-96502054/the-problem-of-false-claims-of-clergy-sexual-abuse

RABINOWITZ, Dorothy – “No Crueler Tyrannies – Accusation, False Witness and Other Terrors of our Times…” – Wall Street Journal Books – 2003

Sipe, Richard – Clergy Sexual Abuse – Selected Sources [2006]

“Spotlight” Film – [2015]

THE BELL SOCIETY CHRONOLOGY

June 3 2018 – U.S. Catholic Sex Abuse, “Spotlight” and “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” Revisited.

June 6 2018 – “NOT ME” launched  [A Resource for Clergy Wrongfully Accused]

June 8 2018 – “The Dallas Charter” Revisited

June 8 2018 – Rights of  Accused Priests

June 9 2018 – Opus Bono

“Ruining the name of clergy is unfortunately rather easy and is even easier once the person is deceased.  Once the press picks it up and if it is outside the statute of limitations, at least in the USA, anyone can say anything.  The best way to counteract the attacks is to make sure your voice is heard and try to make it louder than the negative.  BUT the raw truth is once it starts and if it gets legs, then damage is done and cannot be undone” – PF

“Who controls the voices and the volume?” – Richard W. Symonds

June 9 2018 – From The Archives [July 20 2015 – “Vicar found hanged in woodland may have been under too much stress, say his bosses” – Daily Mail]

June 9 2018 – “The Conspiracy – An Innocent Priest” by Monsignor William McCarthy [iUniverse 2010]

“Monsignor William McCarthy paints a picture embracing a situation that is almost impossible to comprehend. Had I not stood by him throughout the years of pure hell he experienced, I would not have believed the outright calumny by a detective, and how the subsequent action of his bishop and diocesan staff could have occurred. Child abuse is a terrible thing, but equally horrible is when innocent priests are unjustly condemned and destroyed by the hierarchy of their church.”

~ Arthur N. Hoagland, M.D. [‘The Conspiracy’ back-cover]

“This book is a must read for any…who loves their Church but is concerned about its often self-destructive response to the tragedy of clerical pedophilia. It is a story about tragedy and triumph. The tragedy of the Church that Monsignor McCarthy loves deeply, and into which he has selflessly devoted his entire life, but is sometimes governed by people who have lost all sense of justice. It is a Church that betrayed him. In its attempt to protect the victims of child abuse, it established a new category of victims: its faithful priests. The triumph of Monsignor McCarthy is his faith and love of Jesus, which saw him through his terrible ordeal in spite of the evil that was perpetuated against him.”H

~ Deacon Joseph Keenan [‘The Conspiracy’ back-cover]

Justice demands that the guilty pay, but it also demands that the innocent not suffer. On June 15-18 [2011], the bishops will meet in Seattle, and one of the items they are expected to address is the issue of accused priests and fairness in dealing with them.”

Epilogue – Chapter 79 – “The Conspiracy – An Innocent Priest” – Monsignor William McCarthy

I wrote to the former Vicar General of the diocese, requesting an interview. I wanted to go face-to-face with the person who was directly responsible for my destruction … I was told he had strongly advised my former bishop to proceed with my censure.

On March 3, 2009, we both sat down in his office facing each other. I began by opening my Bible to John 7 : 51, and read: “Nicodemus spoke out, ‘Does our law condemn a person without first hearing him and knowing the facts?’”

I then asked him point blank: “Why did you condemn me without hearing me and knowing the facts?”

He replied, “Bill, we were following the system.”

“What system?” I pressed.

“Orders from Dallas,” he said, “when they hastily put together that charter.”

I looked him squarely in the eyes and stated, “That’s what they said at the Nuremberg Trials – ‘We were only following orders.’”

When he didn’t respond, I continued: “They were all convicted of crimes against humanity. In 2003, the diocese also committed a crime against humanity – me in particular. They did not lift a finger to help me. The diocese, particularly you as Vicar General, was reckless and impetuous in censuring me, and calling for my execution as a priest. You behaved badly! Instead of prudently investigating the accusation you rushed to judgement and as a result, you caused me extraordinary damage. You were reckless!”

Again he didn’t respond…

I asked him why I was not brought before the Board that was established for that very reason – why was I not given a chance to present my side of the story?

“One: You never spoke to the detective. Two: You never spoke to my accusers. Three: You never spoke to me, the accused. However, you proceeded in concert with the bishop and the promoter of justice to censure me. You put blind faith in the detective’s report…and accepted it as infallible…

“Bill,” the former Vicar General interrrupted, “we were acting in good faith.”

At that point I almost lost it…”How hypocritical!! You then published in the diocesan newspaper, over the entire front page, the whole sordid story which ruined my health, my reputation, my life. I suffered the humilation of being a censured priest for five long years until finally, through the conclusion of an ecclesiastical trial, I was unanimously declared innocent.”…

I asked the former Vicar General how he could justify his behavior.

Once again, he had no answer, except to meekly offer, “Sorry, Bill, we made a mistake.”

“I forgive you,” I said evenly, “but I will never forget. My life is irreversibly tarnished. I suffer from chronic flashbacks and panic attacks.

“So that my suffering will not be in vain, I want you to go public with an apology to the Press – and further, that you write to the apostolic delegate in Washington, D.C., Archbishop Sambi, and demand that he make a concerted effort to revise that weapon of mass destruction of our priests – that instrument known as the Dallas Charter.

The former Vicar General promised me he would do his best. I must give him credit for his calm demeanor and humility. I got the impression he was not just paying me lip service; and that he would indeed at least make the effort to correct the wrong that he had done. He not only acted like he knew he was guilty; he accepted the blame, which made me think deep down, he was doing what Jesus would want him to do.

June 11 2018 – “Hope Springs Eternal In The Priestly Breast” – ‘A Research Study on Procedural Justice for Priests’ by James Valladares [iUniverse 2012]

“The Caiaphas Principle” – ‘Bishops, who are supposed to be fathers, brothers, and friends to their priests, have instead become mere managers with institutional damage control as their top priority’ (Foreword p. xiv – Rev Michael P. Orsi)

June 11 2018 – From The Archives [July 9 2010 – “False Accusations” by John Landry http://www.catholicity.com – Quoted in “Hope Springs Internal in the Priestly Breast – A Research Study on Procedural Justice for Priests” by Fr. James Valladares – Page 200 – “Where is Justice for Falsely Accused Priests?”]

June 15 2018 – “These Stone Walls” – ‘Musings Of A Priest Falsely Accused’ – Father Gordon MacRae

June 15 2018 – From The Archives [Dec 10 1948 – “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a public trial at which he had all the guarantees necessary for his defence” ~ Article 11, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly of the United Nations]

June 15 2018 – From The Archives [Sept 2001 – Nolan Report published ]

‘Guilty until proven innocent’ [Source: “Hope Springs Eternal In The Priestly Breast” – ‘A Research Study for Procedural Justice for Priests’ by Fr. James Valladares – iUniverse 2012 – Page 160-161]

In a very interesting article entitled “Guilty until Proven Innocent,” Fr. Austen Ivereigh, MA, DPhil, of Heythorpe College, Oxford, informs us of the Cumberlege Commission review of the Church’s child-protection policy [Nolan Report – Ed]. And this is his initial observation: “While treatment of the abused has improved, disturbing evidence has emerged that priests who have been accused and not charged are left in limbo, suspicion still hanging over them” [Ref 345: Austin Ivereigh, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol. 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10].

Ever since a dithering Caiaphas [See ‘The Caiaphas Principle’ – June 11 2018 – Ed] succumbed to public pressure and maintained that the destruction of an innocent man was justified to save a nation, the law of Christian countries has consistently upheld the presumption of innocence, and the need for definite and incontrovertible evidence, before an accused can be convicted . In the Church’s legal tradition, this is known as ‘favor rei’ – the accused enjoys the benefit of the law and is deemed innocent until he is proved guilty. Said Pope John Paul II in 1979: “Due process and individual rights should never be sacrificed for the sake of the social order”.

In the wake of the explosive revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy in 2002 (exposed by the Boston Globe and highlighted in the ‘Spotlight’ film – Ed), the bishops of the world reacted with drastic measures to repair the scandal and restore justice through penal sanctions. Quasi-judicial bodies were established and duly authorised to implement their policies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there was COPCA (the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults), the child-protection agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, set up at Lord Nolan’s report on abuse in 2001.

Fr. Austen Ivereigh frankly confesses that Nolan was well aware of the possibility of false or malicious allegations, and the haunting danger of reputations being irreparably destroyed. Yet, continues Fr. Ivereigh, “COPCA’s policies have ridden roughshod over these qualms. ‘Nolan would be turning in his grave,’ more than one canonist has told me.” So there is a pressing need for a level playing field [Ref 348: Paul Bruxby, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10].

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, the bishop in charge of COPCA, candidly acknowledged last year that an accused priest is unlikely ever to be reinstated. Of the 40 clergy in England and Wales who had been accused by 2005, only two had been restored to ministry; four were dismissed. Of the 41 reports made in 2006, 24 resulted in no further action by the police, while 14 are still being investigated. Ivereigh adds, “And what is the fate of those whose cases have been dropped by the police? Many of them live in limbo, their reputations and vocations cast to the wolves. All too often, they leave the priesthood”. ‘So a priest is guilty until proven innocent – and this is the deplorable stance of the very ones who brazenly preach about justice in season and out of season’.

Fr. Paul Bruxby, the Brentwood canonist who defends accused priests, informs us that most of the 20 priests he is defending have been assessed as ‘low risk’; yet, five or six years later, they are unable to return to their parishes. “They feel shunned by their bishops and describe themselves as lepers. They feel hopeless, and sometimes imagine committing suicide” [Ref 348: Paul Bruxby, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol. 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10]

June 11 2018 – “Clergy Suicides in Sussex 1918-2018 – An Investigation by Richard W. Symonds [currently in progress]

June 23 2018 – ITN Solicitors [for the Falsely Accused]

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SEPTEMBER 11 2020 – “HEAR NO EVIL…” – PRIVATE EYE

“Hear no evil” – Private Eye – 11 Sept – 24 Sept 2020 [No 1530]

“The church could have launched an inquiry in August 2013, when a full account of the abuse [by John Smyth QC] arrived on Archbishop Justin Welby’s desk. Instead it waited another five years, then failed to appoint a reviewer for a further year”

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SEPTEMBER 10 2020 – MAKING A CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDING SERVICE

MAKING A CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDING SERVICE

CASE 1 – GEORGE BELL – BISHOP OF CHICHESTER

CASE 2 – MARTYN PERCY – DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH

CASE 3 – GEORGE CAREY – FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

CASE 4 – REVD CHRISTOPHER LOVELESS

CASE 5 – REVD DEREK SPENCER

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SEPTEMBER 8 2020 – “CHURCH CLEARS OXFORD COLLEGE DEAN AFTER ‘BLACK OPS’ CAMPAIGN TO DISCREDIT HIM” – THE GUARDIAN

The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy – Dean of Christ Church

on Tuesday, 8 September 2020 at 10.57 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of EnglandSafeguarding

DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH CLEARED OF ALL ALLEGATIONS‘THINKING ANGLICANS’

Dean of Christ Church cleared of all safeguarding accusations

Updated again Wednesday morning

The Church of England has issued this Statement on Christ Church, Oxford:

Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop said: “An independent investigation into allegations that the Dean, Martyn Percy, failed to fulfil his safeguarding responsibilities has concluded the Dean acted entirely appropriately in each case. The National Safeguarding Team, NST, followed the House of Bishops guidance when the four separate allegations were referred earlier in the year relating to the Dean, a senior office holder. At no point was there any allegation or evidence that the Dean presented a direct risk to any child or vulnerable adult.

I am aware this has been a very difficult time for all parties, particularly Martyn and his family, and I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation. There will of course be lessons to learn about the processes, as there are with any safeguarding case, and that is an essential part of our guidance to make the Church a safer place for all. We welcome the Dean’s commitment to taking part in this. Now the investigation has concluded and the Dean has been exonerated of these safeguarding allegations, the NST’s involvement has come to an end. I continue to pray for his ministry and the life of the Cathedral and its mission in the diocese and wider Church.

As I have said before, the NST has no view about, and is not involved in, the wider issues relating to the College and the Dean at Christ Church, Oxford and this remains the case.

The Diocese of Oxford has issued this Statement on Christ Church, Oxford from the Bishop of Oxford

The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy
Statement on Christ Church, Oxford from the Bishop of Oxford
8 September 2020

In March this year it was alleged that the Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy, a senior member of the clergy and Dean of Christ Church Oxford, had not fulfilled his safeguarding responsibilities. The National Safeguarding Team (NST) duly appointed an independent safeguarding person, who was asked to investigate and report back. The report has concluded that the Dean acted entirely appropriately in each case. The Bishop of Oxford has issued the following statement:

“I welcome the news that the investigation by the National Safeguarding Team (NST) has concluded and that Martyn is exonerated. The investigation process was not without pain, and could have been concluded more quickly, but it is entirely right that allegations against clergy and church officers are properly investigated when they are made. This investigation brings full closure to the matter put before the NST, though these continue to be testing times for all at Christ Church. My prayers remain with Martyn and Emma, the Chapter and wider College at the start of this new academic year.”

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

The Church Times has published this news report: Dean Percy exonerated over safeguarding charges. This rehearses a good deal of the background.

Update 1:
Christ Church has now issued this: Statement from Christ Church on Church of England Safeguarding Investigation.

8 September 2020

“The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team has announced the outcome of its independent investigation into the handling of four disclosures to the Dean of Christ Church, made by survivors of sexual assault. The NST has now informed Christ Church that its report concludes there has been no breach of the Church of England’s protocols.

“Safeguarding is of the utmost importance at Christ Church, and it is our obligation to report such concerns appropriately. After a query from a national newspaper regarding a serious sexual assault, an independent QC advised that a referral should be made to the Church of England as the handling of such disclosures fell within its jurisdiction. It is vital that everyone has the confidence to report safeguarding concerns. We will be reviewing the NST’s findings with regard to Christ Church’s safeguarding responsibilities.

“Our thoughts are with all survivors of abuse. If anyone affected by this news requires support, they should contact the police or the relevant safeguarding authority.

Update 2
Martin Sewell
 has written at Archbishop CranmerChurch of England clears Martyn Percy of all safeguarding allegations.

“Lest anyone urge us to swiftly move on, suggesting that a good outcome is sufficient closure, let us remind ourselves that a man and his family have been put through the most awful experience by powerful, well-resourced bullies using other people’s money to pursue their own grievances and protect their own vanities. That they failed is good, but both the University of Oxford and the Church of England have a moral duty to look carefully into how this happened, and to ensure it cannot not happen again” ~ Martin Sewell

Harriet Sherwood writes in the GuardianChurch clears Oxford college dean after ‘black ops campaign to discredit him’.
Headline later changed to Church clears Oxford college dean over alleged safeguarding failures.

Tim Wyatt at Religion Media Centre has Oxford dean cleared by abuse investigation and Christ Church Oxford timeline.

Update 3
The Times Dean of Christ Church Oxford cleared of safeguarding failures

Telegraph Oxford University dean finally exonerated after safeguarding dispute

Daily Mail Dean of Oxford’s Christ Church college is cleared of all safeguarding allegations in abuse row

Cherwell Christ Church dean exonerated after safeguarding allegations Subscribe 

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3000{}[+]30 COMMENTSOldest 

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago

Next stop: full exoneration for Bishop George Bell? 

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

Just imagine Archbishop Welby now saying there is still a “significant cloud” over Martyn Percy?!

If you can imagine it, then perhaps you can better understand how the Bishop Bell advocates feel. 

John Wallace

John Wallace 1 day ago

Really great news and an answer to the prayers of many. I do hope and pray that his accusers will consider their positions as well as make a full public apology. Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago Reply to  John Wallace

The signs aren’t promising when the public statement concludes “If anyone affected by this news requires support, they should contact the police or the relevant safeguarding authority.” (My italics.) Reply

Sam Norton

Sam Norton 1 day ago

That Christ Church statement reads like it was written by someone chewing on a wasp.

Mark Beach

Mark Beach 1 day ago Reply to  Sam Norton

Thank you, my thoughts entirely, but put in a very much more poetic way. Its hardly a ringing endorsement….

Can one hope for new beginnings at Christ Church? Reply

Toby Forward

Toby Forward 1 day ago

Mealy-mouthed and mendacious statement by Christ Church. There now needs to be some form of reform of the governing body. Reply

David Lamming

David Lamming 1 day ago Reply to  Toby Forward

A number of questions need to be answered by Christ Church: (i) who was responsible for and/or authorised the above statement on the College website? (ii) will the remainder of the Governing Body now disown the censors who made the wholly misconceived complaint about the Dean to the NST? (iii) who was the ‘independent QC’ who advised referral of the matter to the Church of England and will the College publish his/her advice and the instructions setting out the basis on which it was sought? (iv) what has been the cost to the College (legal fees and those of the… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 22 hours ago Reply to  David Lamming

I am baffled by the final sentence of the Christ Church statement quoted above. Who, in these circumstances, would require ‘support’ – for which they are told they should contact the police and ‘relevant’ safeguarding authority? Is this further mischief-making or just incompetence – using a ‘standard’ wording irrespective of the circumstances – I wonder? Reply

Sam Jones

Sam Jones 1 day ago

It is good that Martyn Percy has been cleared, but his position is untenable if the governing body have no confidence in him. Reply

Kate

Kate 1 day ago Reply to  Sam Jones

Isn’t it senior members of the Governing Body who past and potential benefactors will wish to see held to account for the millions of unnecessary expenditure? Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Sam Jones

The position of those in the governing body is untenable – there is no confidence in them.

Froghole

Froghole 1 day ago Reply to  Sam Jones

I think this is right. I am an alumnus of Christ Church, and deplore what has happened. I agree with many of the pro-Percy comments (notably that of Interested Observer). However, the relationship between dean and governing body has become so bitter, so envenomed and so visceral that it is difficult to see how Dr Percy can be an effective leader of the ‘college’. Other heads of house have resigned, and in far milder contexts, when they have lost the confidence of their respective governing bodies. Whilst Dr Percy may be entitled to a feeling of victory, he might lose… Read more » Reply

Fr Gustavo

Fr Gustavo 1 day ago

Perhaps this has been already answered, but, with all that it is going on, would not a Visitation be in order? Reply

Richard

Richard 23 hours ago Reply to  Fr Gustavo

A quote from the Financial Times: (less than 30 words, so permissible according to their copyright rules)

“In another unfortunate piece of heritage, the Visitor is the Queen, whom nobody wants to involve.” Reply

Froghole

Froghole 13 hours ago Reply to  Richard

Many thanks. I really don’t think that anyone believes that the sovereign would be involved personally. What is more likely to happen is that the private secretary to the sovereign, or perhaps also (and more probably) the privy council, would be petitioned about a possible formal visitation or the creation of a dispute resolution mechanism (there is also an outside chance that they might act of their own motion after taking ‘soundings’). Then, following receipt of that petition and/or consultations, the sovereign (i.e., the prime minister) would secure appointment of a deputy, who will probably be a retired senior judge.… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 11 hours ago Reply to  Froghole

I don’t know how many times I have dealt with these points on earlier TA threads! The procedure for Visitations is all set out in Statute XXXVI (at pages 37-39 of the Christ Church Statutes), and far too long to repeat here. It provides for both a ‘routine’ Visitation every ten years (at Her Majesty’s option) or by intervention. I’m unsure about the machinery for appointing Her Majesty’s Commissary. A retired senior judge seems a likely appointee. There has always been a direct right of appeal to the Crown, which I quote again below, but for whatever reason it has… Read more » Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 12 hours ago Reply to  Richard

“In another unfortunate piece of heritage, the Visitor is the Queen, whom nobody wants to involve.”

Why not?

Her Majesty is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England!

Dominic Barrington

Dominic Barrington 20 hours ago Reply to  Fr Gustavo

I think you are making a false assumption about the powers of the bishop in relation to this unique (and utterly dysfunctional) cathedral. Reply

Interested Observer

Interested Observer 1 day ago

It isn’t actually Confucius, although often credited to him (or James Bond, either will do): “before setting off on revenge, first dig two graves”. It strikes me that there is no way that this ends well for either Christ Church corporately or for Martin Percy’s persecutors. Even “victory” is hollow (Tacitus actually did write “ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant”), if their definition of “victory” is Martyn Percy’s departure; the resulting employment tribunal looks increasingly difficult and the attempt to use CofE safeguarding as a weapon can only backfire in both the short and long term. The loss of credibility for… Read more » Reply

Pete Broadbent

Pete Broadbent 1 day ago

Martyn Percy cleared of all [trumped up] “charges” This is very good news! But it can’t end there – a full interrogation of how the NST became the patsy of the CC Oxford dons/plotters & into the procedures the NST employ must now take place. Reply

Kate

Kate 1 day ago Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Yes Reply

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts 1 day ago Reply to  Pete Broadbent

Indeed. Reply

dr.primrose

dr.primrose 1 day ago

There’s an issue of the waste of money for legal proceedings on behalf on the college, which raises the issue of whether the complaints should be required to repay that amount. There’s also an issue of the fees that Percy incurred. I haven’t read anything about that. Is the college liable for those? Reply

Richard

Richard 23 hours ago Reply to  dr.primrose

I recall that previous articles about this have said that Percy is liable. There was a campaign underway to assist him financially. Does anyone know differently? Reply

Kate

Kate 17 hours ago

Does anyone know what standard of proof Core Groups work to? Is it “beyond reasonable doubt”, “balance of probabilities” or something unique to the Church of England? Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 12 hours ago Reply to  Kate

Something unique to the Church of England: faithful belief in its own infallibility. 

Kate

Kate 3 hours ago Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

That’s something which needs to be fixed. Reply

Bill Broadhead

Bill Broadhead 12 hours ago

“An independent investigation into allegations…” Come on, it was hardly that, was it – and since when has the NST been in any way “independent”? Was the Bishop at Lambeth and Ecclesiastical Insurance in the room? While I share the widespread delight that this aspect of the burden Martyn Percy and those closest to him are carrying, if there had not been a significant challenge to the way the NST Core Group for this complaint was set up, there could have been a catastrophic miscarriage of justice. So, to my mind, nil points for the C of E over this… Read more » Reply

Father Ron Smith

Father Ron Smith 12 hours ago

This is very welcome news- especially to those of us who have witnessed with growing amazement the chutzpah of Dean Martyn Percy’s accusers. One hopes they will do the right thing now and meet all of Martyn’s legal expenses. They should also be responsible for some substantial monetary compensation for what Martyn and his family have suffered during this unfortunate breach of common justice. Reply

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JUNE 11 2018 – “POPE ACCEPTS CHILEAN BISHOPS’ RESIGNATION OVER ABUSE SCANDAL” – BBC NEWS

 

Pope accepts Chilean bishops’ resignation over abuse scandal

Published 11 June 2018

Bishop Juan Barros (C) attends his first religious service as people protest against him at the Osorno cathedral, south of Santiago, Chile, 21 March 2015IMAGE COPYRIGHT REUTERS Bishop Juan Barros has been accused of covering up child sexual abuse, which he denies
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean bishops, including the controversial Juan Barros, in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal.
Bishop Barros was accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest in the 1980s and 1990s.
Pope Francis has said that he made “grave mistakes” by originally defending Bishop Barros.
All of Chile’s 34 Roman Catholic bishops had offered their resignations.
The decision by the Pope to accept the resignation of three of the 34 was announced in a statement issued by the Vatican on Monday.
Apart from Bishop Barros of Osorno, Archbishop Cristián Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt and Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar of Valparaíso will now be replaced.
It was not clear if the move meant that the remaining 31 resignations would not be accepted.
Pope Francis became involved in the scandal surrounding Juan Barros when he defended the bishop during his visit to Chile in January. At the time he said that allegations against the bishop amounted to “slander”.
“The day I see proof against Bishop Barros, then I will talk. There is not a single piece of evidence against him. It is all slander. Is that clear?” the Pope had said at the time.
In this file photo taken on May 02, 2018 Chilean sexual abuse victims Jose Andres Murillo (R), James Hamilton (C) and Juan Carlos Cruz (L) pose at the end of a press conference at the Foreign Press Association in Rome on May 2, 2018.IMAGE COPYRIGHTAFP image caption Victims of sexual abuse Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo have spoken out in public about what happened to them
He later apologised to victims, saying: “I apologise to them if I hurt them without realising it, but it was a wound that I inflicted without meaning to.”
The installation of Juan Barros as bishop of the southern city of Osorno in 2015 met with stiff resistance.
More than 1,000 people wrote to Pope Francis asking him to review the appointment and hundreds showed up at the bishop’s installation ceremony in protest.
They accused Bishop Barros of using his position in the Church to cover up the actions of his mentor, Fr Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing children.
Victims of Fernando Karadima said Juan Barros had been present when the priest had abused them. Bishop Barros denies any wrongdoing.
One of the victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, told Chilean radio that by accepting the resignations, Pope Francis had “sent a message to the world that this culture of abuse and cover-up won’t be tolerated any longer”.
The Pope’s move comes after he received two groups of victims of Fernando Karadima at the Vatican.
About 80 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to authorities in Chile for alleged sexual abuse over the past 18 years.
Under Pope Francis, a Vatican committee has been set up to fight sexual abuse and help victims.

More on this story

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MAY 18 2018 – “CHILE’S BISHOPS OFFER TO RESIGN EN MASSE OVER SEX ABUSE COVER-UP” – LOS ANGELES TIMES

Pope_Francis_with_all_of_Chile_bishops_in_Rome__May_17__2018_1024_512_75_s_c1

“CHILE’S BISHOPS OFFER TO RESIGN EN MASSE OVER SEX ABUSE COVER-UP” – LOS ANGELES TIMES

 

All 33 Roman Catholic bishops in Chile offered to resign Friday after meeting with Pope Francis in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Latin American country.

The unprecedented offer by the Chilean church’s top hierarchy came after a week of tense meetings with Francis in the Vatican to discuss the harsh conclusions of a report on the Chilean scandal prepared by Malta Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna that accused church leaders of a coverup.

“We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father’s hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us,” Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez said in a news conference Friday in Rome.

It was unclear whether Francis would accept any or all of the resignations. Thirty-one of the 33 bishops attended the Vatican meetings, and the two who did not attend added their names to the resignation letter.

“I assume with responsibility, in communion with the rest of the church, this need to support the Holy Father,” Bishop Carlos Pellegrin said after arriving Friday at the Santiago airport.

After visiting Chile in February to investigate the alleged abuses of an unspecified number of victims that included minors and adults, laymen and clerics, Scicluna filed a report that slammed a coverup by church leaders of sex crimes committed by Father Fernando Karadima during his tenure at a parish in Santiago, the capital.

The report blamed, among others, Karadima’s superior Bishop Juan Barros, who attended the Vatican meetings. Karadima, now 87, was condemned by a special canonical court to a lifetime of penance and prayer, but he faced no criminal charges because of the statute of limitations.

In his five years as pontiff, Francis has been praised for his attention to social issues and the poor but accused of failing to punish clergy who abused children. Such criticisms intensified during the pope’s visit to Chile in January, when he labeled the accusations against Barros as “calumny.”

The pope’s words were widely criticized, even by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a key Vatican advisor on clergy abuse.

Francis later apologized and asked Scicluna to investigate the matter. The pontiff also had emotionally charged meetings with three men who said they were abused by Karadima. Those meetings prompted him to write a letter to the Chilean bishops last month, saying that he felt “pain and shame” over the men’s accounts and that he wanted to “apologize to all those I have offended.”

One of the men who met with the pope, Juan Carlos Cruz, described their discussions as “raw.” Cruz said he had “never seen someone so contrite. He was truly sorry, and I felt he was hurting.”

The night before the Chilean bishops sent Francis their offer of resignation, he sent them a letter. According to the Vatican news service, it referenced his meetings with the bishops and said, in part: “In light of these painful incidents which concern abuse — of minors, power, and conscience — we exchanged views on their seriousness as well as on their tragic consequences, particularly for the victims. For each of them I have wholeheartedly asked for forgiveness, an action to which all of you have united in one will and with the firm intention of repairing the damage done.”

Scicluna’s 2,300-page report enumerated “a series of absolutely reprehensible acts that have occurred in the Chilean church in relation to those unacceptable abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse that have resulted in the lessening of the prophetic vigor,” Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos of Santiago said at the Friday news conference.

Karadima served as spiritual guide to more than 40 priests and four of the current bishops whose future is now at stake — Barros, Horacio Valenzuela, Tomislav Koljatic and Andrés Arteaga. They all have denied covering up abuses. Barros was perhaps closest to Karadima, having been trained by him as a junior priest

“The fame of Father Karadima was extraordinary at that time; he even had a reputation of being a saint,” Emeritus Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz testified at a civil court hearing in 2015, explaining why he didn’t believe the accusations against Karadima in the early 2000s.

Triggering the crisis was Francis’ appointment of Barros in 2015 as head of the Osorno Diocese in Southern Chile. Up to then, Barros had a low profile as Chilean armed forces bishop, but his alleged role in the Karadima coverup was widely known by then and many parishioners protested the appointment.

On Friday in Santiago, another of the whistleblowers who exposed Karadima said Francis needed to get rid of the bishops.

“I hope the pope accepts the resignation of all the bishops, because none of them was willing to side with the victims,” Jose Andres Murillo said at a news conference. “The church must transform itself from a refuge of abusers to a refuge for the victims.”

Poblete is a special correspondent. Special correspondent Chris Kraul in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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AUGUST 29 2020 – “TO ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS: APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN” – LETTER SUBMISSION – VIRTUEONLINE

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George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

LETTER SUBMISSION – ‘TO AN ARCHBISHOP AND BISHOP: APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN’

LETTER SUBMISSION – ‘TO AN ARCHBISHOP AND BISHOP: APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN’

August 29, 2020

Dear Editor,

Following this week’s Private Eye article and Church Times letter, we the undersigned again call upon Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner to consider their positions.

