December 15 2017 – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/publication-bishop-george-bell-independent-review

Publication of Bishop George Bell independent review

Main navigation

15/12/2017

 

The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team (NST,) has today published the key findings and recommendations, along with the full report, from the independent review into the processes used in the Bishop George Bell case.

The review, commissioned by the NST on the recommendation of the Bishop of Chichester, was carried out by Lord Carlile of Berriew. As he writes in the introduction, his purpose was not to determine the truthfulness of the woman referred to as Carol in the report, nor the guilt or innocence of Bishop Bell, but to examine the procedures followed by the Church of England. The objectives of the review included “ensuring that survivors are listened to and taken seriously”, and that recommendations are made to help the Church embed best practice in safeguarding in the future.

The report made 15 recommendations and concluded that the Church acted throughout in good faith while highlighting that the process was deficient in a number of respects.

Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, has responded on behalf of the Church:

“We are enormously grateful to Lord Carlile for this ‘lessons learned’ review which examines how the Church handled the allegations made by Carol in the 1990s, and more recently. Lord Carlile makes a number of considered points as to how to handle such cases in future and we accept the main thrust of his recommendations.

“In responding to the report, we first want to acknowledge and publicly apologise again for the Church’s lamentable failure, as noted by Lord Carlile, to handle the case properly in 1995.

“At the heart of this case was a judgement, on the balance of probabilities, as to whether, in the event that her claim for compensation reached trial, a court would have concluded that Carol was abused by Bishop Bell. The Church decided to compensate Carol, to apologise and to be open about the case.

“Lord Carlile states that ‘where as in this case the settlement is without admission of liability, the settlement generally should be with a confidentiality provision” but respectfully, we differ from that judgement. The Church is committed to transparency. We would look at each case on its merits but generally would seek to avoid confidentiality clauses.

“It is clear from the report, however, that our processes were deficient in a number of respects, in particular the process for seeking to establish what may have happened. For that we apologise. Lessons can and have been learnt about how we could have managed the process better.

“The Bishop Bell case is a complex one and it is clear from the report and minutes of Core Group meetings that much professional care and discussion were taken over both agreeing the settlement with Carol and the decision to make this public. As Lord Carlile’s report makes clear, we acted in good faith throughout with no calculated intention to damage George Bell’s reputation.

“The Church has always affirmed and treasured Bishop Bell’s principled stand in the Second World War and his contribution to peace remains extraordinary. At same time, we have a duty and commitment to listen to those reporting abuse, to guard their confidentiality, and to protect their interests.

“We recognise that Carol has suffered pain, as have surviving relatives of Bishop Bell. We are sorry that the Church has added to that pain through its handling of this case.”

Statement from Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner

“Lord Carlile’s Independent Review is a demonstration of the Church of England’s commitment to equality of justice and transparency in our safeguarding practice. The diocese of Chichester requested this “lessons learned” Review.

“We welcome Lord Carlile’s assessment of our processes, and apologise for failures in the work of the Core Group of national and diocesan officers and its inadequate attention to the rights of those who are dead. We also accept the Report’s recognition that we acted in good faith, and improvements to Core Group protocols are already in place. Further work on them is in hand.

“The Report demands further consideration of the complexities of this case, such as what boundaries can be set to the principle of transparency. Lord Carlile rightly draws our attention to public perception. The emotive principle of innocent until proven guilty is a standard by which our actions are judged and we have to ensure as best we can that justice is seen to be done. Irrespective of whether she is technically a complainant, survivor, or victim, ‘Carol’ emerges from this report as a person of dignity and integrity. It is essential that her right to privacy continues to be fully respected.

“The good deeds that Bishop George Bell did were recognised internationally. They will stand the test of time. In every other respect, we have all been diminished by the case that Lord Carlile has reviewed.”

Statement from Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

“Bishop George Bell is one of the great Anglican heroes of the 20th century. The decision to publish his name was taken with immense reluctance, and all involved recognised the deep tragedy involved. However we have to differ from Lord Carlile’s point that ‘where as in this case the settlement is without admission of liability, the settlement generally should be with a confidentiality provision”. The C of E is committed to transparency and therefore we would take a different approach.

“Lord Carlile does not seek to say whether George Bell was in fact responsible for the acts about which the complaint was made. He does make significant comments on our processes, and we accept that improvement is necessary, in all cases including those where the person complained about is dead. We are utterly committed to seeking to ensure just outcomes for all. We apologise for the failures of the process.

“The complaint about Bishop Bell does not diminish the importance of his great achievement. We realise that a significant cloud is left over his name. Let us therefore remember his defence of Jewish victims of persecution, his moral stand against indiscriminate bombing, his personal risks in the cause of supporting the anti Hitler resistance, and his long service in the Diocese of Chichester. 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, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good. Whatever is thought about the accusations, the whole person and whole life should be kept in mind.”

 

 

Advertisements
Featured post

December 15 2017 – “Traducing George Bell’s name was ‘just wrong’ says Carlile review” – Church Times – Tim Wyatt

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/22-december/news/uk/traducing-george-bell-s-name-was-just-wrong-says-carlile-review

Traducing George Bell’s name was ‘just wrong’ says Carlile review

15 DECEMBER 2017

Portrait: George Bell, painted in 1955

 

CHURCH of England officials “rushed to judgement” when they concluded that a former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, had sexually abused a young girl in the 1950s, an independent review has concluded.

The committee that investigated the allegations, made by a woman known only as “Carol”, “failed to follow a process that was fair and equitable to both sides”, Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer, found.

“As a result, it concluded all too easily that Carol was telling the truth and Bishop Bell was responsible for serious abuse,” he said.

Although the Church “acted throughout in good faith”, it was overly fearful of once again failing to listen to survivors of abuse. As a result, it over-corrected by rushing to judgement against the long-dead Bishop.

Lord Carlile also notes in his review that, besides unsubstantiated references in a local-newspaper article, “no one other than Carol has come forward to make allegations against Bishop Bell. This is despite the widespread publicity which the case has received.”

Although Lord Carlile’s brief did not included determining whether Bishop Bell was innocent of the charges, he concludes in his review: “For Bishop Bell’s reputation to be catastrophically affected in the way that occurred was just wrong.”

Responding to Lord Carlile’s criticism of the Church’s handling of the case, the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, who leads the Church’s safeguarding work, acknowledged that the surviving relatives of Bishop Bell had suffered as a result of the child-abuse accusation. But so had Carol, he said. He apologised to both: “We are sorry that the Church has added to that pain through its handling of this case.”

There was no apology, however, from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said in a statement that the decision to publish Bishop Bell’s name in the context of Carol’s allegations had been “taken with immense reluctance”.

He continued: “We realise that a significant cloud is left over his name. Bishop Bell was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness. No human being is entirely good or bad.”

Questioned about Archbishop Welby’s statement, Lord Carlile described it as “less than fully adroit”.

THE news about Bishop Bell broke in a C of E press release in October 2015, which announced without warning that the diocese of Chichester had apologised and reached a settlement with Carol after her allegations against Bishop Bell (News, 22 October 2015).

Bell has been regarded as one of the Church’s outstanding clerics of the 20th century, for, among other things, his public stand against the saturation bombing of Germany cities during the Second World War and his active support for the Kindertransport movement.

The review, commissioned last year after a fierce campaign by defenders of Bell (News, 25 November 2016), was published on Friday morning. Its terms of reference did not include determining Bishop Bell’s guilt or innocence: its purpose was to examine the procedures used by the C of E’s safeguarding team to reach their conclusion.

While the Church’s fears of repeating past mistakes and ignoring the victims of clerical abuse were valid, Bell’s right to a fair process was not “extinguished on death”, Lord Carlile concluded.

The C of E should never have publicised Carol’s allegations, and thereby “wrongly and unnecessarily damaged” Bishop Bell’s reputation.

The advice given to the Church was that, if Carol’s case had come to court, it would have been proved on the balance of probabilities. But Lord Carlile writes that, if the “core group” brought together to devise the Church’s response to the allegations had seen the evidence that his review had managed to uncover without great difficulty, the case would not have been thought strong enough even to be tested in court.

Lord Carlile’s report makes a series of recommendations about how future safeguarding inquiries should be conducted. The most significant is that alleged abusers, whether alive or dead, must not be named publicly unless an investigating core group finds a “proper basis of evidence” for the claims.

When a case results in a financial settlement without an admission of liability, as in the Bishop Bell case, there should be a confidentiality clause in the settlement to stop the accused’s name ever being published.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday after the publication of the report, Bishiop Hancock said that, while the national safeguarding team had accepted that its processes were “deficient”, it none the less rejected this recommendation, because of its commitment to transparency.

OTHER STORIES

Review of George Bell child abuse case will be rigorous, Lord Carlile insists

LORD CARLILE, who is to review the Church of England’s handling of the George Bell child-abuse allegations, insists that his inquiry will deliver a robust and independent verdict

“We would look at each case on its merits, but generally would seek to avoid confidentiality clauses,” he said. “The Church has always affirmed and treasured Bishop Bell’s principled stand in the Second World War, and his contribution to peace remains extraordinary.

“At the same time, we have a duty and commitment to listen to those reporting abuse and to protect their interests.”

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said that Bishop Bell’s good deeds would “stand the test of time”. “In every other respect, we have all been diminished by the case that Lord Carlile has reviewed.”

In a press conference after the review was published, Lord Carlile criticised the original 2015 statement for “hanging [Bishop Bell] out to dry”. Although this was not their intention, the statement left a clear impression that the C of E had found Bishop Bell guilty, he said.

Despite being pressed by reporters, Lord Carlile, a former Liberal Democrat MP and experienced barrister, declined to say whether he believed Bishop Bell to have been innocent. He did admit, however, that, had he been asked to prosecute Bell over Carol’s allegations, he would have lost the case.

The core group’s inquiries were “very weak”, he said, and failed even to speak to witnesses or find material that his own review had come across quickly and easily. It was “premature” for the C of E to come to a conclusion about Bishop Bell “before actively seeking the widest available evidence about what had happened at the time”.

The Church’s safeguarding team had believed Carol’s accusations to be true, and, therefore, “obvious lines of investigation were not followed,” Lord Carlile said. This led to “over-steering”: where the Church allowed its preconceptions to drive the outcome.

Bishop Hancock said that Lord Carlile rightly condemned the Church for this “over-steering”. But he insisted that changes had been made, with new guidelines and funding for the national safeguarding team, which was now better equipped to tackle similar cases.

Dr Warner conceded, none the less, that there was no guarantee that this would be the last review of safeguarding failures. There was more work to be done, but “the climate and character of the [safeguarding] work has changed for the better.”

The full review can be read here.

Featured post

December 15 2017 – “Archbishop criticised for refusing to clear bishop besmirched by the Church” – Daily Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard and Robert Mendick

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/15/archbishop-criticised-refusing-clear-bishop-besmirched-church/

Archbishop criticised for refusing to clear bishop besmirched by the Church

Bishop George Bell should not have been named by the Church, a report has found CREDIT: JOHN DOMINIS /THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been criticised for refusing to clear the bishop besmirched by the Church of England and saying instead that a “significant cloud” hangs over him.

A damning report published today by Lord Carlile of Berriew found that the reputation of Bishop George Bell, who was posthumously accused of sexually abusing a child, was “wrongfully and unnecessarily damaged” by the Church, who publicly named him in an apology made in 2015.

But in a statement following the report, Justin Welby said Bell was “accused of great wickedness” and apologises only “for the failures of the process”. 

“We have to differ from Lord Carlile’s point that ‘where as in this case the settlement is without admission of liability, the settlement generally should be with a confidentiality provision’.

“The C of E is committed to transparency and therefore we would take a different approach,” he adds.

Lord Carlile said the Archbishop’s comments were “very disappointing”. 

“The implication of what he said is everybody accused should have their name made public, and that is just not acceptable,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Lord Carlile earlier said that he judged the prospect of a successful criminal prosecution, had the bishop been alive, as “low”.

Bell’s supporters also criticised the Archbishop’s response. 

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson, the daughter of Bishop Bell’s friend Franz Hildebrandt, said Bishop Bell’s family deserved a personal apology from the Archbishop and the Bishop of Chichester. 

“The Church can’t have its cake and eat it. Either he is innocent, in which case they must apologise, or he is guilty, which they can’t prove, and the report makes clear that they have not proved,” she told this newspaper. 

Professor Andrew Chandler, Bell’s biographer, said the Archbishop’s statement was “wrong” and “illogical”. 

“It fails a basic test of rational justice,”he said. “It lacks an understanding of all kinds of dimensions which require compassion, not least in Chichester, where people feel deeply upset by this.”

The review found that the Church was wrong to publicly name Bell, who was accused by a woman known as Carol of sexually abusing her when she was a young child.

It also failed to thoroughly investigate the allegations, failed to find and inform Bell’s surviving family members of the investigation, and did not properly consider the impact on the bishop’s reputation when deciding what to do, Lord Carlile said.

The alleged abuse took place more than 60 years ago but the allegations were first made to the Church in 1995.

It paid compensation of £16,800 and £15,000 legal costs to “Carol” in 2015.

Lord Carlile of Berriew
Lord Carlile of Berriew: ‘The implication of what he said is everybody accused should have their name made public, and that is just not acceptable’. CREDIT: PACO ANSELMI /PA

Before the allegations were made public Bishop Bell was a highly respected theologian who was widely regarded as a hero for his work helping victims of Nazi persecution.

The report includes the findings of psychiatrist Professor Anthony Maden, which were given to Church officials in 2015, several months before the public apology was made.

He found that there were “enormous problems” because of the time elapsed, and said the “possibility of false memories in this case cannot be excluded”.

The alleged victim had been abused by her first husband, and Maden added that her unhappy early life meant there was “an obvious temptation to seek to (consciously or unconsciously) allocate the blame for that unhappiness to the actions of others in the distant past”.

In a statement Peter Hancock, the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop, said: “We recognise that Carol has suffered pain, as have surviving relatives of Bishop Bell. We are sorry that the Church has added to that pain through its handling of this case.”

Featured post

December 16 2017 – “Welby criticised over handling of historic child abuse case” – Newburgh Gazette

http://newburghgazette.com/2017/12/15/welby-criticised-over-handling-of-historic-child-abuse-case/

WORLDWIDE

Welby criticised over handling of historic child abuse case Dwayne Harmon 16 December 2017

The church commissioned Carlile a year ago to review its processes in the case. George Bell was accused of abusing a woman over a four year period, starting when she was five-years-old in the 1940s and 50s. I have concluded that the process followed by the Church in this case was deficient in a number of respects. As a result, it over-corrected by rushing to judgement against the long-dead Bishop.

“Lord Carlile does not seek to say whether George Bell was in fact responsible for the acts about which the complaint was made. This is despite the widespread publicity which the case has received”. Lord Carlile, who was asked by the Church to review the case, concluded that it had been wrong to make Bell’s name public at the end of a “very weak” investigation and in a “rush to judgment”. The Church of England has apologised to the relatives of a bishop for the way it investigated child abuse claims made against him decades after his death, the BBC News reported on Friday. But so had Carol, he said.

“In responding to the report, we first want to acknowledge and publicly apologise again for the Church’s lamentable failure, as noted by Lord Carlile, to handle the case properly in 1995”. He said that the allegations against Bell, who died in 1958, were… “We realise that a significant cloud is left over his name”. He is also accused of great wickedness. “No human being is entirely good or bad”, Mr. Welby said.

Questioned about Archbishop Welby’s statement, Lord Carlile described it as “less than fully adroit”.

In 2015, the church issued a formal public apology and paid £16,800 to the woman, known as Carol. The review, commissioned past year after a fierce campaign by defenders of Bell (News, 25 November 2016), was published on Friday morning. Church of England figures rejected one part of Lord Carlile’s report, which urged that the names of those accused of abuse should in some circumstances be kept secret unless there are “adverse findings of fact” and “it has also been decided that making the identity public is required in the public interest”. He said: “The good deeds that Bishop George Bell did were recognised internationally”. The Church made a decision to compensate Carol, to apologise and to be open about the case. Lord Carlile’s report makes a series of recommendations about how future safeguarding inquiries should be conducted. “In every other respect, we have all been diminished by the case that Lord Carlile has reviewed”. The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, has described it as a “lessons learned” review. “Lord Carlile states that ‘where as in this case the settlement is without admission of liability, the settlement generally should be with a confidentiality provision” but respectfully, we differ from that judgement. In a press conference after the review was published, Lord Carlile criticised the original 2015 statement for “hanging [Bishop Bell] out to dry”. Lord Carlile writes that Bishop Bell was treated as having been guilty. Lord Carlile said that her allegations, “if true, amount to serious and horrifying criminal offences committed against a defenceless child”. Campaigners have since said the inquiry committed a grave miscarriage of justice after failing to interview key witnesses or examine documents which could have cleared him. It was “premature” for the C of E to come to a conclusion about Bishop Bell “before actively seeking the widest available evidence about what had happened at the time”. This led to “over-steering”: where the Church allowed its preconceptions to drive the outcome. “The Church has always affirmed and treasured Bishop Bell’s principled stand in the Second World War and his contribution to peace remains extraordinary”, Bishop Peter Hancock said. Dr Warner conceded, none the less, that there was no guarantee that this would be the last review of safeguarding failures. Newburgh Gazette http://newburghgazette.com/2017/12/15/welby-criticised-over-handling-of-historic-child-abuse-case/

Featured post

December 15 2017 – “‘An example of human goodness’: how child abuse claims shredded George Bell’s reputation” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/15/child-abuse-claims-george-bell-reputation

‘An example of human goodness’: how child abuse claims shredded George Bell’s reputation

The former bishop of Chichester was the closest thing to an Anglican saint, until in 2015 the church apologised to a woman who claimed she had been raped as a child

George Bell, right, chats with the bishop G Bromley Oxnam during the World Council of Churches in Illinois, US, in 1954.
 George Bell, right, chats with the bishop G Bromley Oxnam during the World Council of Churches in Illinois, US, in 1954. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

When the Church of England issued a statement in October 2015 expressing “deep sorrow” over the sexual abuse of a child by one of its most revered 20th-century figures, it caused shockwaves.

Many of those who admired and respected George Bell, who was bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958, simply could not believe that a man described as “a rare example of self-sacrificing human goodness” had committed such a deed. At the very least, they said, the church had “condemned as a paedophile” someone who could not refute the claims against him.

In the two years that followed the C of E’s apology, Bell’s supporters fought to salvage his reputation while the church quietly insisted that, “on the balance of probabilities”, it believed the woman who claimed to have been abused. Now the findings of an independent inquiry undertaken by Lord Carlile have been made public.

Bell was seen as a champion of the underdog. He helped organise the kindertransport rescue of Jewish children from the Nazis, and later controversially criticised the RAF bombing of German civilians during the second world war. He described the killing of women and children as “barbarian” and a crime against humanity, asking: “How can the war cabinet fail to see that this progressive devastation of cities is threatening the roots of civilisation?”

His comments – deeply unpopular in a country at war – were widely thought to have cost him the job of archbishop of Canterbury when it twice became vacant in the 1940s. But in some quarters, his outspokenness made him a hero.

George Bell, left, at the World Council of Churches in 1954.
Pinterest
 George Bell, left, at the World Council of Churches in 1954. Photograph: John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The George Bell Institute was founded in 1996 in honour of the former bishop, whom it described as “a friend of the oppressed … [and] a generous advocate for humanity at large”. He had an Anglican holy day named after him – the nearest thing in the C of E to beatification. In 2013, a BBC Great Lives radio documentary hailed him as a man of moral courage.

But that same year, a woman known as Carol wrote to Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, claiming Bell had sexually abused her when she was a child in the 1940s and 50s. It was not the first time Carol had come forward: in 1995 she told the then bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, and in 2012 she wrote to Lambeth Palace. No action was taken.

According to Carol’s account, the abuse began when she was five years old, when she was taken regularly to the bishop’s palace in Chichester by a relative who worked there. Bell, then in his 60s, would offer to read to the child while the relative worked.

“Then he’d start wriggling about with me on his lap. He started wriggling and then he started touching me, between my legs,” Carol told the Brighton Argus in February 2016. The bishop pulled her knickers aside to interfere with her. He told her not to tell anyone what happened. “He said it was our little secret, because God loved me.”

In a police statement, she said sometimes he made her touch his genitals; on other occasions he attempted to penetrate her with his penis after pulling her underwear aside. He ejaculated, telling her she was being anointed by God.

The alleged abuse continued until she was nine, when her family moved away, she said. Now in her 70s, she added: “It’s something that lives with you for the rest of your life. It never goes away.”

Two years ago, the C of E issued a formal apology to Carol and paid her £16,800 compensation. The current bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, spoke of a “devastating betrayal of trust” and the church cited a police statement that said Bell would have been arrested if he had still been alive.

Bell’s supporters were staggered. The swiftly established George Bell Group, which included academics, lawyers, politicians and church groups, accused the church of failing to properly investigate Carol’s claims and of not consulting Bell’s papers and diaries. “The valuable reputation of a great man, a rare example of self-sacrificing human goodness, has been carelessly destroyed on the basis of slender evidence sloppily investigated,” it said.

The former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said he was “frankly appalled” at the way the church had handled the allegations of abuse. Bell “was without question one of the greatest church leaders of the 20th century. The church has effectively delivered a guilty verdict without anything resembling a fair and open trial,” he wrote in a letter to Bell’s niece.

Carol, meanwhile, acknowledged that Bell “did some good”. But, she added, “to me he did harm. And sometimes I think the church likes to sweep those kinds of things under the table.”

All too mindful of that sentiment, the church commissioned Carlile to conduct an independent review into the case. “There are always lessons to be learned,” it said at the time.

Featured post

December 15 2017 – “Anglican church ‘rushed to judgement’ in George Bell child abuse case” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/15/george-bell-anglican-church-rushed-to-judgment-child-abuse-carlile-report

Anglican church ‘rushed to judgment’ in George Bell child abuse case

Lord Carlile report says Church of England was wrong to accept claims of alleged victim against former bishop ‘without sufficient investigations’

George Bell was the bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958.
 George Bell was the bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958. Photograph: PA

The Church of England has been criticised for a “rush to judgment” in its handling of allegations of sexual abuse against one its most revered figures of the 20th century in a highly damaging independent inquiry.

The report by Lord Carlile, released on Friday, said that although the church acted in good faith, its processes were deficient and it failed to give proper consideration to the rights of the accused.