The evidence against Bishop George Bell has been gathered and thoroughly examined. Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden have declared the allegations are unfounded and there is no case to answer [Lord Carlile recently judged the 30 Church of England Core Groups as “the most incompetent and unjust form of investigation I have ever seen.”]

It follows, therefore, that no “significant cloud remains” hangs over Bishop Bell’s head — it hangs elsewhere. Bishop Bell’s name has now been fully vindicated, so there is no good reason why an apology should not be forthcoming and the name of George Bell House restored.

But Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner continue to perpetuate this injustice against the wartime Bishop of Chichester by wilfully and arrogantly refusing to admit they were wrong. There is no willingness on their part to right that wrong. They display no humility in acknowledging that wrong. They have no intention to lift that “significant cloud”.

As Stephen Parsons says in ‘Surviving Church’: “Incompetence whether caused by ignorance, conceit or malevolence, is a particularly important matter when the individual refuses to admit to it and own up to it”.

After Archbishop Welby’s comment last year: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet” — a few of us did not ignore or sweep under the carpet those allegations against Bishop Bell. We fully investigated the clear likelihood of ‘mistaken identity’ — especially after the IICSA brought to light the “bonfire” of John Treadgold Dean of Chichester.

Our findings are one reason why we are so critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner — especially relating to excising the memory of Bishop Bell in Chichester].

Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, the only surviving relative and in her 90’s, and the Rev Peter Mullen and Andrew Morse have already called for resignations.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, now call for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, unless an immediate and full public apology is forthcoming regarding Bishop Bell and the name of George Bell House in Chichester is restored.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Forrest William
BOYS, Geoffrey
CHARMLEY, Professor John
DONALD, Revd. Steve
GOMES, Dr. Jules
INESON, Revd. Matthew
MARTIN, Terry
MORGAN, Dr. Gerald
MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter
OSBORNE, Noel
RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles
ROBINSON, Dr. Steven
SIMS, Kevin
SYMONDS, Richard W.
VIRTUE, David W. DD
WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this Letter and its Signatories, please contact:
Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley — Gatwick
Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only — Very deaf]
Email: richardsy5@aol.com

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AUGUST 29 2020 – RESIGNATIONS EN-MASSE TO THE SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ?

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RESIGNATIONS EN-MASSE TO THE SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN?

‘Gilo’ concludes his Surviving Church article:

“At what point will someone cry out on the floor of the House of Bishops: Enough of all our broken pretence. We must apologise collectively, publicly and authentically for our failure to treat so many survivors honestly; for our insistence on distancing from their stories, our disclosure denials and “no recollections”, our reliance on dysfunctional processes; and in too many instances for our behaviour worse than denial – gaslighting and really cowardly and mean behaviour. Enough. We must do real penance, seek truth and reconciliation, and must reform our episcopal culture and reform our structures right to their bones”

The Catholic Bishops of Chile did just that two years ago – May 2018 – offering their resignations en-masse to Pope Francis:

“We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us,” they said. “We want to ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the pope, to God’s people and to our country for the serious errors and omissions we have committed”

Something of the same magnitude must happen here – Bishops and Archbishops – by offering their resignations to Her Majesty The Queen – The Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

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Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

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AUGUST 29 2020 – SISTER FRANCES DOMINICA WRITES IN THE CHURCH TIMES…….”SUPPORT FOR THE ACCUSED”

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Sister Frances Dominica

SISTER FRANCES DOMINICA WRITES IN THE CHURCH TIMES…….”SUPPORT FOR THE ACCUSED”

Support for the accused – Church Times – Letters – August 28 2020

 

From Sister Frances Dominica ASSP

Sir, — Greater support from the Church for victims of abuse is to be welcomed (News, 21 August). How long will it take for the Church to recognise the need of support for those wrongly accused of abuse, with the consequent loss of career, home, income, and reputation?

FRANCES DOMINICA
President of FACT (Falsely Accused Carers, Teachers and other professionals)
All Saints Sisters of the Poor
Oxford

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AUGUST 29 2020 – ‘CORE BLIMEY’ – PRIVATE EYE ON CORE GROUPS WITHIN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – “THE MOST INCOMPETENT AND UNJUST FORM OF INVESTIGATION I HAVE EVER SEEN” – LORD ALEX CARLILE QC

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“Core Blimey” – Private Eye No 1529 – 28 August – 10 September 2020

PRIVATE EYE – CHURCH NEWS – “CORE BLIMEY”

FOLLOWING our report in Eye 1527 that there are currently 27 national “core groups” investigating safeguarding concerns about bishops and deans in the Church of England, the church’s lead bishop on safeguarding, Rt. Revd Jonathan Gibbs, quickly put out a correction.

There are in fact 30 such groups, three more having been created since the last count in mid-July. He added that “about three-quarters of current national cases are about senior clergy failing to act appropriately rather than a direct allegation of abuse.”

This isn’t as reassuring as he seems to think: it implies that seven or eight of the most senior figures in the Church of England are being investigated over allegations of first-order abuse.

Some of these may be retired, but as far as we know only two – former Archbishop George Carey and current Bishop of Lincoln Christopher Lowson – are currently barred from acting as bishops, and their cases don’t involve any “direct allegation of abuse”.

Lord Carlile QC said two weeks ago that the C of E’s core group system is “the most incompetent and unjust form of investigation I have ever seen.”

Carlile led the 2017 review of how the church mishandled claims against the late Bishop George Bell. He concluded that its George Bell core group had been “unmethodical, confused and unstructured”, with the membership and chair changing from meeting to meeting. The whole process was predicated on Bell’s guilt and resulted in “catastrophic damage” to his posthumous reputation. (The mistaken allegation that Bell was a paedophile was reported as fact in the Daily Telegraph by religious-affairs editor John Bingham – who was subsequently punished for his error by being appointed the C of E’s head of media.)

Carlile is among 65 lawyers, clerics and abuse survivors who signed a letter to the Charity Commission this month, asking it to challenge the C of E over “the continuing flow of cases of injustice”. The signatories accuse core groups of acting “in ways reminiscent of the Star Chamber, synonymous with the selective use of arbitrary unaccountable power”.

Last month, for example, a victim of John Smyth QC made a formal complaint against Archbishop Justin Welby for failing to act on information about his old friend’s violently abusive behaviour, and was duly told that an investigation would be held. But he now learns that Welby has already been the subject of a secret investigation into the claim in 2017 – in which the complainant was not even consulted. The new inquiry is nothing more than an internal review of that process – which could be tricky since no-one will say who conducted the investigation or what it discovered.

Ultimately, the judgement on whether Welby should be disciplined rests with the new Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, who has himself been recently investigated by a core group; and the judgement on whether Archbishop Cottrell should be disciplined for his safeguarding failure rests with Archbishop Welby.

What could be fairer than that?

 

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AUGUST 22 2020 – DAVID VIRTUE DD, IN HIS EXCORIATING JUDGEMENT OF THE VIOLATIONS OF LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, JOINS GROWING NUMBER CALLING FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY JUSTIN WELBY

The Church of England has admitted that there are about 30 separate safeguarding inquiries under way into senior clergy — bishops or cathedral deans and some retired clergy. There are only 104 active bishops in the whole Church of England and 42 deans. This raises serious questions about the depth of spiritual depravity found in the Church that will not soon go away. It is not just an Anglo Catholic like Bishop Ball and two evangelical leaders, John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher, but massive cover ups of sexual abuse that is ringing alarm bells and causing such harm that it is emptying churches.

It is now very apparent that The Archbishop of Canterbury is a sniveling, groveling managerial fop, and the Church of England has become so incredibly embarrassing that GAFCON bishops will have nothing to do with it or him. I have blamed Welby, as I have done on occasion, for being a thin-skinned, theologically lightweight chancer who should never have been given the keys to Lambeth Palace. He now faces a safeguarding inquiry himself; he has publicly endorsed and embraced the most corrupt archbishops and bishops in the Church of South India; he has privately flailed against George Carey and he has betrayed his own evangelical roots. He has caused brilliant evangelical minds like Melvin Tinker, Peter Sanlon and Gavin Ashenden to leave the Church of England. You can read my entire article here: https://virtueonline.org/why-global-south-anglicans-will-have-re-evangelize-west

***

The Church of England’s clergy discipline scandal is symptomatic of a deeper problem. A new report which has branded the Church of England’s disciplinary system “toxic” will come as no surprise to everyone who has been following the story.

The paper by Dr. Sarah Horsman, warden of Sheldon — a retreat center and clergy support organization — described the C of E’s Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) as symptomatic of a wider “toxic management culture”. It also called for any replacement system “to be much more distinctively Christian, wiser, more transparent and… simply kinder”.

The report’s findings included the shocking facts that more than a third of clergy undergoing a CDM, considered suicide; only 18 per cent felt they were treated as innocent until proved guilty; and just about half “strongly disagreed” with the statement “I felt supported by the diocese through the process”. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/cofes-clergy-discipline-scandal-symptomatic-deeper-problem

***

Abuse by two prominent British evangelicals – Jonathan Fletcher and John Smyth (since deceased) – is raising eyebrows in England, coming as it is from two prominent evangelical priests who were formerly in the CofE but have now left.

A much-anticipated ‘lessons-learnt’ review into the activities of former church minister, Jonathan Fletcher, will be published in September. The independent Christian safeguarding charity, Thirtyone:eight, has been carrying out the review.

Fletcher, an influential evangelical, was last year said to have been involved in physical beatings, massages and other activities which he called ‘light-hearted forfeits’ — a claim dismissed by other evangelicals, including Melvin Tinker and Pete Sanlon, Justin Humphreys, chief executive of Thirtyone:eight, has now withdrawn as a speaker at the Anglican evangelical ReNew Conference on 14 September, saying it would cause victims further distress.

Meanwhile the Church of England is also investigating the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of allegations of abuse by the late John Smyth QC, who was well-known to Fletcher. All three were involved in the Iwerne Camps for top public schoolboys.

An “outrageousness of the silence” by senior evangelicals over Fletcher and Smyth are claims made by Melvin Tinker and Peter Sanlon respond to Evangelicals Now’s report on the Jonathan Fletcher affair. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/fletcher-findings-way

***

For another eminent piece on Feeding the Flock and Fighting the Wolves, I would point you to a brilliant piece by Melvin Tinker. Here is a sample paragraph: “The solemn task of the pastor to promote the kindness of orthodoxy and counter the cruelty of heresy is an onerous one. It requires diligent study and careful communication. It will draw opprobrium in a culture where ‘it is forbidden to forbid’ and the unholy trinity of pluralism, relativism and subjectivism hold sway so that truth, like beauty, is considered to be in the eye of the beholder. It will almost certainly be a barrier to ‘preferment’ in the established church.” You can read more here:
https://virtueonline.org/genuine-ministry-feeding-flock-and-fighting-wolves

***

 

APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN

 

OPEN LETTER – To Be Released August 2020

Dear Editor

The evidence against Bishop George Bell has been gathered and thoroughly examined. Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden have declared the allegations are unfounded and there is no case to answer . It follows, therefore, that no “significant cloud remains” hangs over Bishop Bell’s head – it hangs elsewhere.

Bishop Bell’s name has now been fully vindicated, so there is no good reason why an apology should not be forthcoming and the name of George Bell House restored.

But Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner continue to perpetuate this injustice against the wartime Bishop of Chichester by wilfully and arrogantly refusing to admit they were wrong. There is no willingness on their part to right that wrong. They display no humility in acknowledging that wrong. They have no intention to lift that “significant cloud”.

As Stephen Parsons says in ‘Surviving Church’: “Incompetence whether caused by ignorance, conceit or malevolence, is a particularly important matter when the individual refuses to admit to it and own up to it”.

After Archbishop Welby’s comment last year: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet” – a few of us did not ignore or sweep under the carpet those allegations against Bishop Bell. We fully investigated the clear likelihood of ‘mistaken identity’ – especially after the IICSA brought to light the “bonfire” of John Treadgold Dean of Chichester. Our findings are one reason why we are so critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – especially relating to excising the memory of Bishop Bell in Chichester].

Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, the only surviving relative and in her 90’s, and the Rev Peter Mullen and Andrew Morse have already called for resignation.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, now call for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, unless an immediate and full public apology is forthcoming regarding Bishop Bell and the name of George Bell House in Chichester is restored.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Forrest William

BOYS, Geoffrey

CHARMLEY, Professor John

DONALD, Revd. Steve

GOMES, Dr. Jules

INESON, Revd. Matthew

MARTIN, Terry

MORGAN, Dr. Gerald

MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter

OSBORNE, Noel

RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles

ROBINSON, Steven

SIMS, Kevin

SYMONDS, Richard W.

VIRTUE, David W. DD

WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this Open Letter and its Signatories, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only – Very deaf]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

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MAY 11 2019 – “ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY SHOULD RESIGN” – VIRTUE ONLINE

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Archbishop Justin Welby

Archbishop Justin Welby Should Resign

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
May 11, 2019

It must be apparent after the recent debacle at the ACC17 conference in Hong Kong, that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has painted himself into a corner with no way out but to resign.

Like his predecessor Dr. Rowan Williams, who left the post eight years before he had to, Welby could not pull off a win-win and found himself up against a solid phalanx of African bishops who refused to cave into western provinces demands to accept homosexuality. They cut him no slack and held his feet to the proverbial fire. Welby was TKO’d and could do nothing about it.

His bleat, “I am the focus of unity” fell on deaf ears as one resolution after another failed to pass. The Africans refused to cave, neither would the progressives led by the Episcopal Bishop of Oklahoma, Edward J. Konieczny.

Welby left empty-handed, crying that he felt the pain of a handful of homosexuals more than he cared about the persecution of African Christians, now the single most persecuted group in the world according to an interim report prepared for the British government.

Welby apparently didn’t get it when one African bishop offered up that a push for homosexuality would bring down the wrath of Muslims in Africa on Christians. This was a plea that apparently left Welby completely unmoved.

Another African bishop actually mentioned GAFCON by name, which must have infuriated Welby.

GAFCON primates meeting in Australia, who speak for 50 of the Anglican Communion’s 70 million Anglicans wrote to Welby demanding a response to a request to restore godly order in the Communion. They asked him to use his power and responsibility to effect necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility. They never got a response and never will.

Welby despises them and they, in turn, refuse to acknowledge his leadership because of his failure to discipline a number of progressive provinces over unbiblical sexual positions, contrary to Lambeth resolution 1:10, to scripture, tradition and history.

Slapping GAFCON down as a “ginger group” was as much an insult as inviting Archbishop and Primate Foley Beach to attend Lambeth as an “ecumenical observer.” This signaled that Welby did not think Beach was even an Anglican!

Archbishop Beach, naturally incensed, fired back that he is an Anglican and how dare Welby suggest otherwise.

Events reached fever pitch this week. GAFCON retaliated saying they would hold their own conference a month before Lambeth. GAFCON in Rwanda invited every bishop who could sign the Jerusalem Declaration to come. It will be interesting to see who shows up.

It must have been a massive kick in the groin to Welby and his consigliere, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary-General of the ACC, who has repeatedly railed at GAFCON for forming networks separate from the ACC. But what did Welby think would happen?

This was not a knee jerk reaction; it was a carefully thought out strategy by The GAFCON primates led by the feisty Foley Beach and his counsel of advisors.

Americans don’t take kindly to being whacked by a toffee-nosed English Archbishop whose own province can barely muster 770,000 Anglicans on any given Sunday, and this in a population of 66 million! The Church of England is barely much bigger in average Sunday attendance than the American Episcopal Church.

By any reckoning, Welby has lost the plot. He is out of touch with the vast majority of Anglicans in the Communion who no longer respect him or his leadership and won’t be seen at the same conference with him. His day is done.

The only honorable thing Welby can do is resign and make way for an authentic, gospel driven archbishop, someone like the former Bishop of Rochester, The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali, who should have gotten the job in the first place.

END

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AUGUST 19 2020 – “WHEN ABUSE IS ALLEGED, THERE IS ALWAYS A VICTIM. IF TRUE, THE PERSON ABUSED. IF NOT, THE ACCUSED AND THEIR FAMILY. JUSTICE NEEDED ALL ROUND” – FALSE ALLEGATIONS SUPPORT ORGANISATION [F.A.S.O.] + FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS AND TEACHERS [F.A.C.T.]

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“WHEN ABUSE IS ALLEGED, THERE IS ALWAYS A VICTIM IF TRUE, THE PERSON ABUSED. IF NOT, THE ACCUSED AND THEIR FAMILY. JUSTICE NEEDED ALL ROUND” – FALSE ALLEGATIONS SUPPORT ORGANISATION [F.A.S.O.] + FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS AND TEACHERS [F.A.C.T.]

 

 

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AUGUST 6 2020 – “POLICE ADVISED TO STILL AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIMS IN NEW GUIDELINES, DESPITE WARNINGS IN REVIEW OF ‘NICK THE FANTASIST’ CASE” – DAILY MAIL

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Sir Richard Henriques

“POLICE ADVISED TO STILL AUTOMATICALLY BELIEVE ALLEGED ABUSE VICTIMS IN NEW GUIDELINES, DESPITE WARNINGS IN REVIEW OF ‘NICK THE FANTASIST’ CASE” – DAILY MAIL

  • Controversial instruction is contained in new College of Policing guidance 

  • Comes despite warnings after disastrous inquiry into VIP sex abuse claims 

  • Claims of fantasist Carl Beech were notoriously called ‘credible and true’ 

Police are still being advised to automatically believe alleged abuse victims in new guidelines despite warnings from a senior judge in his review of the ‘Nick the fantasist’ case.

The College of Policing guidance, which was published today, controversially tells detectives investigating claims of child abuse that ‘the intention is that victims are believed’.

Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech, called for the instruction to be withdrawn because suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

Beech’s slurs were described as ‘credible and true’ by a senior officer, and went on to trash the reputations of esteemed public figures including D-Day hero Lord Bramall, former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, ex-Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The new guidance comes despite warnings from retired judge Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech (pictured in a police interview from 2016)

The new guidance comes despite warnings from retired judge Sir Richard Henriques, in his review of how police handled claims of VIP sex abuse from the fantasist Carl Beech (pictured in a police interview from 2016)

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, telling The Times: ‘They’ve learnt nothing at all from Nick.

‘The whole basis of their explanation for believing Nick is that they were driven to believe by the protocol that was in existence.’

The guidance was produced by the College of Policing and senior officers in Operation Hydrant, which leads the investigation of historic abuse allegations.

It was today defended by Hydrant chief Simon Bailey, who insisted officers did not apply ‘blind belief’.

He said that victims were constantly told by their abusers they would never be believed, and they would never come to the police if they did not feel they would be listened to.

The new guidance also urges officers not to go ‘trawling’ for abuse victims but to use prior investigation to approach specific groups of possible victims or witnesses.

It also advises the, when releasing information about a suspect who has died, officers must ‘make it clear that there police are making no judgments about guilt’.

Wiltshire Police was criticised for holding a press conference outside the late former Prime Minister’s Edward Heath’s home in 2015 to announce they were investigating claims he was a paedophile, before urging other alleged victims to come forward.

The force later said that, if the politician had been alive, he would have been interviewed about seven disclosures under criminal caution.

Carl Beech – the fantasist and paedophile known by the pseudonym ‘Nick’ – was sentenced to eighteen years in prison in July 2019 to his false claims, including against Sir Edward.

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, saying: 'They've learnt nothing at all from Nick'

Sir Richard criticised the decision to keep the guidance, saying: ‘They’ve learnt nothing at all from Nick’

Sir Richard’s report on Scotland Yard’s investigation, Operation Midland, advised that ‘the instruction to believe a victim’s account should cease’.

He said people who make allegations to police should be called complainants, not victims, so not to imply guilt. The report, commissioned by the Met, was handed to senior commanders in 2016 but was finally published in full in October 2019.

It exposed the appalling failures of senior officers who believed Nick’s false allegations as they mounted a bungled £2.5 million investigation which ruined the lives of war hero Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan and Mr Proctor.

Police decided to automatically believe claims of sexual abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, when it emerged that credible rape reports had been dismissed.

But the approach led to the Met notoriously describing as ‘credible and true’ the false allegations made by Beech, which were also backed in Parliament by the Labour MP Tom Watson.

The 51-year-old falsely alleged that between the ages of seven and 16 he had been collected by car from his various schools in the country and driven to London, where he and other young boys were raped, burned, stabbed and tortured.

He claimed the offences were committed in the Carlton Club or in the apartment block in Pimlico called Dolphin Square. Afterwards, Nick would be returned by car to his home, where he lived alone with his mother.

He had originally made allegations to Wiltshire Police, who had interviewed him but concluded he lacked credibility.

His mother was also questioned and told them she had no knowledge of any unauthorised absence from school and had never seen any bloodstained underwear or similar sign of sexual abuse.

Yet Met officers listening to his claims were not given his earlier interviews so missed the large number of inconsistencies.

Beech's slurs were notoriously called 'credible and true' during a press conference outside New Scotland Yard

Beech’s slurs were notoriously called ‘credible and true’ during a press conference outside New Scotland Yard

Sir Richard said they then continued investigating his claims ‘in a disordered and chaotic manner and littered with mistakes’.

In his new book, From Crime To Crime, which was serialised in the Daily Mail, the former judge wrote: ‘They failed to ask Nick for his computers or mobile phone.

‘They ignored the fact that his medical records disclosed no injury consistent with his allegations in his personal online blog that his feet were stabbed and burned, poppies pinned to his bare chest and numerous bones broken.

‘They had no regard to the inherent improbability of men of the highest standing and impeccable character having behaved in the manner alleged.’

Moving on the notorious ‘credible and true’ press conference, he continued: ‘Instead the police made a public appeal for information, with a senior officer, Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, standing outside New Scotland Yard and telling a press conference that they believed Nick’s allegations to be both ‘credible and true’.

‘The words should never have been uttered, and the officer himself later admitted they were inappropriate, saying he selected the wrong words in the heat of an interview.

‘But there was no correction for many months, by which time, as we will see below, two completely bogus potential witnesses had come forward with more lies purporting to support ‘Nick’.’

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AUGUST 19 2020 – F.A.S.O. [FALSE ALLEGATIONS SUPPORT ORGANISATION] + F.A.C.T. [FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS AND TEACHERS]

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http://www.false-allegations.org.uk/

https://factuk.org/

https://factuk.org/2017/09/14/retired-priest-roy-catchpole-reveals-how-heartbreaking-sex-abuse-allegations-wrecked-his-life/#:~:text=Roy%20Catchpole%20is%20a%20retired%20Anglican%20priest.%20In,familiar%20with%20the%20kind%20of%20suffering%20he%20endured.

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Sir,

The False Allegation Support Organisation are supporting clergy of different faiths in the UK, along with lay preachers falsely accused of sex offences, for the past 18 years..

The checks and balances supposedly in place in the investigations of the allegations within the church are flawed, and often hidden, therefore not transparent or used properly.

The truth is being concealed and you are losing good people.

Are The Ecclesiastical Law Society investigating this area of false allegations of sex abuse within the UK, as supposed ministers of god are breaking the code of truth and compassion, from what we hear on our helpline. (they are not the only professionals to do so)

or have the Oxford University carry out studies on this issue.

see my talk about false allegations to the men’s psychology group in London, for ease of reference – below

 FASO Utube talk on one side of FASO support Psychological impact of false accusations of sexual abuse

Psychological impact of false accusatio…

Also attached our leaflet

A response would be appreciated

Respectfully 

Margaret Gardener (Mrs)

FASO UK CEO

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False Allegations Support Organisation

False Allegations Support Organisation

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AUGUST 18 2020 – “THE NEW SAFEGUARDING BISHOP DEFENDS THE OLD MORALLY AND LEGALLY INDEFENSIBLE BANKRUPT SYSTEM OF ‘CORE GROUPS’ – LIKE A GOOD ECCLESIASTICAL PUPPET-ON-A-STRING”

“THE NEW SAFEGUARDING BISHOP DEFENDS THE OLD MORALLY AND LEGALLY INDEFENSIBLE BANKRUPT SYSTEM OF ‘CORE GROUPS’ – LIKE A GOOD ECCLESIASTICAL PUPPET-ON-A-STRING” – RICHARD W. SYMONDS – BELL SOCIETY

 

Lead Safeguarding Bishop to critics: “You don’t understand” – ‘Cranmer’

 

Safeguarding bishop sides with critics of the Church of England’s policy

17 AUGUST 2020

GEOFF CRAWFORD/CHURCH TIMES

The Bishop of Huddersfield, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, addresses the General Synod in February where he said that “serious money” was needed to fund redress for survivors of clerical abuse

THE lead bishop on safeguarding, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, has agreed that the C of E’s system needs “root-and-branch change” in order to improve its response to survivors.

Last week, survivors, lawyers, academics, and members of the clergy and General Synod wrote to the chair of the Charity Commission, Baroness Stowell, urging her to intervene to address “the failures of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England to devise a safe, consistent and fair system of redress” for victims and survivors of abuse (News, 14 August).

In his formal response last week, Dr Gibbs, who is the Bishop of Huddersfield and part of the National Safeguarding Team (NST) and Steering Group (NSST), deflected criticism of the NST and its core-groups system, adding that the NST should be trusted and respected.

He later told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday, however: “In one sense, I welcome this letter, because it adds weight to my desire to bring about the kind of root-and-branch change that we all long for: in particular in the way in which we respond to survivors, the way in which we deal with complaints, the way in which we change the culture of the Church.”

The letter to the Charity Commission, which also criticises the “impaired transparency and intermittent accountability” of the NST, calls for a complete reform of safeguarding practice and policy within the C of E. It urges the Church not to wait for the final report of the Anglican investigation by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which is due to be published this autumn (News, 1 May), before acting.

Dr Gibbs told the programme: “There is no doubt that, in the past, our systems have failed considerably, and that was made very clear during IICSA. That made very painful listening for all of us involved in the Church and our hearts go out to and our principle focus must be on survivors, and improving the way in which we respond to survivors. . .

“There is still a long way to go. There is journey; but it is a journey to which we are absolutely committed. . . The direction of travel is going to be substantially influenced by the IICSA report when it comes out very shortly. We made clear our commitment to that journey of change especially in the debate at the General Synod back in February” (News, 14 February).

Dr Gibbs also remarked on the research, published in the Church Times last week, by Dr Josephine Anne Stein, who estimated that the Church spends between £20 and £25 million on safeguarding, but that just £55,000 of this went to survivors in the form of redress (News, 14 August).

“I welcome that piece of research; it is a great piece of work. . . The Church’s expenditure on safeguarding work has expanded very substantially in recent years and that is really important because that is part of making sure that we do begin to respond much better to all of these safeguarding concerns.”

He agreed that the money was not directly benefiting survivors, but “that is the commitment we made in February.” A staff member was being appointed “very soon” to begin advancing redress, he said.

“Even in advance of that work, I have written to the Archbishops and the heads of the Church Commissioners to say I want to set up an interim scheme that enables us to respond much sooner than the time it will take to put the full scheme in place. So, absolutely, not nearly enough has been done here on redress, and redress is not just about compensation, it is about helping people rebuild their lives, and that is underway. So, I welcome that; as far as I am concerned it is weight to help push forward.”

Dr Gibbs maintained, however, that he did not support all of the letter’s criticisms. “I recognise what lies behind the letter: its deep frustration with the Church’s failures, in particular to address the needs of survivors. [But] no, I don’t agree with the specifics of the criticisms there, and implications about a lack of integrity on the part of some of my colleagues. I think those are simply unfortunate.”

One of the signatories of the letter, Lord Carlile, who wrote the independent review into allegations against a former Bishop of Chichester, the late George Bell (News, 22 December 2017), said earlier in the programme: “The Church has a very haphazard way of approaching safeguarding cases. There are numerous conflicts of interest that arise; it doesn’t fit into any recognisable jurisdictional structure; neither complainants, nor people complained against are getting a fair hearing. Additionally, the process is far too slow.”

Dr Gibbs said: “Making change in a big institution always takes time; there is always a certain amount of institutional resistance that is just part of being part of large organisation. There is always a danger of thinking someone else is dealing with this issue.” He reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury shared his frustration with the present system.

MORE INFORMATION

“Pressure on Bishop of Huddersfield over lack of action on Church sex abuse” – Yorkshire Live

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AUGUST 17 2020 – “LOOKING BACK: THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN SETTING THE STAGE FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS” – THE DAVIS VANGUARD

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“LOOKING BACK: THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN SETTING THE STAGE FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS”

 

Looking Back: The Role of the Media in Setting the Stage for Wrongful Convictions

Jeffrey Deskovic speaking in Davis last year at the Annual Vanguard Event

“Looking back” will feature reprints of articles that Jeff previously wrote while a columnist at The Westchester Guardian, which encompass topics that are applicable here in CA as well as across the country and not simply applicable to NY.

by Jeffrey Deskovic

It is with good reason that criminal defendant is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. It is only through this approach that the chances for justice to occur are maximized.

Too often, however, the media disregards this principle, and instead produces articles which presume guilt, and are one-sided; statements that are uttered by the prosecution and the police are taken as gospel. And, the articles that are written are slanted, written as though the media is taking on a pro-prosecution advocacy role, as though they know all that there is to know about a case, rather than remaining neutral, and cautious, scrutinizing, and looking for alternative explanations for evidence while writing a balanced story. This type of news coverage is by no means harmless.

It is often experienced by the accused as an out-of-control feeling in which there is the experience that the entire world is against them. In this environment the accused must defend himself against serious charges which often carry lengthy prison sentences, while, at the same time, being aware of the chilling reality that what is going on outside of the courtroom often affects what is going on inside of it.

For example, a judge can be influenced and caused to make rulings of law which make it likely that a guilty verdict will result at trial. Potential jurors can hear about a case prior to being selected with the result that they are swayed before hearing evidence, despite denying hearing about it during the selection process.

As a trial progresses, it is a fiction to believe that jurors always obey a judge’s instructions that they should not read about the case. Sometimes a prosecutor could feel pressure from the environment and not extend a plea bargain offer which he or she feels would serve the ends of justice; or press for a lengthier sentence at a sentencing hearing. A judge could wind up imposing a lengthier sentence because of the media coverage.

Although a prosecutor could him, or herself, get swept up by the environment, as I mentioned above, at other times they are the author and architect of such coverage, when they are using cases for political purposes. One of the better-known examples of this was the case Duke Lacrosse Players case. In an article Justice Denied by Rachel Smolken, she wrote: “As Reade Seligmann choked back tears on the witness stand, the 21- year-old Duke University lacrosse player dubbed ‘Flustered’ by teammates was poised, compelling and clearly hurting. He told of a world turned ‘upside down’ and of experiencing ‘as lonely of a feeling as you can ever imagine’ after he was indicted for allegedly raping a stripper at a team party on March 13, 2006. He described the stinging slights from former friends, the terrifying death threats–and the inescapable media horde.” All told, somewhere between one to three hundred guilt presumption-oriented media pieces were either written or aired.

Taken from Wikipedia and the Durham In Wonderland Blog written by KC Johnsonthe facts of the case are as follows: “In March 2006 Crystal Gail Mangum, an African American stripper and escort falsely accused three white members of Duke University’s lacrosse team- Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans, of raping her at a party held at the house of two of the teams captains in Durham, North Carolina on March 13, 2006. On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges and declared the three players innocent. Cooper stated that the charged players were victims of a ‘tragic rush to accuse.’ District Attorney Mike Nifong assumed personal control of an ongoing—and scarcely begun—police investigation fundamentally transformed the case. Appointed to the office in 2005 despite a pattern of emotionally unstable behavior during his half-decade sojourn in Traffic Court, Nifong appeared destined for defeat in the upcoming Democratic primary. By late February, Nifong’s fundraising had dried up and he resorted to personal loans to his campaign kept his candidacy afloat. Under personal, financial, and political pressure—and perhaps even, at first, believing that a crime occurred—Nifong seized the opportunity to exploit the case. He quickly secured a court order demanding that the players submit DNA samples and photos. That motion was fraudulent in that: Nifong claimed that the players called each other by first-name aliases and uniform numbers at the party; no evidence existed for either claim; Nifong withheld from the court that the accuser had failed to identify any suspects in an official photo lineup; Nifong falsely promised the court that negative DNA tests would ‘immediately rule out any innocent persons.’ Confident that DNA would ‘show conclusive evidence as to who the suspect(s) are in the alleged violent attack upon this victim,’ the D.A. launched a publicity barrage that seemed unrelated to any legitimate law enforcement purpose but did much to boost his name recognition in the run-up to the primary.

Though Section 3.8 (f) of the North Carolina Code of Professional Responsibility requires prosecutors to ‘refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused,’ Nifong gave dozens of interviews. He termed the players ‘hooligans’ whose ‘daddies’ would buy them expensive lawyers. He made a host of statements not backed by items in police files. He made a public statement to the effect that ‘One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong.’ And, in a blatant bid for the African American vote, he deliberately exaggerated the racial element of the alleged attack. As he basked in the media spotlight, Nifong learned that contrary to his assurances, the DNA results would be negative. But he refused to discard the case for lack of evidence, and instead instructed police to conduct another lineup. Only this time, he would ensure that the accuser identified someone. In violation of Durham policies, the lineup would be confined to suspects—now all 46 white players on the team. In further violation of procedures, the accuser would be told that the lineup contained no fillers. And overriding yet another procedure, the lead investigator for the case would oversee the array. Duke Law professor James Coleman, former chief counsel to the House Ethics Committee, later wrote that these Nifong mandated procedural irregularities ‘strongly suggested that the purpose of the identification process was to give the alleged victim an opportunity to pick three members of the lacrosse team who could be charged. Any three students would do; there could be no wrong choice.’

In the lineup, Mangum identified the three suspects, with varying degrees of certainty. Her performance gave no indication that she was a reliable eyewitness. After having not recognized him at all on March 21, she now claimed that Evans attacked her, and that he had a mustache—even though he didn’t have one. She claimed to be 100% certain that Seligmann attacked her—even though three weeks earlier, she said she was only 70% sure that Seligmann even attended the party. Indeed, the only player that the accuser twice identified as attending the party with 100% certainty wasn’t even in Durham that night.

Nifong ignored this litany of transparent inconsistencies. With knowledge that the DNA tests were negative and surely understanding that his procedurally dubious identification would not survive close scrutiny, Nifong fanned the flames of public indignation. In this critical period, Nifong had three indispensable allies: The media—first the N&O, and, after March 27, the national networks and especially the Times—uncritically accepted his version of events, framing the story as a morality tale of white, rich, athletic excess, exploiting a poor, black, demure mother of two; Among what New York’s Kurt Andersen has termed the Duke faculty’s ‘loopy left,’ the players were guilty until proven innocent. In late March, Houston Baker, a professor of English and Afro-American Studies, issued a public letter denouncing the ‘abhorrent sexual assault, verbal racial violence, and drunken white male privilege loosed amongst us’ and demanding the ‘immediate dismissals’ of ‘the team itself and its players.’ A week later, on April 6, 88 members of Duke’s arts and sciences faculty signed a public statement saying ‘thank you’ to campus demonstrators who had, among other things, carried a banner reading ‘CASTRATE’ outside the lacrosse players’ rented house, distributed a ‘wanted’ poster of the lacrosse players, and publicly branded the players ‘rapists’, and placed an ad in a newspaper thanking protesters ‘for not waiting and for making yourselves heard.’

By contrast, no Duke professor publicly criticized Nifong’s conduct until months later. Brodhead failed to resist his faculty’s assault on due process. Moreover, whether intended or not, his actions fortified a public image of guilt. On March 25, in an unprecedented move, the president canceled (at the last minute) the lacrosse team’s game against Georgetown, citing underage drinking at the party. Then, after the April 5 release of the McFadyen email, Brodhead demanded Lacrosse Coach Mike Pressler’s resignation, canceled the lacrosse season, and issued a statement anchored by a lament on the evils of rape—at a time when the players were firmly denying any sexual contact, much less rape. These moves enjoyed enthusiastic support from Board of Trustees chairman Robert Steel.”

Rachel Smolken wrote that CNN’s “Nancy Grace particularly distinguished herself, in a negative sense, with her mean-spirited comments about the athletes. Every piece of defense evidence that established innocence, ‘she spun as further evidence of guilt,’ Taylor says. ‘Or as, That just goes to show you how defense lawyers lie.’” On another occasion, referring to whether any Duke Lacrosse games would be missed, she made an on-air statement that “I’m so glad they didn’t miss a lacrosse game over a little thing like gang rape!”

As KC Johnson writes in Durham In Wonderland, “Often prosecutorial misconduct becomes intertwined with the slanted media coverage. On December of 2007 the North Carolina bar filed ethics charges against Nifong over his conduct in the case, accusing him of making public statements that were prejudicial to the administration of justice and of engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The 17-page document accuses Nifong of violating four rules of professional conduct, listing more than 100 examples of statements he made to the media. On January 24, 2007, The North Carolina State Bar filed a second round of ethics charges against Nifong for a systematic abuse of prosecutorial discretion that was prejudicial to the administration of justice when he withheld DNA evidence to mislead the court. In a five-day proceeding in late June, the Disciplinary Hearings Commission of the State Bar found him guilty on 27 of 32 counts of ethical improprieties. He was disbarred and forced to resign as DA. In late August, Judge Smith found him guilty of criminal contempt for lying to the court about his conversations with Meehan; Nifong was sentenced to a day in jail. And, in early 2008, he declared bankruptcy to avoid a civil suit filed by the falsely accused students against him, the city of Durham, and Meehan.

On April 11, 2007, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced the results of his office’s investigation. Not only would all charges be dropped, but the three players were declared “innocent” victims of a “rogue prosecutor.”

Analysis

As I stated above, slanted, prejudicial, and guilt-presuming articles are not harmless. Instead, they set the environment in which, and the stage on which, a case is tried. The turning of community sentiment against the defendant sets a terrible context through which a case proceeds through the process. What goes on outside of the courtroom is as much a factor in determining how a case turns out as what goes on inside of the courtroom.

I can personally attest to the frightening feeling of being an innocent defendant in a guilt-presumptive media environment such as I described above. During the time period in which I was going to trial, all of the news media coverage, save for one story, was slanted against me.

In the Duke Lacrosse Case, the prosecutor both started, and kept, the media witch hunt going for his own political purposes. He wanted to generate free advertisement and get elected. The media went along for the ride by not simply reporting facts and remaining neutral; instead, in effect, becoming advocates in an environment in which the presumption of innocence went out the window.

Unbelievable as it may seem, in a variety of ways, the Duke Players were lucky. Firstly, their parents were wealthy thus enabling them to hire quality attorneys. Secondly, it is almost unheard of for an Attorney General, as in their case, to intervene in a case and then dismiss the charges. Thirdly, the players were never wrongfully convicted and sent to prison. Fourthly, the Attorney General did not simply dismiss the charges, but he declared them to be “innocent”.

In the usual scenario, poor defendants, relying on public defenders, would have been found guilty; would have remained publicly excoriated; and would have been sent to prison to serve lengthy prison terms where they would never have been heard from again, unless a miracle occurred and they somehow were able to obtain quality representation and ultimately prove their innocence.

Understanding what went wrong in an individual case is only part of what needs to occur. Coming up with a way forward which would prevent its reoccurrence is an important second step. In the article Justice Delayed, Smolkin asked what the media should learn from the Duke case. Stuart Taylor, a columnist who is also an attorney, says “Read the damn motions.”He goes on to say, “If you’re covering a case, don’t just wait for somebody to call a press conference. Read the documents.” He advises reporters to look beyond the rhetoric. “We should never take a prosecutor’s word as fact.” Conversely, don’t disregard defense assertions as necessarily false.

Taylor goes on to say, “Yes, many defense lawyers will say almost anything to get their clients off most of the time, but don’t just ignore what they say, look at what they’re telling you. And do they have the evidence to back it up?”

Defense attorney Jim Cooney adds,

“The national media seems to believe balance requires them to report anything someone says, whether it’s true or not.” The fact-checking aspect of reporting, “he says, “seems to have fallen by the wayside.”

Later in that same article Smolkin quotes Ruth Sheehan, who wrote numerous guilt-presuming articles about the Duke players, saying, “I will approach cases in a different manner now. I will be much more cautious. I had a visceral reaction to that case as it was being described by the prosecutor.” Therefore, the media should try not to have an emotional reaction to a case by viewing it through the prism of their own experience.

In my opinion, these suggestions are good. However, I would add that the media should remember that there is a reason that defendants are presumed innocent, and this needs to be given more than just lip service. I also believe that although oftentimes defense attorneys can make things difficult by their silence, they can get beyond this silence by paying attention to the cross-examinations that the lawyers are doing and what points they are making through it, as well as opening statements and closing arguments.

I also think that it is important that writers remain neutral and do not turn into advocates when they write. There is a difference between writing a story on a case when the evidence is in as opposed to covering ongoing court proceedings. Reporters should not be above writing a correction or an apology if it is needed, and such apology or correction should be given the same prominence as the original story, not hidden in the back section of the newspaper.

“Jeffrey Deskovic, JD, MA, is an internationally recognized wrongful conviction expert and founder of The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which has freed 7 wrongfully convicted people and helped pass 3 laws aimed at preventing wrongful conviction. Jeff is an advisory board member of It Could Happen To You, which has chapters in CA, NY, and PA. He serves on the Global Advisory Council for Restorative Justice International, and is a sometimes co-host and co-producer of the show, “360 Degrees of Success.” Jeff was exonerated after 16 years in prison-from age 17-32- before DNA exonerated him and identified the actual perpetrator. A short documentary about his life is entitled “Conviction”, and there episode 1 of his story in Virtual Reality is called, “Once Upon A Time In Peekskill“. Jeff has a Masters Degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with his thesis written on wrongful conviction causes and reforms needed to address them, and a law degree from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.

To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9


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George Bell House, 4 Canon Lane, Chichester

TO ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS: APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN

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George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral

LETTER SUBMISSION – AUGUST 29 2020

RESIGNATIONS EN-MASSE TO THE SUPREME GOVERNOR OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN ? 

Dear Editor

Following this week’s Private Eye article and Church Times letter, we the undersigned again call upon / renew the call for Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner to consider their positions.

The evidence against Bishop George Bell has been gathered and thoroughly examined. Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden have declared the allegations are unfounded and there is no case to answer . It follows, therefore, that no “significant cloud remains” hangs over Bishop Bell’s head – it hangs elsewhere.

Bishop Bell’s name has now been fully vindicated, so there is no good reason why an apology should not be forthcoming and the name of George Bell House restored.

But Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner continue to perpetuate this injustice against the wartime Bishop of Chichester by wilfully and arrogantly refusing to admit they were wrong. There is no willingness on their part to right that wrong. They display no humility in acknowledging that wrong. They have no intention to lift that “significant cloud”.

As Stephen Parsons says in ‘Surviving Church’: “Incompetence whether caused by ignorance, conceit or malevolence, is a particularly important matter when the individual refuses to admit to it and own up to it”.

After Archbishop Welby’s comment last year: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet” – a few of us did not ignore or sweep under the carpet those allegations against Bishop Bell. We fully investigated the clear likelihood of ‘mistaken identity’ – especially after the IICSA brought to light the “bonfire” of John Treadgold Dean of Chichester. Our findings are one reason why we are so critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – especially relating to excising the memory of Bishop Bell in Chichester].

Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, the only surviving relative and in her 90’s, and the Rev Peter Mullen and Andrew Morse have already called for resignation.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, now call for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, unless an immediate and full public apology is forthcoming regarding Bishop Bell and the name of George Bell House in Chichester is restored.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Revd. Forrest William

BOYS, Geoffrey

CHARMLEY, Professor John

DONALD, Revd. Steve

GOMES, Dr. Jules

INESON, Revd. Matthew

LINSLEY, Alice C.

MARTIN, Terry

MORGAN, Dr. Gerald

MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter

OSBORNE, Noel

RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles

ROBINSON, Dr. Steven

SIMS, Kevin

SYKES, Rt. Revd. Nicholas J.G. – Suffragan Bishop

SYMONDS, Richard W.

VIRTUE, David W. DD

WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this Letter and its Signatories, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

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St Richard’s Walk – Chichester Cathedral

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AUGUST 13 2020 – “CALL FOR SIGNATURES – LETTER ASKING JUSTIN WELBY TO STEP DOWN OVER THE GEORGE BELL AFFAIR” – ANGLICAN INK

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George Bell, Bishop of Chichester. A Painting by William Coldstream – Pallant House Gallery Chichester [in storage]

“CALL FOR SIGNATURES – LETTER ASKING JUSTIN WELBY TO STEP DOWN OVER THE GEORGE BELL AFFAIR” – ANGLICAN INK

By

The Bell Society is asking concerned Christians to endorse their open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking him to step down over his handling of the George Bell affair. Please contact Richard W. Symonds of The Bell Society to add your name to the letter. richardsy5@aol.com

Dear Editor

The evidence against Bishop George Bell has been gathered and thoroughly examined. Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden have declared the allegations are unfounded and there is no case to answer . It follows, therefore, that no “significant cloud remains” over Bishop Bell’s head.

But Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner continue to perpetuate this injustice against the wartime Bishop of Chichester by wilfully and arrogantly refusing to admit they were wrong. There is no willingness on their part to right that wrong. They display no humility in acknowledging that wrong. They have no intention to lift that “significant cloud”. 

As Stephen Parsons says in ‘Surviving Church’: “Incompetence whether caused by ignorance, conceit or malevolence, is a particularly important matter when the individual refuses to admit to it and own up to it”.

After Archbishop Welby’s comment last year: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet” – a few of us did not ignore or sweep under the carpet those allegations against Bishop Bell. We fully investigated the clear likelihood of ‘mistaken identity’ – especially after the IICSA brought to light the “bonfire” of John Treadgold Dean of Chichester. Our findings are one reason why we are so critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – especially relating to excising the memory of Bishop Bell in Chichester.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, unless an immediate and full public apology is forthcoming regarding Bishop Bell and the name of George Bell House in Chichester is restored.

Yours sincerely
BOYS, Geoffrey
CHARMLEY, Professor John
GOMES, Dr Jules
INESON, Rev Matthew
MARTIN, Terry
MORGAN, Dr Gerald
MULLEN, Rev Dr Peter
OSBORNE, Noel
RAVEN, Rev Canon Charles
SIMS, Kevin
SYMONDS, Richard W
WATKINS, Lindsay

 

 

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JULY 10 2019 – “VICAR TELLS ABUSE INQUIRY ARCHBISHOPS ‘NOT FIT FOR OFFICE'” – ITV NEWS

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Rev Matthew Ineson

“VICAR TELLS ABUSE INQUIRY ARCHBISHOPS ‘NOT FIT FOR OFFICE'” – ITV NEWS

 

Vicar tells abuse inquiry archbishops ‘not fit for office’

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry

 

A vicar who says his disclosures about being sexually abused as a teenager were ignored by senior clerics has told an inquiry the archbishops of Canterbury and York are not “fit for office”.

The Rev Matthew Ineson criticised the archbishops as he gave evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) investigation into the Anglican Church.

The vicar called for changes to the way the church investigates safeguarding issues and complaints about clerics, describing the current system as “totally unsuitable”.

The witness told the inquiry how he suffered abuse at the hands of priest Trevor Devamanikkam, who took his own life on the day he was due to appear in court accused of sexual offences against Mr Ineson.

He said he later made disclosures to a number of bishops and archbishops but they were ignored and no further action was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby when he made complaints against the clerics.

The Archbishop of Canterbury in the Canterbury Cathedral.
The Archbishop of Canterbury in the Canterbury Cathedral.Credit: PA

Mr Ineson said bishops abuse their power to protect themselves and force victims of clerical sexual abuse to face further suffering by not acting upon their disclosures.

He told the inquiry: “Bishops sit on thrones.

“They live in fine palaces and houses, they wear the finest robes and garments, they bully people.

“People literally kneel down and kiss the ring on their finger.”

“Enough is enough – I think the victims are far stronger people than the bishops.”

He continued: “I cannot see the face of Jesus in the Archbishop of Canterbury or York. I see hypocrites and I see Pharisees. I see the people that Jesus stood up against.

“I don’t think those people are fit for office.”

Mr Ineson said he met the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu at a meeting for survivors of clerical abuse at a General Synod in York.

The witness said: “I’d never seen John Sentamu before and if I ever see him again it will be too soon.

“He came over to me, he came really in my face, too close, he grabbed me by the shoulder and he held me by the shoulder and said, ‘One day me and you will talk’.”

 

Mr Ineson said he asked the archbishop for an apology for his failure to act on his disclosures but Dr Sentamu replied: “Apologies mean different things to different people.”

He told the inquiry: “He’s arrogant, he’s rude and he’s a bully.”

Mr Ineson, who was ordained in 2000 and practised as a vicar in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, for more than 10 years, said he made his first disclosures between 2012 and 2013 to the Bishop of Doncaster Peter Burrows, the then bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft, and the then archdeacon of Rotherham Martyn Snow, but that nothing came of his reports.

He said: “I could not believe it. I could not believe they were doing nothing.”

Mr Ineson went on to make two written disclosures to Mr Croft, now the Bishop of Oxford, and sent copies to the Bishop of Beverley and Dr Sentamu.

He said he wrote in his second letter: “You will never know what it took to tell you but you will also never know of the hurt that you and your suffragan have caused me by doing absolutely nothing about it.”

Mr Ineson told the inquiry that the only person to reply was Dr Sentamu, who wrote: “Please be assured of my prayers and best wishes at this difficult time.”

He said he submitted complaints about the clerics under the clergy discipline measure but was told that the complaints fell outside of the church’s one-year rule.

 

Mr Ineson appealed but told the inquiry that part of the process was to contact those being complained about to ask for their opinion about whether the one-year rule should be extended in their cases.

He said: “Who in their right mind thinks it’s acceptable to write to a priest who is under investigation by the police for child sexual abuse and give him the opportunity to object to being investigated?”

Mr Ineson described the complaints system as “totally unsuitable”.

He said: “Bishop investigates bishop and they’re all conflicted.”

Mr Ineson said he believed that safeguarding should be taken out of the hands of the church so that complaints are investigated by an independent body and that clerical sexual abuse should be the subject of mandatory reporting.

He said: “I have no desire to damage the church at all or bring the church down. The overriding motive for me is to help prevent abuse from happening again.”

 

Mr Ineson continued: “The church is not going to change unless they are made to. They can’t be trusted.”

Giving evidence on Wednesday afternoon, Dr Sentamu said he did not believe he had made personal mistakes in the course of responding to disclosures of clerical abuse.

He said: “Hand on heart, I don’t think so. Where there have been disclosures, I have been willing to apologise to the person, trying to do the best I can to support them.”

When asked about the case of Mr Ineson, Dr Sentamu said he received a copy of the cleric’s letter but assumed the Bishop of Sheffield would deal with it because it was his responsibility.

He said that, if he had behaved at the General Synod in the way described by Mr Ineson, that behaviour would have been “totally inappropriate”.

Dr Sentamu agreed Mr Ineson’s treatment by the Church had been “shabby and shambolic” and said he should have received more support.

He added the police investigation and the complaints issued under the clergy discipline measure meant it took too long to set up an inquiry into his abuse.

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AUGUST 8 2020 – DRAWING PARALLELS – “TO RUN AND HIDE OR STAND UP AND BE CANCELLED? THAT IS THE QUESTION, NOW THAT LABOUR’S ‘WITCH-TRIALS’ ARE UNDERWAY” – ‘ONLY ONE WAY LEFT’ – KAREN SUDAN

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Karen Sudan

 

“We are thoroughly convinced that charges of antisemitism are being brought against individuals – usually, but not always people on the left – in order to stifle and silence critical views about the actions of the state of Israel in the Middle East and Palestine in particular. It is pretty frightening and unfortunately many decent people who would ordinarily deplore the denial of free speech simply do not want to believe what is happening or find it too far-fetched to take seriously.

“Below is a link to my recent blog on the subject – it contains the original Notice of Investigation that I received on 27 June together with the response I would have offered had I believed that the Party would have taken it seriously and/or had I believed that there would have been sufficient support from those who have influence in Labour locally”

Karen Sudan

“TO RUN AND HIDE OR STAND UP AND BE CANCELLED? THAT IS THE QUESTION, NOW THAT LABOUR’S ‘WITCH-TRIALS’ ARE UNDERWAY” – ‘ONLY ONE WAY LEFT’ – KAREN SUDAN

I am not alone. My story is just one among many stories. But what happened to me is typical of what is happening to dozens, if not hundreds, of long-standing Party members up and down the country.  It is a witch hunt. It is targeting good socialists, many of whom have made a huge contribution to the Labour Party and the Socialist movement over many years. It’s aim is to transform the Party from a broad church that welcomes people who hold different views, but who share a desire for a better world, to narrow sect whose main aim is to maintain the top-down organisation that evolved during the Blair years and within which many of them have vested political careers. Those who supported Corbyn’s leadership, including Corbyn himself, were a threat to that status quo. We must be silenced, and if we cannot be silenced then we must be purged.

The purge of Labour members has been called a witch hunt. The Salem witch trials are often quoted as a cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, extremism, false accusations and disregard of due process. An accuser would would enter a complaint of witchcraft with the magistrate.  Spectral evidence – a dream, visitation or mere belief that witchcraft had been practiced – would be presented to the magistrate. The accused – usually a poor misunderstood individual perceived as an outsider in some way – would then be arrested, interrogated and pressed to confess. A guilty plea, expressed with remorse, could save your life. To plead not guilty would be taken as proof positive of guilt and then when you were found guilty you would be certain to be hanged. One of those accused, Giles Corey, an 81 year old farmer from Salem Fields, refused to submit himself to the process.  He declined to enter a plea. In order to persuade him to comply, stones were placed on top of him until he couldn’t breathe. He died without entering a plea. Good for him.

I know from others’ experience, and the Leaked Report has confirmed, that Labour’s complaints systems are not fit for purpose. Like the justice systems in fifteenth century America, they are open to abuse. Individuals are placed ‘under investigation’ and invited to defend themselves against accusations based on the flimsiest of ‘evidence’ before  officials who have already decided our guilt. Investigations that should never have been initiated – most of the ‘evidence’ cited would not stand up in any court of law and you would be treated more fairly in any half decent workplace – are left to hang indefinitely while ordinary decent Party members are left unsupported to deal with the stress. The letter that accompanies the Notice of Investigation acknowledges the stress that will be caused and includes the Samaritans’ phone number. The letter itself is not signed off by an individual officer. There is no named individual who can be contacted about the investigation.

Being under investigation and/or suspended restricts members’ participation in Party activity, including prohibiting them from standing for public office. It is a method increasingly used by a certain section of the Party establishment to ensure that only individuals who meet their approval make it on to a ballot. It is the way they get rid of you when all else fails – it is what happens to councillors and MPs who have a good record and have been, or are likely to be selected by ward or CLP members, but whose face – or politics – doesn’t fit with those who believe that they, and they alone, are born to rule. Those under investigation are prohibited, under threat of suspension and/or expulsion, from talking about it, This not only silences – cancels – the individual concerned, it allows malign gossip and lies to spread unchecked. Thus are the Labour Party’s complaints systems being used to purge and silence people like me.

Like the elderly Salem farmer, I chose not to submit myself to the judgement of a corrupt and broken system. I chose instead to resign.  My resignation, along with that of my son – also a councillor – who has been ‘under investigation’ for over eighteen months, resulted in Labour losing control of a Crawley Borough Council. Two Brighton councillors were placed under investigation shortly after me. They too chose to resign with the result that Labour lost control of that council too. Our resignations have been branded as a ‘betrayal’ of the Party. It is those long-standing members, people who have dedicated many years and sacrificed much for the Labour movement, who have been betrayed. So long as the Labour Party – and by the Labour Party, I mean members, not paid officials – are prepared to stand by in silence while decent people are purged from its ranks, it will not be fit to govern at any level.

It has been suggested that I was wrong to resign, that I should have stayed in the Party to ‘clear my name’. This very suggestion says it all. It is as though I have already been condemned. Like those poor men and women in fifteenth century Salem, it seems the very uttering of a complaint is enough for the Labour Party to hang you. Had due process – even back then – been applied to the Salem witches, they would never have been accused in the first place. Had the Labour Party’s complaints systems been fit for purpose and not open to abuse by those with malign intent, hundreds of members would have been spared an ordeal that is widely understood to have resulted in suicide by at least one.

Members are entitled to know what is going on in their Party. Some may want to know. They can then make up their own minds about it. Below, for anyone interested,  is a link to the Notice of Investigation that I received on 27 June. Also the response I might have offered had I trusted that it would be received in good faith by the Party.

Karen Sudan, August 2020

Notice of Investigation – Cllr KS:

Response to a different Labour Party – allegations contained in NOI Karen Sudan

Karen Sudan

Hypothetical Response to Notice of Investigation concerning my alleged antisemitism

My first alleged transgression (Item 3 in the Notice of Investigation) This was committed three years ago in June 2017 when I blocked ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’ from following me on Twitter.

My husband Mark and I received an alert – at exactly the same time – that we were being followed by ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’. We had never heard of it, and we both thought it rather strange – organisations don’t usually select who they follow; it is usually the other way about.

We checked them out, as is our normal practice for would-be followers. Although we do not remember the detail of what we saw, and it is too long ago to go back to, we both remember disliking what we saw.
We both blocked ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’ and I commented in a tweet of my own:

“I oppose all kinds of racism, but having looked at their tweets and
followers, I just blocked Labour Against Antisemitism.”

If the Labour Party believes it can arbitrarily decide to deny members the right to exercise freedom of preference over who we allow to follow us or not, or to inform our existing followers of those choices and the reasons for them, it is profoundly disturbing. It is yet more disturbing in the light of what has been said about one of the two individuals who ran ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’:

“Individuals such as Euan Philipps, LAAS spokesperson were rude in
their tone, and had submitted a number of spurious complaints. The
Labour Party received a number of complaints from 2017 onwards about their abusive conduct online, including allegations of ‘dog piling’
individuals on Twitter”

and

“In 2018-19 the Labour Party received a number of complaints alleging
abusive behaviour by Phillips, including racism, Islamophobia,
homophobia and antisemitism both online and in person.”
The Work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in Relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019 (‘The Leaked Report’)

Nevertheless, it was apparently wrong of me to block them and comment as I did. Not only this, it is apparently evidence of antisemitism. I have looked at Labour Against Antisemitism again today. I do not regret blocking them and they remain blocked.

My second alleged transgression (Item 2 in the Notice of Investigation)

This was committed two years ago in August 2018
I retweeted a comment by someone whose friend had had ‘No Blacs here’ (sic) painted on her window. The comment read:

“My friend moved into a predominantly white area in Manchester over
the weekend and look what they did to her window, I’m disgusted. Racism is so real and it’s happening everywhere.”

I commented:

“Where is the MSM [Main Stream Media – Ed] outcry over this?! Oh yes, I forgot – too busy making up and/or exaggerating stories about antisemitism in the Labour Party!”

I believed then – and still believe now – that the media focus has been
disproportionate when it comes to reporting and condemning antisemitism over other forms of racism. There is evidence to support this view.

For example, as presented by Greg Philo, in his book Bad News for Labour: Antisemitism, the Party and Public Belief.

Many people share the opinion that Labour’s antisemitism problem has been exaggerated. Indeed, this was the Labour Party’s official position at the time. Some may disagree of course, but it cannot be said to be antisemitic to hold the opinion that the media have exaggerated the phenomenon.