The findings, which the church has made public two months after receiving them, concerned claims made against George Bell, the former bishop of Chichester, who died in 1958. A woman now in her 70s alleged that Bell had abused her in the bishop’s palace over a period of four years, starting when she was five years old.

In 2015, the church issued a formal public apology and paid £16,800 to the woman, known as Carol. Its statement triggered furious protests among Bell’s supporters, who said his reputation had been trashed, the evidence against him was thin and that he could not defend himself from beyond the grave.

The church commissioned Carlile last year to review its processes in the case. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, he said Bell had been “hung out to dry” and there were “many errors” in the church process. There were preconceptions about the outcome of the process and “therefore obvious lines of inquiry were not followed”.

The case bore “some of the hallmarks of the unacceptable way accusations against Lord Bramall and the late Lord Brittan were dealt with”, he added.

His report concluded that the “core group” established by the church to consider the claims “failed to follow a process that was fair and equitable to both sides”.

“The church, understandably concerned not to repeat the mistakes of the past, when it had been too slow to recognise that abuse had been perpetrated by clergy and to recognise the pain and damage caused to victims, has in effect oversteered in this case.

“In other words, there was a rush to judgment: the church, feeling it should be both supportive of the complainant and transparent in its dealings, failed to engage in a process which would also give proper consideration to the rights of the bishop. Such rights should not be treated as having been extinguished on death.”

He added: “In my view, the church concluded that the needs of a living complainant who, if truthful, was a victim of very serious criminal offences were of considerably more importance than the damage done by a possibly false allegation to a person who was no longer alive.”

Carlile said the purpose of his review was not to determine the truthfulness of Carol’s claims, nor Bell’s guilt or innocence. Rather his remit was to examine the church’s processes and determine whether it was right to make a public statement of apology and pay damages.

The church was “motivated by a desire to do what it perceived to be the right thing by the complainant” and “its actions were informed by history in which the church has been, at best, slow to acknowledge abuse by its clergy and, at worst, believed to have turned a blind eye”, he said.

But, he went on, “even when the alleged perpetrators have died, there should be methodical and sufficient investigations into accusations levelled against them”.

In this case, “the truth of what Carol was saying was implicitly accepted without serious investigation or inquiry. I have concluded this was an inappropriate and impermissible approach.”

His report was seen as vindication by high-profile figures who have fought to salvage Bell’s reputation for the past two years.

The George Bell Group welcomed the review’s findings. Carlile’s “devastating criticism of the church’s process shows that Archbishop [Justin] Welby was wrong in 2016 when he described the investigation as ‘very thorough’ and the finding of abuse as clearly correct on the balance of probabilities”, it said. The report “thoroughly vindicated the reputation of a man revered for his integrity across the Christian church”.

The journalist Peter Hitchens, who has vigorously campaigned on Bell’s behalf, said the church had “convicted Bishop Bell in a kangaroo court of chaotic incompetence” and demanded it withdraw its 2015 statement.

Responding to the report on behalf of the church, Peter Hancock, its lead safeguarding bishop, said: “It is clear from the report … that our processes were deficient in a number of respects, in particular the process for seeking to establish what may have happened. For that we apologise. Lessons can and have been learned about how we could have managed the process better.”

He added: “We recognise that Carol has suffered pain, as have surviving relatives of Bishop Bell. We are sorry that the church has added to that pain through its handling of this case.”

In a statement notable for its lack of apology to Bell’s family, Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said Bell was “one of the great Anglican heroes of the 20th century”.

Saying a “significant cloud is left over his name”, Welby added: “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, nor do evil ones make it right to forget good.”

Martin Warner, the bishop of Chichester, in whose name the 2015 statement was issued, apologised for the church’s failures. He said: “The good deeds that Bishop George Bell did were recognised internationally. They will stand the test of time. In every other respect, we have all been diminished by the case that Lord Carlile has reviewed.”

Among Carlile’s recommendations is that alleged perpetrators, living or dead, should not be identified publicly without adverse finding of facts or a decision that identification is in the public interest.

If a settlement is made without admission of liability, as in the Bell case, there should be a confidentiality provision.

In response, Hancock said that while the church accepted the main thrust of his recommendations, “respectfully, we differ from [the] judgment” on confidentiality clauses. “The church is committed to transparency. We would look at each case on its merits but generally would seek to avoid confidentiality clauses.”

Featured post

December 15 2017 – BBC 1 – South East Today – News – 6.30pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09hzj24/south-east-today-evening-news-15122017

“For Bishop Bell’s reputation to be catastrophically affected in the way that occurred was just wrong” ~ Lord Carlile

“I am appalled by the Church’s behaviour, particularly by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement ‘there is still a cloud over George Bell’s name’. They should admit entirely what they did was wrong. They dragged his reputation through the dirt, and they should now ‘make of penitential efforts’ – to use a term they will be familiar with – to put right what they have done” ~ Peter Hitchens

Featured post

December 15 2017 – Bishop George Bell – The Independent Review by Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE, Q.C. [The Carlile Review] – Published: 15 December 2017

http://www.chichester.anglican.org/media/documents/document/2017/12/Bishop_George_Bell_-_The_Independent_Review.pdf

1
Bishop George Bell
The Independent Review
By Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE,
Q.C.
Published: 15 December 2017
2
Contents
[A] Introduction Page 3
[B] Summary of conclusions, lessons learned and
recommendations
5
[C] Terms of Reference 9
[D] Methodology, approach and legal issues 11
[E] The allegations and the known facts. Progress prior
to September 2012
15
[F] The progress of the case from September 2012 24
[G] The Core Group meetings, with Reviewer’s
comments
35
[H] Subsequent investigation for the purposes of this
review
54
[I] The apology and media statement 59
[J] Views of Core Group members as expresses to this
review
63
[K] Conclusions from Core Group records and
meetings with reviewer
64
[L] Was the settlement with full publicity appropriate? 66
[M] Later meetings including members of the Core
Group
69
[N] The Henriques Report on Operation Midland 70
[O] House of Lords debate 30 June 2016 71
[P] Meeting between Carol and The Bishop of
Chichester
72
[Q] Lessons Learned and changes already made by the
Church
73
3
[A] INTRODUCTION
1. In November 2016 I was asked to conduct a Review into the way the Church of
England dealt with a complaint of sexual abuse made by a woman known as
‘Carol’ against the late Bishop Bell.
2. A year earlier, on the 17 September 2015, the Bishop of Chichester had issued
an apology to Carol. This was followed by a public statement made by the
Church of England 1
. In the same period, the Church paid her damages of
£16,800 and £15,000 legal costs.
3. There has been considerable publicity about the case. ‘Carol’ is not the
complainant’s real name but is the one I shall use throughout this document.
She does not wish her real name to be published. In my view, it is right and
required to respect her wishes; this is consistent with the Sexual Offences
(Amendment) Act 1992 as amended.
4. The conclusions drawn by others from the Church of England’s public
statement are illustrated by many of the media reports which followed. Bishop
Bell has been treated as having been guilty, and the complaint was regarded
as being shocking in the highest degree. For example, I have attached an
article2 dated the 22 October 2015 reflecting this, written by the respected
religious affairs editor of the Daily Telegraph John Bingham.
5. Shortly afterwards, a journalist claimed in a local newspaper article that she
had had contact with an unnamed mental health nurse who had treated
‘numerous boys and girls’ in hospital, whom she said had been abused by
Bishop Bell. I made considerable efforts to contact the journalist and test the
substance of these allegations, but was unable to make contact. I left messages
to which there was no response. During the months of my review, nobody has
come forward to support the story. Given the circumstances, including the lack
of any identification of those mentioned, and the possibility of confusion with
others (including Bishop Peter Ball, who is mentioned in several places below),
I have concluded that the story cannot be substantiated and I have therefore
ignored it.
6. Other than those referred to in that article, no one other than Carol has come
forward to make allegations against Bishop Bell. This is despite the widespread
publicity which the case has received.

1 The letter and statement are at Annex A.
2 At Annex B
4
7. Many journalists and commentators have written in support of Bishop Bell. An
example, written in January 2016 by Charles Moore for the Telegraph, is at
Annex C. It represents a body of opinion which has been advocated forcefully
to me.
8. In this review there are quotations from emails and letters. Although I have had
to edit for legal reasons, I have not corrected any grammatical or spelling
mistakes irrespective of the author of the documents. This is because the power
or emotion of a document may be lost in correction. I am confident no one
reading this review will conclude that inaccurate spelling, grammar or syntax
diminish a person’s credibility in any way. Also, I have omitted the names of
individuals whose identity is not of significance to my review.
9. The purpose of my review is not to determine the truthfulness of Carol, nor the
guilt or innocence of Bishop Bell. That does not form part of my Terms of
Reference, which are set out in full in paragraph 35 below. Rather, as I have
distilled the essence of my task, it has been to examine
a. the procedures followed by the Church of England in its various parts,
b. the way in which it obtained and assessed evidence in this case, and
c. whether it was right to make a public statement of apology and pay
damages.
5
[B] SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS, LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
AND RECOMMENDATIONS
10. I was asked to look at the way in which the Church of England treated these
allegations. As a result, I have considered the process; it was not part of my
task to consider the truth of the allegations and I have not done so.
11. I have concluded that the Church of England acted throughout in good faith. It
was motivated by a desire to do what it perceived to be the right thing by the
complainant.
12. Its actions were informed by history in which the Church has been, at best, slow
to acknowledge abuse by its clergy and, at worst, believed to have turned a
blind eye.
13. I have concluded that the process followed by the Church in this case was
deficient in a number of respects.
14. The most significant was that the Core Group which it established failed to
follow a process that was fair and equitable to both sides.
15. It is axiomatic that, in appropriate cases, the Church should be ready to
acknowledge sexual abuse committed by the clergy.
16. However, that does not mean that the reputations of the dead are without value.
17. It follows that, even when the alleged perpetrators have died, there should be
methodical and sufficient investigations into accusations levelled against them.
Where, as in this case, it is clear that the Crown Prosecution Service evidential
charging standard (a realistic prospect of conviction) would not have been met,
that should be a material consideration in the case.
18. I have concluded that the Church of England failed to institute or follow a
procedure which respected the rights of both sides. The Church,
understandably concerned not to repeat the mistakes of the past when it had
been too slow to recognise that abuse had been perpetrated by clergy and to
recognise the pain and damage caused to victims, has in effect oversteered in
this case. In other words, there was a rush to judgement: the Church, feeling it
should be both supportive of the complainant and transparent in its dealings,
failed to engage in a process which would also give proper consideration to the
rights of the Bishop. Such rights should not be treated as having been
extinguished on death.
6
19. My recommendations are as follows.
20. Core Groups are necessary for the scrutiny of cases, not least in order to ensure
that decisions are taken consistently. Each such group should have one person
nominated at the beginning as Chair who is expected to chair all meetings
throughout. Groups should be established with as continuous and permanent
a membership as possible.
21. The Core Group3 should have, in addition to someone advocating for the
complainant, someone assigned to it to represent the interests of the accused
person and his or her descendants.
22. Core Group members should ensure that they are able to attend meetings, at
the very least by conference telephone or video link, but generally in person. If
they are unable to attend, there should be pre-selected and named substitutes
to stand in for them.
23. For the purpose of making informed and legally compliant decisions, all Core
Group members (including named substitutes) should see the same
documentary material and other evidence and correspondence. It should be
provided to all members in the same format.
24. The whole Core Group must see all relevant material. This must include all
items which have the potential materially to support complaints or to undermine
them. This is consistent with the legal requirements of disclosure in criminal
cases.
25. Proportionate and sympathetic assistance should be given to complainants at
an early stage and, if appropriate, their families.
26. However, it should be made clear to complainants that their complaints are not
considered to be proved until findings of fact have been made by the Core
Group.
27. The Church should assume that complainants are entitled for all time to
anonymity, unless they themselves choose to make their identities public.
28. Where the Core Group judges it to be appropriate, a call for evidence should
be made, for example in an effort to identify other complainants. Whenever
possible, such calls for evidence should not name the alleged perpetrator, but

3 Or any other body with responsibility for deciding a case
7
may refer to the city/town/parish, type of abuse etc. insofar as is necessary to
achieve the objective of the call.
29. Subject to the above, alleged perpetrators, living or dead, should not be
identified publicly unless or until the Core Group has (a) made adverse findings
of fact, and (b) it has also been decided that making the identity public is
required in the public interest.
30. Each Core Group should be assisted by a person who is qualified to give
relevant legal advice. Advising lawyers should not be voting members of the
Group. Decisions are for the members after taking into account legal and such
other expert advice as may be required. A Core Group considering posthumous
allegations of sexual abuse by the clergy should include someone with legal
experience which must include practical and up-to-date knowledge of criminal
law and procedure as it pertains to the investigation and determination of
allegations of sexual assault4
. Whilst the standard of proof for civil claims is the
balance of probabilities, where the allegations are of serious criminal offences
a full understanding and estimation of the criminal process is an essential piece
of information for a case: for example, if there is the clear conclusion that there
would have been a criminal conviction, that would simplify the assessment of a
civil claim.
31. It is unavoidable that, in the case of posthumous allegations, the Core Group
will be required to make findings of fact. Determination of the truth or otherwise
of such allegations is particularly difficult. The Church is likely to regard a
requirement to find such allegations proved to the criminal standard (beyond
reasonable doubt) as placing too heavy a burden on complainants. However,
the rights of the dead should not be ignored. Irrespective of whether
proceedings have been commenced, the reasonable compromise would be
that the case must be proved to the civil standard – which of course is
appropriate by definition when there are civil proceedings under consideration.
The civil standard requires that the complainant must satisfy the Core Group
that, on the balance of probabilities, the allegation is made out: in other words,
that it is more likely than not that the alleged perpetrator behaved in the way
the complainant alleges.
32. In cases where, following a proper and adequate investigation, they are settled
with admission of liability, there should be a presumption that the perpetrator’s
name will be published together with a description of the conduct concerned
(unless the complainant objects on reasonable grounds).

4 Someone who is trained in dealing with vulnerable witnesses and who understands what is meant
by the “myths and stereotypes” which, historically, have bedevilled the prosecution of sexual offences.
8
33. Where as in this case the settlement is without admission of liability, the
settlement generally should be with a confidentiality provision: there should be
a presumption that the name of the alleged perpetrator should not be published,
unless the alleged perpetrator agrees that it should be, or the circumstances
are held to be wholly exceptional (on reasonable grounds).
34. The Church is currently developing Practice Guidance; I urge early production
of the promised addendum to deal with posthumous allegations. It should state
that there is a duty to disclose sufficient information to the representatives of
the alleged perpetrator so that they know the case they have to meet.
9
[C] TERMS OF REFERENCE
Terms of Reference
35. My Terms of Reference were published and are as follows:
1. Background
• In October 2015, the Church of England released a statement to say that the
Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner had apologised following a settlement
regarding allegations of child sexual abuse by George Bell in the 1940s and 1950s.
George Bell was Bishop of Chichester for 29 years until shortly before his death in
1958. The response to the announcement has included criticisms of the Church
and its handling of the case from a range of individuals.
• The House of Bishops Practice Guidance “Responding to Serious Safeguarding
Situations Relating to Church Officers” (May 2015) states;
Once all matters relating to a serious safeguarding situation have been
completed, the Core Group should meet to review the process against this and
other Practice Guidance, and to consider what lessons can be learned for the
handling of future safeguarding situations
• In June 2016, the Church of England announced that it would be undertaking an
independent review into how the case was managed and the key processes
involved in the decision-making.
2. Objectives of the review
To provide the Church of England with a review which, having examined relevant
documents and interviewed all relevant people, ensures that:
1. Lessons are learned from past practice
2. Survivors are listened to and taken seriously, and are supported
3. Good practice is identified and disseminated
4. Recommendations are made to help the Church embed best practice in
safeguarding children and adults in the future.
3. Scope of the review
• The review will cover the following periods:
1. 1995, when the complainant first wrote to the then Bishop of Chichester and the
actions taken by the Church of England as a result of this complaint
2. 2012 when the complainant wrote to Lambeth Palace and the actions taken by the
Church of England as a result of this complaint
3. 2013 when the complainant wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the actions
taken by the Church as a result of this complaint
4. 2013 onwards when the case was managed across the National Church, Lambeth
Palace and the Diocese of Chichester, notably via a Core Group.
10
• The review will consider the adequacy of the responses to the complainant and the
subsequent decision-making processes and action taken, in the context of the
safeguarding policies and procedures in place at the time.
• The reviewer will be given access to all the evidence pertaining to how the
decisions were reached: firstly, that the claim should be settled and, secondly that
a public announcement should be made. This will include access to relevant
medical information and reports which formed part of the settlement process (with
the consent of the complainant).
• The reviewer will call for any material submissions or submissions connected to
this case, which will be facilitated through the establishment of a website
designated to the review.
• The person or persons undertaking the review will seek to interview key members
of the core group and other individuals deemed by the reviewer to be appropriate.
• The review will provide a detailed evidence-based analysis of the responses and
decision-making processes concerning the case.
4. Undertaking the review
• The review will be carried out by an independent person who has not had a
connection with the case and its management, nor with the Diocese of Chichester.
• The review will be carried out by someone or persons with either extensive legal
and/or safeguarding experience of cases involving the alleged sexual abuse of
children. A separate specification document will be agreed outlining this in more
detail.
• The reviewer will produce a report, relevant sections of which shall be seen by
those who directly contributed to the process for comment about factual accuracy,
before it is finalized.
• The reviewer will produce an executive summary, which will be published to
support the dissemination of learning. The executive summary shall exclude any
material which might enable the complainant’s identity to be deduced.
• The Church of England will determine whether the full report can be sufficiently
redacted or otherwise anonymised to enable its publication without risking
disclosure of the complainant’s identity.
11
[D] METHODOLOGY, APPROACH AND LEGAL ISSUES
36. As part of my review, the Church issued a call for evidence at my request. In
addition, the publicity surrounding the review brought it to public notice. The
results of this are set out in detail below. I have met many connected with the
case, one of whom is Carol herself. I regard it as troubling that some of those
to whom I spoke were never identified or contacted by the Core Group or the
wider Church. In my view it was premature of the Church to have reached a
conclusion before actively seeking the widest available evidence about what
had happened at the time.
37. I have asked myself about the legal framework which I should apply when
considering the facts that I have found.
38. At one extreme would be the requirement for the allegations to be proved to the
standard of a criminal trial, in other words that Carol would need to make the
Core Group sure that her allegations were true. If they had a reasonable doubt
then she would not have made out her case.
39. At the other extreme would be a standard that merely required Carol’s
allegations to be credible. In the absence of evidence that what she was saying
was untrue, then she would be believed.
40. I regard both these extreme ends of the spectrum as inappropriate for an
enquiry into serious allegations made against a clergyman who is dead.
41. I believe that the Church would feel uncomfortable requiring a complainant to
prove her case to the criminal standard that is to say beyond reasonable doubt.
I agree. Nor would this be compatible with the requirements of civil litigation,
which is the form of litigation under discussion in this case. However,
examination of a case of this kind against the criminal standard is a useful and
instructive exercise, as part of an evidence based and thorough decision
making process. The Core Group should have understood the Crown
Prosecution Service Code Test for a prosecution; namely whether there is a
realistic prospect of conviction. The CPS applies the merits based approach,
which makes it clear that Prosecutors must make their decisions objectively,
impartially and reasonably, according to the evidence, having regard to any
defence and any other information that the suspect has put forward or on which
he or she might rely; must assume that the case will be considered by a properly
directed, objective, impartial and reasonable tribunal acting in accordance with
the law; and must not allow themselves to be influenced by myths or
stereotypes, by predictions based on the outcomes of previous similar cases or
by anything they have heard, read or seen elsewhere. Without this
understanding of the charging process, the Core Group was in the dark about
12
the criminal aspects of the case. I have been told, and have to accept, that
several members of the Core Group ‘had considerable experience of the
criminal justice system’. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that they shared,
let alone harnessed that experience – which is surprising and disappointing.
42. Whilst the reputations of the dead are to be regarded as very important, there
is some qualitative difference between having due regard for their rights and
the need to protect the living. I have borne this difference in mind.
43. However, as we shall see, in this case the Church adopted a procedure more
akin to the second extreme: that is to say, when faced with a serious and
apparently credible allegation, the truth of what Carol was saying was implicitly
accepted without serious investigation or enquiry. I have concluded that this
was an inappropriate and impermissible approach and one which should not be
followed in the future.
44. In my view, the Church concluded that the needs of a living complainant who,
if truthful, was a victim of very serious criminal offences were of considerably
more importance than the damage done by a possibly false allegation to a
person who was no longer alive.
45. Whilst understandable and superficially appealing, I have concluded that this
approach is wrong in principle, for the following reasons.
46. First, the reputations of the dead are not without value. This applies as much to
those who have lived ordinary lives as to those who have been famous. A
moment’s thought makes it plain that none of us would wish to be vilified after
our deaths when we could no longer defend ourselves. Further, the pain caused
to those who have loved and respected the alleged perpetrator, on hearing that
a shocking allegation has been accepted as true, cannot just be discounted. If
one imagines for a moment that the Bishop were one’s own father, the point is
clearly made. If a system is not good enough for our own fathers, then it is not
good enough for anyone.
47. Secondly, there is a serious risk to the Church in making monetary
compensation payments to complainants without proper enquiry into the truth
of their allegations. I have already said that I have not considered whether or
not Carol is a truthful complainant: she may well be. But there is a danger that
if it becomes known that the Church will settle such actions, unscrupulous
people may see this as a source of easy money.
48. Finally, there is always a risk that the Church, when faced with embarrassing
allegations, will wish to settle the action in order to avoid publicity. Whilst I do
not suggest that is what happened in this case, it is a temptation which should
13
be guarded against. It cannot be right that in order to protect the reputations of
the living, those of the dead are traduced. On the other hand, the Church cannot
be expected to fight costly court actions which it is likely to lose.
49. I have therefore concluded that the Church should have a published standard
of proof which it applies in cases of posthumous allegations. Given that in such
cases there may often be a claim for damages, the appropriate standard is that
applied in civil legal actions. Thus, henceforward, once the Church becomes
aware of a posthumous allegation, the Core Group should require the
complainant by evidence to establish the truth of the complaint on the balance
of probabilities (that is to say, whether it is more likely than not that he or she is
telling the truth).
50. Formerly it was thought that this test was subject to variation where serious
criminal allegations are made, and this had been reflected in the Clergy
Discipline Measure 2003 Code of Practice, paragraph 200. However, in Re SB
(Care Proceedings: Standard of Proof) [2009] UKSC17 the Supreme Court
made it clear that the civil standard should be applied without any variation in
all civil cases.
51. Applying the requirement of fairness to both sides, the financial settlement of
cases involving posthumous allegations of sexual abuse should be founded on
sound consideration of litigation settlement strategy. This may include any of
the following:
a. settlement with full admission of liability,
b. settlement with full denial of liability,
c. litigation risk economic settlements, and
d. confidentiality requirements with enforceable repayment of damages and
costs.
52. If a Core Group has applied the civil standard of proof and reached a finding of
fact, then that would give some guidance as to whether or not to settle any court
action and, if settlement is reached, whether it is done on the basis that the
allegation is accepted as being true or not. There must always be room for the
Church to make a pragmatic decision not to contest a legal action where it has
a doubt about the truth of the allegation. Such cases can be settled whilst
denying liability; where this happens there should be a presumption that there
should be a no publicity clause. I understand the Church’s anxiety that there
should be transparency, and its instinctive revulsion against anything which
might be seen as a cover-up. Further, it has been emphasised to me that such
clauses may be difficult and unattractive to enforce. Sometimes that may be so,
but simply excluding the possibility on a blanket basis is not correct. Importantly,
the Church should not put its own reputation before that of the dead unless it is
14
clear that it is appropriate to do so. In some cases a settlement without
admission of liability and with a no-publicity requirement may achieve an
acceptable compromise between the need to settle a potentially expensive
court action whilst protecting the reputation of the dead. I have no doubt this is
what should have happened in this case. There is an innate contradiction
between a settlement without admission of liability, as at least technically
happened here, and the knowing and apparently deliberate destruction of the
reputation of the alleged perpetrator, as plainly happened here.
To be clear, I accept the wisdom and correctness of Appendix III to the
Chichester Commissaries’ Interim Report 20125
, in which it was said that a
confidentiality clause ‘should never be included in any agreement reached with
a survivor’. However, where there is a settlement properly reached on a nonadmission
of liability basis, the complainant is not a ‘survivor’.
The Core Group seems to have proceeded on the basis that they were bound
by Appendix III. In my view clearly they were not, and should have been so
advised.
53. One further matter needs consideration at this stage, which is the weight to be
given to the Bishop’s reputation.
54. I have outlined in Part A that I have received a number of forceful
representations about the good character of Bishop Bell. Many of his supporters
regard him as an inspiring man of the greatest holiness and are horrified that
allegations such as these have been given any credence at all.
55. I have treated these representations with a degree of caution, accepting as I do
that the perpetrators of sexual abuse can be extraordinarily devious, presenting
a carapace of piety and respectability to the outside world; and that adverse
facts can be concealed skilfully. In other words, the fact that Bishop Bell was
(and continues to be) highly regarded by others is not determinative of his guilt
or innocence of this allegation.
56. On the other hand, I am troubled by the fact that from careful study of their
Minutes the Core Group appears to have given scant, if any, regard to the
important issue of Bishop Bell’s good character. In circumstances in which, by
definition, he was unable to defend himself, the high esteem in which he was
held, taken together with the lack of any other allegations, should have been
given considerable weight.