At the same time that there was an intense media focus on ‘Labour’s
antisemitism problem’, there has been, I believe, a failure to report or comment  on racist incidents generally, such as the one (above) reported on Twitter and others involving violent attacks. I represent people in Crawley who have suffered racist abuse and have been on the receiving end myself, as have members of my family.

Racism of all kinds is a scourge on British society, and it has not been addressed as it should have. I believe that, at best, the disproportionate media focus, both within and outside the Labour Party has done nothing to help the victims of racism. At worst, it has
done the opposite. People I represent from Black and Minority Ethnic
backgrounds once had trust in Labour as an anti-racist Party. Many feel that by – as they see it – over-stating an antisemitism problem within the Labour Party, while seeming to turn a blind eye to the racism they experience on a daily basis,
Labour has betrayed that trust.

I have not encountered antisemitism within the local party, but have frequently come across other forms of racism:
For example, on coming home from a picnic with Party members, one of my granddaughters asked me to explain what a Party member had meant by the term ‘half caste’. The term was obviously part of the everyday language used by the woman who said it and went unremarked.

My (black) husband has been likened to a ‘warrior chief’ asserting his territory through ‘chest beating’. His (white) step-son has been referred to as ‘the Lone Ranger’ when he has supported my husband with the implication that my husband is ‘Tonto’. These racist tropes go unremarked and, if challenged, only provoke closing of ranks and further attacks.

These are my thoughts about racism, antisemitism, the MSM and the
Labour Party. I do not regret the retweet or the comment I made.
Those of us who believe that there has been a disproportionate amount of attention paid to antisemitism may also believe that this needs explaining.

I believe that the explanation for this is that antisemitism has been weaponised to attack those who supported Jeremy Corbyn – who, it should be remembered was, for the period covered, the democratically elected leader of the Labour Party.

Many of those people who supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership have
also been vocal in their support for the Palestinian people in their struggle against continued oppression by the state of Israel. These people, who come form a range of backgrounds, and have Jewish people among them, have I believe, been the subject of a witch hunt by a section of the Party establishment.

Ironically, revisiting ‘Labour Against Antisemitism’ today (see above) and witnessing their celebration and joy at recent ‘success’ in purging the Party of committed and respected long-standing members – whose membership long predates Jeremy Corbyn, but whose antisemitic views only became a concern during the Corbyn years – only serves to endorse this view.

My third transgression (Item 1 in the Notice of Investigation)

This was a straightforward retweeting of a link to an article by Sai Englert, a well-respected Jewish academic, which argued that Labour should reject the ‘ten pledges’ because criticism of Israel was not necessarily – or even usually – related to antisemitism.

I have re-read the article today and I still agree with its main argument. The article did not suggest (as was implied) that the Jewish holocaust had been exaggerated and did not belittle it. The holocaust was a crime against humanity and there simply is no justification for it.

What the (state of) Israel is doing to the people of Palestine (themselves Semitic peoples) is also a crime against humanity. Many have said that they believe it to be worse than apartheid South Africa. Indeed, it has been condemned by some who actually lived under that regime including Nelson Mandela himself.

Many have likened it to the way colonialists all but wiped out the Native Americans and Native Australians in past centuries. There can be no justification for the treatment of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel.

That was my position in January this year and it remains my position
today. This is not an antisemitic viewpoint and I do not regret sharing the article.

More than one Constituency Labour Party has posted links to this
article on their website and I do not apologise for sharing it myself. Indeed, I would recommend a reading/re-reading of it in the light of events of recent weeks.

Finally, there has sometimes been an attempt to argue that the very act of speaking out – as I have – against atrocities committed by the state of Israel, is in itself antisemitic – as though somehow criticism of the actions of the state of Israel stems from an inherent ‘hatred of Jews’.

Hatred of Jews has been included in far-right rhetoric against minorities for many years. It does not usually express itself in criticism of Israel or support for the Palestinian people.

If anything, those on the far right usually express even more hatred for Arabs and Muslims than for they do for Jews.

For the record, I have been highly critical of Saudi Arabia’s decimating of Yemen – an area of the Middle East in which I spent some of my formative years. I have also been vocal in my criticism of the Indian Government for its actions in Kashmir. I have not had racism imputed as my motive for these criticisms.

Throughout my life, I have – along with thousands of others on the Left – campaigned in support of oppressed people both abroad and here in the UK. It would be rather out of keeping with my record were I not to feel as passionately as I do in support of the Palestinian people. Many people feel as I do but have hesitated to speak out for fear of being attacked for it. I have felt that fear myself, but whenever I am tempted to give in to it, I think about a little girl I once knew:

She was seven, and I will call her Amalia. I knew her when I worked in a school in North East London. Part of my role was to monitor racist incidents, making sure that they were recorded and reported and dealt with appropriately.

One morning, I was called urgently to Year 3 to deal with a racist incident. When I got there, I found Amalia outside her classroom sobbing inconsolably. She had been sent from the lesson – an RE lesson in which the class had been learning about Judaism – because she was the perpetrator of the incident.

A teaching assistant, Bruhriah (not her real name) was with her. Amalia kept repeating over and over through her sobs, that she was sorry and that she knew she ‘shouldn’t have said it’. I could see that she really was sorry, but it took me a long while to get her to tell me what it was she had said.

‘I said I hate Jews’ she told me once she could get the words out.

Without prompting she told me ‘I know why I said it.’ I asked her why and she told me ‘Because of what happened in my country.’ She told me that she had seen her Grandma shot in the back, along with an uncle while they had been running away from soldiers.
‘Where is your country?’ I asked Amalia. ‘Palestine.’

She said. They had been running away from Israeli soldiers.

Amalia was right. It was wrong to say that she hated Jews. She understood that it was an antisemitic remark – not all Jews could be held responsible for killing members of her family. Many Jewish people – including Bruhriah – hate what the state of Israel is doing to the people of Palestine as much, and more than I do.

What the state of Israel is doing to Amalia’s people is wrong. I will never apologise for speaking out about it and I will continue to support the Palestinian people in their struggle against oppression in any way I can. I am not antisemitic. I am a socialist and that is what socialists do.

Karen Sudan, August 2020

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/8/13/jordan-says-israel-uae-deal-hinges-on-future-israel-steps?fbclid=IwAR0R8t4DdCJ9_1WLZIQgSkjZ-Pq_NnpBYG0gUzvmPp8keOY8BJAsK5A1zVk

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AUGUST 8 2020 – PETITION – LETTERS TO A BROKEN CHURCH – THE MICAH 6 : 8 INITIATIVE

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PETITION – LETTERS TO A BROKEN CHURCH – THE MICAH 6 : 8 INITIATIVE

 

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Engraving of the Prophet Micah by Gustave Doré.

 

MICAH ON JUSTICE, KINDNESS AND THE GOOD – MICAH 6 : 8

 

He has showed you, O man, what is good

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice

And to love kindness

And to walk humbly with your God

 

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Humanity Justice Peace – The Tilgate Park Hiroshima Plaque

 

Micah 6:8 Initiative

After many attempts to secure reform of the National Safeguarding Team and the secretive Core Groups of the Church of England, we reluctantly reach the conclusion that there is no alternative but to seek the outside intervention of the Charity Commission, to call the Archbishops’ Council to account for its stewardship of these structures and the manner in which it has discharged its trustee duties of oversight.

The Church has lost the trust of complainants and respondents alike, and is widely regarded to have placed the consideration of reputation management above due and transparent process, equality of treatment, ordinary standards of natural justice and human rights.

We are calling this the Micah6:8 Initiative because the Church of England fails to do justice, lacks mercy, and shows precious little humility when the problems are brought to its attention. The problems continue to the present time in acute form.

Here is our letter to the Chair of the Charity Commission with principal signatories:

The Rt Hon Baroness Stowell of Beeston, MBE
Chair of the Charity Commission
102 Petty France
Westminster
London SW1H 9AJ

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Dear Baroness Stowell,

We write as interested parties to ask that the Charity Commission exercise its powers of intervention to address the failures of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England (charity number 1074857) to devise a safe, consistent and fair system of redress to all parties engaged in safeguarding complaints.

The structures of the Established Church are complex with responsibilities both devolved and diffuse. In addition to 42 Dioceses operating local jurisdiction, there is a National Safeguarding Team (NST), reporting to the Secretary General (William Nye) through a National Safeguarding Director (Melissa Caslake). Policy is devised and guidelines issued by the House of Bishops; there is a Lead Bishop for Safeguarding (currently the Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs) working with two assistant Bishops (a relatively new innovation) and with further responsibility undertaken by the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) chaired by the Lead Bishop with its members appointed by the two Archbishops. In addition, there is a National Safeguarding Panel (NSP), “set up to provide vital reference and scrutiny from a range of voices, including survivors, on the development of policy and guidance” with an independent (external) Chair, Meg Munn. The power to suspend under the Clergy Discipline Measure is reciprocally exercised by the two archbishops in cases involving themselves.

There is now some urgency over addressing the impaired transparency and intermittent accountability of the NST. Within such a complex structure, it is extraordinarily difficult for aggrieved parties to secure redress of individual grievance, for questions to be raised, or for policy and its implementation (or lack thereof) to be challenged. We address our complaint to the Archbishops’ Council as the body with ultimate responsibility, established by the National Institutions Measure 1998. It is accountable to the General Synod but is not subordinate to it. In effect, it acts as the national executive of the Church of England.

We are writing as, despite raising significant questions over policy and practice, there is only a nominal institutional acceptance of the need for reform. True, there is now a process underway for a replacement of the widely discredited Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, and the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into the Anglican Church is awaited. However, the continuing flow of cases of injustice leads us to seek early intervention from the Charity Commission. We do this with reluctance, having tried and failed to secure redress through multiple complaints across the structure.

The signatories to this letter come from a wide range of backgrounds, and all are people with interest in and experience of the current system, policies, and culture within the Church. They include aggrieved complainants, respondents, lawyers, members of the General Synod, clergy, laity and the contributing authors to the book Letters to a Broken Church (published in July 2019) which collected a range of essays exploring the many ways the current system fails all involved.

Much of the discontent centres upon the secretive world of the National Safeguarding Team (NST) core groups, which act in ways reminiscent of the Star Chamber, synonymous with the selective use of arbitrary unaccountable power, concentrating effective control of process in the hands of a very few, who exercise wide-ranging discretions afforded by guidelines devised by Church House administrators and issued by the House of Bishops.

Such discretion includes ignoring those very guidelines. Even then, these guidelines are demonstrably inadequate, and are not applied consistently, fairly, or impartially. Whilst the core groups are not independently advised by lawyers experienced in good safeguarding practice, there is the omnipresence of communications advisors, sometimes more than one. The deepest suspicion of those subjected to this process, and many taking an outside observer’s interest, is that these are bodies that function as quasi-judicial adversarial proceedings without the requisite checks and balances of due process, failing all tests of natural justice, and which prioritise the reputation of the Church above common standards of natural fairness.
This letter is prompted by the processes exposed in three current cases. We do not take a view on the individual merits or outcomes of these, but refer to them as typical, representative indicators of the arbitrariness of how the system malfunctions.

These cases have revealed the following:

1. There is an absence of a properly constituted appeal or review procedure at any stage of the process. No matter how egregious the failures to abide by the Church’s own rules or basic principles of law and good practice may be, there is no remedy.

2. There is an absence of a comprehensive conflicts of interest policy and, in its absence, an unwillingness to exercise available discretions in the selection guidance and management of the core group membership, so as to ensure a fair and unbiased process throughout their deliberations. A simple illustration suffices. A legal firm may act as advisors to a Diocese which may ultimately play a part in concluding a case, and may simultaneously act for a complainant, but not a respondent. This is currently happening with no institutional awareness of impropriety or willingness to resolve such blatant conflict of interest. The right to a fair trial and preservation of a degree of “equality of arms” are both observed in the breach.

3. When institutional jurisdiction is in question, the Church asserts jurisdiction, but does not explain its reasoning in matters of complex and obscure law. It is unfair to place responsibility for test-case litigation on an individual when the problem lies with the institution. The decision as to who is, and who is not, within the Church’s jurisdiction appears to be arbitrarily and selectively applied without the principles upon why such distinctions are drawn being convincingly advanced for scrutiny.

4. When there have been breaches of the Church’s own rules designed to ensure procedural fairness, there has been secrecy and reluctance to acknowledge error. Thus, in the Dean Percy case, the absence of proper minute-taking has been obfuscated and glossed over. A core group met on 13 March 2020, but no one was designated as a minute-taker. The complainants have received the ex post facto notes created three months later, whereas the Dean is refused even redacted copies. When a replacement Chair of the core group was appointed, she was the undisclosed professional referee for the Investigator.

5. There has been inconsistency and arbitrariness in the way persons were admitted to or excluded from presence or representation at core groups. Thus, three complainant dons from Christ Church, Oxford (none of them primary victims or witnesses of alleged abuse) attended the Dean Percy core group meeting on 13th March, whereas the victim complainant known as “Graham” was neither invited to attend nor attended the core group considering his complaint against the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor was he told it was being convened. This is perceived as selective and privileged access.

6. Having expended charitable monies on independent reports to make recommendations on safeguarding practice, for the benefit and safety of complainants and respondents alike, and having accepted the recommendations thereof, there has been a longstanding failure to make timely changes by the implementation of rule revision, protocol, or any other practical means to put right the historic failures and malpractices which have continued. Thus, all but one of the recommendations of the 2017 Carlile Review into the Bishop George Bell case were accepted, but not implemented; and the process errors are still replicated at this time in current cases. Lord Carlile has recently opined:

“I do not believe that the Church has got to grips with the fundamental principles of adversary justice, one of which is that you must disclose the evidence that you have against someone, and give them an equal opportunity to be heard as those making the accusation.
“And you cannot give them an equal opportunity if there are conflicts of interest involved. Anyone with a conflict of interest must leave the deliberations and take no further part. This is what lawyers understand as the law of apparent bias. It’s not to say that such people are biased: that’s often misunderstood. It is the appearance of bias that matters.
“Having people on a core group with a conflict of interest is simply not sustainable and is, on the face of it, unlawful.
“And to fail to allow the person accused to represent themselves, or be represented, in the full knowledge of the accusation, is not sustainable, and is, on the face of it, unlawful.”

7. There is a regime in which partiality, privilege and reputational management have taken precedence over due process and proper standards appropriate to an adversarial quasi-judicial process. Thus, the 84-year-old Lord Carey had his Permission to Officiate (‘PTO’) summarily revoked in June 2020 within days of historic information arising (relating to events over 30 years ago), and the press notified, whereas the newly-chosen Archbishop of York retained anonymity from the outset of process until a benign judgment was announced. We take no position on the justice of the outcome but highlight the contrast which brings the Church and its systems into disrepute though a perception of bias and privilege.

8. When unfairness and breaches of principles of natural justice and human rights legislation have been brought to the attention of those charged with the responsibility to manage fair and proper process, there has been a refusal to set aside bad process and a prioritisation of “saving face” rather than a willingness to rectify error and restore proper process.

Any one of the above reasons is serious to those adversely affected by the Church’s longstanding poor practice in this field. Collectively and cumulatively it is a picture of ongoing injustice. The institutional strategy persistently to ignore or deny the serious character of these deficiencies falls well below what is expected of the Established Church, and the failure of Archbishops’ Council to call those with operational responsibility to account represents an important dereliction of trustee duties.

Many of those affected or potentially affected are significantly conflicted. At the recent ‘virtual’ meeting of the General Synod (on 11 July 2020) we learnt that there are 27 extant NST core groups. We understand that they relate to complaints against senior clergy, namely bishops and cathedral deans. Some, undoubtedly, will relate to currently-serving diocesan bishops. Virtually all the CDM complaints against the episcopacy of which we are aware result in “no further action” in the cases of currently serving bishops. Those no longer in office seem less protected. It is probably fair to say that there is a powerful disincentive to speak publicly for reasons of collegiality and self-interest. Those who manage the processes within the administration defend reputation and the retention of the powers they de facto exercise. Yet, those of us who have campaigned for reform are often privately urged to “keep doing what you are doing”.

These problems need resolving and the ongoing replication of the same errors in current cases lead us to the reluctant conclusion that outside intervention is now needed, and so we come from many perspectives, many experiences, and many parts of the Church to ask that you intervene to mandate the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England to account for its failure to rectify serious errors or manage these processes in the interests of justice towards complainants and respondents alike. The risk of not doing so is that this charity sector as a whole will suffer, and that the egregious failures of safeguarding practice and protocol, with the Archbishops’ Council over the NST, will affect churches and charities across the land, causing further and significant collateral damage.

Yours sincerely,

David Lamming  Member of General Synod; Barrister (retired)
Martin Sewell  Member of General Synod; Child Protection Solicitor (retired)
Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC
Lord Lexden
His Honour Alan Pardoe QC
Sir Jonathan Phillips KCB
Prof Sir Iain Torrance KCVO, Kt   President Emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary
Prof Nigel Biggar  Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, University of Oxford
Prof Linda Woodhead  Lancaster University; contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
Revd Jonathan Aitken
David Pearson  Founder of thirtyone:eight – Christian Safeguarding Charity
Mike Hames  Former Detective Superintendent and Head of the Paedophile Unit at Scotland Yard
Gilo  Co-editor of ‘Letters to a Broken Church’ ; IICSA core participant; ‘victim of the NST’
Christina Rees CBE  Contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’; member of General Synod 1990-2015; founding member of the Archbishops’ Council
Andrew Carey  ‘Victim of the NST’
Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson  Historian and freelance writer
David Mason  Former Assistant Diocesan Secretary, Lincoln and Governance and Administration Manager, Chichester
Lizzie Taylor
Prof John Charmley  Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Strategy & Research, St Mary’s University
Revd Simon Talbott  Member of General Synod
‘A Survivor’  Survivor of sexual assaults by the Revd Meirion Griffiths
Richard Scorer  Head of Abuse Law, Slater & Gordon, solicitors; contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
Revd Valerie Plumb  Member of General Synod
Rt Revd Alan Wilson  Bishop of Buckingham; contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
Graham Sawyer  ‘Victim of Peter Ball, the NST and the Church Establishment’
Revd Stephen Heard
Simon Barrow   Director of ‘Ekklesia’
Revd Stephen Trott  Member of General Synod
Revd Paul Benfield  Member of General Synod; synodal secretary of the Convocation of York
Margery Roberts  Secretary of the Society of the Faith
Revd Canon Angela Tilby  Canon Emeritus of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Julian Whiting  Survivor
Simon Sarmiento  Editor, ‘Thinking Anglicans’ blog
Revd Janet Fife  Survivor of Rev. X and the NST, Co-editor of ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
‘Graham’  Iwerne Trust/John Smyth survivor; ‘victim of the NST’
Andrew Chandler  Professor of Modern History at Chichester University; Biographer of Bishop George Bell.
Revd Canon Rosie Harper  Member of General Synod; contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’; Co-author of ‘To Heal not to Hurt’
Dr Janet Lord  Bishop Whitsey and NST survivor; contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
Rev. Mark Carey   respondent, and victim of the NST
Revd Dr WS Monkhouse
Revd Matt Ineson  Victim of the Revd Trevor Devamanikkam, CofE bishops and NST
Revd Nathan Ward
Revd Stephen Parsons  Editor, ‘Surviving Church’ blog
Kathryn Tucker  Member of General Synod
IICSA core participant ‘AN 87’  Victim of Bishop Peter Ball and the NST
Tina Ney  Member of General Synod
Andy Morse  Victim of Iwerne Trust/John Smyth QC
Revd Peter Ould
Dr Josephine Anne Stein  Contributor to ‘Letters to a Broken Church’
Dr Tom Keighley PhD, FRCN  Clergy victim of the NST
April Alexander  Member of General Synod
Dr Adrian Hilton  Chairman of the Academic Council, the Margaret Thatcher Centre
Jane Chevous  Survivor of clergy abuse by two bishops; founder of ‘Survivors Voices’ – survivor-led peer support
Dr Gavin Ashenden  Former chaplain to HM The Queen; now supporting victims of abuse and maladministration
Very Revd Michael Sadgrove  Dean Emeritus of Durham Cathedral
Philip French  Member of General Synod
Kate Andreyev  Clergy wife
Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain  Chaplain,  Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton-Ford  Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Life,
Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
David Greenwood   Head of Child Abuse Compensation Team, Switalskis Solicitors
Janet Garnon-Williams  CPS prosecutor (retired)
Richard Symonds  The Bell Society
Revd Canon Dr Robin Gibbons  Ecumenical Canon, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Sue Atkinson  Writer; survivor; member of ‘Survivors’ Voice’
Rt Revd David Atkinson  Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark; supporter of ‘Survivors’ Voice’
John Tasker  Lay Worker in the Church of England
Dr Peter Owen  Member of the Church of England
A Survivor  ‘A survivor of Diocese of Chichester abuse

If you wish to support this initiative publicly please sign the petition.

Some may wish to signify support privately by sending an email to nomorenstinjustice@gmail.com with your name/chosen signifier, any brief self description you choose, and if appropriate, your CofE Diocese so that the range of support can be seen. We shall send this list to the Charity Commission with the request that it remain private.

We link to the booklet We asked for Bread but you gave us Stones which compiled a number of survivor responses to the experiences received at the hands of the Established Church. Plus a link to the book Letters to a Broken Church which includes some of our signatories as contributing authors.

If you find these criticisms compelling, please give us your support.

Updates

Charity Commission asked to intervene in C of E abuse inquiries

Guardian article

Gilo –

 

Reasons for signing

See why other supporters are signing, why this petition is important to them, and share your reason for signing (this will mean a lot to the starter of the petition).

 

Teresa Lindeyer

False allegations are being made and because of the ‘believe the victim whatever’ attitude, due process is not being followed, hard evidence is not being considered and lives are being ruined

 

Cherry Egerton

Idennis Cummings

I have become acquainted with the issue to my sadness.
Am appalled at small number signing so far. Could not bishops and others arrange circulation to every churchwarden.

 

Susan Cook

I know several members of the clergy as well as many church members. If any complaint was made by or against any of them I would want the matter dealt with quickly, transparently, fairly and compassionately. I found reading the extracts from “I asked for bread…” very disturbing and… Read more

 

Sharon Jones

Of concerns around the Kafkaesque nature of the clergy discipline measure and the secretive unaccountable safeguarding empire

 

Susan Ward

This has been happening in my own Norwich diocese where 2 vicars have been appalling treated. Also the misappropriation of parish property by the diocese without any redress. This last was the cause of the shameful attacks on our parish clergy and church officers.

 

Nicholas Pnematicatos

They are bare faced liars

 

 

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LETTER SUBMISSION TO THE TIMES

Dear Editor

The Chief Constable of Norfolk Simon Bailey states [‘Officers told to believe sex abuse claims despite fantasist scandal’, Times, Aug 6]:

“We shouldn’t allow one investigation to be the basis upon which we ignore a substantial body of evidence that talks about the importance of being believed”

The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly.

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

Featured post

AUGUST 3 2020 – “UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS A CROWN” ~ WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE IN 1597 [‘HENRY IV PART II]

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Archbishop Justin Welby

 

“An Archbishop enjoys the privileges and protections afforded to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England – Her Majesty The Queen”
Richard W. Symonds
Featured post

AUGUST 2 2020 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [“RESIGN BISHOP WARNER! RESIGN ARCHBISHOP WELBY!” – REVD PETER MULLEN]

“RESIGN BISHOP WARNER! RESIGN ARCHBISHOP WELBY!” – REVD PETER MULLEN

Rev-Peter-Mullen

Revd Peter Mullen

Resign, Bishop Warner! Resign Archbishop Welby!

On Thursday 24th January, after an epic of prevarification and sheer evasiveness, the Church of England published the findings of its enquiry into the case of Bishop George Bell who was Bishop of Chichester during the Second World War. The chairman of the Bell Group, made up of the family, friends and supporters of the bishop, has written to ask for my prayers and for my views on how the Group should proceed. Gladly, but first, for those many people who will be unfamiliar with the details of this scandal, I will set out the facts…

Bishop George Bell (1883-1958), Bishop of Chichester, has been judged and condemned without any case brought for his defence. An elderly woman came forward in 1995 and claimed that Bishop Bell had sexually abused her fifty years earlier. The authorities took no action. The woman complained again in 2013, by which time Bishop Bell had been dead for fifty-five years. The police concluded that there was sufficient evidence to justify their questioning Bishop Bell, had he been still alive. Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester, discussed the matter with Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and in 2015 the Church of England offered a formal apology to Bishop Bell’s accuser, paid her an undisclosed sum in compensation – later revealed to have been £31,000 – and allowed her to remain anonymous. The Church authorities ordered that memorials to Bishop Bell be removed and institutions – such as the Bishop Bell School, Eastbourne – should change their names. So this highly-regarded wartime bishop was effectually condemned to the status of a non-person.

Unsurprisingly, there was outrage. On 13th November 2015, Judge Alan Pardoe QC described the way the allegations against Bishop Bell had been handled as “slipshod and muddled.” Judge Pardoe’s criticisms were followed by further censure from a group of historians and theologians led by Jeremy Morris, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

The Bishop of Chichester replied with insouciance and a volley of jargon to these criticisms: “The Church is seeking to move on from a culture in which manipulation of power meant that victims were too afraid to make allegations, or allegations were easily dismissed. We must provide safeguards of truth and justice for all, victim and accused alike.”

But there were no “safeguards of truth and justice” for Bishop Bell who was condemned without a hearing.

The outrage did not subside and a committee of senior church people, distinguished lawyers and members of both the Lords and the Commons calling itself The George Bell Group was formed.  On 20th March 2016, this group published a review in which they challenged the Church’s evidence against Bishop Bell and attacked it for failing to find or interview a key witness or examine Bell’s own extensive personal archive.

On 30th June 2016, the case formed a large part of a debate in the House of Lords on historical child sex abuse.

On 28th June 2016, the Church of England announced that it would hold an independent review of the procedure used. On 22nd November 2016 it announced that Lord Carlile QC would chair this review

Meanwhile, the George Bell Group declared: “In view of the evidence that we have gathered and examined, we have concluded that the allegation made against Bishop Bell cannot be upheld in terms of actual evidence or historical probability.”

Lord Carlile’s report was eventually handed to the Church authorities and they kicked it into the long grass.

So much for Bishop Martin Warner’s vaunted “…safeguards of truth and justice for all, victim and accused alike.” All along, the only interests being safeguarded here were those of the Bishop of Chichester and the Archbishop of Canterbury. We know very well why these authorities leapt so precipitately to condemn Bishop Bell out of hand: it was because they had previously had to admit to the existence of so many perpetrators of sexual abuse among the senior clergy – especially in the Diocese of Chichester. Warner and Welby, to salvage what remained of their reputations, wanted desperately to appear to be doing something

Thus the name of the safely-dead Bishop George Bell was tarnished because the Church’s highest authorities sought to cover their own backs.

Let us be in no doubt as to the seriousness of the Church’s misconduct so eloquently criticised in Lord Carlile’s report. He said that Bell had been “hung out to dry,” he added that the Church’s procedures were “deficient, inappropriate and impermissible”; “obvious lines of enquiry were not followed” and there was “a rush to judgement.”

In the light of this scandalously incompetent behaviour, the least that might have been expected from the Archbishop of Canterbury was a profuse apology to Bishop Bell’s descendants, family, friends and numerous supporters for the distress his decisions have caused them. Was there such and apology? There was not. Instead Justin Welby persisted in his mood of arrogant vindictiveness, saying, “A significant cloud is left over George Bell’s name. No human being is entirely good or bad. Bishop Bell was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness. Good acts do not diminish evil ones…”

This is outrageous. True, Bishop Bell was “accused of great wickedness” – but he was not found guilty of any wrongdoing. And there is no “significant cloud” over his name. There is, however, certainly a very dark cloud over Welby’s name after his lamentable performance in this matter.

Lord Carlile didn’t mince his words: “The Church operated a kangaroo court.” He added that the church authorities have “besmirched.” Bishop Bell’s name. Sussex police have repeated their judgement that there is “no evidence” against him.

Welby has described the church’s enquiry as “Very, very painful.” For him yes, as indeed it ought to have been owing to his disgraceful and dishonourable conduct of this issue from the start. So to answer the question put to me this morning by the Bell Group, “How should we proceed?” There is only one answer and it is clear: the Bell Group should call for Warner and Welby to resign – as indeed they ought to have done once Lord Carlile’s report had been published.

For more articles of this kind, please visit: https://revpetermullen.com

Revd Peter Mullen

 

 

Men dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good” – Choruses from the Rock (1934) by T.S. Eliot

All the clergy are obliged to attend safeguarding courses which are designed to help us spot the physical, emotional or sexual abuse of children or adults. Dutiful as ever, I went along to Hailsham Parish Church to do my bit. But of course it was nothing like a parish church. Fifty years ago there would have been pews, copies of The Book of Common Prayer and other unmistakeable signs of traditional country town Anglicanism. Not these days. The pews had been wrenched out, there were no Prayer Books, only copies of some awful modern version of Holy Writ – a sort of Bad News Bible. Colour posters everywhere. Slogans. Pictures of the parish clergy – only you couldn’t tell they were clergy. They wore jeans, t-shirts, polo necks and other emblems of today’s ecclesiastical with-it-ness. Banana-split grins and pasty faces, as if they had spent too long in the crypt coffee bar.

About thirty of us sat in small groups at tables set out where the pews once were. There was a screen and there was about to be a presentation by our safeguarding tutor, a retired schoolmistress of forbidding countenance and stentorian insistence. Think Fairy Hardcastle in C.S Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. When she spoke, she used words – but not as we speak in the street: “Vulnerable…mechanisms…sharing” and others from the whole glossary of politically correct psychobabble. Our tutor was not without religion and she began with a prayer in which she helpfully informed the Almighty that we were meeting to discuss “very serious matters.” When she had finished putting God in the picture, she moved on to tell us things we perhaps had not noticed hitherto: “Children talk to one another.” We might usefully listen to them in order to pick up any suggestions from the subject of their talk which betrayed evidence of abuse.

Cut to the screen and a video of children talking to – and shouting and screaming at – one another. It reminded me of accidental glimpses I occasionally used to catch of such television shows as EastEnders or Grange Hill. The children used phrases such as “You’re doin’ mi ‘ead in!” and, whispered, “This is going to be our secret.” By these signs we might suspect that the children were using the argot they had picked up from abusive adults. Ken Loach would have rejoiced to observe that video’s raw actualite.

When incidents of abuse are suspected and reported, the Social Services might get involved. Our tutor surprised some of us by saying, “Social Services don’t barge in and remove children from the family home.” What then was the substance of the frequent newspaper reports we read of their doing exactly that? I wondered whether, in any particular case, the effects of calling in the Social Services might make a bad situation worse. But the tutor told us that such a decision was not our responsibility. All that was required of us was to report the matter to our safeguarding officer, “Then you’ve done your job.” This is the substance of the quotation from T. S. Eliot with which I began: in the safeguarding “mechanism,” ethics is replaced by process and moral problems are effectually demoralised as the system takes over and I am not deemed capable of formimg my own judgements as to the best way to proceed. Just report it to the safeguarding officer. Job done. The excuse, “I was only obeying orders” comes to mind.

And such a system it is! There is a full-time safeguarding supremo and he supervises many assistants throughout the diocese. And most other institutions and professions – teachers, youth workers, nurses, the Social Services themselves – deploy a similar regime. Even my taxi driver said he was obliged to attend a safeguarding course and asked, particularly regarding his women passengers, to “keep my eyes open for signs of abuse.” The image is of a ubiquitous, paranoid system in which everyone is spying on everyone else and watching his own back at the same time. Indeed, our tutor told us: “Safeguarding includes safeguarding yourself.” As with all bureaucratic systems – especially in what are now called “the caring professions” – there is that uneasy combination of callousness and sentimentality.

Naturally, we were given infantilised exercises: small bits of card with “typical signs of abuse” itemised and we were invited to assess whether a woman’s bruises were caused accidentally or by violence; or a child’s sleeplessness might suggest sexual abuse. “Watch out for changes in eating habits. What would you conclude from observing that a young person was constantly hungry and even scavenging waste bins for food?”

I’m afraid I couldn’t resist: “I would conclude Jeremy Corbyn had become prime minister.”

But in the safeguarding workshop’s pervading atmosphere of political-correctness, jokes are no laughing matter.

Some suspected/reported incidents of abuse give rise to grave concerns. For example, we were told of a teacher who had sent what was alleged to be an ambiguous email message to a pupil. Did it contain sexual references? The recipient didn’t think so, but others did and they called the police. No charges were brought against the teacher but, because an official complaint had been made, he was put on the register of sex offenders. This is scandalously unjust: the teacher was neither convicted nor even charged with any offence, and yet he was punished as if he had been proven guilty.

There are many such abuses of natural justice in the paranoid, surveillance-driven society which safeguarding has created. The worst of these arise from the safeguarding dogma that the “victim” is always to be believed. But the so called “victim” is not a victim until a perpetrator has been identified and the fact proven. Currently in the diocese of Chichester there is being played out one case involving such a spectacular injustice that it is scarcely believable in a free and open society. George Bell, Bishop of Chichester during the Second World War, was recently accused of committing a sexual offence against a woman. This would be particularly difficult to prove since Bishop Bell died in 1958. That presents no problem for the Church of England authorities. In keeping with safeguarding’s article of faith that the “victim” must always be believed, they have removed all memorials to Bishop Bell so that in effect he has become what in the Soviet regime was called a non-person.

There has been no trial. The word of his accuser has been accepted as the truth concerning an incident which, it is alleged, took place at least fifty-nine years ago! She has been allowed to retain her anonymity. And the Church of England has paid her an undisclosed amount of money in compensation.

Palpable injustices such as that visited upon the memory of George Bell are the signature behaviour of totalitarian states.

We don’t do these things in England, do we?

Revd Peter Mullen

 

What can we hope for?

I have been inveigled – I don’t know what else to say – into the Bishop George Bell Society [The Bell Society- Ed]. I have already written vigorously about the scandalous behaviour by the church hierarchy which has so tarnished the reputation of this noble and innocent man. So when the chairman [Not quite – Ed] of the Bell Society invited me to speak at their October meeting in Westminster, I was delighted to accept.

Subsequent communications with the chairman of the Society [Richard W. Symonds – Ed] have been far from encouraging. (Imagine the atmosphere of a Sunday School outing on a very damp day) I suggested that a key aim should be to get rid of the liars and traducers of George Bell – that is Welby of Canterbury and Warner of Chichester. These “men” are clearly guilty and so should be exposed as such and by that means compelled to resign.

I further suggested to the chairman that for this purpose rottweilers and terriers were needed in the form of big name public figures and high powered journalists to take up the cudgels.

Whereupon the gentle chairman backed off and said he would leave the rottweilers and terriers to get on with the job. (But there aren’t any). Moreover he was convinced that Welby and Warner will have been despatched by October

By whom, then?

He wants all the speakers at his October conference to be part of a consensual team to “build bridges” And we are all to agree in advance as to what we shall say [Not quite – Ed]

Those who acknowledge the great injustice that has been done to George Bell have no need to build bridges with anyone. And of course it is unthinkable that we should build bridges with Welby and Warner – who have revealed themselves as two of the most treacherous episcopal specimens of recent times . (And the competition is not negligible)

This dear chairman is no doubt a delightful man and mush-loved by old ladies of both sexes. He is, I suspect, sensationally ineffectual. I don’t say he wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but he would make sure before he did say boo that there was a psychiatrist on hand to treat the goose for post-traumatic stress disorder

What George Bell needs is people who will fight his corner for him – and bugger “building bridges”

I suspect I am wasting my time with this lot: nice as they sound, with their meeting in Church House – what you might call the “away” ground

Advice please

Peter

PS Chap goes into a pub and asks for a Welby

“A Welby, Sir?”

“Yes, a Noilly Prat”

 

Revd Peter Mullen

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AUGUST 2 2020 – “WELBY IS SUCH A PATHETIC PRELATE” – PETER HITCHENS – MAIL ON SUNDAY

Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens

AUGUST 2 2020 – “WELBY IS SUCH A PATHETIC PRELATE” – PETER HITCHENS – MAIL ON SUNDAY

Welby is such a pathetic prelate

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is, in my view, prissy, pathetic and political. He has utterly failed to stand up for his church against its first compulsory shutdown since the days of Bad King John eight centuries back.

Not long ago Welby supported the disgraceful smearing of a man whose mitre he would not have been fit to carry, the courageous and selfless Bishop George Bell of Chichester (please, please do not confuse Bell with the revolting criminal Bishop Peter Ball, with whom he is not remotely connected). 

Bell, long after his death, was wrongly labelled as a child abuser by a secret kangaroo court of the Church of England, which did not even bother to look for living witnesses for the defence.

When this outrage was met with a wave of fury from the many who had known and loved Bell, an independent inquiry tore the case against him to shreds. But even after Bell was cleared to the satisfaction of all open-minded people, Welby (like many weak men reluctant to admit an error) continued to insist that a ‘significant cloud’ still hung over Bell.

Am I now entitled to see a spot of divine retribution in the revelation last week that the C of E is investigating how Welby dealt with complaints of serial abuse of young men at Christian holiday camps? Well, I do. One of those affected has now written to the Church with a formal complaint against the Archbishop, once a dormitory officer at the camps, saying Welby did not do enough when he learned of the abuse.

The man claims Welby failed to refer the abuse directly to social services and the police, in breach of church guidelines.

Welby has always said he knew nothing of the allegations until 2013, when the Church referred them to the police. Well, no doubt Welby will be cleared of all this. But will he then proclaim that a ‘significant cloud’ still hangs over himself? Or will he learn that if you desire justice for yourself, you have to desire it for others?

 

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AUGUST 1 2020 – “WITHOUT A FULL PUBLIC APOLOGY ON BISHOP BELL OF CHICHESTER AND AN IMMEDIATE REINSTATEMENT OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE, ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY [+ BISHOP MARTIN WARNER + THE CATHEDRAL’S DEAN AND CHAPTER] CONTINUE TO WILFULLY PERPETUATE AN INJUSTICE AGAINST ONE OF ITS OWN” ~ RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

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Richard W. Symonds

“WITHOUT A FULL PUBLIC APOLOGY ON BISHOP BELL OF CHICHESTER AND AN IMMEDIATE REINSTATEMENT OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE, ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY [+ BISHOP MARTIN WARNER + THE CATHEDRAL’S DEAN AND CHAPTER] CONTINUE TO WILFULLY PERPETUATE AN INJUSTICE AGAINST ONE OF ITS OWN”

RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

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AUGUST 1 2020 – “CHURCH OF ENGLAND INVESTIGATING CLAIM ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY FAILED TO ACT ON ABUSE ALLEGATIONS” – THE INDEPENDENT

“CHURCH OF ENGLAND INVESTIGATING CLAIM ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY FAILED TO ACT ON ABUSE ALLEGATIONS” – THE INDEPENDENT

Justin Welby worked as dormitory officer at summer camps where late John Smyth allegedly met abuse victims

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby ( PA )

 

The Church of England is investigating how the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby handled allegations against the head of a Christian charity accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

The church launched an independent review last year into claims the late John Smyth QC had stripped young men naked and beat them violently in his garden shed after befriending them at summer holiday camps.

One of those claiming to have been abused has now written to the Church of England, claiming Mr Welby – who worked as a dormitory officer at the camps – had failed to refer the allegations to social services and the police.

Accusing the archbishop of “inaction”, the unnamed man told Channel 4 News: “I find it very difficult to understand why he still has permission to officiate and can still minister.”

A Church of England spokesperson said: “Since a formal complaint has now been received by the National Safeguarding Team, it is reviewing information and will obviously respond on this to the person who brought the complaint and take any further action if needed.”

 

Read more

The statement added: “These issues will all be considered by the Makin Review which the Church commissioned last year into the Smyth case and is expected to publish into 2021.”

The church launched the Makin Review after alleged victims first came forward in the media in 2017 to accuse Smyth of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks after meeting them at summer camps run by the Iwerne Trust – an evangelical Church of England organisation.

At the time Mr Welby issued an “unreserved and unequivocal” apology on behalf of the Anglican church and revealed he had worked at the holiday camps.

The archbishop said he became friends with Smyth in the late 1970s, when Mr Welby was a dormitory officer and Smyth was one of the main leaders at the Iwerne holiday camps. Lambeth Palace said they had since exchanged “the occasional card”.

In April 2020, the Titus Trust, which took over the running of the camps from the disbanded Iwerne Trust, said it had agreed a settlement with three men who had suffered what the Trust described as “appalling abuse” by Smyth – who died in 2018.

The unnamed man who has raised the formal complaint against Mr Welby said: “The Makin Review into John Smyth won’t be out until next year, which will be nine years after I came forward.”

He added: “I find it depressing and staggering that the Church of England can take so long to find out the truth about what actually happened.”

 

UPDATE 30.07.20 A previous version of this article reported that John Smyth QC was alleged to have abused young men at Christian holiday camps. While Mr Smyth met the men at the camps, the alleged abuse took place at his home. The article has been amended accordingly. 

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JULY 31 2020 – GEORGE BELL BISHOP OF CHICHESTER – PORTRAIT BY WILLIAM COLDSTREAM [1954] – PALLANT HOUSE GALLERY CHICHESTER [ON LOAN FROM THE TATE GALLERY LONDON]

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Bridgeman; (c) Pallant House Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

 

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THE BELL CHRONOLOGY – 1883 TO PRESENT – JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

 

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Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

1883 to Present

CHRONOLOGY COMPILED BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

 

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Bishop George Bell of Chichester

 

1883

Feb 4 1883 – George Kennedy Allen Bell born in Hayling Island, Hampshire

1910

1910 – George Bell appointed Student Minister and Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford

1912

1912 – Church of England ‘Caution List’ compiled

“This named priests known to have been guilty of criminal and moral offences, or viewed with ‘grave suspicion’. In fact, there are national and diocesan caution lists, and each diocesan bishop was advised to keep his own up-to-date, to consult it before making any appointment, and to pass any new name directly to Lambeth Palace”. [Source: “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler (Eerdmans 2016) – Page 196 & 197 – ‘Postlude: History and Allegation’]

1914

George Bell House - 4 Canon Lane - Chichester Cathedral

George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral [Picture: Alamy]

1914 – George Bell appointed Chaplain to Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson

“George Bell was very conscientious in keeping this Caution List up-to-date” – Richard W. Symonds

1918

1918 – George Bell marries Henrietta Livingstone

1925

1925 – George Bell appointed Dean of Canterbury

“At this time he was the driving force of the Canterbury Arts Festival, with artists including John Masefield, Gustav Holst, Dorothy Sayers and TS Eliot. Bell later welcomed Mahatma Gandhi to Canterbury”~ Richard W. Symonds

1929

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February 1 and October 5 2018 – Church House Westminster

 

1929 – George Bell appointed Bishop of Chichester 

1934

1934 – The Barmen Declaration – Wuppertal

May 29-31 1934 – The Barmen Declaration

75 Jahre Barmer Erklärung

A sculpure in remembrance of the Barmen Declaration in Wuppertal-Barmen.

1935

1935 – Bishop Bell commissions TS Eliot’s ‘Murder in the Cathedral’

1936

In 1936 Bishop Bell appointed Chairman of the International Christian Committee for German Refugees

The Committee supported Jewish Christians who at that time were supported by neither Jewish nor Christian organizations.

1936 – “O pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – A Prayer by George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Published in the Chichester Diocesan Gazette

1938

In 1938 Bishop Bell helped many people, including pastors’ families (eg Franz Hildebrandt), to emigrate from Germany to Britain who were in danger from Hitler, and the ‘official’ church, because they had Jewish ancestors or were opponents of the German dictatorship. As one of the leaders of the Ecumenical Movement, he influenced public opinion in supporting those persecuted by the Nazi regime. His public support is said to have contributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller’s survival (“First they came…”) by making his imprisonment in Sachenhausen in February 1938 – and later in Dachau – widely known in the British media, exposing it as an example of the Nazi persecution of the church. Hitler stopped Niemöller’s planned execution in 1938.

 

1939

Jan 1939 – Church of England “Caution List” revised

“During the war, Bishop Bell was involved in helping not only displaced persons and refugees who had fled the continent to England, but also interned Germans and British conscientious objectors….During World War II Bell repeatedly condemned the Allied practice of ‘area bombing’. As a member of the House of Lords, he was a consistent parliamentary critic of area bombing…In 1941 in a letter to The Times, he called the bombing of unarmed women and children “barbarian” which would destroy the just cause for the war, thus openly criticising the Prime Minister’s [Winston Churchill – Ed] advocacy of such a bombing strategy. On 14 February 1943 – two years ahead of the Dresden raids – he urged the House of Lords to resist the War Cabinet’s decision for area bombing, stating that it called into question all the humane and democratic values for which Britain had gone to war. In 1944, during debate, he again demanded the House of Lords to stop British area bombing of German cities such as Hamburg and Berlin as a disproportionate and illegal “policy of annihilation” and a crime against humanity…” (Source: Wiki)

Sept 1939 – The Bell Declaration 1939 – “The Church ought to declare what is just”

 

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1940

August 16 1940 – “Principles of Peace” by CEM Joad – The Spectator

Bishop Gavin Ashenden on Oct 5 2018 at Church House:
 
Perhaps one of the great gifts of Judaeo-Christian culture has been the presumption of innocence in our legal system...”
 
C.E.M. Joad on Aug 16 1940 – The Spectator 
 
“There are certain principles which form the heritage of our Western civilisation, principles which are derived partly from ancient Greece, partly from Christianity…”.
 
 
Richard W. Symonds is currently (2018) co-writing a biography on CEM Joad, with particular focus on his ‘swansong’ – “The Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” [Faber & Faber 1952]

 

1944

Oct 1944 – Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple dies unexpectedly, aged 63

Oct 1944 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill strongly disapproves of Bishop of Chichester George Bell

In 1944 the Archbishop of CanterburyWilliam Temple, died after only two years in the post. Bell was considered a leading possibility to succeed him,[by whom?] but it was Geoffrey FisherBishop of London, who was appointed. Bishops of the Church of England are chosen, ultimately, by the British prime minister and it is known that Winston Churchill strongly disapproved of Bell’s speeches against bombing.[citation needed] It has often been asserted that Bell would otherwise have been appointed,[by whom?] but this is debatable; there is evidence that Temple had thought Fisher a likely successor anyway. Bell’s high posthumous reputation[9][10] may have coloured later opinion. For example, Archbishop Rowan Williams said in 2008 that he thought Bell would have made a better Archbishop of Canterbury than Fisher.[11]

Nov/Dec 1944 – Geoffrey Fisher selected as Archbishop of Canterbury by Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Fisher was also a committed Freemason,[4] as were many Church of England bishops of his day. Fisher served as Grand Chaplain in the United Grand Lodge of England

He advised the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, that he did not consider Michael Ramsey, who had been his pupil at Repton, a suitable successor. Ramsey later relayed to the Reverend Victor Stock the conversation Fisher had with the Prime Minister.

According to this account, Fisher said:[7]

I have come to give you some advice about my successor. Whomever you choose, under no account must it be Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of York. Dr Ramsey is a theologian, a scholar and a man of prayer. Therefore, he is entirely unsuitable as Archbishop of Canterbury. I have known him all his life. I was his Headmaster at Repton.

Macmillan replied:[7]

Thank you, your Grace, for your kind advice. You may have been Doctor Ramsey’s headmaster, but you were not mine.

Ramsey was duly appointed.

 

1945

July 1945 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Service of Remembrance – Holy Trinity Church – Brompton Road – London

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1946

1946 – ‘Compendium of the Codes and Practices of Episcopacy – Clergy: Discipline and Disability’ – “Perhaps the only official, printed acknowledgement that there existed in the Church of England a Caution List” – Andrew Chandler

“This significant, secret manual of episcopal practice was no ordinary labour, and it required no ordinary editor. A prefatory note by Archbishop Fisher announced, ‘We owe the revision of a record first compiled in 1912 to the industry of the Bishop of Chichester’ [Source: ‘Private Memoranda of certain matters discussed at the Bishops’ Meetings of Bishops of the Three Provinces of Canterbury, York and Wales held at Lambeth Palace (1902-1945), together with certain Resolutions adopted by the Convocations of Canterbury and York (1946)’, Bell Papers, vol. 306]

– Andrew Chandler – “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” (Eerdmans 2016) – Page 196 & 197 – ‘Postlude: History and Allegation’]

“By now a working relationship with the Caution List had been a part of almost Bell’s entire career” – Andrew Chandler [Source: As above]

“It is difficult to believe someone responsible for a ‘Caution List’, which listed priests found guilty of ‘moral offences’, was as guilty as those on that List” – RWS

1948

Dec 10 1948 – “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a public trial at which he had all the guarantees necessary for his defence” ~ Article 11, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, General Assembly of the United Nations

1956

1956 – “The Wrong Man” – A Film by Alfred Hitchcock with Henry Fonda

1958

Oct 3 1958 – George Kennedy Allen Bell dies

1961

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Arundel-Bell Screen – Chichester Cathedral – RWS Photography

1961 – Newly-built Arundel Screen in Chichester Cathedral dedicated by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey – in memory of Bishop George Bell [thereon called The Arundel-Bell Screen]

“In 1961, Michael Ramsey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, went to Chichester Cathedral to dedicate the newly-built Arundel Screen, in memory of George Bell…”

~ Sandra Saer

1967

1967 – “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester” by Ronald C.D. Jasper [OUP 1967]

Nov 28 1967 – “The Controversial Bishop Bell” – BBC Radio 3

 

1971

1971 – Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland and William McGrath [“Who Framed Colin Wallace” by Paul Foot – Macmillan 1989/Pan 1990 – Pages 115-146/208-209 Photo] 

1983

Feb 4 1983 – The ’Anglo-German Tapestry’, which includes references to the life of St Richard, was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bishop Bell’s birth.

1983 (US) – “It all began in Lafayette” – Child Sex Abuse by the priest Gilbert Gauthe in Lafayette, Louisiana

 

1984

1984 – The Ecumenical Conference at Chichester Cathedral (which led to the first of the ‘Coburg Conferences’ in 1985)

This ecumenical conference was first held in Chichester 35 years ago [1984] to celebrate the pioneering international work of Bishop Bell. Having been so successful, regular ‘Coburg Conferences’ have taken place ever since. 
The Conferences are held every two years, with four centres hosting them in turn – three in Germany and one in Chichester. This autumn it will be Chichester’s turn. Delegates from the Diocese of Chichester, the Evangelical Kirchenkreis Bayreuth, the Lutheran church in Berlin-Brandenburg, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg meet to share and solve problems together with lectures, discussions and workshops. 
Strong bonds of support, fellowship and understanding have developed.

 

1985 

Jan 25 1985 – “Power Unlimited And Exclusive” – ‘Nuclear Arms and the Vision of George Bell’ – A Booklet originating from a Talk for Christian CND, given by the Rt. Revd. Peter Walker [Bishop of Ely] at Blackfriars, Cambridge – in the Week of Prayer for World Peace and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity [Hat-Tip: Professor David Jasper]

 

June 1985 (US) – “The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner” – 92-Page Report by Rev Thomas Doyle, Lawyer Ray Mouton, and Rev Michael Peterson (in the wake of the 1983 child sex abuse prosecution of the priest Gilbert Gauthe in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana)

“In 1985, after the Louisiana scandal, Tom Doyle – Secretary Canonist for the Papal Nuncio – co-authored a report warning paedophile priests were a billion dollar liability. He tried to introduce the report at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinal Law of Boston initially helped to co-fund the report, but then he backed out and they shelved it” ~ Richard Sipe [quoted in the ‘Spotlight’ film]

1985 – The First of the ‘Coburg Conferences’ at Chichester Cathedral 

1986

Jan 30 1986 – “Anatomy of a Cover-Up” – Gilbert Gauthe – The Diocese of Lafayette and the moral responsibility for the pedophilia scandal – Jason Berry

1988

1988 – “Rumpole of the Bailey” with Leo McKern – Episode: ‘Rumpole and the Age of Miracles’ [Series 5 Disc 2) – Filmed on location at Chichester Cathedral [‘The Diocese of Lawnchester’ – Ecclesiastical Court]

Rumpole: “I happen to have a good deal of faith”

Ballard: “Yes, in what precisely?”

Rumpole: “The health-giving properties of Claret. The presumption of innocence…that golden thread running through British justice”

1991

July 16 1991 – “American paedophile jailed” [The Times, London, England] – Richard Gauthe, brother of Gilbert Gauthe (see 1983 & 1985 entries)

1992

1992 – Heathfield Sussex – Islington Council – Nick Rabet – Thailand

1993

1993 – “Britain and the Threat to Stability in Europe, 1918-45” – Chapter ‘Bishop Bell and Germany’ [Pinter 1993. Republished Bloomsbury Academic Collections 2016] 

 

1993 – Rev. Peter Ball, Bishop of Lewes, given a Caution by the Police for gross indecency, after abusing a trainee monk.

1995

1995 – First complaint by ‘Carol’ to Bishop of Chichester Eric Kemp, alleging Bishop Bell had sexually abused her in the 1940s and 1950s (not reported to Police). Second complaint in 2013

“I am increasingly of the speculative opinion that ‘Carol’ might have confused Bishop Bell with Bishop Ball. In other words, a simple case of mistaken identity where it is highly likely she was abused by a priest in Chichester as a child, but highly unlikely it was Bishop Bell” ~ Richard W. Symonds

1998

1998 – Conviction of Father Michael Hill of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton for child sexual abuse – Chaplain of Gatwick Airport & brief Resident of Crawley

2000

July 19 2000 – Archbishop defends paedophile move – BBC News

Sept 13 2000 – “Nolan to review Catholic rules on child abuse” – The Guardian – Stephen Bates [Religious Affairs Correspondent]

2001

May 2001 – Terence Banks – Head Steward at Chichester Cathedral – jailed for 16 years for sexual abuse of children

May 2001 – “Church Steward Who Groomed Boys For Abuse Is Jailed – Terence Banks – Chichester/Hammersmith” – Article written in 2014

May 3 2001 – “Dean denies cover-up” (page 2) – Chichester Observer (mentioned by Carmi Report 2004 – along with the Saturn Centre Crawley Hospital)(Recommendations only in 2004 – Terence Banks et al not mentioned until 2014)

June 2001 – Edi Carmi is asked to review the Chichester case. The CARMI Report is completed in 2004, but only its Recommendations are published. In 2014 – 10 years later – the CARMI Report is published in full.

Sept 2001 – Nolan Report published

‘Guilty until proven innocent’ [Source: “Hope Springs Eternal In The Priestly Breast” – ‘A Research Study for Procedural Justice for Priests’ by Fr. James Valladares – iUniverse 2012 – Page 160-161]

In a very interesting article entitled “Guilty until Proven Innocent,” Fr. Austen Ivereigh, MA, DPhil, of Heythorpe College, Oxford, informs us of the Cumberlege Commission review of the Church’s child-protection policy [Nolan Report – Ed]. And this is his initial observation: “While treatment of the abused has improved, disturbing evidence has emerged that priests who have been accused and not charged are left in limbo, suspicion still hanging over them” [Ref 345: Austin Ivereigh, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol. 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10].

Ever since a dithering Caiaphas [See ‘The Caiaphas Principle’ – June 11 2018 – Ed] succumbed to public pressure and maintained that the destruction of an innocent man was justified to save a nation, the law of Christian countries has consistently upheld the presumption of innocence, and the need for definite and incontrovertible evidence, before an accused can be convicted . In the Church’s legal tradition, this is known as ‘favor rei’ – the accused enjoys the benefit of the law and is deemed innocent until he is proved guilty. Said Pope John Paul II in 1979: “Due process and individual rights should never be sacrificed for the sake of the social order”.

In the wake of the explosive revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy in 2002 (exposed by the Boston Globe and highlighted in the ‘Spotlight’ film – Ed), the bishops of the world reacted with drastic measures to repair the scandal and restore justice through penal sanctions. Quasi-judicial bodies were established and duly authorised to implement their policies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there was COPCA (the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults), the child-protection agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, set up at Lord Nolan’s report on abuse in 2001.

Fr. Austen Ivereigh frankly confesses that Nolan was well aware of the possibility of false or malicious allegations, and the haunting danger of reputations being irreparably destroyed. Yet, continues Fr. Ivereigh, “COPCA’s policies have ridden roughshod over these qualms. ‘Nolan would be turning in his grave,’ more than one canonist has told me.” So there is a pressing need for a level playing field [Ref 348: Paul Bruxby, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10].

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, the bishop in charge of COPCA, candidly acknowledged last year that an accused priest is unlikely ever to be reinstated. Of the 40 clergy in England and Wales who had been accused by 2005, only two had been restored to ministry; four were dismissed. Of the 41 reports made in 2006, 24 resulted in no further action by the police, while 14 are still being investigated. Ivereigh adds, “And what is the fate of those whose cases have been dropped by the police? Many of them live in limbo, their reputations and vocations cast to the wolves. All too often, they leave the priesthood”. ‘So a priest is guilty until proven innocent – and this is the deplorable stance of the very ones who brazenly preach about justice in season and out of season’.

Fr. Paul Bruxby, the Brentwood canonist who defends accused priests, informs us that most of the 20 priests he is defending have been assessed as ‘low risk’; yet, five or six years later, they are unable to return to their parishes. “They feel shunned by their bishops and describe themselves as lepers. They feel hopeless, and sometimes imagine committing suicide” [Ref 348: Paul Bruxby, ‘Justice for Priests and Deacons’, Vol. 1, no. 1 – September 2007, 10]

2002

Jan 6 2002 – “Church allowed abuse by priest for years” – Front Page – Boston Sunday Globe…..the scandal broke and a film was made of the investigation 14 years later: “Spotlight” [2016]

“Boston Globe identified a pattern of systematic sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston in which known paedophile clergy were moved around parishes and/or sent to ‘treatment centres’ – but not prosecuted or de-frocked. The abuse was ‘covered up’. Any just legal recourse for victims was difficult – and made difficult” – Richard W. Symonds

2002 – Boston and Beyond – Major abuse scandals uncovered in the following places…

“There are parallels between what happened in the Church of England’s Diocese of Chichester in 2015 and what had already happened in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Boston in 2002 – and beyond. The ‘Spotlight’ film brings this out clearly” ~ Richard W. Symonds

2003

2003 – Church of England abolishes “Deposition from Holy Orders” [‘Defrocking’]

2003 – “No Crueler Tyrannies – Accusation, False Witness…” by Dorothy Rabinowitz [Wall Street Journal Books 2003]

Feb 20 2003 – “Police to close sex abuse inquiry” – Daily Telegraph [ Operation Care – Football manager Dave Jones – Merseyside Police “trawling”]

May 10 2003 – “Warnings have been going on for 25 years” (page 2) – Chichester Observer (mentioned by Carmi Report 2004 – along with the Saturn Centre Crawley Hospital)(Recommendations only in 2004 – Terence Banks et al not mentioned until 2014)

2004

2004 – Carmi Report published (not released by Church until July 8 2014 – following jail sentence of Terence Banks in 2001 – only the recommendations were published)

March 17 2004 – “Child sex ‘expert’ (Stephen King aka Stephen Gosling) is jailed for girls’ abuse” – Daily Telegraph

2007

2007 – House of Bishops Confidential Document 

“Because of the possibility that statements of regret might have the unintended effect of accepting legal liability for the abuse it is important that they are approved in advance by lawyers, as well as by diocesan communications officers (and, if relevant, insurers)…With careful drafting it should be possible to express them in terms which effectively apologise for what has happened whilst at the same time avoiding any concession of legal liability for it” – Excerpts from House of Bishops confidential document – 2007

March 14 2007 – “Mary Joice, nee Balmer” – Church Times Obituary – Professor Paul Foster 

Bishop Bell’s Secretary from 1941 until his death in 1958

May 28 2007 – “What’s really wrong with English Conservative Evangelicalism?” – ‘The Ugley Vicar’

Dec 5 2007 – Stuart Syvret Interview – “A systemic decades-long betrayal of the innocents” – Jersey Evening Post

2008

Oct 2008 – “George Bell, 1883-1958 -A Bishop To Remember – A Study Guide for his Diocese to mark the 50th Anniversary of his death” by Rachel Moriarty

Oct 2 2008 – “Bishop who stood alone” – Church Times – Alan Wilkinson

Oct 3 – 5 2008 – “Hundreds attend Chichester Cathedral with the Archbishop of Canterbury to Celebrate its 900 years” [and Bishop Bell’s 50th Anniversary] – ‘The Official Chichester Cathedral Website’

Oct 4 2008 – Bishop George Bell Lecture – delivered by Dr Rowan Williams [104th Archbishop of Canterbury] – at the University of Chichester

Oct 8 2008 – George Bell House at Chichester Cathedral opened and dedicated by the recently-retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

“Two Archbishops, Two Bishops, Two Dates, Two Arundel Connections, and one SMH book” ~ Sandra Saer

In 1961, Michael Ramsey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, went to Chichester Cathedral to dedicate the newly-rebuilt Arundel Screen, in memory of George Bell (1883-1958), one of the most outstanding Bishops of Chichester. (And, in my book, and in that of the 2000+ who signed a Petition to have his name cleared and his greatness reinstated, a Bishop forever to be remembered.)