5 http://www.chichester.anglican.org/media/assets/file/Visitation_Interim_Report_August_2012.pdf
15
[E] THE ALLEGATIONS AND THE KNOWN FACTS PROGRESS
PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 2012
Carol
57. I am constrained in what I say about Carol by the Sexual Offences
(Amendment) Act 1992, section 1, as amended.
58. Carol her family lived in Sussex until about 19516
.She comes from a large
family, and times were difficult during World War II. Quite frequently, Carol
visited a staff member at the Bishop’s Palace. These visits took place at some
weekends and during some school holidays.
59. The Palace has a large garden, and several cottages just outside the main
house. Carol had access to the Palace.
60. The way of life appears old-fashioned to the 21st century observer. According
to Carol, Bishop Bell and his wife were quite formal, in a way that seems more
pre- than post-war. There was a full house staff. Bishop Bell generally dressed
formally. The atmosphere was that of a serious theologian and clergyman at
work.
61. In the paragraphs which follow, I set out the chronology of the allegations made
by Carol, but at this stage I merely summarise them. I regret that to some that
setting out of the detail may seem gratuitous and I have thought long and hard
about whether to include it. I have come to the conclusion that it is essential.
62. Carol described the abuse as follows7
. Bishop Bell used to say that he would
read her a Bible story. He led her down a long corridor to a room lined with
books. He sat her on his lap. He started to read to her, and “wriggled”. This
developed on other occasions to touching, including digital penetration of her
vagina. On occasions, he made her touch his genitals. On other occasions he
attempted to penetrate her with his penis after pulling her underwear aside. He
ejaculated.
63. In the same interview she alleged that Bishop Bell took her into the cathedral,
where she remembers him giving her a double-jointed china doll from under a
Christmas tree which she thought was for Barnardo’s.

6
I know considerably more about Carol. The reason that I give no further detail is in order to ensure that those
who may know her are not able to identify her.
7 This is taken from an account Carol gave to the police on the 1 July 2013, as noted contemporaneously by the
police. However, as will be seen, this should be compared with what she wrote in 1995.
16
64. During the events she described, she alleged that Bishop Bell said the following
to her “This is our little secret: it is God’s wish”; and that when he ejaculated he
would say: ‘Suffer little children to come unto me”. He was giving her “God’s
love…you are special”.
65. These allegations, if true, amount to serious and horrifying criminal offences
committed against a defenceless child. They would be the most serious breach
of trust imaginable. However, the fact that they are serious does not ipso facto
mean that they are also true.
66. She says that at the time she told the person she visited that Bishop Bell was
“interfering” with her, but that this was rejected as “telling fibs”.
67. She moved away when she was about 8-9 years old (probably in 1951) never
to return to the Palace.
68. Her life has been a full one. Her mental health has generally been good. She
has been examined by two experienced forensic psychiatrists, who found no
evidence of any material mental illness or psychiatric condition.
69. Strong views have been engendered by the case. It is asked whether she could
or would have made up such detailed and awful allegations. Why would she put
herself in the position of possibly having to be cross-examined and accused of
lying in court? Would she have invented such detailed and graphic evidence,
including the words set out in paragraph 64 above?
Bishop Bell
70. George Bell was born in Hampshire on the 4 February 1883. By 1910 he was
student minister and lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford. In 1914 he was
appointed Chaplain to the then Archbishop of Canterbury: this was considered
a major step for a young clergyman, and a clear indication of future preferment.
71. He married Henrietta Livingstone in 1918. In 1925 he was appointed to the very
senior post of Dean of Canterbury. By that time he was an acknowledged
theologian with important international Christian connections, and was
becoming a noted patron of the arts – later, in 1935, he was to encourage and
support TS Eliot in his writing of Murder in the Cathedral.
72. In 1929 he was appointed Bishop of Chichester. From that time onwards there
were expectations that in due course he would be appointed Archbishop of
Canterbury.
17
73. In the mid to late 1930s he gave strong support to Christians and Jews in
Germany. He contributed to the work and survival of noted priests and to the
exposure of Nazi atrocities.
74. From 1941-43, as a Bishop sitting in the House of Lords, he condemned the
bombing by the Allies of civilian areas. He clashed with the wartime
Government by describing the bombing of German cities as ‘barbarian’,
disproportionate and a crime against humanity. These strongly-held views are
said to have led to his being passed over when new Archbishops of Canterbury
were appointed in 1942 and 1945.
75. After World War II, Bishop Bell continued as Bishop of Chichester. It is said to
be of significance that he was acknowledged by the then Archbishop of
Canterbury as the moving force in the immediate post-war years behind a
compendium of clergy discipline, which dealt with issues of serious
misbehaviour by Church of England priests.
76. He was Bishop of Chichester for 29 years. He died on the 3 October 1958,
shortly after retirement.
77. After his death, his already considerable reputation soared. Various institutions
and other things were named in his honour. Above all, he was given a ‘Name
Day’ by the Church; this was described to me by current senior clergy as the
nearest thing in the Church of England to beatification.
78. No allegations of sexual or other impropriety were made against him during his
lifetime. The first allegation was that made by Carol in 1995, 37 years after his
death.
79. As I have already said, despite the considerable publicity Carol’s case has
received, no one else has come forward to make allegations against Bishop
Bell. Whilst this is plainly not determinative, I consider its significance in the
paragraphs which follow.
18
Carol’s first complaint
80. As stated above it is, in my view, unavoidable that I must set out the detail of
the allegations made by Carol. This is for three reasons:
a. to illustrate the seriousness of the complaints she made and thereby the
level of scrutiny they merited; and
b. because the seriousness of the complaints appears to have affected the
assessment of her credibility; and
c. so that those reading this review are able to understand the effect that the
allegation had on those considering it
81. On the 3 August 1995 Carol wrote a manuscript letter to Bishop Eric Kemp,
then the Bishop of Chichester8
. In it she said [as written, save for redactions to
protect her identity]:
Dear Sir
I am writing because I only think it fair to warn you that after years of torment that I
suffered at the hands of Bishop Bell.
Everyone thinks he was a Saint but to my cost I know different. My whole life has
suffered because of him and after 40 odd years of keeping it locked up inside me I
am going to tell my story and sell it to the highest bidder to gain compensation for
something that blighted my whole life.
[….] lived in the house [near the] kitchen. I used to play in there, we also could go
through another door into the Bishop’s Palace. That’s where I first saw him. He
looked very imposing standing on the stairs in his funny trouser and frock coat at
least it seemed funny at the time.
He said ….. leave the child with me while you go about your duties. I will keep her
amused. He kept me amused alright. He told me I’d been chosen by god as a
special child but that I must not tell anyone or god would be angry.
He would bounce me up and down on his knee with gods special love between my
legs till I was anointed with gods special oil to make me special and he would always
chant suffer little children to come unto me till I was anointed. He even tried
penetrate when I was 8 to 9 years but it made me cry as it was painful. I only
escaped when we moved away at the age of 10yrs. The abuse either took place in

8 Bishop Kemp died in 2009
19
the Bishop’s kitchen or a room he took me to down a passage with lots of books and
a large leather armchair.
This is only some of what he did to me.
Yours sincerely
82. Carol told me that she wrote this letter because she had read in the media of
cases of abuse, and that at the time things were getting on top of her. She said
that her main purpose was to obtain an apology, and the threat to sell the story
to the highest bidder was to make the 1995 Bishop pay attention. She never
tried to sell a story to the media, then or at any later stage.
83. On the 9 August 1995 a member of staff on behalf of Bishop Kemp [+C], and
presumably on his authority, wrote on a copy of C’s letter:
Copy to +C at Oulston 9/8
+ C telephoned 10/8
Try to find out more about this lady. Try […..]
84. Around the same time, there was written on the same copy:
[…’s] parish. [He] does not know her. This is where the council houses problem
people
In my view this was an inappropriate comment to have written.
85. On the 14 August a note was written as follows:
+C suggested contacting social services to see if they could tell us anything about
[Carol]. Not knowing anyone in Social Services, I spoke to [..] to ask for his advice.
He told me that it was unlikely social services would tell me anything, because of
confidentiality. He was also concerned because any mention of child abuse might
set alarm bells going before we really wanted them to.
He thought it would be useful to check with Social Services in this area and Age
Concern what their policies might be in cases of this kind – he would pose the
question in a very general way. Michael thought it would be useful to have [..’s]
reaction.
20
He wondered what (or who) was behind [Carol’s] letter.
[ ] thinks the executors should be informed as they might be able to take out an
injunction to prevent [Carol] talking to the Press.
86. The executors of Bishop Bell were informed on the 21 August, but took no
action.
87. On the 23 August 1995 Bishop Kemp replied to Carol:
Dear Mrs xxxxxxxxxx
I have been away on holiday since the beginning of August and have seen your
letter on my return. I take it that the [person] that you refer to was living in the [….] by
the …. [and] was Mrs …….
I am sorry that you have such distressing memories and if you would like, I should be
very happy to suggest the names of one or two people who might be able to help
you with counselling. I would suggest also that you consult your parish priest, the
Revd ……, the Rector of St …………
With best wishes
Yours sincerely
88. On the same date, the 23 August 1995, Bishop Kemp wrote to the parish priest
referred to in the previous paragraph:
Dear [ ]
I have been pursuing further enquiries about [Carol].
In her letter she alleges that she was a girl staying with […] [location described]. I
have been able to ascertain that the person [concerned] was a Mrs ……,
…………….. She had [relatives] living in Chichester but no small children are known
to have been in [her accommodation].
I have, therefore, written to [Carol] saying that I received her letter and had been
away on holiday which is why I had not answered sooner. I said I was very sorry that
she has these distressing memories and that if she would like it, I can suggest the
names of one or two people who would be able to give her counselling. I have also
suggested that she might like to consult you as her parish priest.
Her letter to me was dated 3 August and nothing has been heard of her since so we
21
may find the whole matter dropped entirely.
Best wishes
89. Carol told me that she took the response to her as simply being told to contact
her local vicar. She did not find that helpful, and took no further steps at the
time. She said that she never thought of going to anyone like the police, a
solicitor or an official.
90. Bishop Kemp’s letter to the parish priest refers to ‘further enquiries’. Those
enquiries appear to have involved the discovery that [the person Carol visited]
indeed did work at the Palace – confirmation of basic underlying facts.
However, the same letter and other remarks quoted above send the clear
message that inaction would probably result in [the preferred option of] the
problem going away. This correspondence was not followed by any further
action by Bishop Kemp, or by Carol herself.
91. Some context is important in examining this complaint and response. Carol has
told me that she felt daunted by it, especially as her complaint was against a
senior clergyman, and it was suggested that she might approach another
clergyman. I find her response unsurprising. It is noticeable that there was no
suggestion of a meeting or other active steps by or on behalf of the incumbent
Bishop, Eric Kemp.
92. In general terms, in 1995 sexual abuse of children was sometimes not given
the weight and concern it receives today. However, so far as Bishop Kemp was
concerned, there were the following factors laid clearly before him:
a. Explicit allegations of extreme seriousness including rape; unattractively,
it was alleged that there was also blasphemy during the behaviour
described.
b. These allegations had been made against a person of significant standing
in the Church.
93. It is notable that in 1993, the Rt Revd Peter Ball9
, formerly Suffragan Bishop of
Lewes (in the Diocese of Chichester) and by then diocesan Bishop of
Gloucester, had been cautioned by the police after admitting gross indecency

9
It has been suggested to me that Carol may have confused Peter Ball and Bishop Bell. I reject this
proposition as fanciful. Peter Ball was born in 1932, ordained as a Deacon in 1956, and had nothing
to do with Bishop Bell or the Bishop’s Palace during any material period
22
with a young trainee monk in his Bishop’s Palace.
10 Bishop Kemp therefore was
conscious of the importance of such issues.
94. It has become clear to me that Dioceses have a very high degree of
independence. This is not unique to the Church of England: in the Roman
Catholic Church even single monasteries in some cases are almost entirely
self-governing.
95. As a result, there seems to have been no systematic process for dealing with
allegations of this type. The process applied was far from thorough and was
apparently founded on the presumption that such allegations were most unlikely
to be true.
96. I have concluded that the Church did not serve Carol well in 1995, whatever the
truth or otherwise of her allegations. As Bishop Bell’s successor, Bishop Kemp
should have met Carol, or at the very least appointed a responsible person to
meet her. He should have set in train a genuine process of inquiry and
assessment. I find that the Church failed Carol in 1995.
97. Since then there have been significant changes in procedure11
. Between 1995
and 2013 consciousness of the importance of and corrosive consequences for
victims of child sexual abuse became more fully recognised. By 2013 some
very high profile cases had emerged into the public view from the UK, Ireland,
Australia, the USA and elsewhere. Publicity relating to sexual abuse including
some in the Church in the Diocese was plentiful, both nationally and locally.
98. In a Diocese-commissioned report in May 2011 the former President of the
Family Division of the High Court, Baroness Butler-Sloss, strongly criticised
Sussex Police and the Diocese for the way in which they dealt with complaints
against two named individuals.
99. In 2012 it became clear that Jimmy Savile, a famous person who had been the
subject of public adulation, was in fact a sexual offender on an epic scale.

10 In 2015 Peter Ball was imprisoned for offences of Misconduct in Public Office, arising from several
offences of indecency towards trainee monks.
11 Which are ongoing, as described in the final section of this review.
23
100. In March 2012 the Acting Bishop of Chichester apologised unreservedly for the
abuse which had been dealt with in the Butler-Sloss report of 201112
.
101. In May 2012 it was made public that Lambeth Palace had sent material to
Sussex Police relevant to the allegations against Peter Ball.
102. In August 2012 an Archbishop’s Visitation to the Diocese by the then
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Rowan Williams,
published its interim report. It concluded that the Diocese had an appalling
history of child protection failures, and commented that allegations were still
emerging.

12 In a letter from Bishop Mark Sowerby: ‘I am very glad that we have now published the full text of the
Baroness Butler-Sloss Report along with its addendum together with the Roger Meeking’s Report and the
Baroness’s comments upon it. This is in line with our desire to be open and honest about the cases that have
come to light in the Chichester Diocese. I am grateful also to Bishop Paul Butler for the apology he has issued
on behalf of the wider Church of England. I should like to underline, once again, the regret we feel in this
diocese about past failings and which was expressed in Bishop John and Bishop Wallace’s apology to all the
victims. The Chichester Diocese wishes to be transparent about the past and to be rigorous and cooperative in
its safeguarding today and into the future.’
+Mark Horsham
Acting Bishop of Chichester
24
[F] THE PROGRESS OF THE CASE FROM SEPTEMBER 2012
Carol’s second complaint
103. On the 1 September 2012 Carol sent an email to Lambeth Palace, in which she
reiterated her complaint of 1995. She said:
So you think only boys were abused, in the forties and early fifties ….. the bishop of
Chichester on more than 1 occasion he told …. to leave me with him and he would
take me to his library sit in a big chair and sit me on his lap and do things to me like sit
me over his manhood and tell me it was god’s love. About 15 years ago I plucked up
courage to write to the bishop of Chichester he told me to go for counselling at ……
rectory very convenient as the vicar was leaving also I don’t trust any clergy they ruin
your life and get away with it.at least other churches offer some sort of compensation
for ruined childhood by disgusting perverts.
good bye [signed]
104. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s correspondence secretary replied on the 3
September:
Thank you for your message, which I was of course concerned to read. The
Archbishop hopes that anyone who has experienced abuse will feel able to come
forward and report it – their privacy and wishes will be respected. A special helpline
has been set up in conjunction with the NSPCC on 0800 389 5344. Victims can also
make a report to police.
With concern and best wishes
105. On the 12 October 2012 Carol sent a further email to Lambeth Palace from a
new email address, repeating the substance of her 1 September message, and
adding that she had not received a reply because her email account had been
compromised.
106. On the 15 October 2012 the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Correspondence
Secretary replied:
Thank you for your emails. I am very sorry that you did not get a reply to the first you
sent. There seems to be something wrong with our system; it is logged on as having
25
been received but I cannot find the actual message. I was of course most concerned
to read what you say about the former Bishop of Chichester. Unfortunately, other than
the most recently retired bishop, the former bishops of Chichester are all now dead so
there is nothing we can do to take your story forward and deal with it. If you feel the
need to talk to someone about however, please let me know and I will put you in touch
with someone. Meanwhile please be assured of the Archbishop’s prayers and
concern. And thank you for telling us of this difficult and distressing episode.
107. There was no further correspondence until April 2013. In my judgement, the
response by Lambeth Palace, in the correspondence on behalf of the
Archbishop, was inadequate.
108. On the 13 November 2012 it was reported that Bishop Peter Ball had been
arrested for non-recent sexual offences.
109. On the 4 April 2013 Carol emailed Lambeth Palace again.
110. On the 5 April 2013 the BBC Radio 4 series Great Lives, presented by Matthew
Parris, featured Bishop Bell in an item with commentary by the journalist Peter
Hitchens. The programme described him as the leading Church of England
personality of the WWII years, and praised his courage and sense of principle.
111. Having not received a reply to her email of 4 April, on the 8 April Carol sent a
further email:
Didant think I would get a reply. It figers. I’m elderly so all through my life I was
blighted by my abuse and being a woman Im to be ignored. It is the two faced way
of the church you hope by ignoring it will go away but I won’t I will keep reminding
you.
112. On the 9 April Carol received a short reply, and on the 24 April:
I am really sorry that it has taken so long to reply to your message. We have been
inundated with correspondence since Archbishop Justin’s Enthronement. I have
already been in touch with the Diocese of Chichester asking them to take a look at
the files they have to see if there is any information that is helpful. After so long,
however, I think it is important to be realistic about what there might still be. It would
26
be helpful though if you could give us the name of the bishop so that they can narrow
the search.
Meanwhile, Gemma Wordsworth, an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser [ISVA], is
currently on secondment to the diocese of Chichester. Whilst Gemma Wordsworth is
seconded to the diocese of Chichester, she is not working for them, but remains
independent. I will copy this message to the diocesan Safeguarding Adviser so that
he can put you in touch with Gemma if you wish.
Again, please accept my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. And I hope
that something helpful and constructive will come from your approach.
With best wishes
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Correspondence Secretary
113. On the same day Colin Perkins, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser who had
been copied into the previous email, sent an email to Carol as follows:
As the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Correspondence Secretary has already said, he
spoke to me recently about your email. I am so sorry to read what you have written
there. Please may I reiterate the offer that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s
Correspondence Secretary made in his email, of putting you in contact with Gemma
Wordsworth. As I am sure you may have heard about in the media, a number of
people over the last few years have come forward to the Church authorities and to
the police, reporting being sexually abused by certain clergy in the Diocese of
Chichester. Two cases have gone through the Courts already this year, in both of
which the clergyman in question was convicted for offences of child sexual abuse.
We have another case going through the Courts currently in which similar allegations
have been made, and there is another ongoing police investigation as well.
In all of these cases we have been working closely with the police, and in a number
of them Gemma has been supporting those people making complaints. She is highly
experienced at working with people who are reporting experiences of childhood
sexual abuse, and if you feel you would benefit from hearing from her, please let me
know and I will ask her to contact you as soon as possible. I hope that you will also
keep corresponding with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Correspondence Secretary
further about the allegations you have made so that he and I can do all we can to
investigate this. Please let me reassure you that we take allegations of sexual abuse
by clergy very seriously and will do all we can to look into what you have said.
27
114. At around this time there was extensive publicity over the activities of a retired
Diocese of Chichester senior clergyman, Canon Rideout. In May 2013 he was
jailed for 10 years by Lewes Crown Court for sexual abuse carried out at a
children’s home. In the same month the final report appeared of the
Archbishop’s visitation, followed by an apology in July: the essence of the
strongly worded apology and of the BBC news report of it are reproduced at
Annex D below.
115. On the 11 May 2013 Carol replied to Colin Perkins:
Sorry to have taken so long to answer your email but we have been on holiday the
bishop was bell surely someone could of worked it out with the information I gave ….
lived [ ] we could go through it into the bishops palace Im beginning to wish Id left it
buried but all this in the papers about Saville etc keeps reminding me but in my day If
you were told not to lie you kept quiet I think [the person I visited] was afraid of losing
her job …… . And the longer I left it it became harder to say anything besides who
would of believed me I do want to speak to the lady you spoke of but it will be hard it
took years to tell my husband why I was fridged and was not keen on personal contact.
116. Further email contact ensued and Carol had personal contact with Gemma
Wordsworth the Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Adviser seconded
to the Diocese. Carol appears to have come to trust Gemma Wordsworth, who
at all times has treated her with respect and sensitivity. Gemma Wordsworth
was present when I met Carol, at a useful meeting at which we discussed the
process in detail13. Gemma Wordsworth deserves credit for her care and
concern for Carol throughout. She is an outstanding professional who works in
a difficult field.