 

In 2008, on another equally special occasion, the recently-retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, visited Chichester to declare open George Bell House.

Two of Bishop Rowan’s special guests were Mother Angela and Sister Jane, two Anglican Sisters. (see photo to the right)

Why am I telling you this?

Now we go back in time again, to 2003. when a small package arrived in the post. It contained an exercise book crammed with small handwriting, accompanied by pony-camera photographs which had been glued tightly into the book. A note read: ‘Would you like to publish my story ? Sister Jane.’

I went on to read a beautiful, heart-warming account of an Anglican Community’s life and the devoted but joyful way the Sisters lived it. And of course I published it.

SURPRISED BY JOY A History of the Community of the Servants of the Cross This is a beautiful, heart-warming account . On the back cover, I quoted from the Rt Rev’d Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester, 1974-2000, and the Community’s Episcopal Visitor:

…an admirable and encouraging story. I have known the Community since 1974. It has given long years of faithful service to the church, in various ways. The Sisters have been faithful to their calling, through many changes forced upon them by circumstances.

The other Arundel connection? In February, 2014, Rowan Williams, now known more correctly as The Rt Revd Dr and Rt Hon Baron Williams of Oystermouth, made a two-day, unforgettable visit to our Parish and Priory Church of St Nicholas.

He gave the second in the church’s ‘Poetry and Faith’ series, this time on Dylan Thomas, illustrated with readings of his poems. Next day, he celebrated and preached the sermon at the 10 am Eucharist Service.

Needless to say, the church was packed on both days, and a great many people some, we had never seen before, (but hope to see again) had the opportunity to listen, learn, and thoroughly enjoy what the erudite but engaging Bishop said, with such charm and humour. Our Vicar, David Farrer (also a Bishop!) commented to me in an email, after the weekend, that ‘the humble humanity of the man shines through’. That said it exactly!

Sadly, both Mother Angela and Sister Jane are no longer with us. Following Angela’s death, Jane’s Requiem Eucharist took place at The Church of St Mary the Virgin, in the Parish of East Preston and Kingston, on Friday, 13 February, 2015. The Celebrant was Bishop Martin Warner, the last Episcopal Visitor to the Community of the Servants of the Cross. It was a most moving occasion, for all the many of us present.

~ Sandra Saer

 

Oct 8 2008 – Chichester Cathedral’s 900th Anniversary and Bishop Bell’s 50th Anniversary + George Bell House opened by Archbishop Rowan Williams

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Oct 8 2008 – Unveiling of Howard Coster’s ‘Bishop Bell’ Portrait Photograph – with Plaque [in storage within the private Cathedral Library]

 

December 27 2008 – “Disestablishment of Church of England would be welcome, say leading bishops” – Daily Telegraph

 

“I would welcome anything which means that it doesn’t look as though the Church is controlled by the State”

~ The Rt Rev John Packer, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds

 

2009

June 30 2009 – “No Smoke, No Fire” – The Autobiography of Dave Jones [Know The Score Books 2009]

“No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire. I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong” – Judge David Clarke (on the David Jones case)

2010

2010 – “Inspector George Gently” with Martin Shaw [Series 2 – Disc 1 – ‘Gently with the Innocents’] – on the theme of Child Sexual Abuse in a Children’s Home

July 9 2010 – “False Accusations” by John Landry http://www.catholicity.com [Quoted in “Hope Springs Internal in the Priestly Breast – A Research Study on Procedural Justice for Priests” by Fr. James Valladares – Page 200 – “Where is Justice for Falsely Accused Priests?”]

July 13 2010 – Statement: “Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest” – Catholic World News – July 16 2010

 

2011

 

Jan 11 2011 – The Right Rev Peter Walker – Times Obituary

The Right Rev Peter Walker

Bishop of Ely and familiar figure at Oxford and Cambridge who was an ardent admirer of the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~ The Times

Bishop Peter Walker
Bishop Peter Walker

With the death of Peter Walker, the Church of England loses its last living link with Bishop George Bell of Chichester. He knew him well, and like him had a great interest in the arts and an appreciation of the theology of Bell’s friend Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor and martyr. Walker had vast contacts in Church and State, especially in Oxford and Cambridge, and was a regular figure at memorial services….

 

May 25 2011 – “Church of England criticised over Sussex sex abuse” – BBC Sussex

“Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is critical both of Sussex Police and Chichester Diocese, for not taking complaints against Pritchard and Cotton  seriously enough. There was ‘a lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse’ – Richard W. Symonds

Oct 2011 – Coburg Conference 2011 – Chichester and Arundel Cathedrals – ‘The Parish Proclaimer’ 

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Arundel Cathedral

Nov 1 2011 – Jimmy Savile scandal breaks – in UK

Nov 3 2011 – “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre, Jr. – in US

Dec 8 2011 – Archbishop of Dublin [John Charles McQuaid] Who Died In 1973 Is Linked To Abuse” – New York Times

Dec 29 2011 – “Dr Williams orders visitation” – Church Times

2012

2012 – “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre, Jr. [Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, USA – 2012]

February 2012 – Independent Historic Cases Review. Roy Cotton / Colin Pritchard – Diocese of Chichester – Roger Meekings / Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss

“The victims were effectively denied the opportunity of being believed in a meaningful sense and denied the opportunity of ‘timely’ justice. PJ spent many years trying to get the Church [and Sussex Police] to accept his allegations and respond with timely action and recognition of his abuse” – Roger Meekings

March 2 2012 – “Unreserved apology” from Diocese of Chichester regarding Roy Cotton & Colin Pritchard – The Argus [See March 2 2017]

March 2012 – Miles Goslett on Jimmy Savile – The Oldie

May 28 2012 – “Church of England inquiry into Sussex abuse Bishop” – BBC – Colin Campbell

May 29 2012 – “Police review dossier over disgraced Bishop” [Ball] – Eastbourne Herald

“Sussex Police receive dossier from Lambeth Palace relating to Bishop Peter Ball in the Chichester Diocese” – Richard W. Symonds

July 31 2012 – What was Bonhoeffer’s ‘world come of age’?

Aug 30 2012 – “Archbishop’s Chichester Visitation – interim report published” – Dr Rowan Williams 104th Archbishop of Canterbury

“The problems relating to safeguarding in Chichester have been specific to that diocese rather than a reflection of failures in the legal processes or national policies of the Church of England. Nevertheless…” – Archbishop Rowan Williams

Aug 31 2012 – “Child sex abuse inquiry damns Chichester church’s local safeguarding” – The Guardian – Reporter: David Batty

“The inquiry by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office concluded that the West Sussex diocese has ‘an appalling history’ of child protection failures, with ‘fresh and disturbing’ allegations continuing to emerge” – David Batty

Oct 12 2012 – “Church considers removing Jimmy Savile’s knighthood” – Christian Today

Oct 20 2012 – “I haven’t handed over a sex offender to the police – ‘because I was told in confidence’ – A leading agony aunt makes an explosive confession” – Daily Mail – Anne Atkins

Nov 10 2012 – “Masonic Paedomania” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ Blog [Deleted on Request]

Nov 13 2012 – “Retired bishop Peter Ball held in child sex abuse investigation” – The Independent – Reporter: Rob Hastings 

2013

Feb 20 2013 – Bishop Bell speaks against the Bombing of German Civilians” ~ Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday

April 5 2013 – “Great Lives – George Bell” – BBC Radio 4 – Series 30 [with Andrew Chandler, Matthew Parris and Peter Hitchens]

April 30 2013 – “The Big Interview: Dr Martin Warner. Bishop of Chichester – The Argus – Bill Gardner

May 2013 – “Retired Canon Gordon Rideout guilty at Lewes Crown Court of abuse at Barnado’s home” [Ifield Hall, Crawley – Diocese of Chichester] – Southern Daily Echo

May 3 2013 – Archbishop’s Church Visitation – final report – Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC

June 12 2013 – “Judge chosen for Jersey child abuse committee of inquiry” – BBC Jersey

July 7 2013 – “Church of England makes Chichester child abuse apology” – BBC News

July 24 2013 – “Jersey historical abuse inquiry head suffers stroke” – BBC Jersey

August 17 2013 – “Diocese of York abuse inquiry opens clergy files” – BBC News

Oct 18 2013 – “How far did [West Yorkshire] police go to protect Jimmy Savile?” – Daily Telegraph

2013 – Second complaint by ‘Carol’ to Bishop of Chichester Justin Welby, alleging Bishop Bell had sexually abused her in the 1940s and 1950s (reported to Police). First complaint in 1995

 

2014

2014 – Impact Case Study – Bishop Bell and “Modern Church History Informing Civic-Religious Culture and Public Commemoration” – Research Excellence Framework [REF] 2014 – Dr Andrew Chandler – University of Chichester

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Dr Andrew Chandler – University of Chichester

March 27 2014 – “Betrayed – The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis” by Richard Scorer [Biteback Publishing 2014]

April 11 2014 – “Sussex cleric banned for Life” [Rev Wilkie Denford et al] – Conger

July 8 2014 – “Safeguarding Report Published” – Diocese of Chichester – The CARMI Report 2004

July 8 2014 – “Chichester child abuse victims wait 12 years for report” – BBC News – Carmi Report 2014 released – Terence Banks named (but not named in 2004 – only recommendations)

July 14 2014 – “Diocese and Cathedral turned deaf ears to victims’ complaints” – Church Times – Madeleine Davies – Terence Banks named (but not named in 2004 – only recommendations)

August 18 2014 – “BBC’s Cliff Richard raid coverage driven by pressure for exclusives” – The Guardian

Sept 21 2014 – “Jersey Anglican Church abuse accuser needs ‘closure'” – BBC Jersey

Oct 19 2014 – “Sins of the fathers: sexual abuse at a Catholic order” – The Guardian – Catherine Deveney

Nov 2014 – Operation Midland launched by Metropolitan Police [and closed in March 2016]

 2015

 

2015 – “Chichester in the 1960’s” by Alan H.J. Green [History Press 2015]– highlighting the work of Chichester Town Clerk Eric Banks [1901-1989] – father of Terence Banks – and Chichester Mayor Harry Bell [no relation to Bishop George Bell]

Jan 20 2015 – “Date set for retired bishop and fellow former Brighton priest to face child sex abuse trial” – Brighton and Hove News – Oct 5 – Reporter: Frank le Duc

Jan 25 2015 – “Jersey synod calls for abuse report publication” – BBC Jersey

Jan 26 2015 – “Jersey Church abuse report: Victim against release” – BBCJersey

Feb 15 2015 – “Jersey Church abuse report: Dean supports release” – BBC Jersey

June 12 2015 – “Retired Eastbourne priest [Robert Coles] receives further prison sentence for historic sex offences” – Eastbourne Herald

June 14 2015 – “Former Bishop of Gloucester [Michael Perham] ‘lost confidence’ after sex claims” – BBC

June 22 2015 – Clergy call for resignation of Bishop of Buckingham – Virtue Online

July 13 2015 – “Church of England could return to defrocking rogue priests after child abuse scandals” – The Telegraph – John Bingham 

July 13 2015 – “Anglican Church could bring back the power to defrock priests because of sexual abuse of children” – Independent – Ian Johnston

July 20 2015 – Diocese of Chichester – “Vicar found hanged in woodland may have been under too much stress, say his bosses” – Daily Mail

https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Vicar-found-dead-in-woodland

August 1 2015 – “Tom Doyle addresses priest abuse survivors” – National Catholic Reporter

August 2015 – Operation Conifer launched by Wiltshire Police – Sir Edward Heath (See Operation Midland & Henriques Report)

Sept 8 2015 – “Retired bishop Peter Ball admits sex offence” – BBC News

Sept 8 2015 – “Peter Ball’s victims accuse C of E, police and CPS of sexual abuse cover-up” – The Guardian – Sandra Laville

Sept 8 2015 – “Abuse inquiry turns its focus on political forces” – Jersey Evening Post

Sept 13 2015 – “Peter Ball should have been prosecuted for sex abuse 22 years ago, admits CPS” – Christian Today – Ruth Gledhill

Sept 2015 – Diocese of Chichester pays compensation to complainant ‘Carol’

Oct 1 2015 – “Betrayal – The Crisis in the Catholic Church” – The Boston Globe [Book made into the film ‘Spotlight’ – DVD release in UK: See May 23 2016]

Oct 5 2015 – “Independent Review of Peter Ball case announced” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Oct 6 2015 – “‘Deeply corrupt’ Church of England Tried To Silence Abuse Victim” – Rev Graham Sawyer of MACSAS – Video (subtitles)

Oct 6 2015 – “Bishop Peter Ball sex abuse victims sue Church of England” – BBC News

Oct 7 2015 – R-v-Ball. Sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Wilkie – Central Criminal Court

Oct 7 2015 – Church of England Statement on the sentencing of Peter Ball

Oct 7 2015 – “Bishop [Ball] escaped abuse charges after MPs and a Royal backed him, court told” – The Guardian – Sandra Laville

Oct 7 2015 – “Bishop [Ball] ‘avoided prosecution for sex abuse after royal support'” – Daily Telegraph – Nicola Harley

Oct 7 2015 – “Prison for Bishop Peter Ball, but victims of Peter Ball sue Church of England” – Church Times – Tim Wyatt

Oct 7 2015 – “Church inquiry into Bishop Peter Ball abuse ‘cover-up'” – BBC News

Oct 7 2015 – “Former Anglican bishop Peter Ball jailed, as victims sue Church of England over ‘cover-up'” – National Secular Society

Oct 7 2015 – “Peter Ball Sentenced” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Oct 9 2015 – “Jimmy Savile and Prince Charles’ very close friendship with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball” – Daily Mail

Oct 9 2015 – “No more excuses: Bishop Peter Ball’s abuse demands more than regret” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Oct 9 2015 – “Bishop Peter Ball case ‘should be part of child sex abuse inquiry'” – The Guardian – Sandra Laville

Oct 22 2015 – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

“Moral, legal and common sense appears to have deserted the Church of England. The Presumption of Innocence has been described as ‘the golden thread that runs through British justice’. That thread was broken by the October Statement, and replaced with the Presumption of Guilt. The Media – including the BBC – assumed Bishop Bell’s guilt on the basis of the Church’s Statement, and their subsequent headlines reflected that assumption. No attempt was made by the Church, immediately after the headlines, to correct the media interpretation of the Statement. This would strongly suggest a Presumption of Guilt on the Church’s part towards Bishop Bell” – Richard W. Symonds

Oct 22 2015 – Bishop of Chichester (Martin Warner) Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell [1883-1958] 

“In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective, and undertaken by people who command the respect of all parties….” – Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

Oct 22 2015 – “I would be grateful…if you could refrain from including George Bell in your guided tours and external presentations” – Dean of Chichester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine [to Cathedral Guides]

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Oct 22 2015 – Statement on the Rt Revd George Bell (1883-1958)” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Oct 22 2015 – “Church of England bishop George Bell abused young child” – The Guardian – Reporter: Harriet Sherwood

Oct 22 2015 – “Revered Bishop George Bell was a paedophile – Church of England” – Daily Telegraph – John Bingham [Religious Affairs Editor]

Oct 22 2015 – “Bishop of Chichester George Bell sex abuse victim gets compensation” – BBC News – Sussex

Oct 22 2015 – “Former Chichester bishop George Bell abused young child” – Chichester Observer

Oct 22 2015 – “Bishop Luffa urged to rename house after George Bell revelation” – Chichester Observer

“The grandson was asked the reason why his school building, dedicated to Bishop George Bell, had been re-named. The answer came straight back, ‘Because he was a paedophile'” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Oct 23 2015 – “Bishop revealed to have sexually abused child” / “The dark secret of a respected peacemaker” – The Argus – Reporter: Rachel Millard

Oct 23 2015 – “Conservative Government Threatened By Sex Scandals” – Aangirfan

Oct 24 2015 – “Former bishop’s despicable fall from grace will prompt much soul-searching from the Church” / “Abuse victim hits out over ‘systematic behaviour’” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

Oct 27 2015 – Vickery House found guilty of historic sex offences – BBC News

Oct 28 2015 – “The rule of the lynch mob” – Church of England Newspaper

“Beware of throwing someone under the bus. Remember: the bus can shift into reverse” ~ Janette McGowen

“The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly. It would appear the Church regarded ‘Carol’ as a victim to be believed at all costs. There seems to have been a panicked rush to judgement in which an astonishing lack of judgement was made manifest. Bishop Bell was an easy target, disposable and dispensable…’thrown under the bus’ for reasons unknown” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Oct 28 2015 – “Church in third sex abuse scandal as ex-vicar is convicted” / “Where did it go wrong for the Diocese of Chichester?” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

Oct 29 2015 – “Vickery House: Priest jailed over sex attacks” – BBC News

Nov 4 2015 – “Sussex school named after disgraced clergyman Bishop Bell may change its name” – Crawley Observer

Nov 7 2015 – “The Church of England’s shameful betrayal of bishop George Bell” – The Spectator – Peter Hitchens

Nov 9 2015 – “The tragedy of former bishop who committed terrible acts” – Tony Greenstein – Opinion – The Argus

Nov 9 2015 – “Bishop George Bell and the tyranny of paedomania” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Nov 13 2015 – “The Church of England media statement about Bishop George Bell” – The Church Times – Letter – Alan Pardoe QC

Nov 20 2015 – “Church of England media statement on Bishop Bell – further comment” – The Church Times – Letter – Dr Brian Hanson

Nov 22 2015 – “My defence of former Bishop of Chichester George Bell” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Peter Hitchens

Dec 5 2015 – A Background to “The Jersey Way” – Photopol

Dec 11 2015 – “An abuse survivors tale” – Julie Macfarlane

Dec 31 2015 – “Peter Ball: letters of support released” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Winter 2015 – Chichester Cathedral Newsletter – Stephen Waine, Dean on Bishop Bell

 

2016

2016 – From The Archives [1993 – “Britain and the Threat to Stability in Europe, 1918-45” – Chapter ‘Bishop Bell and Germany’ [Pinter 1993. Republished Bloomsbury Academic Collections 2016] 

Winter 2016 – ‘Bishop George Bell’ – Page 37 – Cathedral Guide – “Chichester Cathedral. Society and Faith” [Pitkin 2016]

Jan 1 2016 – “The Church, the police and the unholy destruction of Bishop Bell” – The Daily Telegraph – Charles Moore

Jan 5 2016 – “Bishop Bell declared guilty without trial” – The Daily Telegraph – Letters (a) Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson (b) Rt Rev Martin Warner. Bishop of Chichester

Jan 5 2016 – “Anglican persecution” – Bats in the Belfry – crhill764

Jan 7 2016 – “Doesn’t Bishop George Bell deserve the presumption of innocence?” – The Guardian – Giles Fraser

Jan 13 2016 – “Questionable trashing of Bishop George Bell’s reputation” – The Guardian – Letter – Peter Hitchens

Jan 14 2016 – “This text is intended to give clear guidance on tone and content…if you prefer to leave Bishop Bell out of your conversation or guided tour, this is perfectly acceptable” – Dean of Chichester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine – to Cathedral Guides

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Jan 16 2016 – “Proof of guilt is crucial and must not be assumed” – The Argus – Saturday Guest – Peter Hitchens

Jan 16 2016 – “Bishop’s memorial to remain in place” / “The Church itself has tried to satisfy both camps and in doing so has pleased neither” – The Argus – Spotlight – Joel Adams

Jan 20 2016 – “George Bell: School to remove bishop’s name after abuse claims” – BBC News – Sussex

Jan 28 2016 – “School changes name in clergy sex scandal” – The Argus – Reporter: Peter Lindsey

Jan 28 2016 – House of Lords “Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure” – The Lord Bishop of Durham’s reply to Lord Lexden – Hansard – Column 1516

“What I find deeply disturbing is that a Bishop’s reputation is destroyed and no-one takes any responsibility for destroying it – least of all the Bishop’s own Church” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Feb 3 2016 – Bishop of Chichester issues Statement

“The presence of strident voices in the public arena which have sought to undermine the survivor’s claims has added in this case to the suffering of the survivor and her family. To that extent it is not surprising that she felt it necessary to take the courageous decision to speak out in public and reveal the personal details which the Church could not” – Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

Feb 3 2016 – “He told me it was our little secret because God loved me” / “Listen to her story”– The Argus – Front Page + Pages 4-6 / Editorial Comment

Feb 3 2016 – “Bishop Bell’s victim praised for speaking about historic abuse” – Chichester Observer

Feb 3 2016 – “Victim of George Bell: ‘He said it was our little secret, because God loved me'” – Premier Christian News & Radio – Reporter: Antony Bushfield

Feb 3 2016 – “Disgraced paedophile Bishop Bell abused five year old while telling her ‘God loved me’, says victim” – Christian Today – Reporter: Ruth Gledhill

Feb 3 2016 – “Victim describes how she was abused by bishop George Bell” – The Guardian – Reporter: Harriet Sherwood (Religion correspondent)

Feb 3 2016 – “Newspaper Interview Reveals Details of Sex Abuse Allegations Against Bishop George Bell” – Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion – Richard Bartholomew

Feb 3 2016 – “Interview with Bishop George Bell’s victim” – Thinking Anglicans

Feb 4 2016 – University of Chichester closes the George Bell Institute and withdraws Fellowships – Director: Andrew Chandler

Feb 4 2016 – “Bishop sex abuse victim is praised for her courage” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

Feb 5 2016 – “Bishop’s victim should have got a bigger payout” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

Feb 5 2016 – “Visit to Bell’s palace were my girlhood ordeal, paper told” – The Church Times – Reporter: Hattie Williams

Feb 5 2016 – ‘Spotlight’ Film – “Phil Saviano: The Child Sex Abuse Survivor who refused to be silenced by the Catholic Church” 

Feb 6 2016 – Argus Comment – Richard W. Symonds

Feb 8 2016 – “Statement from Bishop Paul Butler on George Bell” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Feb 9 2016 – “When did child abuse become the unforgivable sin?” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Feb 9 2016 – “George Bell: Former wartime bishop ‘abused girl in cathedral'” – BBC News – Sussex

Feb 9 2016 – “When did child abuse become the unforgivable sin” – Archbishop Cranmer

Feb 13 2016 – “George Bell is wiped out” – Argus – In Brief – [George Bell House re-named 4 Canon Lane]

Feb 18 2016 – “Chichester Cathedral memorial to Bishop George Bell could be changed” – BBC News – Sussex

Feb 21 2016 – “Now war hero bishop branded an abuser may lose cathedral tribute” – The Mail on Sunday – Reporter: Jonathan Petre

Feb 22 2016 – “Bell’s family hit back” – The Argus – Barbara Whitley aged 92 [Niece of Bishop Bell] + Tim Sutcliffe [Former Member of General Synod]

Feb 24 2016 – “Independent Review into Peter Ball case” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Feb 25 2016 – “Does silence say it all” by Richard W. Symonds / “I could not agree more” by J Robinson – Chichester Observer – Letters

Feb 26 2016 – Letter to Richard W. Symonds from Meriel Wilmot-Wright

Feb 28 2016 – Boston Globe/‘Spotlight’ – “Sex and power in the spotlight”

Feb 29 2016 – “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester: Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler [Eerdmans 2016]

March 7 2016 – “Carey’s anger over disgraced bishop” / “Carey anger over sex abuse case” / “Former Archbishop slams church for destroying reputation of George Bell” – The Argus – Reporter: Rachel Millard

March 7 2016 – “Carey’s fury at Church over abuse case bishop” / “Major New Development in George Bell case – Lord Carey speaks out” – Mail on Sunday – Reporter: Jonathan Petre & Columnist Peter Hitchens

March 7 2016 – “Carey’s support for abuse accused Bishop Bell ‘distressing'” – BBC – Sussex

March 9 2016 – “Church defends stance in historic sex abuse inquiry” – The Argus – Reporter: Rachel Millard

March 11 2016 – AS v TH (False Allegations of Abuse) – High Court case

March 13 2016 – Peter Hitchens on ‘Carol’ and Lord Carey – Mail on Sunday

March 15 2016 – “Damning report reveals Church of England’s failure to act on abuse” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

March 17 2016 – “‘Seriously misled’ by the diocese over allegations” – Chichester Observer Letters – Marilyn Billingham

March 19 2016 – “Church ‘wrong’ to name Bishop of Chichester a paedophile” – Daily Telegraph – Patrick Sawer

March 19 2016 – “Welby urged to apologise over sex abuse inquiry. Bishop’s reputation has been ‘carelessly destroyed’ by allegations” – Mail on Sunday – Jonathan Petre

March 20 2016 – “Challenge to Bishop George Bell abuse claim” – BBC News

March 20 2016 – “A Review by the George Bell Group of the treatment by the Church of England of the late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell” – The George Bell Group

March 20 2016 – Peter Hitchens on the George Bell Group formation – Mail on Sunday

March 20 2016 – “The Defence of George Bell – Full Documents in the Case” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

March 20 2016 – “Murder in the Cathedral. The Casual Wrecking of a Great Name” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

March 20 2016 – “Group challenges naming of Bishop George Bell as paedophile” – Thinking Anglicans

March 20 2016 – “Anglican Rough Justice (1)” – Bats in the Belfry – crhill764

March 22 2016 – “Group blasted as they question abuse victim – Solicitor claims client is ‘not allowed closure she deserves'” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

March 23 2016 – “Group challenges Bishop Bell claim” – Crawley Observer

March 24 2016 – “C of E must apologise for destroying Bell’s reputation, says his defenders” – Church Times – Reporter: Tim Wyatt

March 24 2016 – Church Times Letter – Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

March 25 2016 – “Uncertainty hurts”- Argus Letters – Mark Dunn

March 26 2016 – “Archbishop: Cleric [Bishop Bell – Ed] likely child abuser” – Argus – In Brief

March 29 2016 – “Credible and True” by K. Harvey-Proctor [Biteback 2016]

March 30 2016 – “Group set up to back disgraced bishop” – West Sussex Gazette

March 31 2016 – “From The Editor’s Chair – Mike Gilson” – The Argus

March 31 2016 – Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – The Spectator

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Charles Moore

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Fifty-seven years after George Bell’s death, his own diocese, supported by the national Church authorities, announced that Bell had sexually abused a child between 1949 and 1953. They gave no details, and paid compensation. (The complainant later revealed herself to have been a five-year-old girl when the alleged abuse began.) The Church said it had decided against Bell ‘on the balance of probabilities’. No other such accusations — or even rumours — have ever been heard against Bell. His name was removed from buildings and institutions named after him.

 

A recent detailed review of the case showed that no effort had been made by the Church to consider the evidence for Bell: his voluminous papers and diaries had not been consulted, nor had living people who worked with him at that time (including one domestic chaplain, Adrian Carey, now aged 94, who spent virtually every waking moment with Bell for more than two of the years in which the abuse supposedly happened). His cause was given no legal advocate. Instead, in a process still kept secret, the ‘victim’ was believed. The normal burden of proof was reversed and so it was considered wicked to doubt her veracity.

 

As Chandler puts it, ‘We are asked to invest an entire authority in one testimony and to dismiss all the materials by which we have come to know the historical George Bell as mere figments of reputation.’ Of course, if Bell was guilty, his high reputation should not protect him. But we have not been given the chance to establish fairly whether he was. Jesus, of course, also suffered from unjust process. When the Church forgets this, it is not — as it claims — rejecting the dreadful child-abuse cover-ups of the past. It is dishonouring the example of its founder.

 

 

March 31 2016 – “Group is formed in support of Bishop Bell” / “Archbishop responds to criticism” / “Bishop Bell reaction – School and Cathedral buildings renamed” – Chichester Observer

April 2016 – “False allegations, emotional truth and actual lies” – The Justice Gap]

The present preoccupation with sex crime and victims of crime has given rise to a new type of victim: the falsely accused…I believe that victims of false accusations now deserve more consideration…Various victims of false accusations, of whom the most high profile and outspoken is the well-known BBC radio presenter Paul Gambaccini (& Sir Cliff Richard – Ed) have voiced dismay at the authorities’ willingness to entertain complaints that in the past would have been seen as outlandish, even vexatious…It star witness is an anonymous accuser, whose multiple personalities include ‘Nick’, ‘Carl Survivor’ and ‘Stephen’…It’s time for a much more rigorous and open discussion about why some people…make false accusations. But first I should clarify what is meant by ‘false’. The word is ambiguous, covering a spectrum of claims that are simply unfounded, to those that are mistakes, to those that are dishonest.