13 I did not question Carol as to whether her complaints were truthful, as that was not part of my terms
of reference. We did discuss at length the process and her understanding and expectations of it. I
have taken her comments fully into account in writing this review.
28
117. On the 23 May 2013 Carol repeated her allegations in an email to the serving
Bishop of Chichester. She concluded:
When I told my [the person I visited] [he/she] told me off, probley frightened of loseing
her ……. job. I kept it to myself for years …
im still after all these years being treated with contempt by the church even your
predisess..or said as all concerned were dead to forget it
im not im very much alive but its in my mind every day. The church is and was
responcable. They were his employer
its about time someone stood up and was counted I think the church owes me
something in the way of compensation for all iv suffered
I don’t want just a pat on the hand after all these years
Action taken from April 2013
118. In the paragraphs which follow I make some serious criticisms of the process
followed by the Church, and of the decisions and actions taken.
119. In that light, I must emphasise that I believe that, although in my opinion serious
errors were made, they were made in good faith, and with the intention of
achieving what was believed at the time to be the best outcome. I consider that
what happened resulted from oversteer in the direction of what was believed to
be the best interests of Carol and of the Church, and without a calculated
intention to damage Bishop Bell’s reputation. In fact and in reality, his reputation
was destroyed in the eyes of all but his strongest supporters.
120. Parenthetically, I need to mention an issue that had for some time been
exercising the Church of England centrally and also Dioceses. This relates to
costs in cases in which Bishops bore some form of uninsured civil liability for
damages. In the Peter Ball case an Opinion was provided to the Chichester
Diocesan Board of Finance by a Queen’s Counsel: he concluded that there was
no Diocesan vicarious liability for the tortious actions of bishops; and indeed
there would be an actionable breach of trust if the Diocese were to pay costs
or damages in such cases. In April 2014 the same QC provided a further and
unsurprisingly consistent Opinion, this time related to the pre-action letter of
claim sent by Carol’s solicitors.
29
121. This caused a degree of consternation in both the office of the Church
Commissioners and in the Diocese of Chichester. It raised the possibility of
Carol’s solicitors being told that, if she sued, even if she won her case there
was no responsibility for any part of the Church to satisfy any judgment
obtained. Of course, this would have been a public relations disaster for the
Church.
122. I have seen extensive internal correspondence on this issue. It is sufficient to
say that it was resolved, but did cause some delay in dealing with Carol’s
potential litigation.
123. Following the emails cited above, counselling was provided for Carol by the
Diocese for a period in 2013. She withdrew from the counselling in September
2013.
124. On the 14 May 2013 a file was located in a cupboard at the Bishop’s Palace
containing the 1995 correspondence between Carol and Bishop Kemp, and
associated notes. On the 28th May Gemma Wordsworth met Carol for the first
time, and made herself available on demand.
125. At this time arrangements were made to access records kept at Lambeth
Palace, albeit with no expectation of anything fruitful being discovered (as it
turned out, nothing of relevance was located).
126. On the 13 June 2013 the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for the Diocese of
Chichester, Colin Perkins, wrote to Detective Inspector AB14 of the Sussex
Police, who is experienced in child abuse cases, an email containing the
following:
We have received an allegation from a woman, now in her 70s, who says she ……
used to visit the Palace with … in the 1940s. She has given an account of serious
sexual abuse by Bishop Bell during these visits, when she was aged between 7 and
9. We have found a letter from her, dated 1995, when she wrote to Bishop Eric Kemp
making this allegation, and she has recently written to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Gemma Wordsworth [Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Adviser to the
Diocese] has met with her recently and we are helping her access counselling. Based
on the letter and the account she gave to Gemma, we are of the view that this is a

14 The Chief Constable of Sussex asked me not to include in my report the names of the police officers
concerned. Given that none was of a rank above Inspector, I decided that their names are not material and
have acquiesced in the request.
30
credible account of serious and ongoing sexual abuse against a young child,
suggesting that it is unlikely that Bishop Bell only abused this one person.
It is known, for instance, that Bishop Bell had evacuees staying at the Palace during
the war, and he inevitably would have had access to many children over the 3
decades of his ministry in Chichester. We have reviewed the small file we have in
Chichester and, apart from the aforementioned letter, cannot find any other
information regarding allegations. We are going to Lambeth Palace next week to have
a look at some of the huge volume of paperwork they have there, although we are
almost certain to not find anything.
Would you be able to see whether there have been any other allegations made about
him that have come to the attention of Sussex Police? We want to be able to say to
the complainant we are talking to that we have looked at every available source of
information, but also we would want to see for ourselves whether there is anything
else that may be known about Bishop Bell. The Royal Commission of Australia,
looking into institutional (including Church) child abuse is going back to 1930 so there
is a precedent for looking back this far. If you were able to look at the police’s archives
to see if you have ever received an allegation about him that would be very much
appreciated.
127. On the 18 June 2013 Gemma Wordsworth provided Carol with the name of a
solicitor, Tracey Emmott of the firm Emmott Snell. The Diocesan Safeguarding
Team thought that Carol was having difficulty facing the possible legal process,
and needed to be put in contact with a trusted solicitor with experience of
dealing with civil claims arising from sexual abuse. Tracey Emmott is such a
person: she has acted for several claimants making claims against the Church
of England in its various parts, and is well regarded for her skill in such cases.
128. On the 20 June Colin Perkins spoke to the police, and necessary lines of
communication were opened within the Church and externally.
129. On the 1 July, at her own home, Carol met Detective Constable CD, a specialist
officer in Sussex, and provided a detailed account. The interview lasted several
hours. Carol described her life, and repeated in full detail the sexual assaults
which she wished to describe.
31
130. At around this time the police were informed that Bishop Bell had given major
support to refugee Jewish children from the Kindertransport during WWII, some
of whom had lived in and were educated in the Palace; and of the possibility
that other children who may have resided at the Palace could have been victims
of abuse.
131. However, from the police viewpoint this was not a case for a full evidential
inquiry or even a call for evidence. By 2013 Bishop Bell had been dead for 55
years, and the police could not have been expected to take the matter any
further, because there was no possibility of a prosecution. They had and have
received no other complaints about his behaviour at any time.
132. On the 12 December Detective Constable CD from Sussex Police emailed
Carol and informed her that DI EF would review the file to establish whether, if
the suspect was alive, there would be a realistic chance of prosecution, i.e.
would he have been charged with an offence?
133. This was clumsily phrased. DC CD should have referred to ‘a realistic prospect
of conviction’, the CPS evidential test for a prosecution; and to whether there
was sufficient suspicion to justify interviewing the suspect under caution or,
possibly, arresting him. A charging decision would not have been made without
an investigation and interview, and in a case of this kind the advice and
involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service would have been routine.
134. By the 21 February 2014, the position had developed. It was understood in the
Church and Diocese that a civil claim was likely. The claim would not be
covered by insurance. The view of the Diocesan Registrar Matthew Chinery is
contained in an email to the effect that the allegations were likely to be of public
interest if/when they entered the public domain: there might even be
international interest. The approach of the Diocese was that there should be a
culture of openness and transparency. There was a possibility that the case
could be made public at any time. Any hint of suppression would be damaging.
However, that would have to be balanced carefully against the fact that the
alleged perpetrator would not receive a fair trial. A posthumous reputation
cannot be considered in the abstract, and there would be family members to
consider. Setting the case in the public domain may bring other people forward
– which would involve potential financial consequences.
135. Mr Chinery also expressed the view that the case needed to be considered by
a wider group beyond the Diocesan boundary. This would need to happen
before a settlement of the civil claim if there was to be one, because there would
be issues about confidentiality or a public statement which would affect the
whole Church.
32
136. Following the above email and subsequent discussions, it was determined that
a Core Group should be established, involving representatives from the
Diocese of Chichester and the national Church.
137. On the 4 April the police emailed Colin Perkins. They confirmed that they had
interviewed Carol and had reviewed some files at Lambeth Palace. They
advised:
a. the allegations were credible;
b. were Bishop Bell still alive it was probable that he would have been
arrested for the matter;
c. they were wary of committing further police resource to the matter
because Bishop Bell was dead and therefore there was no active child
protection issue;
d. Bishop Bell was not able to defend himself and there was a danger of
bringing his surviving family into disrepute based on claims that might
be impossible to disprove;
e. the Sussex Police would not be able to assist in the event of the Church
deciding to engage in proactive publicity;
f. they supported the current Bishop Dr Warner’s view that there should
be a meeting of a core group.
138. The above advice did not suggest that the matter could be proved to the criminal
standard – beyond reasonable doubt (not to be confused with the civil court
standard, the balance of probabilities).
139. At this point the limited police action effectively ended. Thus, it can be seen that
there was no real police inquiry into the case – for example, they told the
Diocese that they would not pursue the information that Kinderstransport
children stayed in the palace during WWII. The reality is that the police
interviewed Carol and took a detailed account of her evidence without the
obligation so to do. No further police enquiries followed. It is material to what
followed that nobody should have been under the impression that the police
carried out a full criminal investigation into the case.
140. Nor was any strategic decision taken to attempt to discover whether there were
any other complainants along the same lines as Carol. They might have
emerged from some research among any of the Bishop’s Palace
Kindertransport individuals mentioned above; from research as to whether any
other children had been living in the palace at the material time (see paragraphs
33
212 onwards below); from enquiry of any other surviving staff from the palace
at the material time (see paragraph 220 onwards below).
141. In addition, no general call for evidence was sent out – for example as to
whether any person experienced child sexual abuse in 1945-52 in or around
Chichester Cathedral and its precincts and connected buildings. Whilst a call
for evidence of this kind might have provoked comment, it need not have
identified any individual and might have elicited responses. This is important
because the type of abuse described by Carol often (but not invariably) tends
to be replicated.
142. Another reality is that, despite mention of the importance of ensuring that the
deceased accused person received a fair hearing, absolutely nothing was done
to ensure that his living relatives were informed of the allegations, let alone
asked for or offered guidance. Nor were any steps taken to ensure that Bishop
Bell’s interests were considered actively by an individual nominated for the
purpose. I regret that Bishop Bell’s reputation, and the need for a rigorous
factual analysis of the case against him, were swept up by a tide focused on
settling Carol’s civil claim and the perceived imperative of public transparency.
143. On the 11 April 2014, after previously contacting the police, Tracey Emmott
wrote a pre-action letter to the Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Revd Dr Martin
Warner. The letter set out a proposed action for damages, with reasons for
claiming outside the statutory limitation period (under normal rules 3 years
following Carol’s 18th birthday). At all times Tracey Emmott pursued Carol’s
case with a high degree of professionalism and as promptly as circumstances
permitted.
144. The test for extending the limitation period, stated broadly, is whether a
reasonable person with the claimant’s knowledge would have considered the
injury sufficiently serious to start legal proceedings at an earlier date. If the
claimant had any personal characteristics which might prevent them from acting
as a reasonable person would, these could be taken into account by the judge
when deciding whether to exercise discretion to extend the limitation period.
145. In the pre-action letter Tracey Emmott wrote the following concerning the
extension of the limitation period:
a. The reason for the delay has been that our client did not have the
requisite knowledge to bring a claim.
b. The evidence is likely to be sufficiently cogent for the court to determine
the issues in view of the severity of the events and recollection that our
34
client has of them. Further, there is ample corroborative evidence and
similar fact evidence, as investigated and confirmed by the police.
c. It is well recognised that disclosure of abuse can occur many years later
and is concealed on account of shame, guilt and fear of not being
believed.
146. Reflection on the above includes the following comments:
a. Carol’s letter of the 3 August 1995 displayed explicitly at least some
determination to recover compensation – though without reference to a
legal claim.
b. The claimed cogency of the evidence arguably was far from clear.
Subparagraph (b) called for a response to the effect that Bishop Bell had
been dead for over half a century and that a fair trial would be extremely
difficult. The final sentence of (b) plainly was inaccurate – no corroboration
or similar fact evidence [evidence of system, similar acts or propensity]
was or ever has been produced by the police or otherwise.
c. Disclosure had been made in 1995.
147. Those reflections in my view required to be considered in the assessment by
the Church’s legal representatives of the strength of the claim, and whether it
should be settled and, if so, on what terms. Whilst in the final analysis the
limitation point was not taken, and probably reasonably so, it was sufficiently
cogent to remain a factor in any negotiations between solicitors. In my view it
was given insufficient attention. This is discussed further below.
35
[G] THE CORE GROUP MEETINGS WITH REVIEWER’S COMMENTS
148. Conceptually, a Core Group to deal with a case is an excellent idea. As a matter
of common sense and good practice, the essentials of such a group should
include:
(i) Membership representing all relevant interests within the organisation
concerned.
(ii) Clear reference to the Core Group as being the material decision makers.
(iii) If legal issues arise, internal and/or external legal advisers.
(iv) Consistent chairing and membership, i.e. all members to attend all
meetings as far as possible.
(v) Clear and well defined terms of reference; and a tabulated proposed
programme of work.
(vi) Sufficient meetings, if necessary allowing some members to attend online
where necessary.
(vii) All members to see all relevant papers for every meeting, and in the same
format. Decisions cannot be regarded as satisfactory or, possibly even,
valid if there is not a fully transparent process within the Core Group –
which includes seeing all papers.
(viii) An agreed and well-understood process for making key decisions –
especially to deal with situations where there is not consensus.
149. On the 16 April 2014 Colin Perkins sent a pre-agreed email to fourteen
individuals asking for their availability for an initial Core Group meeting. They
were:
The Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner
The Bishop of Durham The Rt Revd. Paul Butler, Chairman of the Church
National Safeguarding Committee
The Bishop at Lambeth The Rt Revd. Nigel Stock (who worked directly with the
Archbishop of Canterbury)
John Rees, Provincial Registrar
Jill Sandham, of Church of England Safeguarding
Kate Wood, Archbishop’s adviser on safeguarding
Rachel Harden, Church communications and PR
Angela Sibson, Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Chichester
Matthew Chinery, Registrar of the Diocese
John Booth, on behalf of the Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance
Paula Jefferson, then of DAC Beachcroft, external solicitor advising but not a
member of the group
Gemma Wordsworth
36
150. On the 29 April 2014 the Bishop of Durham sent an email to the members of
the Core Group:
Dear All,
At the meeting of Archbishops & Diocesans Archbishop Justin decided that he should
inform those gathered of the possibility of the name of the person concerned
becoming public in due course.
In the light of the Cyril Smith case I am also increasingly coming to think that there
should be a release of the name. It is also worth reflecting on the Max Clifford case
where all bar 1 (I think) of the offences for which he was found guilty only came to
light after the public notification of the 1 offence.
However before doing so we would need to be very clear about potential support for
any relatives who might be affected, reporting mechanism for any potential survivors
coming forward, and how those who would want to defend him might have a voice
(since he obviously could not do so himself).
It would set a precedent so it might be that whilst the meeting on 9th should only focus
on this case those of us who would need to be involved in a wider discussion might
need to set it up for soon afterwards.
151. The first meeting occurred on the 9 May 2014 in London. Gemma Wordsworth
(who was on maternity leave) and the Bishop of Durham were not present. The
Bishop of Horsham, The Rt Revd. Mark Sowerby, was present. The meeting
was chaired by Jill Sandham.
152. There was a full discussion at the meeting, ranging over several subjects:
Written summary
Colin Perkins had prepared a written summary, which was circulated and read. It was
revealed that the 1995 correspondence had been found in a cupboard in the
Chichester Bishop’s Palace.
Merits of a Public Announcement about the case
The question was asked whether there should be public announcement of the issue
at that stage. The group was reminded that Canterbury Cathedral had plans to
commission a statue of Bishop Bell, and that he may be featured in work being done
on behalf of the Holocaust Commission. Plainly, a public announcement would have
a major impact. Carol was not pushing for public disclosure, but would be unlikely to
oppose it. Bishop Bell’s descendants were discussed and it was noted that ‘there may
be extended family’. Paula Jefferson spoke of the solicitor Tracey Emmott’s
experience, and expressed the view that Tracey Emmott at that stage would not put
37
the case on her firm’s website and that it was unlikely to be concluded in less than six
months. Matthew Chinery did not want any part in preventing the case from entering
the public domain, but Paula Jefferson advised that the should ‘let the investigation
proceed at this stage’. Bishop Warner mentioned both the need for trust in the Diocese
to be built up, but also for a robust process and justice to Bishop Bell.
There was mention of a possible joint statement at the point of settlement (if reached).
However, Kate Wood suggested that it would be dangerous to allow public disclosure
founded on a single allegation and that due legal process had to be followed.
There was a need to move quickly as there may be other victims, who would be
elderly.
There was a discussion about obtaining material from former Kindertransport children.
In this context it was agreed that it was not the Church’s role to conduct an
investigation, particularly if this did not have the support of the police. It was agreed
that Colin Perkins would clarify with the police whether they had totally concluded their
investigation, and whether they would be prepared to conduct those further enquiries
with the Kinderstransport.
Paula Jefferson suggested that the claim should be allowed to proceed over the next
few months. She said that this would consist primarily of obtaining medical reports. In
addition, it would be important for her to establish what the victim wanted: apology for
abuse; apology for the response to the letter written in 1995.
In this part of the meeting, it was agreed that the Core Group should meet again in
two months – in the hope of further clarification of the police position (‘will they follow
up leads if further victims come forward?’); for negotiations to continue (‘hopefully
conclude’) on the funding position and for investigations to take place as to how any
further potential victims might reasonably be traced, including through the Jewish
community.
Legal process and liability; and claims against Bishops and Financial Liability
Paula Jefferson explained that an agreement would need to be reached as to who
was financially liable. There was a detailed discussion about where financial liability
would fall.
She also advised that there was a possibility that the case would be statute barred by
limitation; to which John Rees responded (and the meeting agreed) that any defence
that smacked of legalism must be avoided.
Public Announcement
There was agreement that a ‘reactive statement’ should be prepared in the event that
the news of the case broke other than proactively from the Church. This led to a
discussion about Bishop Bell’s prominence, and his reputation as a distinguished
38
spiritual leader and hymn writer. Comparisons were drawn with other religious figures
whose reputations had been severely damaged by abuse of children. An analogy was
drawn with the religious sculptor Eric Gill15
.
Action points
The Church’s national communications team was to deal with all enquiries, and a
reactive ‘if asked’ statement was to be prepared immediately for agreement.
Confirmation was to be obtained in writing from Sussex Police as to their position on
investigating further leads that may surface.
153. I have described the first Core Group meeting in detail, because it set the broad
agenda for the further meetings that followed. In assessing the performance
and effectiveness of the Group I was assisted greatly by the solicitor Paula
Jefferson, who allowed me a full face-to-face discussion of the case, and
assisted in ensuring that I was in possession of all relevant papers. In so far as
I comment upon her actions and advice, I am sure that she found herself
advising a client more risk-averse than most, more interested in damage
limitation than a legally robust process and outcome.
154. I held three meetings with members of the Core Group – the first with
approximately half of the active membership, and the others with members who
were not able to attend the first meeting. The Core Group members with whom
I met were co-operative and thoughtful in what they told me.
155. My criticisms of the important, first Core Group meeting principally are:
(i) My impression from the Minutes is that the justice of the case (for both
Carol and Bishop Bell) apparently was not of as great importance as the
paramount consideration of the reputation of the Church.
(ii) Despite reference to justice for Bishop Bell, no method or system was
devised, or even discussed, in order to secure fair consideration from his
standpoint.
(iii) There was an underlying acceptance that Carol had told the truth – she
was referred to as ‘the victim’ – as opposed to ‘complainant’ [see section
[N] below].
(iv) Apart from remarks about possible further police activity and an approach
to the Jewish community, there was no real discussion of an investigation
of the truth.
(v) The significance of limitation point arising from delay in making the claim
was addressed but dismissed by the Group. Nobody addressed the