In their 2012 paper, Jessica Engle and William O’Donoghue proposed 11 pathways to false accusations of sexual assault. These are: 1. Lying 2. Implied consent 3. False memories 4. Intoxication 5. Antisocial personality disorder 6. Borderline personality disorder 7. Histrionic personality disorder 8. Delirium 9. Psychotic disorder 10. Disassociation 11. Intellectual disability.

Crucially, they omit ‘the honest but mistaken person’: Pathway 12. A classic example of this is the rape victim who misidentifies her assailant in an identity parade (or the elderly ‘Carol’ who mistakenly identified Bishop Bell when she was very young? – Ed)…

People can also develop false memories of abuse, for example as a result of contact with therapists, pressure from peers or from significant others (such as partners or parents), or even from reading stories in the media. There is no space here to discuss this important topic in detail.

It is a sad fact that those with mental disorders or learning disabilities are disproportionately vulnerable to sexual assault. But it should also be recognised that third parties – such as care providers – may stand to benefit from a false allegation.

That mental problems could potentially lead to false allegations is rarely discussed. But it is a very serious issue, which would benefit from wider debate. Those with personality disorders may be motivated to make false accusations out of motives of revenge, ot attention-seeking. Some may misperceive non-sexual events as sexual. Those who are delusional may also make false accusations of sexual misconduct….”Testifiers do not inevitably speak the truth, as virtuous as they may perceive themselves to be” [Professor Janice Haaken]

~ Barbara Hewson 

April 1 2016 – “Vigil to protest against treatment of late bishop” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

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Vigil outside Chichester Cathedral – Sunday April 3 2016 [from right to left: Tim Hudson, Charlotte Evans, Unknown, Richard Symonds, Peter Billingham, Marilyn Billingham, Meriel Wilmot-Wright, Unknown, Unknown]

April 2 2016 – “‘I want to be a voice for the voiceless’, says nun left in limbo over sex abuse allegations” [Sister Frances Dominica OBE and President of F.A.C.T. – Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers] – The Guardian – Esther Addley 

April 2 2016 – The Bell Petition opens – “Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester – To: Archbishop of Canterbury” – [Petition closes in Oct 2016 with 2169 signatures, and delivered to The Rt. Rev’d Nigel Stock at Lambeth Palace by Richard Symonds & Marilyn Billingham on October 19 2016]

April 3 2016 – “Archbishop in an unholy mess” – Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday

April 3 2016 – “Anglican Rough Justice (2)” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

April 4 2016 – “Group wants new look into case of late bishop” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams [The Vigil + Photo – Sunday April 3]

April 5 2016 – “Credible and True: the evidence against Harvey Proctor and Bishop George Bell” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

April 6 2016 – “Bishop Bell Group” – Anglican Mainstream

George Bell Group

Apr 6, 2016

We are an independent group whose members represent a concentration of experience in public life, in the fields of law, policing, politics, journalism, academic research and church affairs. This group began to meet in response to the 22 October statement issued by the Church of England about Bishop George Bell.  See this BBC report for the full story.

We are now publishing our analysis of the way in which the allegation against Bishop Bell has been handled by the authorities of the Church.

We note that the public has been consistently assured that the process by which the Church of England reached a view on Bishop Bell was ‘thorough’ and ‘objective’, and that it commissioned ‘experts’ whose ‘independent reports’ found ‘no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim[s]’ of sexual abuse made by the complainant.

However, although the nature of this process has never been publicly disclosed, we have discovered enough to establish its severe limitations which render it quite inadequate as a basis for assessing the probability of Bishop Bell’s guilt. The scope of the independent experts’ inquiries was limited to a degree that made a proper analysis of the complainant’s allegations virtually impossible. Our criticisms of the investigation are highlighted in paragraphs 15 to 17 of the enclosed Review. What is more, little or no respect seems to have been paid to the unheard interests of Bishop Bell or his surviving family – a serious breach of natural justice.

In view of the evidence that we have gathered and examined we have concluded that the allegation made against Bishop Bell cannot be upheld in terms of actual evidence or historical probability.

Our review sets out our concerns at length.

Read here

Read also: Credible and True: the evidence against Harvey Proctor and Bishop George Bell by Archbishop Cranmer

April 6 2016 – “Abuse was alleged” – Argus Letters – Richard W. Symonds

April 7 2016 – “When the spire collapsed” / “New name for the tower” – Chichester Observer Letters – Richard W. Symonds / Brian Hopkins

April 10 2016 – Peter Hitchens on ‘No reason to doubt’ and Archbishop Justin Welby – The Mail on Sunday

April 11 2016 – “Why All The Fuss About George Bell. A New Biography Explains” – Peter Hitchens

April 13 2016 – “In Britain, the name of a courageous Christian is smeared” – The Catholic World Report – Joanna Bogle

April 14 2016 – “Disappointed at church reaction” – Christopher Hoare / “What else could Church do?” – Peter Rice – Chichester Observer Letters

April 21 2016 – “No answer from the council” – Chichester Observer Letters – April 21 2016 – Tim Hudson + “Bishop Bell portrait is reinstated” – Chichester Observer – May 12 2016

April 23 2016 – “Anglican Rough Justice (3)” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

April 24 2016 – “‘Murder in the Cathedral’ explains why you should sign the George Bell Petition” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

April 29 2016 – “Abuse victim accuses C of E of cover-up” – Church Times – Reporter: Tim Wyatt (Re: Bishop Peter Ball & Rev Graham Sawyer)

April 29 2016 – “Lessons for the Church from Hillsborough” – ‘Brother Ivo’

 

May 2016 – A survivor of child sex abuse made a formal complaint under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure procedure against Burrows and five other bishops (Steven CroftMartyn SnowGlyn WebsterRoy WilliamsonJohn Sentamu) for failing to act on his allegations. The survivor said he first told Burrows in 2012 about his abuse by a serving priest. All five bishops dismissed the complaint owing to the one-year time limit imposed by the CDM process.[4][5] The priest against whom the allegation was made went on to commit suicide the day he was due in court in June 2017 [See Sept 30 2016 – Protest]

May 5 2016 – A Good New Independent Account of the George Bell Controversy” – Peter Hitchens

May 5 2016 – “George Bell – The battle for a bishop’s reputation” – BBC News Magazine – Reporter: Justin Parkinson

May 6 2016 – “Anglican Rough Justice (4) – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

May 11 2016 – Letter to Bishop Martin Warner from Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson (cc Archbishop Justin Welby)

May 11 2016 – “At last – a small victory in the rehabilitation of George Bell” – Peter Hitchens

May 12 2016 – “Bishop Bell portrait is reinstated” – Chichester Observer – May 12 2016 + “No answer from the council” – Chichester Observer Letters – April 21 2016

May 12 2016 – “Petition to reopen Bell case” – Chichester Observer Letters – Marilyn & Peter Billingham, Richard Symonds and Meriel Wilmot-Wright

May 13 2016 – “Bishop Bell’s reputation is besmirched by witch hunt, claim angry campaigners” – Chichester Post – Reporter: Sian Hewitt

May 14 2016 – “Portrait of sex abuse bishop is back on council office wall” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

May 17 2016 – “More proof needed” – Argus Letter – Martin Sewell

May 19 2016 – “The ‘absurd fiction’ of the need for secrecy in the trial of Bishop Bell” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

May 19 2016 – “Church just prolongs agony” – Chichester Observer Letter – Martin Sewell (same letter as the Argus “More proof needed” – May 17 2016)

May 19 2016 – “Bishop George Bell – The lack of information given by Church of England unsatisfactory” – Editorial – Chichester Observer [Gary Shipton – Editor-in-Chief – Sussex Newspapers-Johnston Press]

May 20 2016 – “Archbishop of Canterbury apologises to Jersey Dean over abuse case” – BBC Jersey

May 23 2016 – “Spotlight” DVD Film release in the UK [Boston Globe investigation of Child Sexual Abuse in Roman Catholic Church]

“A small team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe (US) – known as ‘Spotlight’ – investigate allegations of sex abuse within the Catholic Church, and expose the scandal that the Archdiocese of Boston knew of the abuse, but did nothing – or not enough – to stop it. Disturbing parallels with the Church of England’s Diocese of Chichester” – RWS

May 25 2016 – “The Stalinesque Disappearance of George Bell House” – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

May 26 2016 – “Commonsense from council” – Chichester Observer Letter – Richard Wilby

May 27 2016 – “Campaigners’ fight to clear ‘sex attack’ Bishop goes viral” – Chichester Post – Reporter: Sian Hewitt

May 31 2016 – “Bell secrecy” – Argus Letter – Richard W. Symonds

June 2 2016 – “Chichester Diocese can learn from its own lessons” – ‘ Brother Ivo’

June 3 2016 – Chichester Post Letter – Richard W. Symonds [‘Spotlight’ & Bell Petition]

June 10 2016 – “I treated kids Bell ‘abused’. A young man tried to kill himself, says retired nurse” – Chichester Post – Reporter: Sian Hewitt

June 10 2016 – Chichester Post Letter – Richard W. Symonds [Kincora, “Who Framed Colin Wallace?”]

June 20 2016 – “Accusation against Bishop George Bell” – Peter Hitchens – youtube

June 24 2016 – Chichester Post Letter – Richard W. Symonds [Church of England Press Statement Oct 22 2015 – Bishop of Durham/House of Lords Statement – Jan 28 2016]

June 28 2016 – Independent review into handling of George Bell case – Church of England News Release

June 28 2016 – “Independent review into handling of George Bell case” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

June 29 2016 – “Church review on Bell” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

June 30 2016 – House of Lords Debate – Hansard – Historical Child Sex Abuse

https://churchinparliament.org/2016/06/30/bishop-of-chelmsford-calls-for-statutory-guidelines-on-historic-abuse-allegations-responds-to-concerns-about-george-bell-case/

June 30 2016 – “Review of Bishop Bell case processes is announced” – Chichester Observer – Reporter: Nikki Jeffery

June 30 2016 – “Bell review welcomed” – Chichester Observer – Editorial [Gary Shipton?]

July 2016 – “Surviving The Crucible of Ecclesiastical Abuse” by Josephine Anne Stein – ‘Safeguarding’ – Journal of Christian Social Ethics

July 1 2016 – “Review launched into Bishop Bell case by Church” – Chichester Observer

July 1 2016 – “Lord Carey critical of the Church” – Argus

July 3 2016 – “The Lord, St Thomas, and Bishop Bell” – ‘Brother Ivo’

July 4 2016 – Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – “Charles Moore Notebook” – The Daily Telegraph

July 6 2016 – “Synod ‘No Confidence’ motion looms in the secret trial of Bishop George Bell (RIP)” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

July 7 2016 – “Sympathy for the Bishop of Chichester” – ‘Brother Ivo’

July 7 2016 – “Will review be independent” – Chichester Observer – Letter – The Revd David Burton Evans

July 8 2016 – “‘No confidence’ motion about Bell affair circulated to Synod” – Church Times – Tim Wyatt

July 8 2016 – Martin Sewell given just Two Minutes to make his Statement at General Synod

July 8 2016 – Chichester Post – Letter – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society [Trust, Synod & Secrecy]

July 12 2016 – “Update On Peter Ball Establishment Cover-Up: FOI Documents Reveal Ball Investigated In 2008 For Being Part Of A Suspected Paedophile Ring” – Goodness and Harmony

July 14 2016 – “Further points on the George Bell case” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

July 20 2016 – “Campaigners fight to give Bishop George Bell a ‘fair’ posthumous hearing on charges of child abuse” – Christian Today – Contributing Editor: Ruth Gledhill

July 22 2016 – “Identity of abuser in Bishop Bell case questioned” – The Church Times – Reporter: Hattie Williams

July 24 2016 – Chichester Cathedral – Notice on Pews – Sunday

July 26 2016 – “Senior Anglican clergy accused of failing to act on rape allegations” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood [Religion Correspondent]

July 29 2016 – “The C of E smears saints and shields scoundrels” – Rev Jules Gomes

Aug 4 2016 – “Police say sorry over Bishop Bell” – Chichester Observer (not online)

Aug 5 2016 – “Sussex Police apology over Bishop George Bell affair” – BBC Sussex 

Aug 5 2016 – “Police say sorry over Bishop Bell. BBC says sorry over Bishop Bell. And The Church?” – The Bell Society – Richard W. Symonds

Aug 6 2016 – “Police to apologise to Bishop George Bell’s family” – Premier – Antony Bushfield

 

Aug 6 2016 – “Police apology to niece of child abuse bishop” – The Argus – Assistant News Editor: Arron Hendy (not online)

 

Aug 6 2016 – “Bishop Bell’s Ecumenical Vision Lives On” – Joanna Bogle – Bishop’s Palace, Chichester

 

Aug 19 2016 – “Chichester needs to explain itself, publicly” – The Church Times – Letter – Marilyn Billingham

Aug 21 2016 – “Church of England warned bishops not to apologise too fully to sex abuse victims” – The Telegraph“Church of England warned bishops not to apologise too fully to sex abuse victims” – The Telegraph – John Bingham

Aug 25 2016 – “While the Church of England becomes a safe place for children, it is hell for those wrongly accused” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Aug 26 2016 – “The Bishop Bell affair; and the plea to unfrock” – The Church Times – Letter – Gabrielle Higgins (Diocesan Secretary of Chichester)

Aug 31 2016 – “The Church of England masters the non-apology” – Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes – The Conservative Woman

Sept 13 2016 – “Bishop Bell: a straw in the wind” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

Sept 16 2016 – “Court tells Sister Frances’s son to stay away from her” – Oxford Mail

Sept 17 2016 – “Bishop Bell: the complainant’s payoff” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

Sept 26 2016 – “Play reading as part of ‘Justice for George Bell’ campaign” – Chichester Observer – Phil Hewitt

Sept 26 2016 – “Bishop Bell: The Church recumbent” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

Sept 29 2016 – “Bishop Bell: victim of CofE ‘kangaroo court'” – Chichester Observer – Phil Hewitt [Group Arts Editor]

Sept 30 2016 – Protest by Matt Ineson [and others] outside the Inauguration of Bishop Croft (formerly Bishop of Sheffield) as Bishop of Oxford. Leaflet distributed of 6 Bishops (incl. Croft) accused of misconduct – failing to report abuse – via a formal complaint under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure – CDM [See May 2016]. The abuser committed suicide in June 2017.

Protest_at_Oxford

Oct 1 2016 – “Bishop Bell: The Continuing Campaign for Justice for the late Bishop George Bell” – Peter Hitchens 

Oct 3 2016 – Reading of T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” in Chichester [as part of the “Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester” Campaign] – Peter Hitchens

Oct 5 2016 – Service at St. Michael’s Cornhill, City of London [to mark the life and work of Bishop Bell in the Church Calendar] – Peter Hitchens

Oct 7 2016 – “Victims or Survivors” – Bats in the Belfrey – crhill764

Oct 7 2016 – “In an era in need of it, courage” – Book review of Andrew Chandler’s Biography – ‘George Bell, Bishop of Chichester: Church, State and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship’ [Eerdmans 2016] – Church Times – The Revd Dr Jeremy Morris, University of Cambridge

Oct 7 2016 – “Lambeth receives petition in support of George Bell” – Church Times – Reporter: Hattie Williams

Oct 12 2016 – Church of England National Safeguarding Steering Group meet for the first time – Chair & Lead Bishop for Safeguarding: Rt Revd Peter Hancock [Bishop of Bath & Wells]. Vice Chair & Deputy Lead Bishop: Rt Revd Mark Sowerby [Bishop of Horham]. Other Members include Rt Revd Nigel Stock [Bishop of Lambeth][who received the Bell Petition at Lambeth Palace on Oct 19 2016]

Oct 12 2016 – Letter to The Archbishop of Canterbury from Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Oct 13 2016 – “Bishop Bell was commemorated” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Tim Hudson

Oct 15 2016 – “Justice for bishop” – The Daily Telegraph – Letter – Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Oct 19 2016 – The Bell Petition closes with 2169 signatures – “Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester”

Oct 19 2016 – Visit to Lambeth Palace to deliver The Bell Petition. Marilyn Billingham and Richard W. Symonds meet with the Bishop of Lambeth, The Rt Revd Nigel Stock.

Oct 19 2016 – “Petition seeks ‘justice’ for ‘abuse’ Bishop George Bell” – BBC Sussex

Oct 22 2015 –1st Anniversary of the Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

“Moral, legal and common sense appears to have deserted the Church of England. The Presumption of Innocence has been described as ‘the golden thread that runs through British justice’. That thread was broken by the October Statement, and replaced with the Presumption of Guilt. The Media – including the BBC – assumed Bishop Bell’s guilt on the basis of the Church’s Statement, and their subsequent headlines reflected that assumption. No attempt was made by the Church, immediately after the headlines, to correct the media interpretation of the Statement. This would strongly suggest a Presumption of Guilt on the Church’s part towards Bishop Bell” – Richard W. Symonds

Oct 22 2016 – “Former Archbishop of Canterbury admits he deserves criticism over ex-bishop sex abuse ‘cover-up'” – The Daily Telegraph – Chief Reporter: Robert Mendick

Oct 22 2016 – Letter to Graham Tilby [National Safeguarding Adviser for the Church of England] – from Marilyn Billingham

Oct 22 2016 – Letter to Graham Tilby [National Safeguarding Adviser for the Church of England] – from Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Oct 23 2016 – “This is NOT justice – it’s a witch hunt” – Peter Hitchens on Bishop Bell

Oct 27 2016 – “Petition in support of Bishop Bell is delivered” – Chichester Observer – Reporter: Steve Pickthall

Oct 28 2016 – “Congregation make feelings clear over abuse allegations” – Chichester Post – Reporter: Ruth Scammell

Oct 28 2016 – Chichester Post – ‘Cathedral Guide’ Letter – Richard W. Symonds [The Bell Society]

Oct 29 2016 – Letter from Kay McCluskey [Manager of ‘Cloisters’ Cathedral shop] to Richard W. Symonds – in reply to a written request for the withdrawal of the Cathedral Guide relating to Bishop Bell.

Oct 31 2016 – “An Independent Review of the Metropolitan Police Service’s handling of non-recent sexual offence investigations, alleged against persons of public prominence” – Sir Richard Henriques

Nov 1 2016 – “In defence of George Bell” – First Things (US) – Peter Hitchens

Nov 1 2016 – Letter from the Bishop of Lambeth [The Rt. Rev’d Nigel Stock] to Richard Symonds and Marilyn Billingham

Nov 8 2016 – “Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s statement following Sir Richard Henriques Review” – The Metropolitan Police

Nov 10 2016 – “Henriques Report: ‘Deputy Heads Must Roll'” – ‘BarristerBlogger’ – Matthew Scott

Nov 11 2016 – Chichester Post – Letter – Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Nov 12 2016 – “Abuse of an inquiry” – The Daily Telegraph – Letter – CDC Armstrong [Belfast]

Nov 14 2016 – “End the witch-hunt” – Daily Telegraph – Editorial

Nov 14 2016 – “Heath’s godson (Lincoln Seligman) : stop the police witch hunt now” / “Police ‘destroying Heath’s reputation to rescue theirs'” – Daily Telegraph

Nov 16 2016 – “Trial of Bishop Bell” – Daily Telegraph – Letter – Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Nov 16 2016 – ‘Cathedral Guide’ Letter 1 of Signatories delivered to the Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner

Nov 18 2016 – Reply by the Bishop of Chichester to the co-signed ‘Cathedral Guide’ Letter 1 of Nov 16

Nov 18 2016 – “Bell affair: implications of the Henriques report” – Church Times – Letter – C.D.C. Armstrong [Belfast]

Nov 18 2016 – “Henriques: Help or Hindrance” – David Hencke

Nov 20 2016 – “Finally…one brave bishop says sorry” – Peter Hitchens

Nov 22 2016 – Independent Jersey Care Inquiry – Chair: Frances Oldham – Latest Updates [Final Report: Early 2017]

Nov 22 2016 – “Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer of George Bell case” – Church of England News Release

Nov 23 2016 – “Bishop George Bell case: Lord Carlile to lead review” – BBC Sussex

Nov 23 2016 – “Church of England appoints Lord Carlile to review George Bell claim” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood/Religion correspondent

Nov 23 2016 – “Ex-terror reviewer Lord Carlile to re-examine Bishop Bell sex abuse decision” – Daily Telegraph – John Bingham/Religious Affairs Editor

Nov 23 2016 – “Top QC will review the Bishop George Bell case” – Chichester Observer

Nov 23 2016 – “Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Nov 23 – Nov 26 – Comment & Analysis on “Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Nov 23 2016 – “Some Cause for Modest Hope in the George Bell Case” – Peter Hitchens 

Nov 25 2016 – “Bishop George Bell case: ‘A perfect storm from which injustice emerges'” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Nov 26 2016 – The Spectator on Lord Carilile’s Review [Brief Note]

Nov 28 2016 – ‘Cathedral Guide’ Letter 2 and List of Signatories delivered to the Dean and Chapter of Chichester

Nov 30 2016 – “Bishop Bell abuse case” – West Sussex Gazette – Letter – Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Dec 1 2016 – “Please withdraw Cathedral guide” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Dec 2 2016 – The Letter of Christopher Hoare to Chichester Cathedral – with Replies from the Bishop, Dean and Chancellor

Dec 3 2016 – “Heath abuse inquiry ‘not a witch-hunt’/’not a fishing trip'”/Wiltshire Police – The Guardian – Reporters: Vikram Dodd & Owen Bowcott

Dec 7 2016 – Dean of Chichester replies by Email to the ‘Cathedral Guide’ Letter 2 of Signatories

Dec 9 2016 – Statement of The George Bell Group [following the appointment of Lord Carlile]

Dec 13 2016 – A Local Contribution from ‘P’

Dec 14 2016 – Dean of Chichester orders removal of all plants from Bishop Bell Memorial in Cathedral – without explanation

Dec 19 2016 – “A Sprig of Christmas Holly for the Bishop Bell Memorial?” – Charles Moore Notebook – The Daily Telegraph

Dec 24 2016 – Information for Submissions from Lord Carlile

Dec 24 2016 – Graham Toole-Mackson to co-ordinate Submissions of 70-strong for presentation to Lord Carlile

Dec 27 2016 – “2016 in front pages” – The Argus [Feb 3 2016 Front Page “He told me it was our little secret because God loved me”]

Dec 27 2016 – Unpublished Letter from Martin Sewell (in response to The Argus “2016 in front pages”)(“He told me it was our little secret because God loved me” – Feb 3 2016)

Dec 30 2016 – “2016 really was a year to talk about” – The Argus – Spotlight Argus – Reporter Joel Adams’ ‘favourite quote’ on Week 5’s Front Page (Feb 3): “He said it was our little secret, because God loved me” [The word “allegedly” is inserted in the write-up – which was missing in the Dec 27 write-up]

2017

Jan 3 2017 – “Stories of 2016” – The Argus – [Feb 3 2016 Front Page “He told me it was our little secret because God loved me”][Write-up prompts formal complaint to Argus Editor by Richard W. Symonds]

Jan 3 2017 – Formal Complaint (1) to Argus Editor from Richard W. Symonds

Jan 6 2017 – Formal Complaint (2) to Argus Editor from Richard W. Symonds

Jan 6 2017 – Letter Submission by Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

Jan 7 2017 – Revised Formal Complaint (3) to Argus Editor from Richard W. Symonds [Revision of Complaint (1) & (2) – and re-submitted]

Jan 10 2017 – The ‘Bishop Bell’ Submission to Lord Carlile Q.C. from the 70-strong – New Year Update from Graham Toole-Mackson

Feb 2 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘delightful’ friend accused of killing teenager in Zimbabwe” – Daily Telegraph

Feb 2 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury issues ‘unreserved and unequivocal’ apology after links to ‘child abuser’ emerge” – Daily Telegraph

Feb 3 2017 – Peter Ball, former Bishop of Lewes, released from jail after serving 16 months of a 32-month sentence

Feb 5 2017 – “John Smyth, the school predator who beat me for five years” – Daily Telegraph

Feb 5 2017 – A Poetry Evening to mark the Birthday of Bishop George Bell – Friends Meeting House – Chichester – 6.30pm

Feb 6 2017 – “Iwerne Trust camps, the abuse of LGBTI people in the C of E and the theology of violence” – Colin Coward

Feb 6 2017 – “Dear Archbishop of Canterbury: Can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly say you did everything you could to expose John Smyth?” – An Open Letter – Daily Telegraph

Feb 6 2017 – “He should have died in prison / Victim’s disgust as priest abuser is freed” – The Argus – Front Page / Page 2 – regarding Peter Ball (former Bishop of Lewes within the Diocese of Chichester) – Reporters: Siobhan Ryan and Andre Rhoden-Paul

Feb 7 2017 – Bishop George Bell and The General Synod – Christian Today – Reporter: Harry Farley

Feb 7 2017 – “Seven per cent of Australian Priests accused of Child Sexual Abuse” – Christian Today

Feb 8 2017 – “Bishop of Ely warned church about alleged abuse” – CambridgeshireLive [Re: John Smyth]

Feb 9 2017 – Archbishop denounced by Bishop of  Buckingham – Virtue Online

Feb 10 2017 – Poetry Evening – Chichester Post 

“After the Poetry Reading at the Quaker Meeting House, there was a retiring collection for the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture [MFVT] – raising £210” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Feb 12 2017 – Archbishop of Westminster says decision to end child refugee scheme ‘shocking’

“In 1936 Bishop Bell was appointed Chairman of the International Christian Committee for German Refugees” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Feb 16 2017 – “No coverage of city event” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Richard W. Symonds

Feb 18 2017 – “Welby’s Masonic Service at Canterbury Cathedral at Odds with the Christian Faith – David W. Virtue

Feb 19 2017 – “Police Chief : Heath WAS a Paedophile” / “Is he guilty? Yes, I’m 120% sure” / “[Wiltshire] Police refuse to call off the dogs after VIP child sex ring fiasco” – Mail on Sunday – Front Page and Pages 4 & 5 – Simon Walters [Political Editor]

Feb 19 2017 – “[Wiltshire] Police chief ‘120 per cent convinced’ Edward Heath was a paedophile” – The Independent 

Feb 19 2017 – “Top bishop’s diocese under fire over child abuse ‘cover-up'” – Mail on Sunday – Simon Walters [Political Editor]

Feb 20 2017 – “Police chief hits out at tabloid over Edward Heath claims” – The Guardian

Feb 21 2017 – “Refugees” by Brian Bilston

Feb 25 2017 – “Jailed sex predator priest (Gordon Rideout) handed additional sentence” – The Argus [See ‘May 2013’ entry] 

Feb 26 2017 – “Report due soon on historical child abuse” – Jersey Evening Post

March 2 2017 – “Unreserved apology” from Diocese of Chichester in 2012 regarding Roy Cotton & Colin Pritchard – The Argus – ‘On This Day – Five Years Ago’ [See March 2 2012]

March 5 2017 – “We always start from the position of believing the victim” – ‘Broadchurch’ Police TV Drama – Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday

March 22 2017 – “On Leaving The Church of England” – Bishop Dr Gavin Ashenden – Video (subtitles)

March 2017 – Publication of ‘The House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy Statement – Promoting a Safer Church for Children, Young People and Adults

‘Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding concerns or Allegations against Church Officers’ [published October 13 2017] – Disclosures or allegations of abuse – Section 2 – First Response (Page 25) – “a person receiving a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer should ‘respond well to the victim/survivor to ensure they feel heard and taken seriously.’

April 26 2017 – “‘Paedomanic Media’ to relegate Bishop Bell Report to back pages as Jersey Care Inquiry hits front pages?” – Gatwick City Times

 

May 30 2017 – Judge orders BBC to name source in Sir Cliff Richard case

 

June 7 2017 – Jersey Inquiry Report on July 3 2017 at 3pm. No questions will be allowed.

June 9 2017 – “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” – ‘Trump’s Meddlesome Priest’ – New York Times

June 16 2017 – Review of “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester: Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler ~ Journal of Church & State – Volume 59. Issue 2. 

Bishop George Bell’s reputation lies in tatters following revelations in October 2015 that the Diocese of Chichester has issued a formal apology and paid an out-of-court settlement after an allegation that the bishop sexually abused a young child in the 1950s. The establishment has rushed to distance itself from Bell. His name has hastily been deleted from associated institutions, like the Bishop Bell School in Eastbourne, and there have even been suggestions that his memorial in Chichester Cathedral might be removed. The manner in which the Church of England has dealt with the allegation has itself caused a furor among Bell’s supporters, who accuse the authorities of throwing the deceased bishop overboard in a panic, instead of defending his innocence until proven…

June 21 2017 – Jersey Inquiry Report – Ben Shenton [and John Lennon] on the critical need to tell the truth…or else

June 22 2017 – “Church [of England] ‘colluded’ with sex abuse bishop Peter Ball” – BBC

June 22 2017 – Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball and The Gibb Report: A Personal Reflection by Richard W. Symonds of The Bell Society

June 22 2017 – Lord Carey criticised by damning report which finds Church ‘colluded’ with disgraced Peter Ball to cover up sex offences – Daily Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard

 

Justin Welby has asked a former Archbishop of Canterbury to step down from his current role after a report found that he and other senior figures in the Church of England “colluded” with a disgraced paedophile bishop to prevent him facing criminal charges. George Carey, currently an honorary Assistant Bishop in the diocese of Oxford, has been urged to “carefully consider his position” by Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury. 