15 Against whom there is substantial and undisputed evidence of repeated incest.
39
purpose of the time bar or its potentially high relevance in this case. It
operates to prevent unfairness, especially in cases where the opportunity
to defend has been completely dissipated by the passage of time, and
where the Claimant was long aware of the potential for a claim for
compensation. I consider that there could have been an explicable
application to stop the case on this basis, which could have been
considered on the merits by an experienced judge. Had this approach
been considered more actively, I feel sure that a fuller investigation would
have been organised, the results of which would have informed the further
conduct of the case, not least within the Core Group and in the
negotiations between solicitors.
156. The second Core Group meeting was on the 10 July 2014. Absent from those
who attended the previous meeting were the Bishop of Chichester and Rachel
Harden. The Bishop of Horsham and John Rees attended part of the meeting.
Jill Sandham chaired the meeting. Added attendees were The Revd Arun Arora
from the Church Communications Office (I am told in place of Rachel Harden)
and Saira Salimi on behalf of the Church Commissioners.
157. Mr Tilby has made a significant contribution to my task. He has been central in
ensuring that I have been provided with complete documentation, and has
provided information whenever requested. The Revd Arun Arora too has been
of great assistance in clarifying the communications aspects of the case.
158. In this 10 July meeting Paula Jefferson reported that she had met Tracey
Emmott, Carol’s solicitor, to discuss the case. The allegations of abuse related
to the period 1947-50 [in 1950 Carol had her 8th birthday], and were consistent
throughout Carol’s various descriptions of it. There was no corroborative
evidence. Carol had been taken to visit the Palace, but changes in the interior
meant that this aspect provided no corroboration. For reasons which are far
from clear to me, Carol had been shown the public part of the Palace , but not
the private parts she said she had also visited as a child. Ms. Jefferson advised
against reliance on the statute bar. It was stated that negligence was not likely
to be an issue if there was an admission of vicarious liability. There was
discussion about obtaining an independent report from a forensic standpoint.
Paula Jefferson advised that it would not be sensible to accept Carol’s evidence
without questioning it through an independent expert. Someone would be
needed to make a forensic assessment – clearly a reference to a psychiatrist.
It was agreed that there would be further investigations, and that there would
be a public announcement at some stage – though this would be difficult without
Carol’s consent. It was agreed to postpone informing any other agencies.
There was a discussion of the possible quantum of damages. Matthew Chinery
stated that he believed that there was a consensus that a decision to settle and
40
never mention it again would be entirely untenable from a reputation/risk point
of view.
There was a consensus to make further investigations and for public disclosure
at some point. The Claimant’s solicitor could be told that there would not be an
immediate settlement but further investigation.
Paula Jefferson ‘suggested that there could be an agreement between the
solicitors regarding a joint statement once the case is settled as it is likely the
Claimant’s Solicitor will put something on the website’.
There was consensus to test the credibility before taking it to the settlement
stage.
However, it was agreed that it would be better not to approach the Holocaust
Commission or the Chief Rabbi’s office ‘until the claim had been given
credibility’.
‘[The Bishop of Horsham] asked if the case could be expedited. Paula Jefferson
suggested that it could be settled by the end of August or beginning of
September depending on how quickly the medical reports could be obtained
and this would depend on when the Bishop of Chichester issues instructions
for further investigation’.
A further meeting of the Core Group was proposed for September 2014.
159. The detailed minutes of the second meeting, summarised above, lead me to
following comments:
(i) There was no discussion whatsoever of the need to ensure the justice of
the case by examining the facts from Bishop Bell’s standpoint. This issue
seems to have been totally abandoned.
(ii) In reality, any notion of a balanced investigation had been abandoned.
Certainly no steps to that end were taken, other than the decision to
approach a forensic psychiatrist.
(iii) The argument that the Kindertransport angle should not be investigated
until the credibility of the claim had been assessed was circular and
misconceived.
160. There was a considerable delay before the third meeting of the Core Group.
During that time Tracey Emmott had obtained a forensic psychiatric report on
behalf of her client. The experienced psychiatrist concerned, Dr Judith
Freedman was instructed by Carol’s solicitor, and I have not seen those
instructions in full. However, it is a simple inference from reading the report that
Dr Freedman was not asked to assess Carol’s credibility, or any wider and
possibly related issues such as false or recovered memories, as she did not so
so. Dr Freedman clearly fully followed the instructions she received, to provide
an assessment of the damage suffered by Carol on the basis that her
allegations were entirely true. The instructions I have seen were:
“a. Is Carol suffering and/or has she in the past suffered from any identifiable
41
psychiatric illness and if so please identify the illness or illnesses, and when she
suffered such illness?
b. If she is suffering and / or has suffered from any identifiable psychiatric illness to
what extent is this attributable to the sexual abuse that she suffered from Bishop
George Bell (deceased) between 1947 and 1950?
Having regard to question b. please describe in detail how you consider Carol’s
experiences at the hands of Bishop George Bell (deceased) have affected her:
i. family life
ii. relationships
iii. ability to work
Considering the issue of causation in more detail, please comment on the causative
significance of abuse suffered by Carol at the hands of Bishop George Bell (deceased)
in relation to any past and present treatment.
Please consider the prognosis. In particular please make reference to:
Carol’s future therapy requirements. If you consider that Carol would benefit from
psychiatric treatment and/or counselling please set out your recommendations for the
treatment and the cost of such treatment on a private basis.
What is your prognosis once Carol has undergone such treatment if you feel that this
is possible to predict at this stage?
Please consider whether Carol has capacity to conduct legal proceedings under the
Mental Capacity Act 2005.
‘The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (section 2(1)) provides that a person lacks capacity if,
at the time a decision needs to be made, he or she is unable to make or communicate
the decision because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the
mind or brain’.
The Act contains a two-stage test of capacity which has diagnostic and functional
elements:
Is there an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of the person’s mind or
brain?
If so, is the impairment or disturbance such that the person lacks the capacity to make
decisions in relation to the proceedings.
161. On the 24 October 2014 Paula Jefferson provided a letter of advice to The
Bishop of Chichester. That is at Annex E below. It summarised the law,
procedural issues, and options for the future conduct of the matter. Doubtless,
this letter and Paula Jefferson’s presence were influential for the Core Group’s
deliberations, though it is unclear who saw the letter.
42
162. In the Autumn of 2014 it was decided that the psychiatric report obtained by
Tracey Emmott would not be accepted without further investigation, and that a
separate report would be obtained on behalf of Church interests. This was
obtained from Professor Anthony Maden, whose instructions were different in
one important respect. He was asked clearly to comment on credibility issues.
His instructions were set out by Paul Jefferson in a list of questions:
1. Do you in your opinion believe that the abuse occurred?
2. If so did it occur to the extent alleged?
3. Do you have any doubts about the veracity of the Claimant’s evidence?
Assuming you accept there was abuse then please consider
4. What impact did the abuse have on the Claimant?
5. Please provide your prognosis, commenting on:
5.1 the extent of any continuing disability
5.2 the impact which this has on daily living;
5.3 the impact which this had on the Claimant’s capacity for work;
5.4 when any continuing disability is likely to resolve.
6. Please review the Claimant’s medical and other records and quote
relevant extracts in your report.
Please also advise:
6.1 whether the Claimant has any relevant pre abuse/post abuse history
which has impacted on the Claimant’s psychiatric health;
6.2 whether the Claimant’s past and current psychiatric ill health were
caused by the abuse. Were there any other causes?
6.3 had the abuse not contributed to psychiatric injury would it have
occurred at all or to the same extent?
163. There followed a delay typical of the sometimes tortuous processes of litigation,
for which in this case no blame attaches.
164. On the 5 March 2015 Detective Inspector EF of Sussex Police emailed Colin
Perkins to the effect that:
i. If Bishop Bell were still alive he would have been arrested on suspicion
of rape.
ii. Quite often historical allegations of rape boil down to one word against
another.
43
iii. Had Bishop Bell denied the accusations, a file would have been sent to
the Crown Prosecution Service to consider:
(a) that it was proven by Church records that Bishop Bell had the access and
opportunity to commit the offences;
(b) that Carol had been consistent in her allegations;
(c) that complainants of sexual crime should be held to no higher standard
of integrity than a victim of any other crime, and there is absolutely
nothing that challenges the victim’s integrity on this allegation;
(d) who has more reason to lie about what happened? The victim has been
consistent over many years, including to [the person she visited] at the
time who didn’t believe her. It was true that there was now a claim for civil
damages, but importantly the Diocese were probably not going to contest
that – i.e. on the balance of probabilities they believed it happened.
(e) Despite the limited amount of information that could be obtained on this
matter, the police considered there was credible evidence on which to
decide an outcome. ‘In view of the above I believe that there is scope to
consider this matter for detection under Home Office Counting Rules
Outcome 5 – Offender has died.’
165. At this point it will be helpful to interpose some comments on law and procedure
related to the above police response.
166. The Code of Practice to Revised Code G of the Police and Criminal Evidence
Act 198416, which was implemented on 12 November 2012, provided that prior
to arrest alternatives must be considered:
The use of the power must be fully justified and officers exercising the power
should consider if the necessary objectives can be met by other, less intrusive
means. Arrest must never be used simply because it can be used. Absence of
justification ….may lead to challenges should the case proceed to court…
The Code provides that if a Senior Investigating Officer considers that a search,
interview, taking of samples etc., can be achieved without the necessity for an
arrest, then an arrest will not be appropriate. Those who cooperate will not be

16 Paragraph 1.3 of the Code of Practice.
44
taken into custody. An interview should be carried out on a voluntary basis
unless voluntary attendance is not considered a practicable alternative. In
certain cases, an arrest will, of course, be necessary. If the suspect appears to
represent a potential danger to the public, or is likely to abscond, or to destroy
potential evidence, or is a danger to himself, then an arrest will be appropriate.
167. Had Bishop Bell still been alive, unless there was evidence that he appeared to
represent a danger to the public he would not have satisfied the arrest
conditions. I am surprised that the police did not appear to be aware of this. The
probability is that, had he been alive, his premises and any computer would
have been searched under a warrant, and he would have been interviewed
under caution at a police station, not under arrest. This is of some significance
because the Core Group may well have taken an exaggerated view of the use
of the word ‘arrest’, as being in some way of itself evidence pointing towards
guilt – which it is not.
168. By this time, March 2015, there had been considerable publicity about the
accusations made against Peter Ball, and a trial date had been set. This
heightened the sense of anxiety felt within the Core Group.
169. Unfortunately, DI EF did not emphasise that no enquiries had been carried out
beyond interviewing Carol. Nor did he set out accurately the two-stage test to
be applied by the CPS in deciding whether to prosecute, namely whether there
is a realistic prospect of conviction on the evidence and, if so, whether it is in
the public interest to prosecute17
-using the merits based approach, described
in paragraph 41 above.
170. Nor was any specialist criminal lawyer asked to advise on the strength of the
evidence. Given the potential importance and impact of the case, I would have
expected senior Treasury Counsel to have been instructed to advise. I note that
two Opinions were obtained from a QC on the issue of which part of the Church
(if any) would have to meet any award of damages in a case of this general
kind. The issue of whether a prosecution would have reached the requisite
standard, and the accompanying reasoning, was at least as important for this
Core Group’s deliberations.
171. Had the evidence my review has obtained without any particular difficulty (see
section [H] below) been available to the Church and the CPS, I doubt that the
test for a prosecution would have been passed. Had a prosecution been