June 23 2017 – “Church Protected Paedophile Bishop” [Peter Ball] – The Argus – June 23 2017 + Guardian

June 23 2017 – Argus Letter [not yet published] – Richard W. Symonds [Peter Ball, Lambeth List, Caution List]

June 25 2017 – Unholy Trinity ? Ecclesiastical Insurance Group [EIG] – Allchurches Trust Limited [ATL] – Church of England [CoE] 

“Because of the possibility that statements of regret might have the unintended effect of accepting legal liability for the abuse it is important that they are approved in advance by lawyers, as well as by diocesan communications officers (and, if relevant, insurers)…With careful drafting it should be possible to express them in terms which effectively apologise for what has happened whilst at the same time avoiding any concession of legal liability for it” – Excerpts from House of Bishops confidential document – 2007

June 26 2017 – Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey resigns after Gibb Child Abuse Report

June 28 2017 – “Church resignations” – The Argus – June 28 2017

June 29 2017 – “Would Bishop George Bell do the same as Cardinal George Pell, if he was alive today?” – Richard W. Symonds

June 29 2017 – “The Safeguarding Industry has become a Witch Hunt” – ‘Rebel Priest’ – Jules Gomes

June 30 2017 – Independent Jersey Care Inquiry – Jersey Evening Post – “Those cited for wrongdoing will face justice…”

July 3 2017 – Jersey Child Abuse Report “lifts lid” at Haut de la Garenne; but the stones are left unturned and undisturbed ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

July 12 2017 – Law protects liars in Jersey

July 13 2017 – “I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m ashamed” – Comment – Jersey Evening Post

July 14 2017 – Politician stands down amidst allegations he lied to Jersey Inquiry – ITV News

July 21 2017 – “Let us hope and pray ‘The Jersey Way’ does not also become known as ‘The Chichester Way'” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

“Yes, the inquiry was about child care, but at its heart is the Jersey Way in its sinister, controlling manifestation: ‘protection of powerful interests and resistance to change, even when change is patently needed’”

~ Richard Digard [Jersey Evening Post – “Complacency over Inquiry’s report has been astonishing” – July 21 2017]

July 21 2017 – “Church of England ‘withdrew emotional support for abused'” – BBC News

July 29 2017 – “The Jersey Way” and Stuart Syvret

July 2017 – General Synod – The Carlile Review – Bishop of Bath and Wells – Martin Sewell & David Lamming

Aug 4 2017 – “The Jersey Way”, Doublethink and Andrew Lewis

Aug 12 2017 – “The Jersey Way” – When a Lie is not a Lie

Aug 13 2017 – Historic Child Abuse Panel Member: “I was silenced…”

Aug 14 2017 – Legal protection for lying politicians may be removed

Aug 15 2017 – “Charges for priests who don’t report child abuse?”

Aug 22 2017 – “Reporter Who Exposed BBC Pedophilia Cover-Up Found Dead” – News Punch [+ Jersey Evening Post]

Sept 1 2017 – Charles Henry Gordon Lennox – the 10th Duke of Richmond – dies aged 87 – one of the signatories of the Bell Petition delivered to Lambeth Palace on Oct 19 2016

Sept 2 2017 – “[Roman Catholic] Bishop remained deeply ashamed over his handling of sex abuse claims” – The Argus (written by Editor Arron Hendy)

Sept 6 2017 – “Rotherham Sex Abuse Survivors Still Seek Answers”

Sept 8 2017 – Carlile Review on Bishop Bell imminent

Sept 9 2017 – Heritage Open Day – Chichester Cathedral

Sept 9 2017 – “Sex Abuse Inquiry To Probe Ted Heath” – The Mail on Sunday – Front Page

Sept 11 2017 – ‘Cliff Richard’s agony: “I’ve been hurt so much by false sex abuse claims, I just don’t think I’ll ever recover”‘ – Daily Mirror – Front Page

Sept 12 2017 – “Abuse victims ‘need specialist help'” – Jersey Evening Post

Sept 24 2017 – “Police: If Heath was alive today we’d quiz him under caution on child abuse” – The Mail on Sunday – Page 12

Sept 25 2017 – “Why did the authorities not act any sooner?” – The Argus

Sept 30 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury accuses BBC of failing to show same ‘integrity’ over child abuse as the Church” – Christian Today [Ruth Gledhill]

Oct 1 2017 – Commemoration Service at St Martin-within-Ludgate [Ludgate Hill] to mark Bishop Bell’s 59th Anniversary – Wednesday October 4 (5pm)

Oct 1 2017 – “Heath ‘abused boys young as 11′” – Mail on Sunday – Oct 1 2017 + Oct 5 Breaking News Updates

Oct 3 2017 – “Justin Welby telling off the BBC over sex abuse was the pot calling the kettle black” – iNews – Simon Kelner

Oct 3 2017 – Bishop Bell Day to mark the 59th Anniversary of his death

Oct 4 2017 – “A Service of Evensong – To observe the day on which Bishop George Bell is remembered by the Church of England” – St Martin-within-Ludgate – Ludgate Hill – City of London [5pm] – Readings by Peter Hitchens and Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

Oct 5 2017 – “Did Church keep abuse secret?” – The Argus

Oct 5 2017 – “Heath ‘abused boys young as 11′” – Mail on Sunday – Oct 1 2017 + Oct 5 Breaking News Updates

Oct 6 2017 – “Sir Edward Heath had a case to answer on sex abuse allegations, Wiltshire Police say” – Church Times

Oct 6 2017 – “Complexity does not imply criminality” – Church Times

Oct 6 2017 – “Former Prime Minister would have been interviewed under caution for allegations of sexual abuse if he were still alive” – Christian Today

Oct 6 2017 – “We don’t know if Ted Heath abused boys , but it’s right to try to find out” – The Guardian – Gaby Hinsliff

Oct 6 2017 – Edward Heath – A Range of Articles

Oct 6 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 25 2016] – “Bishop George Bell case: ‘A perfect storm from which injustice emerges'” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Oct 6 2017 – “The Police report on Ted Heath is a tissue of baseless innuendo and craven self-protection” – Daily Telegraph – Matthew Scott

Oct 6 2017 – From The Archives [July 21 2017] “Let us hope and pray ‘The Jersey Way’ does not also become known as ‘The Chichester Way’” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society – “The Jersey Way: Protection of powerful interests – thus lack of protection of non-powerful interests – and resistance to change”

Oct 7 2017 – Lord Carlile submits his Review to the Church of England 

Oct 8 2017 – “Ted Heath police chief: Now probe ‘cover-up’ in Westminster” – Mail on Sunday [Simon Walters] + “At last…a policeman who isn’t just a political pawn” [Maggie Oliver]

Oct 8 2017 – “It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

Oct 8 2017 – “Celebrated Church of England bishop accused of child abuse ‘will have his good name restored’ by an inquiry” – Mail on Sunday

Oct 8 2017 – “Child abuse in the Church of England: Justin Welby must either accelerate the change or carry the can” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ Blog – Guest writer: Martin Sewell [Deleted on Request]

Oct 8 2017 – “The Exculpation of Bishop Bell – 4 Resolutions” – The Lychgate – Ifield Village – Wednesday Oct 11 2017 – 2pm to 5pm

October 9 2017 – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Oct 10 2017 – “Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports” – Christian Today

Oct 11 2017 – From The Archives [Aug 26 2016] – “The Bishop Bell affair; and the plea to unfrock” – The Church Times – Letter – Gabrielle Higgins (Diocesan Secretary of Chichester)

Oct 11 2017 – “The Lychgate Resolution” – The Lychgate – Ifield Village – 2pm to 7pm

Oct 13 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 22 2015] – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

“Moral, legal and common sense appears to have deserted the Church of England. The Presumption of Innocence has been described as ‘the golden thread that runs through British justice’. That thread was broken by the October Statement, and replaced with the Presumption of Guilt. The Media – including the BBC – assumed Bishop Bell’s guilt on the basis of the Church’s Statement, and their subsequent headlines reflected that assumption. No attempt was made by the Church, immediately after the headlines, to correct the media interpretation of the Statement. This would strongly suggest a Presumption of Guilt on the Church’s part towards Bishop Bell” – Richard W. Symonds

Oct 13 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 7 2015] – “The Church of England’s shameful betrayal of bishop George Bell” – The Spectator – Peter Hitchens

Oct 13 2017 – From The Archives [Jan 1 2016] – “The Church, the police and the unholy destruction of Bishop Bell” – The Daily Telegraph – Charles Moore

Oct 13 2017 – From The Archives [March 2017] Publication of ‘The House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy Statement – Promoting a Safer Church for Children, Young People and Adults

‘Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding concerns or Allegations against Church Officers’ [published October 13 2017] – Disclosures or allegations of abuse – Section 2 – First Response (Page 25) – “a person receiving a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer should ‘respond well to the victim/survivor to ensure they feel heard and taken seriously.’

Oct 14 2017 – “Doubts Grow Over Archbishop’s Account of When He Knew of Abuse” – New York Times

October 14 2017 – Request to Archbishop for a Statement regarding Bishop Bell on October 22 2017 [as a follow-up to the Statement on October 22 2015]

October 15 2017 – “‘Presumption of innocence’ – innocent until proven guilty – is a high standard of justice. ‘On the balance of probabilities’ – guessing – is a low standard of justice. Bishop Bell was judged by those with a low standard of justice. This led to a miscarriage of justice. Restoration of justice is therefore required by those with a high standard of justice” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

Oct 15 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologises to sexual abuse survivor ‘Gilo’ for C of E failings” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Oct 15 2017 – “Bishops damn church insurers Ecclesiastical Insurance Group [EIG] over ‘horse-trading’ with child abuse survivors” – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ Blog [Deleted on Request]

Oct 15 2017 – “Ted Heath sex abuse expert: I’d never let him near children” / “Met DIDN’T probe claim by 11-year-old” – Mail on Sunday – Simon Walters

Oct 16 2017 – From The Archives [July 13 2010] – Statement: “Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest” – Catholic World News – July 16 2010

Oct 16 2017 – From The Archives [June 30 2009] – “No Smoke, No Fire” – The Autobiography of Dave Jones [Know The Score Books 2009]

“No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire. I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong” – Judge David Clarke (on the David Jones case)

Oct 16 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 28 2015] – “The rule of the lynch mob” – Church of England Newspaper

“Beware of throwing someone under the bus. Remember: the bus can shift into reverse” ~ Janette McGowen

“The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly. It would appear the Church regarded ‘Carol’ as a victim to be believed at all costs. There seems to have been a panicked rush to judgement in which an astonishing lack of judgement was made manifest. Bishop Bell was an easy target, disposable and dispensable…’thrown under the bus’ for reasons unknown” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Oct 17 2017 – “Former bishop of Chester investigated over abuse allegations” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Oct 18 2017 – From The Archives [July 13 2015] “Church of England could return to defrocking rogue priests after child abuse scandals” – The Telegraph – John Bingham

Oct 18 2017 – From The Archives [July 13 2015] – “Anglican Church could bring back the power to defrock priests because of sexual abuse of children” – Independent – Ian Johnston

Oct 18 2017 – Anglican Communion Sexual Abuse Cases

Oct 18 2017 – “Former Bishop of Chester Hubert Whitsey investigated over abuse allegations” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Oct 18 2017 – From The Archives [Aug 21 2016] “Church of England warned bishops not to apologise too fully to sex abuse victims” – The Telegraph – John Bingham

Oct 18 2017 – “Act promptly” – Bishop George Bell – ‘The Caution List’ – January 1939

Oct 19 2017 – “The right royal cover-up continues” – Morning Star – Peter Frost

Oct 20 2017 – “Let the Chronology speak” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society [adapted from Page 167 of “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler: “it is as well to let chronology speak for itself” and Dennis Potter: “Let The Past Speak”]

October 21 2017 – “O pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – A Prayer by George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Published in the Chichester Diocesan Gazette – 1936

Oct 21 2017 – From The Archives [July 29 2016] – “The C of E smears saints and shields scoundrels” – Rev Jules Gomes

Oct 21 2017 – From The Archives [June 29 2017] “The Safeguarding Industry has become a Witch Hunt” – ‘Rebel Priest’ – Jules Gomes

Oct 22 2017 – ‘”I need a friendly bishop”, said the child abuse survivor, as the prelate passed by on the other side’ – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ Blog – Guest Writer: Martin Sewell [Deleted on Request]

Oct 22 2017 –2nd Anniversary of the Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

“Moral, legal and common sense appears to have deserted the Church of England. The Presumption of Innocence has been described as ‘the golden thread that runs through British justice’. That thread was broken by the October Statement, and replaced with the Presumption of Guilt. The Media – including the BBC – assumed Bishop Bell’s guilt on the basis of the Church’s Statement, and their subsequent headlines reflected that assumption. No attempt was made by the Church, immediately after the headlines, to correct the media interpretation of the Statement. This would strongly suggest a Presumption of Guilt on the Church’s part towards Bishop Bell” – Richard W. Symonds

Oct 22 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 22 2015] – “Revered Bishop George Bell was a paedophile – Church of England” – Daily Telegraph – John Bingham [Religious Affairs Editor]

Oct 22 2017 – “The Lychgate Resolution”

Oct 27 2017 – From The Archives [Jan 16 2016] – “Bishop’s memorial to remain in place” / “The Church itself has tried to satisfy both camps and in doing so has pleased neither”– The Argus – Spotlight – Joel Adams

Oct 27 2017 – Restoration of George Bell House and The Bishop’s Portrait 

img_9510 (2)

‘Bishop Bell’ Portrait Photograph by Howard Coster 1953 [stored by the Canon Librarian in Chichester Cathedral’s Private Library]

The Portrait is, at present, in storage within the Cathedral Library
The Plaque below the Portrait reads:
“Bishop Bell has a worldwide reputation for his tireless work for international reconciliation, the arts, education, and church unity. The House that bears his name provides a place where work in these areas can continue and prosper. The generosity of an Anglican Order, the Community of the Servants of the Cross (CSC) has enabled the purchase of the House. Canon Peter Kefford (Treasurer of Chichester Cathedral 2003-2009) was the prime initiator in establishing George Bell House as a centre for Education, Vocation and Reconciliation”

Oct 29 2017 – Restoration of George Bell House and The Bishop’s Portrait imminent ?

Oct 30 2017 – From The Archives [June 9 2017] – “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” – ‘Trump’s Meddlesome Priest’ – New York Times

Oct 30 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 3 2016] – Reading of T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” in Chichester [as part of the “Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester” Campaign]

Oct 31 2017 – “Bishop Bell declared peace on war. We silence him at our peril. His exculpation may well prove a critical pre-condition for our very survival” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Nov 1 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 23 2016] – “Ex-terror reviewer Lord Carlile to re-examine Bishop Bell sex abuse decision” – Daily Telegraph

“Bishop Bell, who served the diocese for 30 years until his death in 1958, is regarded by some as one of the great peacemakers of the 20th Century and had been granted the closest thing Anglicanism has to a saint’s day, an annual commemoration” – John Bingham – Telegraph Religious Affairs Editor

Nov 1 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 28 2015] – “The rule of the lynch mob” – Church of England Newspaper

“Beware of throwing someone under the bus. Remember: the bus can shift into reverse” ~ Janette McGowen

“The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly. It would appear the Church regarded ‘Carol’ as a victim to be believed at all costs. There seems to have been a panicked rush to judgement in which an astonishing lack of judgement was made manifest. Bishop Bell was an easy target, disposable and dispensable…’thrown under the bus’ for reasons unknown” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Nov 1 2017 – “What matters is the Conclusion to Lord Carlile’s Review – and that is already known. The rest are just ‘footnotes'” ~ Richard W. Symonds [The Bell Society]

Nov 1 2017 – From The Archives [October 9 2017] – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Nov 1 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 25 2016] – “Bishop George Bell case: ‘A perfect storm from which injustice emerges’” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Nov 1 2017 – “Call for ‘living memorial’ to child abuse victims” – Jersey Evening Post

Nov 2 2017 – Justice for Bishop Bell hindered by further delay in Church Statement

Nov 2 2017 – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell and the Carlile Review – Expected Release Date (Delayed)

Nov 4 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 4 2015] – “Sussex school named after disgraced clergyman Bishop Bell may change its name” – Crawley Observer

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 8 2017] – “It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 8 2017] – “Celebrated Church of England bishop accused of child abuse ‘will have his good name restored’ by an inquiry” – Mail on Sunday

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 9 2017] – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 10 2017] – “Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports” – Christian Today

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [June 25 2017] –  Unholy Trinity ? Ecclesiastical Insurance Group [EIG] – Allchurches Trust Limited [ATL] – Church of England [CoE] 

“Because of the possibility that statements of regret might have the unintended effect of accepting legal liability for the abuse it is important that they are approved in advance by lawyers, as well as by diocesan communications officers (and, if relevant, insurers)…With careful drafting it should be possible to express them in terms which effectively apologise for what has happened whilst at the same time avoiding any concession of legal liability for it” – Excerpts from House of Bishops confidential document – 2007

When raised with two trustees of ATL last year after the Elliott Review, an irritated retort from one senior cleric was “We don’t own our own insurer”. This senior cleric sits on the board of Trustees that owns the insurer, and also on the Archbishops’ Independent Safeguarding Panel. If that’s not a conflict of interest – I don’t know what is. It’s not surprising that many survivors feel the CofE National Safeguarding is in place to safeguard institution and hierarchy!  – ‘Sea of Complicity’

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [March 15 2016] – “Damning report reveals Church of England’s failure to act on abuse” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Nov 5 2017 – From The Archives [July 21 2017] – “Let us hope and pray ‘The Jersey Way’ does not also become known as ‘The Chichester Way'” ~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

“Yes, the inquiry was about child care, but at its heart is the Jersey Way in its sinister, controlling manifestation: ‘protection [‘safeguarding’ – Ed] of powerful interests and resistance to change, even when change is patently needed’”

~ Richard Digard [Jersey Evening Post – “Complacency over Inquiry’s report has been astonishing” – July 21 2017]

Nov 6 2017 – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’. Deleted on request.

Nov 6 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 28 2015] – “The rule of the lynch mob” – Church of England Newspaper

“Beware of throwing someone under the bus. Remember: the bus can shift into reverse” ~ Janette McGowen

“The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly. It would appear the Church regarded ‘Carol’ as a victim to be believed at all costs. There seems to have been a panicked rush to judgement in which an astonishing lack of judgement was made manifest. Bishop Bell was an easy target, disposable and dispensable…’thrown under the bus’ for reasons unknown” ~ Richard W. Symonds

Nov 6 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 13 2017] – Publication of ‘The House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy Statement – Promoting a Safer Church for Children, Young People and Adults

‘Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding concerns or Allegations against Church Officers’ [published October 13 2017] – Disclosures or allegations of abuse – Section 2 – First Response (Page 25) – “a person receiving a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer should ‘respond well to the victim/survivor to ensure they feel heard and taken seriously.’

Nov 6 2017 – Justice for both Bishop Bell and ‘Carol’ hindered by further delay in Church Statement – Richard W. Symonds [The Bell Society]

Nov 7 2017 – ‘Archbishop Cranmer’. Deleted on request.

Nov 8 2017 – “Guard against hysteria” – West Sussex Gazette – Letters – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

Nov 9 2017 – “Victim Must Be Believed” versus “Victim Must Be Taken Seriously” [See Nov 6 2017]

”Must Be Believed” vs. “Must Be Taken Seriously”
 
The key passages seem to be this – an Oct 13 2017 re-draft of the House of Bishops Policy & Practice Guidance: [a re-draft which appears to have been made less than a week after the Church received the Carlile Review – Oct 7 2017 – a Review which has yet to be released ‘in the public domain’ (although its “flawed and unfair” conclusion has been ‘leaked’)
 

* NEW – as of Oct 2017 – Responding to, assessing and managing concerns or allegations against church officers practice guidance 

 
Page 23 – 2. Responding to a safeguarding concern or allegation against a Church Officer
 
Page 25 – First Response – The person receiving a Safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer
2. Respond well to the victim/survivor to ensure they feel heard AND TAKEN SERIOUSLY (please see sections 2.2 – 2.5)
 
Page 30 – 2.2 Responding to an adult a safeguarding concern or allegation
 
In a Preface, +Peter Hancock says “This guidance substantially updates and replaces the ‘Responsibilities of Church Organisations’ section in ‘Protecting all God’s Children 2010’. It is in line with ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ : The Church of England policy statement for the children, young people and adults.
 
I was hoping to find the phrase “must be believed” in these old policy statements but, alas, no – unless I’ve missed it. These old policy statements are very generalised, so make for wide and open interpretation. I think this is what has happened, and the phrase “must be believed” has crept into the unwritten language of Safeguarding.
 
It would appear the phrase “To ensure they feel…taken seriously” is the new post-Carlile guideline, introduced on Oct 13 2017 – thus erasing the unwritten pre-Carlile “must be believed” idea which somehow crept into proceedings.
 
~ Richard W. Symonds
 

Nov 9 2017 – Martin Sewell on ‘Must Be Believed’ vs. ‘Must Be Taken Seriously

“Many people claim to have been abused. but you cannot know for sure if these claims are true. I’m not suggesting that people in making these claims are lying or being malicious. Their stories may be true, but equally they may be mentally ill and delusional. You simply cannot know without proof. The point is that people – who may be innocent – are defamed and have their lives destroyed by these claims” ~ Anonymous

Nov 10 2017 – James Macintyre and George Santayana

“The treatment by the Church of England of the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, and that of the late former Bishop George Bell, needs further scrutiny and reflection…” ~ James Macintyre

Nov 10 2017 – “Act Promptly” – Bishop George Bell

It’s a sad sad situation
And it’s gettin’ more and more absurd…
Always seems to me
Sorry seems to be the hardest word.

~ Elton John

Nov 12 2017 – Resignation of Lorna Ashworth who “has represented the diocese of Chichester on the Synod for 12 years and elected to the Archbishops’ Council last year”

Nov 12 2017 – From The Archives [July 4 2016] – Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – “Charles Moore Notebook” – The Daily Telegraph

Nov 13 2017 – “Many Big Brothers are Watching You” – ‘All Things Considered’ – Rev Dr Peter Mullen

Nov 14 2017 – From The Archives [July 2017]  General Synod – The Carlile Review – Bishop of Bath and Wells – Martin Sewell & David Lamming

The Bishop of Bath & Wells [Safeguarding Bishop Peter Hancock]: At the meeting on Thursday of the National Safeguarding Steering Group, we will already be giving consideration as to how and when we might consider the report when it is made available to us in order that there may not be any delay once the report
is published.

Nov 16 2017 – Church of England launches new-style Website and News Releases [but not a new Statement on Bishop Bell or the Carlile Review Release Date]

Nov 16 2017 – “As the C of E still sits on the report into his unfair trial – the story of how George Bell’s reputation was ruined” – Peter Hitchens’s Blog – MailOnline

Nov 17 2017 – Richard W. Symonds. The Bell Society

Is the Church of England, as an institution, capable of a public ‘we were wrong & we are sorry’ apology, genuine repentance and humility- especially in the case of Bishop Bell and George Bell House ?

Martin Sewell has noted the “extraordinary lack of curiosity as to whether there was a case for the defence”.

There was also an extraordinary lack of concern and care for basic justice regarding both Bishop Bell and ‘Carol’.

Carl Jacobs has said: “The Church of England deliberately threw George Bell under the bus because he was dead. It sacrificed his reputation to protect the institutional reputation of the CoE. It wanted the story buried, and George Bell’s grave was a convenient place to bury it….the CoE knew an investigation would produce no conclusive result. An unresolvable accusation that remained in the public domain was the worst possible outcome – especially given the current climate where an accusation against a church is sufficient to establish guilt. Pursuing an investigation would guarantee the problem would never go away. So to make the problem go away, they decided to presume George Bell was guilty. You can’t libel the dead. Only his family would be affected, and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. That beyond any reasonable doubt is what I think happened”

~ Richard W. Symonds

Nov 17 2017 – “Publish the Carlile Report Now! We have waited long enough” – Peter Hitchens’s Blog – MailOnline

Nov 18 2017 – ‘Bishop Bell’ Letter by Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson – Church Times – Nov 17 2017

Nov 18 2017 – Meeting of the Chichester Diocesan Synod – Sussex Downs College, Lewes

Nov 20 2017 – National Safeguarding Steering Group [NSSG] and National Safeguarding Panel [NSP]

Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Lead Bishop for Safeguarding (Chair)

Rt Revd Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham, Deputy Bishop for Safeguarding (Vice Chair)

“The Rt. Revd. Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham in the Diocese of Chichester is available for interview today. Please use the above numbers or contact his office on 01403 211139” [October 22 2015 – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell, 1883-1958]

Nov 20 2017 – An Open Letter to William Nye and the National Safeguarding Steering Group [NSSG] and National Safeguarding Panel [NSP] – Church of England

Nov 20 2017 – Church of England Statement on George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

Nov 20 2017 – “Row as Church of England hits back over claims it is ‘delaying’ George Bell report” – Christian Today – James Macintyre

“The report concerns one issue, one case and its message that the secret trial of George Bell was wholly unfair is quite clear. There is no real reason for any further delay. There has been quite enough delay in the Church acknowledging that it made a grave and severe mistake by treating allegations against George Bell as proven facts back in October 2015. They then sought to claim, falsely, that critics of their action were attacking the complainant. It really is time they grew up and owned up. If the Church had spent as much time thinking about whether to publish the smears against George Bell as it is about publishing the Carlile report, we could have been saved a lot of trouble”  ~ Peter Hitchens

Nov 20 2017 – “C of E tries to defend its delay over publishing the Carlile Report, which severely criticises its handling of the Bell case” ~ Peter Hitchens

“For what I care, those responsible for this nasty episode can remain anonymous with their shame, and be left to seek forgiveness in private,  through contrition. All I want to see is an admission that the procedure was (as it was) quite unjust, and immediate steps taken to re-establish the good name of George Bell, including the restoration of his name where it has been expunged from buildings, schools and guidebooks. And the recognition by several media organisations that they treated an allegation as a proven charge and were wrong to do so. It took quite long enough to persuade a reluctant church even to admit there was anything to worry about. But if they are so keen on delay and caution, why did they not pause for a little longer before publicising the original claims, as they so energetically did?” ~ Peter Hitchens

Nov 21 2017 – “Bell review imminent” – The Argus – November 21 2017

Nov 21 2017 – The Church Times Letter by Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson that helped ‘turn the tide’ in the Bishop Bell case

Nov 21 2017 – Photo – George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester

Nov 22 2017 – “Terms of Reference” of the The Carlile Review ?

Nov 23 2017 – “This delay is intolerable” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Meriel Wilmot-Wright

Nov 23 2017 – The Reclamation, Restoration and Repatriation of the Bishop Bell Legacy [Part 1] – “George Bell Bishop of Chichester” by Ronald C.D. Jasper (OUP 1967) and “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester” by Andrew Chandler (Eerdmans 2016)

Nov 23 2017 – “This delay is intolerable” – Midhurst and Petworth Observer – Letter – Meriel Wilmot-Wright

“It is now eight weeks since the eminent QC Lord Carlile delivered to Archbishop Justin Welby the report of his investigations into the unproven allegations against the late Bishop George Bell. Eight weeks – and the report is still unpublished. This delay is intolerable and there is now a large body of people nationwide calling for its immediate publication – one hopes, without redactions” ~ Meriel Wilmot-Wright

Nov 25 2017 – From The Archives [April 2 2016] – The Bell Petition opens – “Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester – To: Archbishop of Canterbury” – Petition closed in Oct 2016 with 2169 signatures, and delivered to The Rt. Rev’d Nigel Stock at Lambeth Palace by Richard Symonds & Marilyn Billingham on October 19 2016]

Nov 25 2017 – Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – The Spectator

“Just over two years ago, the Church of England authorities hurriedly condemned George Bell because of claims that he had abused a child nearly 70 years ago. They paid money to the alleged victim. Bell, Bishop of Chichester and the leading British supporter of Christian resistance to Hitler, died in 1958. Many protested at the process by which Bell had been condemned. No contemporary documents seemed to have been studied and no surviving witnesses, such as his domestic chaplain, had been asked for their testimony. The mere accusation carried all before it. So great was the anger that the Archbishop of Canterbury courageously decided to review the decision to which he had been party and called in Lord Carlile QC to review the process which damned Bell. Lord Carlile reported in early October, and the steer was that the church would release his report roughly now. On Monday, however, a C of E press release said that the authorities ‘are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed’. ‘This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication,’ it explained. A few months! Obviously those criticised should be allowed to comment privately on what the report says, but there was only one accuser and only one supposed perpetrator. This is not the Chilcot report. Two thoughts occur. The first is that the delay strongly suggests that Lord Carlile has found the process to have been severely wanting. The second is that the ‘safeguarding’ team at the heart of the process are being much better safeguarded than ever poor Bell was” – Charles Moore

Nov 25 2017 – Memorial Service in Chichester Cathedral for the Duke who signed The Bell Petition

Nov 26 2017 – “What good is a church without justice?” – Peter Hitchens on Bishop Bell – Mail on Sunday

“What good is a church without justice? As Mrs Merton might have asked: ‘So, Archbishop Welby, why have you now sat for 50 whole days on a report which says the Church of England did a wrong and unjust thing?’ I am repeatedly disgusted by the way in which our country has forgotten the basic rules of English justice. And I have written before here about the case of George Bell, the saintly and brave Bishop of Chichester who repeatedly risked unpopularity rather than remain silent about wrongdoing. If only there were more like him. He died in 1958, much mourned. Yet two years ago, on the basis of a single uncorroborated accusation made many decades after the alleged crime, the Church of England publicly denounced him as a child abuser. Somehow, the allegation became a conviction and was blazed abroad on the BBC and in several newspapers which should have known better. Despite huge publicity nationally and locally, no other accusation has been made in the years since. I had long revered Bell’s memory, and, with several allies, sought to get justice for him. We found that he had been convicted by a slapdash and inconsiderate kangaroo court. They made no serious effort to consult Bell’s huge archive