17 For completeness, I should make it clear that I have also considered the CPS threshold test which,
were Bishop Bell alive, would not apply in this case as there would be no realistic risks were he to be
granted bail.
45
brought on the basis of that evidence, founded upon my experience and
observations I judge the prospects of a successful prosecution as low. I would
have expected experienced criminal counsel to have advised accordingly.
172. Of course, the view that a prosecution would have failed does not mean that
Carol has not told the truth – which, as I emphasised earlier, it is not part of my
task to decide.
173. Nevertheless, had the Core Group been in possession of such an assessment,
there can be little doubt that it would have affected their approach to the
fundamental question of whether civil proceedings should have been settled
without resistance and without further factual enquiry, notwithstanding the lower
standard of proof for civil proceedings.
174. On the 9 March 2015 Graham Tilby as Core Group Chairman sent an email to
some, but surprisingly not all members, outlining the proposed decision-making
process regarding public disclosure. His emphasis was on:
(i) The view of Carol and the potential psychological impact of disclosure by
public announcement upon her.
(ii) What evidence was there that there may be other complainants?
(iii) Do other public agencies regard such announcements as being in the
public interest?
(iv) What is Church policy on public announcements?
(v) What is the potential impact on the family/reputation of the deceased
(given that he cannot offer his own defence)?
175. The third meeting of the Core Group was on the 10 March 2015. Gemma
Wordsworth was present on this occasion, in her role as Independent Domestic
and Sexual Violence Adviser seconded to the Diocese. Also additional
compared with the previous meeting was Gabrielle Higgins, who had
succeeded Angela Sibson as Diocesan Secretary. In addition Graham Tilby
attended for the first time, having succeeded Jill Sandham. Rachel Harden
attended again, having attended the first but not the second meeting. Absent
compared with the previous meeting were The Bishop of Horsham and Messrs
Booth, Sandham, Sibson, Wood and Salimi.
176. This was an unacceptable change in membership of the Group, given their
responsibility and the requirement for consistency. Factual as well as tactical
and procedural decisions were required of the Group, and attendance should
have been a priority – a three-line whip. I appreciate that there were changes
of personnel, illness, personal reasons for various non-attendances. My
criticisms in this connection are not of individuals concerned, but of the fact of
inconsistency in the Group. In a situation where important fact-finding
46
challenges are required, consistency of membership is important – even if it
means reducing the size of the group and obtaining a broader spectrum of
outside advisers.
177. At this meeting a summary of the report of Professor Maden was provided to
the members. I do not understand why it was decided not to give them the full
report. The summary does not provide the full picture of Professor Maden’s
comments on credibility. Some members of the Group had seen the full report:
thus the members were not all possessed of the same information relevant to
key decisions.
178. The parts of Professor Maden’s report dealing generally with credibility were as
follows:
Summary of Opinion
The delays in reporting in this case are exceptional. Memory is not reliable over such
long periods of time and the only way to establish that the allegations are true would
be through corroborating evidence.
The Claimant had an unhappy childhood …… There are no current mental health
problems and she has lived a normal life with no significant mental health problems
for over 30 years.
No mental health problems can be attributed to the material abuse and it has not
affected the Claimant’s life.
No treatment is indicated.
She has never lacked the mental capacity to complain. She has never had a mental
health problem that would have prevented her from complaining. The delay has
caused enormous problems for the expert asked to assess the case.
Opinion
General Comments
I found the Claimant to be an apparently straightforward woman of good character. I
have no reason to believe that the material allegations are a conscious fabrication.
However, there are enormous problems for the expert arising from the fact that the
Claimant is now assessed 63 years after the material events. The alleged abuse was
not reported until over 40 years after the material events.
Memory is not reliable over such long periods of time. Recall is an active mental
process in which memories tend to become distorted with time to fit the individual’s
beliefs, needs and values. Both the content and the meaning of recollections change
47
with time. Events can and do acquire a significance years later that they did not have
at the time.
I can expand on these problems if it would assist the Court. The distorting and
sometimes creative nature of recall has been recognised since the work of Bartlett in
the 1940s. This and much of the subsequent research is summarised in works such
as that by Sabbagh (2009), Schachter (2007) and Fernyhough (2013). It is a
consistent finding of research in this field that these problems with recall are unrelated
to questions of honesty, integrity, intelligence or level of education. The consequence
is that neither the individual nor anybody else can test the reliability and accuracy of a
recollection except by reference to other sources of information.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists, in common with similar professional bodies in
other countries, recognises that in some cases so-called “false memories” of abuse
may arise. The emphasis in the College document on the subject (Brandon et al, 1997)
is on such memories arising during therapy but the literature cited above gives no
reason to believe the problems associated with recall of distant events are limited to
therapeutic situations. Therapy is simply one of the many influences on the individual’s
beliefs, needs and values that shape and determine memories.
Taking that into account, my advice to the Court based on my interpretation of the
research is that after so many years there is no way of determining without reference
to corroborating information whether or not recall is accurate. I cannot say whether the
allegations are a so-called “false memory” but equally I cannot say they are an
accurate recollection of what happened. The onus is on the Claimant to establish that
her recollection of what went on between about 1947 and 1952 is accurate. I do not
know how she can do that without reference to corroborating information but it is an
issue for the Court to decide.
The psychiatric expert’s contribution is limited. I note that …. She had been living a
normal life in a happy marriage since ….. During the course of her first marriage she
was …… abused. It is very likely that those experiences affected her recall of the
earlier, alleged events. After the 1995 complaint, she did not experience any
deterioration in her mental health, as often happens when there is disclosure of abuse
after many years. She carried on with her life as normal. Memories of the abuse were
not triggered by her own experience of bringing up children, as often happens in such
cases.
Another problem with civil claims made so long after the material events is that they
are an invitation to engage in a process of retrospective re- attribution. It is a natural
tendency to look for meaning in one’s life and to impose meaning on events if
necessary or helpful for one reason or another. One looks back at one’s life and reinterprets
events, attaching to them a significance they did not have before and that
they may not deserve. It is a particularly tempting prospect when things go wrong in
one’s life. It can be even more tempting if the re-attribution leads to the responsibility
for any problems being attached to others rather than to one’s own decisions. It is also
a process in which anybody can engage.
48
No matter how successful a life, most people when looking back over 40, 50 or 60
years will be able to identify things that could have been done better or could have
turned out better. They will identify personality characteristics they would like to
change. The distorting effects of memory reinforce this process. It can be particularly
difficult to remember emotions or motivations after many years. None of this has much
to do with mental health or psychiatric problems, which are the central issues for a
psychiatrist. Psychiatrists have expertise in mental health problems but not in
explaining why a person without a mental disorder takes one decision rather than
another.
In the present case, the Claimant looks back on a life that for the first 30 years or so
was often unhappy. There is an obvious temptation to seek to (consciously or
unconsciously) allocate the blame for that unhappiness to the actions of others in the
distant past.
The time spans in this case are immense when considering complex issues of
causation. For example, by my calculations the Claimant left her [first] husband after
.. years of marriage in about …. Erin Pizzey opened her first women’s refuge [[shortly
afterwards] and did not publish her ground- breaking book on domestic violence
(Scream Quietly or the Neighbours will Hear) until about 1975. There is no need to
invoke a personality defect or any other psychological characteristic to explain why a
woman of that era stayed so long with a violent husband – particularly when she did in
fact leave him at a time when there was probably little or no support for her to call
upon.
The Claimant strikes me as a sympathetic and in many ways admirable woman. She
does not suffer from a personality disorder. I have no doubt that she is sincere in her
beliefs. Nevertheless it remains my view that the possibility of false memories in this
case cannot be excluded.
The facts are for the Court to determine. I do not believe that psychiatric or other expert
evidence is likely to be of further assistance in establishing whether or not these
allegations are true.
In an attempt to assist the Court, for the purposes of diagnosis I assume the Court
finds the Claimant was abused as she now alleges.
179. As noted previously, the issue of credibility was not part of the instructions given
to Dr Freedman, and accordingly was not addressed as an issue in her report.
Paula Jefferson, plainly a key adviser to but not a member of the Group,
informed the meeting of Professor Maden’s good reputation for balance. She
said that there was no reason to regard Carol as making anything up, but that
false memories can occur. This fell short of the professor’s view that he could
not exclude the risk of false memories in this case. Colin Perkins provided his
interpretation of the full report, which he had read – that much of the
reservations raised by Professor Maden were about causation and quantum;
49
and that the unreliability of memory was not specific to Carol but is something
that is raised in general with these types of claims. He had read a lot of accounts
of this nature: false accounts tend to be an amalgamation of the worst
newspaper headlines. Carol had given a consistent account, so his view was
that it was unlikely that it was entirely false.
180. In my view, the members of the Group who had not read the full report were left
in no position to question what they were told.
181. Given the comments of Professor Maden cited above, had there been full
knowledge of them in the Group, my expectation would have been that the
majority would have steered back towards a fuller evidential investigation of the
claim. This is an important example of what, earlier in this review, I called
‘oversteer’.
182. Arun Arora raised the issue of the standard of civil proof, the balance of
probabilities. Mr Perkins then read from the police’s view set out in paragraph
137 above. He said that they believed Carol, and that there was nothing to
challenge her credibility. If the evidence is considered credible, then it is
reported as a detected crime, as had happened in this case. However, Mr Arora
added that there could be a number of reasons why a crime would be reported
as detected, including police statistics, and this should be kept in mind.
183. Gabrielle Higgins responded in relation to the balance of probabilities. She
pointed out that there had been no other allegations: Mr Tilby responded that
there might be only a single victim. Ms. Higgins emphasised Carol’s very young
age at the time complained of, the possibility of false memory, and the possible
contradiction between Carol saying to Professor Maden that Bishop Bell told
her to tell nobody, but that she said she had told [the person she visited]. In Ms.
Higgins’s view, false memory could be an issue; and she reported that the
Bishop of Chichester was uncomfortable about accepting the claim. Paula
Jefferson suggested that a Court if hearing the case would take into account
the misgivings expressed by Ms. Higgins.
184. John Rees asked if costs (and presumably some damages) could be paid on a
‘no liability’ basis.
185. There was a discussion of a possible settlement involving a confidentiality
clause. Paula Jefferson observed that they were difficult to enforce. In any
event, the Archbishop’s Visitation Report to the Diocese had recommended
strongly that confidentiality clauses should not be added to settlements.
50
186. There was then a vote among those present. A majority expressed the view
that, on the balance of probabilities, indecency had taken place and this
therefore justified considering a settlement.
187. There followed a discussion about the issue of an apology, and that this should
be by letter from the Bishop of Chichester, or possibly face to face. However,
this was a matter for further consideration.
188. Once again, this Core Group meeting progressed without adequate advocacy
or significant consideration of the interests of Bishop Bell, or of the real
adequacy of what was described as the investigation. Nor was detailed
consideration given to the possibility of an attempt to deny liability, to see
whether a claim would actually be pursued or not. Indeed, the possibility of
fighting the claim was not considered in a structured way at any time.
189. As indicated above, the possibility of a confidential settlement was rejected. I
consider this further at paragraphs 51-52 above and 268 below.
190. Not considered at any time was a litigation risk or ‘nuisance value’ settlement
with a clear denial of liability, referred to further below. This would have involved
paying a sum of damages and costs on the clear and explicit basis that it was
a less costly option than fighting the case.
191. There followed further delay. During that period, in June 2015, there was further
publicity adverse to the Diocese, when a retired Eastbourne vicar Robert Coles
had sixteen months’ imprisonment added to a previous eight year sentence for
offences relating to boys.
192. The fourth meeting of the Core Group was on the 28 July 2015. This meeting
was attended by a diminishing number of members. Kate Singleton, a member
of the Church safeguarding staff was added. Saira Salimi and the Bishop of
Horsham attended. From the previous meeting, Bishop Stock, John Rees (who
may well have been indisposed), Gemma Wordsworth (who worked mornings
only) and Gabrielle Higgins dialled into the meeting. .
193. On this occasion, the agenda was short. The solicitor Paula Jefferson had been
negotiating with Tracey Emmott. The claim could be settled for damages of
between £15-20,000. An offer had been made of £16,800. As part of the
settlement, Claimant’s costs of around £15,000 would be payable in addition to
the damages. There would be a written letter of apology from the Bishop of
Chichester. There was no desire for publicity on Carol’s part personally, and
her solicitor would have to be forewarned of any press release.
51
194. The meeting decided to progress with the settlement, if possible by the end of
the following month. There should be a joint letter signed by The Archbishop of
Canterbury and The Bishop of Chichester, and the latter should offer to meet
Carol in September. A draft of the letter was to be circulated to the Group
presumably for the purpose of comment, to include recognition of ‘acts of
indecency’, acknowledging her correct recollection of abuse, and referring to
the poor response in 1995.
195. There was a discussion of the issue of public announcement. Several contraindications
were mentioned, including that there was no other reported victim
nor any history of other concerns. On the other side of the equation, the meeting
addressed the ‘Principle of Transparency – in the interests of episcopal
openness’, and also the understanding that Carol’s solicitor was likely to make
some form of public notification.
196. The meeting’s decision was as follows:
On the balance of probabilities, the Core Group believed that we could not rule out
other victims, who may be of a similar age to the complainant. It was agreed to seek
a third party independent professional opinion based on an anonymous outline of the
case. GT to contact Donald Findlater from Lucy Faithfull Foundation in the first
instance, CP to formulate a summary of the case to be shared.
It was agreed that given any form of public acknowledgement, that there would be
potentially large scale media interest given subject’s involvement with Kinder
Transport, Jewish Community and Holocaust Education Trust.
197. Arun Arora was to draft the initial version of the media statement, and to consult
the press officer at Lambeth Palace and the Communications Officer in
Chichester. Colin Perkins was to notify public authorities of the intention to
release a media statement. A ‘mapping exercise’ was to be undertaken about
areas of involvement (impact) and possible family members. Carol was to be
forewarned of any media release after settlement. The Group was to reconvene
on 9 September at Church House in London to consider in more detail the
impact of public disclosure based on the mapping exercise and agree the
apology letter.
198. The Core Group next met (fifth meeting) on the 9 September. On this occasion
The Bishop at Lambeth, Jane Dodds, Gemma Wordsworth and a minute taker
were those present who had not attended the previous meeting. The Bishop of
Horsham had attended the previous meeting but was absent this time.
Apologies were given by John Rees, and by Ailsa Anderson. Ms. Anderson was
Head of Communications as Lambeth Palace; it is puzzling as to why she gave
apologies, as she had never featured in the Core Group before.
52
199. Of those who attended the very first Core Group meeting of the 9 May 2014,
absent on the 9 September 2015 were The Bishop of Chichester, The Bishop
of Horsham, Angela Sibson, John Booth and Jill Sandham. All of these five
individuals held significant roles and might have made contributions if present.
Apparently the Bishop of Chichester and John Booth were not invited to this
meeting; and I have been told that Angela Sibson and Jill Sandham no longer
held significant roles.
200. At this meeting it was revealed that the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, who had been
asked to help, would not be able to provide a full, independent risk assessment
of the kind discussed at the previous meeting: they were not willing to be quoted
even if they provided information because no formal risk assessment was being
prepared.
201. Carol’s solicitors had agreed a settlement in the sum of £16,800 damages plus
£15,000 solicitor’s costs. A letter of apology from The Bishop of Chichester was
to be delivered personally by the Bishop to Carol. She would like to engage with
Church communications, and wished to receive a timeline of action and any
statements.
202. The draft apology letter had been discussed and changed in a series of emails
and had been agreed in principle. Colin Perkins was concerned that the letter
should be ‘heartfelt’, and that it was better to let staff to set the parameters and
the Bishop to write the letter. There would be a separate and public apology
statement by the Church. This strategy was supported fully by The Archbishop
of Canterbury.
203. It was emphasised at the meeting that the Church should be seen to have a
robustly supportive policy for survivors.
204. There was a perceived problem that people such as the journalist Peter
Hitchens, who recently had described Bishop Bell as a personal hero, would
regard the Church as ‘caving in’ and would cause a media storm if the Church
was insufficiently robust in its position. In this context, it was recommended that
it was important that the Church openly should say that it had ‘settled a claim’,
so that it was clear ‘there has been a legal test and an investigative threshold
has been set’.
205. Arun Arora advised that they needed a report or academic journal article
supporting the position that ‘an offender like GB’ was very likely to reoffend,
and therefore there were very likely to be other victims – this would support the
need for disclosure. They needed to be able to quote the names of
experts/papers etc. if/when asked by the press to explain their decisions.
53
Without established expertise, he said, they could be accused of jumping to
conclusions, and could be challenged by the House of Bishops. The Church
could not afford to look as shambolic as the police in the Ted Heath case.
Rachel Harden said they needed a one-line answer to the question as to the
evidential basis on which they settled the claim. Paula Jefferson responded that
they had obtained an independent psychiatric report and had tested the
evidence.
206. Rachel Harden is minuted as having stated that they had failed to identify any
living members of Bishop Bell’s family, and that the risk of family coming
forward was low. This was later revised in the Minutes to read:
A review of records at Lambeth Palace Library was undertaken. RH confirmed that the
Bells had no children. However, there may be nieces or nephews alive and their
descendants who may or may not come forward.
207. That confirms that there was no or almost no effort to identify descendants.
Some do exist, as I was able to discover with ease.
208. There was an extensive discussion about the Bishop Bell name day and his
name on buildings and institutions. The removal of these items of recognition
would be a painful process.
209. The communications strategy was discussed, with a target date of the 30
September for the press release.
210. On the 10 September 2015 Paula Jefferson produced a Note summarising the
reasons for negotiating a settlement, with the relevant background information.
Material extracts from the Note are at Annex F below.
211. On the 17 September 2015 The Bishop of Chichester The Rt Revd Dr Martin
Warner wrote to Carol the letter of apology contained in Annex A below.
212. On the 7 October Peter Ball was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for
offences of misconduct in public office arising from sexual abuse of young men
under his episcopal influence. That case generated an enormous amount of
media interest.
54
[H] Subsequent investigations for the purposes of this review
213. I interpose at this point what a reasonably organised investigation might have
revealed to assist the Core Group. By a reasonably organised investigation, I
mean one in which an appropriate and proportionate call for evidence, and
other communications strategy, is followed. This is based on what I discovered
during my review.
The woman I shall call ‘Pauline’.
214. Shortly after the existence of my review was publicised, I received an email
from a woman I shall call Pauline. She lives in the United States, where she
made her home many years ago. She is married to an American and had her
family there, but retains family and other contacts in the UK. Late in 2016 a
British friend told her about the recent media interest in Bishop Bell, and on
request provided her with my address. She wrote to me, initially by post.
Subsequently we were in email contact, and she came to see me when visiting
the UK in May 2017. Pauline seems a balanced and sensible person, and there
is objective evidence from her recollections of names and the premises, and
from the electoral register, to support her basic account.
215. Pauline was born in 1941, so in the period 1948-52 was between 7 and 11
years old. Unusually for the time, as told to her she was effectively adopted
(though not legally adopted) through an informal procedure at 5 days old by a
single woman, whom I shall describe (as does she) as her mother. Her mother
was housekeeper in the Bishop’s Palace at Chichester. There was a cook, but
the cook did not remain to serve dinner in the evenings to Bishop Bell and his
wife, and any guests. That was part of the job of Pauline’s mother – to serve,
clear and wash the dishes. Sometimes, as a small girl, Pauline ‘helped’ her in
the kitchen.
216. Pauline and her mother lived in the palace itself. They shared a bedroom on an
upper floor, and they had a sitting room of their own. Pauline went to school
locally, to an Infants’ School then a Primary School. She passed the 11 Plus.
At that point her mother obtained a job in another household and they left the
palace. She remembers and named correctly other staff working in the palace
and living there or in the grounds. She remembered the name of [the person
Carol visited]. However, she did not recall Carol. This does not mean that Carol
was not there from time to time: however, if Pauline is correct it would suggest
that her visits were not so frequent as to have made her a significant presence.
217. Pauline remembers Bishop Bell clearly, she says. Her recollection is that the
Bishop spent a great deal of time in his study. She was correct in naming the
55
Bishop’s secretary, and that the secretary had a desk near the entrance to the
Bishop’s study. She never entered the study. The Bishop ‘was always in black
– he usually wore his bishop’s uniform’. ‘He was always very nice: he’d pat me
on the head and ask me how I was doing’. She said the Bishop was always
kind to her, and she felt nothing remotely weird about him. As an adult her
reflection is that Bishop Bell was scholarly and dignified. Pauline got on very
well with his wife Mrs Henrietta Bell, with whom she remembered picking apples
and pink roses.
218. Pauline was allowed to have friends to play. They played outside in the
extensive grounds, where the gardeners always were really kind to her. She
played often with the small grandson of one of the gardeners. She remembered
playing cowboys and Indians in the grounds, with a skipping rope for stirrups.
219. Sometimes there were children’s parties for the children of the clergy, and
Pauline always was invited.
220. It is at least very possible, and in my view likely, that Pauline’s recollection
broadly is correct. I tested her account, and found it compelling. This does not
necessarily negate what Carol has said – and it is not my role to choose
between them. Nevertheless, had the Core Group been aware of this evidence,
they might well have approached their task differently. I consider that an inquiry
into the facts by somebody with criminal investigative experience could well
have found her, especially after a call for evidence.
Canon Adrian Carey.
221. I met Mr Carey at his home in February 2017. Although 95 years old, he had a
clear though incomplete memory of the relevant matters. Unfortunately, he died
in July 2017.
222. Canon Carey worked as Bishop’s Chaplain to Bishop Bell from a date in 1950,
September as he thought. His role brought him very close to the bishop.
Although Bishop Bell had a very experienced secretary, who dealt with
diocesan matters, diary and other detailed arrangements, the young Revd.
Carey performed the role of a private secretary and religious adviser. He lived
in the Palace.
223. Canon Carey remembered no children living in or frequently visiting the Palace,
and had no recollection of Carol or Pauline. He said that when he first read
about Carol and her allegations, he thought there had been no such person in
the Palace.
56
224. He saw Bishop Bell with children at Christmas parties organised by Mrs Bell.
The bishop was a shy man, not noticeably comfortable with children. He
described Bishop Bell and his wife as being very close, often teasing each
other.
225. Nothing at all occurred that ever made him doubt Bishop Bell’s probity. He was
very religious, thoughtful and proper, in Canon Carey’s opinion.
Kindertransport, and evacuees from London
226. It is well documented that Bishop Bell was instrumental in what became known
as the Kindertransport, which rescued Jewish children from Germany and
brought them to the UK for fostering and education.
227. It has not been possible with the time or resources available to me to find living
survivors of the children who were accommodated and educated in the
Chichester palace during the later WW2 years. However, there is no doubt that
boys and girls were there, and were accessible to him on a daily basis. A search
of such sources as there are contains no adverse comments concerning him.
228. On the 29 July 2015 Colin Perkins described to Graham Tilby advice he had
obtained in relation to this issue, as follows:
Dear Graham,
Further to yesterday’s meeting I had a brief discussion with Miriam Rich this morning.
As I explained yesterday, when this issue first emerged I approached Miriam at
Elizabeth Hall’s instigation to discuss the potential impact of this case within the Jewish
community, given 1) the profile of the person in question and the esteem with which
he is held within the Jewish community, 2) the specific history of his involvement with
Kindertransport, and 3) the information we have which suggests that he and his wife
had Kindertransport children living with them during the war, and the possibility that
any victims from within this group may come forward within the Jewish community,
rather than to us or the public authorities.
Miriam does a much better job than I could do at explaining why an approach to the
Jewish community is important before this becomes public, and who within that
community we should speak with. She is happy to have a half-hour telephone
conference with myself and you to talk through these issues. Like a lot of people she
is away for much of August although she is around on Monday and Tuesday next
week, and will be back for early September too.
She is a consultant. She is happy to offer us the aforementioned phone conversation
‘for free’, as it were, although if we were to decide that we would like to utilise her to
57
approach key leaders in the Jewish community and/or to craft any specific messages
we may like to issue (for instance, she said that there will very probably be some
interest in this matter from the Jewish press in the UK), clearly there would be a charge
for that. But, she wouldn’t charge for the phone call, based on our previous relationship
with her (she knows this Diocese well, and both Jacqui Phillips and Arun Aurora have
met her last year. She also spoke at a conference in 2013 that Rachel organised).
I would recommend that the phone call is a good idea – like I said, I just can’t explain
as well as her why this is important and I did feel yesterday (and have done at previous
meetings) that I just wasn’t getting that across at all. Could I try and set that call up,
please? If so, are you around on Monday or Tuesday (perhaps around lunchtime) for
half an hour, or if not could we book a call in for the first week of September?
Thanks,
Colin Perkins
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
229. Though there was further contact with Miriam Rich, a search or enquiry was not
pursued for survivors or their and others’ written testimonies.
230. On the 9 October 2015 Colin Perkins recorded in a note that a large number of
evacuees from London had studied in the palace from 1940, and that evidence
(photographs of beds) suggested they lived there too. Press photographs he
had seen showed them all to be girls.
231. Mr Perkins had discovered an article from the Chichester Observer dated the
17 February 1983 in which a Mrs Suneps was cited as saying:
“I was boarded out with several families and got to know the Bishop when he made
his Palace into a school for evacuee children ..[he] had quite a lot to put up with from
us kids for about four-and-a-half years. We used to tear around the Palace and pinch
his apples, but he was always very nice and patient with us….Both the Bishop and his
wife were very kind … The Bishop often talked to the children and they learned a lot
from him… He was a wonderful man and I have very good memories of him.”
232. Mr Perkins’s conclusion from the above was as follows:
Clearly Mrs Suneps recalls GB in very positive terms. As we know this does not
undermine the conclusion we have reached. What this evidence does show, however,
is very clearly that GB had considerable access to children during a long period during
58
the war, and whilst he was not living at the Palace for much of this period, he was a
sufficiently regular visitor.
233. I regret that I do not understand the above comment, that the conclusion of the
Core Group was not undermined. The fact that Bishop Bell had access to many
young girls during WWII, that he had contact with them, and that no complaints
had emerged from that period, could have been the source of evidence in court
proceedings. Certainly it should have been regarded as a factor in the Core
Group’s decision making process. It was not so regarded.
59
[I] The Apology and Statement
234. On the 17 September 2015 the Bishop of Chichester wrote to Carol as follows
(also reproduced in Annex A below):
17 September 2015
I am writing to express my deep sorrow regarding the matters you wrote about in your
email to the Archbishop of Canterbury in April 2013. You reported being abused by
the former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, when you were a very young child
visiting the Palace with …… The abuse of children is a criminal act and a devastating
betrayal of trust that should never occur in any situation, particularly in the Church.
No-one should have to live with memories such as these and I am truly sorry that this
has been your experience.
I understand that in 1995 you approached Eric Kemp, the Bishop of Chichester at the
time, giving a clear and unambiguous account of your memories of being abused. The
response you received fell a long way short, not just of what is expected now, but of
what we now appreciate you should have had a right to expect then. No-one reading
that letter could have been in any doubt that you were referring to serious sexual abuse
by a senior figure in the Church of England, and whilst Bishop Bell was long since
dead by that time, every effort should have been made to respond to you appropriately.
The church, like other institutions across the country, have learnt much in recent years
about the importance of responding with compassion and transparency. The fact that
your experience in 1995 fell so far short of this only adds to my very deep regret.
When you wrote to the Archbishop in April 2013, your email was passed to the Diocese
of Chichester. I understand that you received support from our safeguarding team,
particularly Gemma Wordsworth, and I hope that this has been helpful. I understand
that you spoke with Sussex Police at the time, giving a full account to them of your
memories of abuse. I recognise that the two years of waiting since then have been
very difficult, and that at times you may have felt that people in the Church were hoping
that you would go away. Please accept my reassurance that this has not been the
case; there were many steps that needed to be taken in order to be able to respond
as we have now done. Please let me thank you for your patience whilst this occurred.
Along with my colleagues throughout the church, I am committed to ensuring that the
past is handled with honesty and transparency. You have shown great courage in
coming forward to report your memories of abuse, particularly given the response you
received in 1995. When victims of abuse tell us about what happened to them, it
contributes to the on-going work to change the church’s culture. Again, I hope that you
find it encouraging to know that in reporting your memories of abuse, you have helped
reinforce to the church that no-one is ‘above suspicion’, and that abuse is intolerable
and must be rooted out.
60
Once again, please accept my deepest apologies that you have had to live with these
memories. I understand that you have continued contact with Gemma Wordsworth,
who will be able to offer you further support if you require.
235. On the 22 October 2015 The Church issued the following statement (also
reproduced in Annex A below):
Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958)
The Bishop of Chichester has issued a formal apology following the settlement of a
legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell, who
was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death on 3rd October 1958.
The allegations against Bell date from the late 1940s and early 1950s and concern
allegations of sexual offences against an individual who was at the time a young child.
Following settlement of the claim the serving Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend
Dr. Martin Warner, wrote to the survivor formally apologising and expressing his “deep
sorrow” acknowledging that “the abuse of children is a criminal act and a devastating
betrayal of trust that should never occur in any situation, particularly the church.”
Bishop Warner paid tribute to the survivor’s courage in coming forward to report the
abuse and notes that “along with my colleagues throughout the church, I am
committed to ensuring that the past is handled with honesty and transparency.”
Tracey Emmott, the solicitor for the survivor, today issued the following statement on
behalf of her client:
“The new culture of openness in the Church of England is genuinely refreshing and
seems to represent a proper recognition of the dark secrets of its past, many of which
may still not have come to light. While my client is glad this case is over, they remain
bitter that their 1995 complaint was not properly listened to or dealt with until my client
made contact with Archbishop Justin Welby’s office in 2013. That failure to respond
properly was very damaging, and combined with the abuse that was suffered has had
a profound effect on my client’s life. For my client, the compensation finally received
does not change anything. How could any amount of money possibly compensate for
childhood abuse? However, my client recognises that it represents a token of
apology. What mattered to my client most and has brought more closure than
anything was the personal letter my client has recently received from the Bishop of
Chichester.”
The survivor first reported the abuse to the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, in
August 1995. Bishop Kemp responded to the correspondence offering pastoral
support but did not refer the matter to the police or, so far as is known, investigate the
matter further. It was not until contact with Lambeth Palace in 2013 that the survivor
was put in touch with the safeguarding team at the Diocese of Chichester who referred
the matter to the police and offered personal support and counselling to the survivor.
In his letter to the survivor Bishop Warner acknowledges that the response from the
Diocese of Chichester in 1995, when the survivor first came forward, “fell a long way
61
short, not just of what is expected now, but of what we now appreciate you should
have had a right to expect then.”
In accordance with the recommendations of the Church Commissaries’ report into the
Diocese of Chichester in 2012 the settlement does not impose any form of
“confidentiality agreement” restriction regarding public disclosure upon the individual.
In this case the survivor has expressed the desire to remain anonymous.
Following a meeting between the survivor and Sussex police in 2013, it was confirmed
by the police that the information obtained from their enquiries would have justified,
had he still been alive, Bishop Bell’s arrest and interview, on suspicion of serious
sexual offences, followed by release on bail, further enquiries and the subsequent
submission of a police report to the CPS.
A formal claim for compensation was submitted in April 2014 and was settled in late
September of this year. The settlement followed a thorough pre-litigation process
during which further investigations into the claim took place including the
commissioning of expert independent reports. None of those reports found any reason
to doubt the veracity of the claim.
The Church of England takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed
to being a safe place for all. Any survivors or those with information about churchrelated
abuse must always feel free to come forward knowing that they will be listened
to in confidence.
Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this
news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline no.
0800 389 5344.
A copy of this statement can be found on the Church of England website and the
Diocese of Chichester website.
236. The media responses to the statement and letter are instructive. Two, in
addition to the article at Annex B below, are set out in Annex G. Despite a
passing reference in the media, not contained in the above statement, to the
balance of probabilities, the message was extremely clear.
237. Carol, and the wider public, were left in no doubt whatsoever that it was
accepted that Bishop Bell was guilty of what was alleged against him. I have
underlined certain passages in the statement in paragraph 235 above. The
statement provided the following conclusions:
(i) The allegations had been investigated, and a proper process followed.
(ii) The allegations had been proved; therefore
(iii) There was no doubt that Bishop Bell had abused Carol.
62
238. I have received strong and well-argued representations from the George Bell
Group, and others, who support Bishop Bell and reject the processes and
decision of the Church. I do not set them out in detail because, for the most
part, they rely on his reputation and character – which I summarised above. In
particular, it was pointed out by them that, although Carol says she reported
abuse contemporaneously to [the person she visited] that cannot be proved
because [that person] died many years ago.
239. I received representations from a senior lawyer specialising in defamation and
reputational cases, who has a personal interest in this case. He made the
following (and other) persuasive points to me:
i. The Church does not challenge Carol’s belief in her story. The question is
whether others should have believed it.
ii. Any subsequent attempts, post-announcement, by the Church to leave
the impression that they were not convinced by Carol were unsustainable
given the statement of the 22 October 2015.
iii. The reference to potential arrest left the false impression that arrest could
be equated with guilt.
iv. The use of the term ‘survivor’ for Carol contained the clear inference that
the case against Bishop Bell was proved.
v. In effect, the Church reversed the burden of proof without taking real steps
for the case for Bishop Bell to be developed and investigated.
vi. There was nothing that could really be described as any inquiry into or
investigation of the facts.
vii. The failure to find and interview Canon Carey was a serious deficiency,
given that he had lived and worked in the Bishop’s Palace at the material
time.
viii. The fact that the post-statement publicity has flushed out no other
complaints is significant.
240. The lawyer reminded me that a settlement of a civil case on condition of
confidentiality, with repayment of damages and costs in the event of breach of
confidentiality by the claimant, is enforceable in law.
63
[J] Views of Core Group Members, as expressed during this review
241. I held four meetings with Core Group members, in order to meet almost all who
had been involved at any stage.
242. The material parts of the summaries of my meetings with them (as noted by
independent assistants, who took notes in different formats) are at Annex H. In
order to have a full understanding of my findings in relation to the Group, I
recommend strongly reading the Annex. I have excluded individual identities
save where I think it important for a full understanding.
243. As mentioned above, I also met the solicitor advising the Core Group, Paula
Jefferson. The material parts of a lengthy discussion are at Annex I below. She
was most helpful, describing extremely clearly her role as civil solicitor and her
part in the Core Group’s process.
244. I have been provided with access to the entirety of Paula Jefferson’s file, of over
500 pages, and have been through every document. Given the large volume,
and the existence of legal professional privilege, in general terms I do not think
it would be appropriate to annexe the whole file. In Annex F she set out for the
Core Group her advice that the case should be settled, given the civil standard
of proof of the balance of probabilities. That was her carefully considered and
conscientious judgement. Based on the incomplete information under
consideration at the time, her conclusion arguably was justified. However, I
regret that the Core Group failed to carry out sufficient investigation into the
facts: had they done so, her advice might well have been different.
245. Ms. Jefferson’s file reveals lengthy exchanges about the approach to and
contents of the letter of apology and media content. This includes some
expressions of concern about the approach, but there was never any real doubt
that whatever was said and published was based upon acceptance that Bishop
Bell had abused Carol.
246. The supporters of Bishop Bell complain that they were not given information
that might have enabled them to obtain and provide evidence on his behalf. I
doubt that greater (and necessarily very cautious) disclosure of information to
them would have made any difference to the outcome, given the limited critical
scrutiny carried out by the Core Group. There is no doubt that lessons can be
learned, as set out in section [B] above, but they are less about disclosure than
the due process of a structured, fair and proportionate analysis of cases,
especially when the alleged perpetrator is dead and the potential for important
contemporaneous evidence is affected by the passage of years.
64
[K] Conclusions from Core Group records and
review meetings with members
247. In this section it is important to list some potential evidence that either was not
considered, or was considered as a possibility at various times but not obtained
by the Group.
248. There was no statement from family members confirming Carol’s close
relationship to [the person she visited], or other family evidence. This was
considered at the meeting of the 10 July 2014 but not pursued. Paula Jefferson
expressed surprise that [ ], Carol’s brother, to whom she says she is close and
to whom she has said she revealed the abuse, provided no evidence to confirm
the relationship [with the person she visited].
249. The description Carol gave of the Palace was considered at the same meeting
but not pursued because she had been taken to the Palace by an independent
counsellor after the claim was made. Plans of the Palace before 1952 were
found to be available, but not until after the claim was settled. There was no reinterview
of Carol, which might have ascertained evidentially material detail
such as:
a) How did she get into the Palace? (e.g. ……or via yard)
b) Which stairs was she referring to? Could she describe them?
c) Which kitchen was she abused in (see 1995 letter)?
d) Where was she when not with Bishop Bell?
e) Was she ever abused in the Cathedral (referred to in Professor Maden’s
report)?
250. Examination of the contemporaneous electoral register (which remains
available) was not made. This provides names of adult permanent residents
who chose to be registered for electoral purposes on the Palace’s premises.
251. Adrian Carey’s availability and evidence were not discovered until after
settlement. The existence of another girl who certainly lived at the material time
in the domestic quarters of the Palace, and was of a similar age to Carol, was
not discovered until this Review was publicised.
252. The detailed observations of Andrew Chandler (Bishop Bell’s biographer) and
of others known to support Bishop Bell, were not obtained.
65
253. The minutes do not disclose the placing before the Core Group of any
statement or report from any counsellor Carol had seen. I have been told and
accept that counselling records ‘were seen in full’. However, I do not know who
read them (other than the solicitor Paula Jefferson) or what analysis or
discussion there was of them.
254. I derive the following conclusions from the whole of the picture given to me by
Core Group members, and from the Group’s Minutes:
i. The Core Group was set up in an unmethodical and unplanned way, with
neither terms of reference nor any clear direction as to how it would
operate. As a result, it became a confused and unstructured process, as
several members confirmed.
ii. Some members explicitly made it clear to me that they had no coherent
notion of their roles or what was expected of them.
iii. There was no consideration of the need for consistency of attendance or
membership.
iv. The members did not all see the same documents, nor all the documents
relevant to their task.
v. There was no organised or valuable inquiry or investigation into the merits
of the allegations, and the standpoint of Bishop Bell was never given parity
or proportionality.
vi. Indeed, the clear impression left is that the process was predicated on his
guilt of what Carol alleged.
vii. Despite some reservations, the process largely assumed the eventual
public release of Bishop Bell’s name, and a summary of the alleged
circumstances.
viii. There was no focus on any special issues arising from the fact that Bishop
Bell died in 1958.
ix. There was no real attempt to inform any surviving member of his family.
x. No criminal law expert was instructed to be part of nor to advise the group.
xi. It was not fully clear that the psychiatrists respectively were instructed on
a different basis.
xii. The discussion and approval of the apology letter and media statement
was poorly structured and based on a false premise that disclosure was
inevitable.
xiii. There was inadequate consideration of matters arising in this particular
case that might have justified denying liability altogether, including the
issue of the time bar for a claim.
xiv. There was inadequate consideration of matters arising in this particular
case that might have justified a settlement of Carol’s claim on the basis of
litigation risk, with a confidentiality clause including repayment for breach.
66
[L] Was the settlement, with full publicity, appropriate?
255. I am satisfied that the Church were right to involve their solicitor in all material
aspects of the Core Group process. She is very experienced and competent. I
have also borne in mind that, despite what I regard as poor organisation of the
process, members of the Group themselves had many skills and extensive
experience.
256. In my view the delay by Carol in making even her 1995 complaint might have
been relied upon successfully in bringing Carol’s proposed proceedings to an
end. However, I understand the reasons for not having taken this point, and on
balance support the decision.
257. I have set out criticisms above. Were I to ignore those criticisms, and create an
imaginary scenario in which nothing else could or should have been considered
or done by the Core Group, despite Professor Maden’s views on credibility I
can see how the judgement could be made that Carol’s case would be accepted
by a court on the balance of probabilities.
258. That said, if the criticisms are substantially valid, in my judgement the decision
to settle the case in the form and manner followed was indefensibly wrong. In
giving that view, again I emphasise that it is not part of my terms of reference
to venture an opinion as to whether Carol was telling the truth. Mine is (I hope)
an objective exercise about the conduct of a potential piece of litigation.
259. An investigation would have demonstrated significant and previously
unconsidered evidence. I have set out the main factors above.
260. It is not clear to me what advice Carol would have been given had liability been
denied. With all relevant evidence available, I suggest that such denial of
liability would have been the right initial response by the Church.
261. Had outright denial of liability been rejected, given the likely recognition by both
sides and their advisers that the case was not strong but potentially expensive
in legal costs, there would have been a respectable basis for a true and
undisguised ‘litigation risk’ settlement. That is a settlement at less than full
value, without any admission of liability, on the basis that it was an economical
way of resolving the case without recourse to court hearings. Such settlements
are not uncommon. The settlement documentation explicitly would have
explained that liability was denied. In fact, this was the stated basis of the
settlement. However, the way it was dealt with conveyed a completely different
impression, as is clear from the apology and statement referred to above, and
all the attendant publicity. The world at large was left with the impression that
67
this was a settlement on the basis that the allegations were true. In the context
of this case, in my judgement the apology should not have given, though a face
to face explanation might have been justified.
262. In addition, a confidentiality clause could have been included providing for
repayment of damages and costs in the event of breach. I am advised that,
whilst the confidentiality cannot be enforced, the repayment aspect of such
clauses is enforceable. Given that Carol has said on more than one occasion
that she was not looking for any publicity, it is reasonable to conclude that the
confidentiality would have held. If broken, cogent reasons for that form of
settlement could have been given. As stated in paragraph 52 above, this would
not have involved defiance or breach of the 2012 Commissaries’ instructions.
263. The course described would have protected the legitimate interests of Bishop
Bell, which were never engaged with seriously by the Core Group. In this case
he would not have been, and should not have been, cast out into the moral
wilderness in any public statements by the Church.
264. As to publicity, I was able to discuss this in a meeting with The Most Revd Justin
Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury. He emphasised to me that it was
important that the public announcement was issued by the Diocese of
Chichester, not the Church of England as a whole – in fact his recollection was
in error, as the public statement was made jointly by the Church and the
Diocese. He described this as an important distinction. I suspect that the
distinction is a little lost in a wider audience, and matters little.
265. The Archbishop was kept updated intermittently about the case. Primarily, he
said, Chichester was dealing with it. The number of allegations of sexual abuse
within that diocese was ‘overwhelming’ – disproportionate to other areas.
Covering things up was completely unacceptable. It had plagued the Church
for years, is immoral, and had caused a loss of trouble. Consequently, there
was an appalling mess that might be costly. Once the Bishop Bell decision was
made, he felt passionately that the Church should be transparent. The press
release had been drafted by the national director of communications, with the
Chichester and national members of the Core Group able to comment on the
drafting. Thus all were responsible and accountable for the impression left.
266. I asked the Archbishop if there was a proper and adequate investigation of the
case. He replied that, if there was not, they would have to apologise and look
at their practices. They needed clear recommendations, especially in relation
to allegations against those who are dead.
68
267. I am sure that The Archbishop does not think it appropriate to support the
publication of what may be an unjustified and probably irreparable criticism of
anyone, whether a celebrated bishop or not.
268. I regard this as a case, perhaps a relatively rare one, in which steps should and
could have been taken to retain full confidentiality, with a clear underlying basis
for explaining why it was done. For Bishop Bell’s reputation to be
catastrophically affected in the way that occurred was just wrong.
69
[M] Later Meetings including some members of the Core group
269. Following the settlement and the ensuing publicity and controversy, on the 30
March 2016 a meeting took place including some members of the Core Group,
and other senior Church officers who had not been members of the Group. It
was chaired by Bishop Stock, the Bishop at Lambeth.
270. Part of the discussion was about the adequacy of the investigation, which on
one occasion had been described on Radio Kent as ‘a very thorough
investigation’ leading to a ‘profound and deeply felt apology’. Reference was
made to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, and how the Church
would work with that Inquiry. There was a clear wish to learn whatever lessons
were available from the case and experience. It was noted that there had not
been a consistent chair of the Core Group throughout the process.
271. A further meeting was held on the 22 June 2016, again with a varying
membership. On that occasion the Group was notified that the Diocese of
Chichester requested that there should be an independent review by a Queen’s
Counsel.
70
[N] The Henriques Report on Operation Midland
272. Annex K below contains an extract from the report, to the Metropolitan Police
Commissioner, by The Hon Sir Richard Henriques dated the 31 October 2016
concerning allegations of non-recent sexual offences. In his report Sir Richard
refers to an earlier report, dated the 30 April 2015, by Dame Elish Angiolini DBE
QC on the Investigation and Prosecution of Rape in London.
273. Although the Henriques report post-dates the events material to this review,
nevertheless it is worth citation as agreement with the view that the appropriate
mind-set and designation where a complaint has been made is complainant
until the matter is undisputed or proved in a court. Otherwise there is a danger
of assuming that all complainants are victims therefore accurate and truthful.
An acceptable alternative, given the intimation of civil proceedings in this case,
would have been claimant.
274. In my judgement this is a case in which the use of terms such as survivor and
victim contributed to decisions which might otherwise have been scrutinised
with greater critical examination.
71
[O] House of Lords debate 30 June 2016
275. On the 30 June 2016 a debate took place in the House of Lords in which
concerns were aired about non-recent child abuse cases. Lord Lexden, moving
the debate, called for statutory guidelines to be introduced in connection with
the investigation of such cases, including the naming of those against whom
allegations were made. The case of Bishop Bell was discussed extensively in
the debate.
18
276. Annex J below contains an extract from the debate, in the form of the speeches
of Lord Lexden and The Bishop of Chelmsford.
277. I should explain that on each sitting day the House of Lords commences with
prayers, led usually by the day’s ‘duty bishop’, one of the two Church of England
Archbishops and twenty-four Bishops who sit in the Lords. On the day of this
debate, The Bishop of Chelmsford was the duty bishop, and was briefed for a
short period before the debate on the Bishop Bell case, in which he had no
previous part. He should not be blamed for his limited knowledge of the detail
of the case, though a bishop with such knowledge could have spoken in the
debate.
278. The Bishop of Chelmsford said:
The Church, through a safeguarding core group which considered the evidence
against him, tested over a period of 18 months the allegations made by someone
referred to as “Carol” so far as possible over such a distance of time. Of course, as
has been said, the process was greatly hampered by the fact that Bishop Bell and
others were dead
279. If my conclusions concerning the Core Group’s activities are correct, it was not
justified to claim that the allegations had been ‘tested … so far as possible’. It
is unfortunate that the weaknesses of the process were allowed perpetuation
in a Parliamentary debate.

18 The full debate can be found at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2016-06-
30/debates/…/HistoricalChildSexAbuse
72
[P] Meeting between Carol and The Bishop of Chichester
on the 1 August 2016
280. By the 1 August 2016 it had become known that the Church had decided to
appoint a review of the way it had dealt with Carol’s case. In order to explain
this, on that date The Bishop of Chichester, with Gemma Wordsworth, met
Carol in Chichester. Gemma Wordsworth had been in regular and appropriate
contact with Carol since the apology and announcement of the 22 October
2015.
281. After general conversation, the Bishop explained to Carol that the Church stood
by its earlier apology to her, but ‘the Church is not able to state that they have
found him guilty as this would require a judge and jury which was not possible
due to his passing’. Carol acknowledged this, and gave her opinion of the then
current problem of alleged abusers’ names being released to the media prior to
being tried, and the impact upon them and their families and friends as against
the recognition that in some cases this can provide other survivors with the
courage to come forward.
282. Despite Carol’s very dignified response in the exchange described above, the
world at large would not have recognised that the Church had not found Bishop
Bell guilty. The comment reveals further the problems created by the process
under discussion in this review.
73
[Q] Lessons learned and changes made by the Church
283. These are set out in section [B] above. It is my ultimate conclusion any
settlement of this case, in the light of the facts insofar as they were
ascertainable, should have been with a clear denial of liability, and with a
confidentiality clause with repayment in the event of breach.
284. I support the conclusions of the report for the Church of England by Dame Moira
Gibb DBE in her report Independent Report into the Church’s Handling of the
Peter Ball Case19.
285. I support too the changes in relation to safeguarding inquiries concerning living
clergy set out in the Safeguarding (Clergy Risk Assessment) Regulations 2016,
passed by the House of Bishops.
286. I have been provided with other recent documents, most notably several
iterations of Practice Guidance: Responding to, assessing and managing
safeguarding concerns or allegations against Church Officers20. The latest
draft is detailed, running to 90 pages. It is intended to replace earlier guidance
which, though moderately specific as to the establishment and nature of Core
Groups, plainly did not provide sufficient guidance for the fair disposal of the
Bishop Bell case.
287. That document is intended as a step by step guide for safeguarding concerns
and cases arising in the Church of England, including complaints against
priests.
288. Explicitly, the draft Practice Guidance cover situations where there are
concerns or allegations that relate to someone who is deceased. An addendum
is being developed to cover that situation.
289. That said, the document provides a carefully considered and structured system.
The responsibilities of the Diocesan Bishops and Archbishops, and of the
Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers and others are described and clear.
290. Core Groups are provided for. The purpose of the Core Group is described as:
To oversee and manage the response to a safeguarding concern or allegation in line
with the House of Bishops policy and practice guidance, ensuring that the rights of the
victim/survivor and the respondent to a fair and thorough investigation can be upheld.

19 22 June 2017, available on the website http://www.churchofengland.org
20 draft for House of Bishops May 2017: I was told that this is likely to be the final version or very close to it.
74
291. In late 2016 a triage system for abuse related correspondence was introduced
at Lambeth Palace. Emails concerning abuse are now referred immediately to
the Provincial Safeguarding Adviser, a recently created role. I am confident that
this system works.
292. Subject to the replacement throughout the text of ‘victim/survivor’ with
‘complainant’ consistent with the recommendation described above of Sir
Richard Henriques, the document is sound for cases against living persons.
293. The text also provides for investigations to occur where required, including the
provision of an assigned investigator; and sets out detailed steps for responding
to complaints and allegations. Where apologies are required, formal advice is
given in the document so that they are drafted and given in a careful and
consistent way.
Alex Carlile
Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBE, Q.C.
October 2017

Featured post

December 14 2017 – “C. of E. set to publish report into the handling of George Bell ‘abuse’ case, but will it satisfy critics?” – Christian Today – James Macintyre

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/cofe.set.to.publish.report.into.handling.of.george.bell.abuse.case.but.will.it.satisfy.critics/121436.htm

CofE set to publish report into handling of George Bell ‘abuse’ case – but will it satisfy critics?

The Church of England is expected tomorrow to publish an independent report into its handling of an abuse claim against the late George Bell, the former Bishop of Chichester, after keen anticipation from his supporters that is likely only partially to be satisfied.

While critics of the Church are confident that the report is likely to be highly critical of procedures, any examination of the terms of reference makes clear that there will be no call for an apology from the CofE nor, crucially, any judgment on whether allegations from Bishop Bell’s accuser are true or untrue.

George Bell
Lambeth Palace Library The late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell

The objectives of the review as set out in the terms of reference are merely to ensure that lessons are learnt from past practice; survivors are listened to, taken seriously and supported; good practice is identified and disseminated; and recommendations are made to help the Church embed best practice in safeguarding children and adults in the future.

The Church is said to be bracing itself for criticism when it comes to past practice, but expectations among Bell’s fiercest defenders may be dashed.

In 2015 the Bishop of Chichester issued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim regarding allegations of sexual abuse by the late Bishop Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until shortly before his death in 1958.

In November last year, the Church announced the Carlile review which it said was aimed at investigating ‘the processes surrounding the allegations which were first brought in 1995 to the diocese of Chichester, with the same allegations brought again, this time to Lambeth Palace, in 2013.’ The Church added at the time: ‘It will also consider the processes, including the commissioning of independent expert reports and archival and other investigations, which were used to inform the decision to settle the case, in order to learn lessons which can applied to the handling of similar safeguarding cases in future.’

Some critics, led by the Mail on Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens, have accused the Church of ‘delaying’ publication of the report from the review by Lord Carlile of Berriew into lessons learnt from the case, which was delivered on October 7.

But last month the Church issued a statement explaining that it was down to the ‘intensive process’ of ‘responding with feedback from those who contributed’ which includes ‘issues over factual accuracy and identification of “Carol”‘ the pseudonym for the complainant, in accordance to the terms of reference.

‘This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication,’ the statement from a spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said.

The George Bell group and Hitchens have condemned the Church for allegedly disregarding the presumption of innocence in October 2015 when it publicised the claims by ‘Carol’, to whom it paid compensation.

Since then, Hitchens has regularly used his blogcolumn and Twitter account to attack the Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, over the handling of the case, and to speculate that the Carlile report is highly critical.

The Church said last month: ‘The review was not presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as has been stated. He will of course will read the final version, as he takes all safeguarding issues very seriously. It is being led by the National Safeguarding Team.’

Responding, Hitchens also last month told Christian Today: ‘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.’

Featured post

December 14 2017 – BBC TV South East Today – Short item on Bishop Bell and the Petition [“Blink and you’ll miss it!” – RWS]

photo

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09hzj1n/south-east-today-evening-news-14122017#

Transcript

“The Church of England is expected to publish tomorrow a long-awaited report into the handling of a sex abuse case involving a former Bishop of Chichester.

“The Church accepts the late Bishop George Bell abused a girl during the 1940’s and 50’s and has paid her compensation, but he never faced criminal charges.

“Today, a 1000 signature petition was delivered to Lambeth Palace, calling on the Church to publish its review, of the way the case was handled, as soon as possible”

Featured post

December 9 2017 – “A shocking indictment of complacency and complicity” – Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Report – Senator Ian Gorst

safe_image-2 (3)

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/12/08/gorst-will-decide-on-future-after-christmas/

Gorst ‘will decide on future after Christmas’

News | Published: 

 

CHIEF Minister Ian Gorst has declined to confirm whether he will stand for re-election next year – but he has revealed that a number of his ministerial colleagues will be standing down in May.

The Senator, who said he will make a decision about his own future ‘after Christmas’, said it was an ‘open secret’ that a number of ministers and other States Members would not be seeking a return to the States next spring.

Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel is the only sitting politician who has publicly declared that he will not be standing next year. However, there are question marks over the political future of a number of ministers as speculation that some of the Island’s highest-ranking politicians may also be stepping down.

As previously reported, a third of Members have already confirmed to the JEP that they will be standing for re-election.

Senator Gorst said: ‘It is an open secret that there are a number of ministers and Members of the States who are not standing again.

‘The States Assembly is going to look quite different I think, whatever the electorate decide to do with those Members who are standing again.’

Asked whether the expected changes to the Council of Ministers is putting more pressure on his team in the next three to four months before the election, he added: ‘My constant mantra to ministers is get on and do what you want to achieve. In this job there is only ever today – you don’t know what is around the corner, get on and do the job that you can every day.’

And speaking at an Institute of Directors lunch on Thursday, Senator Gorst said that 2017 had been the ‘most difficult and yet most important year in my term of office’.

This year Senator Gorst has had to deal with the fallout from the controversial Jersey Innovation Fund, the recommendations of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry and in the summer survived a vote of no confidence.

He said: ‘This is my last annual speech to you as Chief Minister in the current Council of Ministers – and with an election next year, who knows whether it will be me or a new Chief Minister here speaking to you in 12 months’ time.’

Opening his speech with a reflection on the past year, Senator Gorst said that the inquiry report had been ‘a shocking indictment of complacency and complicity’ and that it had been an important document for the Island.

He added that he was optimistic about the Island’s future economic outlook as well as about proposed changes to government structures and the implementation of the inquiry’s recommendations.

‘We’ve come a long way from the fears that followed the global financial crash,’ he said. ‘It’s not been an easy ride, but it has been a journey of hope. Hope that’s based on experience and sound judgment – not on blind optimism. Hope that’s anchored in our determination to do what’s right for the Islanders of today and tomorrow, however difficult the decisions might be – not in what’s expedient for politicians. Hope that comes from demanding the best of people, not expecting the worst.’

Islanders will head to the polls on Wednesday 16 May next year.

 

Featured post

December 12 2017 – “Bell Society Notes” by Richard W. Symonds

Bell Society

unnamed

“The Church of England is likely to be ‘crucified’ by an unforgiving Media when the Carlile Review is eventually released – perhaps next week – not least because the Media [and many others] were seriously misled by the October 22 2015 Statement on Bishop Bell. Events like the ‘Re-Building Bridges’ Morning Conference on Feb 1 2018 – just before Bishop Bell’s 135th Anniversary – will not just be necessary…they will be critical”

‘Bell Society Notes – Dec 12 2017’ – by Richard W. Symonds

 

 

Featured post

December 7 2017 – “Why is the C of E still messing around with the Carlile report?” – The Spectator – Letter – Peter Hitchens

peter-hitchens_877_1871668c
Peter Hitchens

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/12/letters-why-is-the-c-of-e-still-messing-around-with-the-carlile-report/

Letters: Why is the C of E still messing around with the Carlile report?

9 December 2017

9:00 AM

The Carlile report

Sir: The Bishop of Bath and Wells tells us (Letters, 2 December) that nobody is holding up publication of the Carlile report into the Church of England’s hole-in-corner kangaroo condemnation of the late George Bell. Is it then just accidental that the church is still making excuses for not publishing it, and presumably for fiddling about with it, more than eight weeks after receiving it on 7 October? The church was swift to condemn George Bell on paltry evidence. It was swifter still to denounce those who stood up for him, falsely accusing them of attacking Bell’s accuser. Yet it is miserably slow to accept just criticism of itself. Somehow, I suspect that, had Lord Carlile exonerated the apparatchiks involved, his report would long ago have been released. May I commend to the Bishop the words of Our Lord (Matthew 5:25): ‘Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him.’
Peter Hitchens
London W8

Featured post

December 7 2017 – Lord Carlile “produced a damning report calling for tougher rules” in 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42257548

Ex-priest Laurence Soper guilty of sexually abusing boys

  • 6 December 2017
Laurence SoperImage copyright METROPOLITAN POLICE
Image caption Laurence Soper was found guilty of 19 counts of sexual assault against boys at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, where he taught

An ex-Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of abusing boys at a London school during the 1970s and 80s.

Laurence Soper, 74, was extradited to face 19 charges of indecent and serious sexual assault against 10 former pupils at the independent St Benedict’s School in Ealing, where he taught.

Soper fled to Kosovo with £182,000 from the Vatican bank in a bid to avoid prosecution for molesting boys.

An Old Bailey jury took 14 hours to find him guilty of all charges.

Prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC told how the victims were subjected to sadistic beatings by Soper for “fake reasons” and on many occasions “with what can only have been a sexual motive”.

They included kicking a football “in the wrong direction”, “failing to use double margins”, and “using the (wrong) staircase”, leading to a caning and a sexual assault, she said.

St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London.Image copyright GOOGLE
Image caption Laurence Soper was a senior priest at St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London

Ms Etherton said at least one of Soper’s alleged victims suffered serious mental health problems, while another was too afraid to speak out because the abusers “were like saints to me”.

The court heard Soper quit as an abbot in 2000 and moved to Rome. He then skipped bail and spent six years living in Kosovo, with a European Arrest Warrant issued for his extradition.

Soper denied using the cane as a ruse to abuse boys who were given the choice of six lashes with trousers on, or three with them off.

He told jurors he went on the run out of “stupidity and cowardice”, fearing that his life’s work would be wrecked.


St Benedict’s: A history of abuse

PAImage copyright PA

Soper is the latest in a string of men to face allegations relating to their work at St Benedict’s.

In 2010, Abbot Shipperlee announced an independent review of safeguarding arrangements, policies and procedures.

The following year, Lord Carlile produced a damning report calling for tougher rules to protect all faith pupils and stripped monks of control at the school.


In a statement issued by Lord Carlile QC, the school apologised for the “serious wrongs of the past”.

He said: “The school regrets that Soper did not have the courage to plead guilty. The result has been that innocent victims, whom he abused when they were boys in the school, were compelled to give evidence.

“The tough lessons of the past have been learned, and the errors and crimes of the past are in the daily consciousness and conscience of the school management.”

Soper was remanded in custody to be sentenced on 19 December.

More on this story

  • Catholic school St Benedict’s sorry for sex abuse ‘legacy’
    9 November 2011
  • London priest ‘sex abuse victim’ had ‘nightmares’
    11 October 2017
  • Priest fled UK out of ‘cowardice’ after sexual assault charges
    21 November 2017
  • Ex-priest Laurence Soper in court on child sex abuse charges
    22 August 2016
Featured post

December 2 2017 – Lord Carlile: “A complete loss of authority…the whole conduct of the police in this case [of Damian Green MP] is quite extraordinary”

download-4
Lord Alex Carlile QC

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tory-war-with-met-police-over-thousands-of-pornographic-images-on-computer-of-damian-green-a3707376.html

Tory war with Met police over ‘thousands of pornographic images on computer of Damian Green

The allegation heaped further pressure on Theresa May’s embattled deputy. However, it also left Scotland Yard in the spotlight about its handling of personal data obtained in investigations.

Lord Carlile, the former watchdog over anti-terror laws, called on Met chief Cressida Dick to exert her “authority” and take control of the force’s handling of the controversy.

He told the Standard it was “unacceptable” for former officers to dredge up old evidence to embarrass people. Ex-Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell said it was an attempt to “blacken” Mr Green’s name.

The new allegations came from Neil Lewis, who was a Met expert in analysing computers, attached to counter-terrorism investigations. He was part of the team that raided Mr Green’s House of Commons office in 2008.

Neil Lewis said he found thousands of pornographic images on the Cabinet minister’s computer (BBC)

The operation was mounted to catch a Whitehall official leaking secrets to the Tory MP but officers made the chance discovery that Mr Green’s parliamentary computer appeared to have been used to view porn.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Lewis said he was “shocked” at the volume of pornographic images and had “no doubt whatsoever” in his mind that these were accessed by Mr Green.

His study of the machine suggested someone spent “hours” browsing porn at Mr Green’s desk in the Commons over many weeks. However, he said the images were “legal” and not violent or extreme.

Andrew Mitchell said it was an attempt to “blacken” Mr Green’s name

“The computer was in Mr Green’s office, on his desk, logged in, his account, his name,” said Mr Lewis. “In between browsing pornography, he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents … it was ridiculous to suggest anybody else could have done it.”

He said that although “you can’t put fingers on a keyboard”, the evidence made him sure it was Mr Green who was accessing the “thumbnail” images. Similar material had also been accessed on Mr Green’s laptop, he claimed.

Mr Green, 61, the MP for Ashford in Kent, became First Secretary of State earlier this year. Experts in civil liberties were shocked by an apparent admission by Mr Lewis that the data copied from Mr Green’s computer was not permanently “deleted” but could have been recovered if needed.

Lord Carlile, a former Lib Dem MP who later served as the independent Government adviser on counter-terror laws, said he was alarmed that retired police officers appeared to be briefing against a Cabinet minister. He said there appeared to be “a complete loss of authority” at Scotland Yard.

“I would expect the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to take charge given that we are dealing with the effective deputy prime minister,” he said.

“I think the whole conduct of the police in this case is quite extraordinary.”

Two senior Tory ex-ministers also criticised the police leaks. Tim Loughton, who sits on the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: “This whole matter stinks. The Met urgently need to investigate this leak.

“This raises questions of trust in the police if material that was fully investigated nine years ago and did not merit any action mysteriously reappears.”

Mr Mitchell told the Today programme: “Mr Green has been absolutely emphatic in what he said. He has said repeatedly that he never downloaded or viewed this material.

“I think Mr Green is entitled to be believed. I think the hounding of Mr Green over information which everyone is clear was entirely legal and which he has emphatically denied either downloading or viewing is completely wrong.”

“I think it is highly questionable whether a retired police officer should misuse this sort of material in this way and I think the police need to explain why there was any record kept of entirely legal activity.

A Labour legal figure added: “The police can’t just seize your computer for one reason and then blacken your name with what they found on it later, where no charges are brought.

“Trust in the police depends on them keeping confidential material they obtain through using their powers as police officers.”

Featured post
IMG_0293
Chichester Cathedral – RWS Photography
Featured post

November 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

hitchens_0
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/as-the-c-of-e-still-sits-on-the-report-into-his-unfair-trial-the-story-of-how-george-bells-reputatio.html

16 November 2017 10:24 AM

As the C of E still sits on the report into his unfair trial – the story of how George Bell’s reputation was ruined

‘Murder in the cathedral’

We could call this affair ‘Murder in the Cathedral’, for it is about the ruthless murder of a great reputation, and it took place in and around the ancient cloisters of Chichester Cathedral in Sussex. The attack was made in broad daylight by respectable Englishmen. It is a detective story, and like all the best such stories it is set in beautiful English surroundings, the lovely Bishop’s Palace, in the serene and tranquil close in that ancient walled Roman city.

A disgusting charge

What we are led to believe is that among these dappled gardens and old stone walls, a seemingly holy, white-haired old man, revered around the world for his moral courage and apparent saintliness, repeatedly did disgusting things to an innocent little girl left in his care.

The charge has been made by one person. Since it was made, in both national and local media, neither the Sussex police nor the NSPCC which advertised a helpline, have heard of any further accusations of the same type against George Bell, though criminals of this type seldom restrict themselves to one victim. The charge remains solitary, ancient and uncorroborated, yet an astonishing number of people and media have chosen to believe it, and treat it as if it were true.

All or nothing

To me, it is all or nothing. If this charge is true, with its horrible selfish, lying exploitation of a defenceless child, with the name of God greasily profaned (in the alleged words allegedly said to the alleged victim ‘This is just our little secret, because God loves you’), none of George Bell’s reputation as pastor, statesman, scholar or man survives. Good and evil are ultimately done in minute particulars. I had the impression from some study of his life that George Bell was a man of great personal kindness, loved by all who knew him, and it was this goodness and honesty which impelled him to take the unpopular and difficult stands he did take.

 

‘A millstone hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea’

 

If he betrayed a small child while pretending to look after her, a supreme act of selfish dishonesty, then ‘It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.’ But his goodness is so important to me that I cannot believe this accusation, unless and until it is proven beyond reasonable doubt. And it has not been. And now there is more doubt than before. I seek only permission to disbelieve this charge, and ask that others – who do believe it – recognise that it is legitimate for people like me to disbelieve it, that it is an allegation, not a proven charge,  and that they stop trying to wipe George Bell’s name from the record, or to equivocate ludicrously about how he could still have been a great man as well as a revolting, unctuous paedophile. He couldn’t have been. One or the other. Not both.

Happily married

 

George Kennedy Allen Bell, by the time of these alleged events, was a man of 65, apparently happily married. He was the son of a vicar. He had won scholarships to Westminster School and then to Oxford, where he had also won a major poetry prize. Two of his beloved brothers had died in the trenches, in the final months of the First World War. Another became a senior officer in British occupation forces in post-1918 Germany before taking up teaching and becoming head of a Public School, ending his life as a keen spokesman for the Moral Rearmament movement. His sister married a bishop. Their child, Barbara Whitley, is George Bell’s niece, now aged 92, his only surviving close relative.

A shy man who stammered

I have heard suggestions, not easily confirmed, that a bout of mumps in adolescence may have made George Bell sterile, hence the childlessness. The marriage appears to have been contented and companionable by all accounts. Choirboys who sang in the Cathedral remember the Bishop with affection as a shy man who stammered, deeply devout and an ‘upright, entirely moral figure who meant a great deal to us as children’,  as one of them, Tom Sutcliffe, recently recalled. He died ten years later, much-honoured and loved, and at the time no breath of scandal ever came near him.

Blackballed by Churchill, jeered at by Noel Coward

He was renowned for several things. He had persuaded the great poet T.S.Eliot to write the play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ for its first performance in Canterbury (where Bell was once Dean). Eliot greatly respected him, as did many others in the spheres of the arts and music to whom he was kind, helpful and generous. But he was also an early opponent of the Nazis and a loyal friend to the German resistance to Hitler, much beloved by the refugees he saved and by that great hero of Christian resistance to National Socialist terror, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was an unvarying and powerful support to refugees from Hitler’s tyranny, when this was not popular. He is believed to have saved many lives through using his influence to win asylum for them. He was particularly concerned for for the fate of German Jews who had converted to Christianity.  His private life was austere and filled with hard work. Despite making a fair amount of money from successful books, he left little in his Will and is believed to have given much of the money away. T.S. Eliot, on first meeting him, was pleased and surprised to find a Prince of the Church who travelled by rail in a third-class carriage. Later, he became known and disliked by some, for having spoken publicly against the RAF bombing of German civilians in their homes – a stand that very probably caused Winston Churchill to prevent his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury. It is also said to have inspired Noel Coward’s sarcastic little song ‘Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans’ (which now sounds embarrassingly triumphal given the ultimate outcome of events and our subservience to a revived Germany through membership of the EU). The line ‘We might send them out some bishops as a form of lease and lend’ is pretty certainly a reference to George Bell’s unpopular insistence, even in the depths of war, that we should not regard all Germans as Nazis.

 

A good time to expose him?

 

Had anyone wished to air any private misdeeds by Bishop Bell, and expect a ready audience, this wartime and postwar unpopularity (still in evidence at the time of the alleged offences) would have been a good moment to do so. And in fact this means he was probably rather less protected from exposure (had anything been there to be exposed) than most public figures of his age.

After he died in 1958, reverence superseded controversy and schools and other buildings were named after him. An elegant but modest memorial to him was placed in the Cathedral, not far from the famous Arundel Tomb made famous by the great poet Philip Larkin, where a mediaeval knight and his wife, in effigy, hold each other’s hands – demonstrating, as Larkin wrote, that ‘what will survive of us is love’.

‘Carol’ won’t speak to me

Not in this case. The little girl in the story, having kept silent for more than 40 years and become a middle-aged woman with children of her own, complained in 1995 that George Bell had sexually abused her. Her identity is a secret, but she uses the name ‘Carol’. I have sought to meet her and ask her about her story, but she has declined, though she has given three interviews to other reporters. ‘Carol’ said that a member of the Palace staff, a relative of hers, had brought her into the Palace. We know that this person, almost certainly a woman, existed. But she is long dead. The Church authorities refuse to say (there are a lot of such refusals in this story) whether they interviewed her before she died. Carol alleged that the Bishop had repeatedly interfered with her under the pretext of reading her stories while she sat on his knee, between the ages of five and nine, on many occasions. She said her protests had been ignored in the deferential society of those days.

The Chauffeur investigates

 

In 1995, when she first made her complaint, child abuse did not attract the attention it now does. She was offered counselling, and refused it. The Bishop of the time, the late Eric Kemp, asked around the older Palace servants, especially Charles Monk, who had been George Bell’s driver, and who had lived (with his wife and daughter) next door to the Palace. Mr and Mrs Monk, like so many people in this story, are now dead.  He said he knew of no evidence that any such thing had been going on. Silence descended again until 2012 when Carol complained again, first to Archbishop Rowan Williams, who by then had left office and never received her letter, and then to Archbishop Justin Welby. There was a mix-up about her complaint to Rowan Williams, which seems to have been nobody’s fault. What is certain is that another Archbishop, George Carey, was not involved, and Carol has apologised for claiming wrongly that Lord Carey (as he now is) had ignored a letter from her.

A very clever lawyer

 

This time the Church acted. We do not know very much about what they did, as Lambeth Palace and the Chichester Diocese mostly refuse to say. We know that they supplied ‘Carol’ with a counsellor, of whom more later, and an intermediary who put her in touch with the Bedford law firm Emmott Snell whose senior partner, Tracey Emmott, has been extremely successful in pursuing abuse cases against the Church and achieved a major change in the law, making churches responsible (as they were not before) for the actions of their clergy.

In her interview with the Brighton ‘Argus’, ‘Carol’ cites the Church’s decision to pay her compensation out of court as evidence in her favour. ‘Then why did the Church pay me?’, she asked . ‘They must have believed me, I assume’. She may be right. But belief in such matters is a complex thing, understood, alas, by fewer and fewer people. English law does not make an all-or-nothing distinction between believing an allegation and disbelieving it, or witnesses for the losing side in any case would be open to prosecutions for perjury. It asks for proof beyond reasonable doubt.

A short lesson in the Law of England

By rejecting a criminal allegation, it does not classify the accuser as a liar (though some in the Church, involved in this case, seem to think so). It classifies him or her as someone whose claim may (or may not) be true, but is not proven to this standard.

And by paying a plaintiff in a civil claim, a defendant is not necessarily saying that he or she believes or accepts the claim. Going to trial is expensive and unpredictable. Both sides usually seek to avoid it, especially now that lawyers (working on a no-win, no-fee basis, as they usually do) have much more limited rights to extract their fees from the courts.

Who’s going to care about a dead Bishop?

By 2013, a number of court cases had put the Church in a weak position. Many abuse cases had been proven. The Church’s liability for the actions of all clergy was (see above) established. It’s quite possible the Church’s insurers advised that the best thing to do was to settle – a rather modest payment of £15,000 reflected the long time between alleged crime and accusation. You can see the thinking. Chichester ( see especially the case of Bishop Peter Ball),  had a bad reputation for child abuse, and for not doing enough about it. It was a good moment for a decisive action. The only person who would suffer was a long-dead Bishop, who had nobody present to speak for his interests. Who would object? As far as anyone knew,  George Bell had no living relatives, and he was, surely, a forgotten figure.

A statement was issued saying that a payment had been made and an apology (whose full text was never published) was issued. We still don’t know exactly what the apology (in the name of the current Chichester Bishop Martin Warner) was for. It may have been for the failure of his forerunner, Eric Kemp, to handle the case properly in 1995.

An odd thing to say

The Sussex police proclaimed that if George Bell had been alive, they would have arrested him. They now say that the Chichester Diocese involved them in the matter, and this was not their initiative.  This was an odd thing to say, since identities of arrested persons aren’t revealed when they’re alive, and, as the Church would repeatedly say, it wasn’t a criminal matter, just a civil case. Also, only about 25 per cent of people arrested in such cases are ever charged, so it is not the indication of guilt it seemed to many people to be. In many conversations I have had about this, discussing the credibility of the charge, the police statement has been cited by almost everyone who has chosen to believe the allegations. They have seen it as strong evidence that they are true. Actually, it is nothing of the sort, but it looks as if it is, and this is what counts in an increasingly uneducated society.

The police’s only lawful duty if the alleged perpetrator is dead (I have checked this) was to record the alleged crime. They refuse to say what enquiries they made beyond interviewing Carol, or indeed if they made any other enquiries at all. But it may well have been that police statement which made many people think there was no doubt about it, and another paedophile priest had been got bang to rights. Whatever it was, though the Church never said Bishop Bell was guilty, local and national media all said he was.

Dead men have no protection. Three major national newspapers, two local ones and the regional BBC all reported the case as if George Bell had been tried and found guilty. ‘Revered Bishop was paedophile’ they said. ‘Proven Abuse’, they asserted. In fact they had no basis for saying so. The BBC has partly withdrawn some of what it said, though no newspaper yet has. The Church’s statement – on which they based these reports – did not say he was guilty. The Bishop of Durham told the House of Lords some weeks later on the 28th January ‘In fact, if noble Lords read very carefully the statements that have been put out, they will see that there has been no declaration that we are convinced that this (the abuse) took place.’

The Man in Black

It would be hard for anyone to have been sure. ‘Carol’ did not make her charge until 37 years after George Bell’s death, and nearly 45 years after the events she alleged. The things she seemed to know about George Bell, how he dressed, that he had a book-lined study, were known by anyone who had ever seen photographs of him. The one thing she knew that was not commonly known, the existence of a staircase behind the private kitchen in the Bishop’s Palace, leading up to a corridor which led eventually to his study, could have been given to her by the relative who had once worked there. There are serious doubts about the location of the alleged events.  Not surprisingly for a lady in her 70s recalling events in her childhood, there were problems of detail. The abuse is supposed to have gone until she was nine, but it is hard to see how a man in his late 60s, or anyone else, could have perched a nine-year-old girl on his lap as Carol says he did. The most fascinating is this: ‘Carol’ was taken by a church-supplied ‘counsellor’ to revisit the scene of the alleged crime.

The Wrong Kitchen?

She explained, in her interview with the Brighton ‘Argus’ ‘The lady who was giving me counselling actually took me to the Bishop’s kitchen. The Cathedral had some sort of pottery exhibition on there and she said “we’ll go, and see how you feel.”

‘Well, I got in there and I said “Can we leave now?”.We had to leave’

The interviewer recorded:  ‘Carol’s voice only broke once in the course of a three hour interview, when she recalled how it felt to stand back in that room, at the foot of those stairs. Hoarsely, slowly, she said “It was horrible. You start to feel all jelly inside. It’s not nice; believe me”.

‘Perhaps, having bravely chosen to break the silence to which she was entitled, Carol has helped ensure that she will not have to revisit that Cathedral kitchen- in her mind or in person – ever again’.

There is one difficulty with this account. The mediaeval Palace kitchen (the scene of a recent pottery exhibition, often open to the public, and so presumably the one described in the interview) is a two-storey historic survival from the past. It is not the kitchen in which the relative who supposedly took ‘Carol’ to the Palace) would have worked. This was the private kitchen, in the Bishop’s private quarters. The staircase leading up to the study is from the private kitchen, a wholly different room.

A surprise witness appears

 

We know this because there was, seemingly unknown to the Church of England authorities, another eyewitness to George Bell’s life and work in the early 1950s, the period of the alleged abuse. Carol has said of those who have defended George Bell’s reputation ‘They weren’t there’.

But Canon Adrian Carey was there. For two years from September 1950, he worked and lived and ate and slept in the private part of the Bishop’s Palace at the time, performing his duties as Bishop’s Chaplain. He guarded the door to the private apartments and was constantly in the company of the Bishop, who worked incessantly (generally under the eyes of his secretary, of his wife and of his chaplain) and would have been highly unlikely to have ceased to do so to lessen the burden of work on a cleaner or a cook, let alone to abuse a child. He can recall all the servants who worked in the palace at that time. He washed dishes in the private kitchen, and helped serve meals. He never during his two years in the job (which coincided with the period of Carol’s alleged abuse) once saw a child in the private apartments, except during the annual Christmas party for the children of the clergy (not the children of the Palace staff).

Mr Valiant-for-Truth

Canon Carey to the end of his life loved and admired George Bell ‘To me, he was Mr Valiant-for Truth (a heroic figure in John Bunyan’s great story ‘the Pilgrim’s Progress’) And he still is!’, he said to me. He says George Bell’s regard for truth, his fierce Christian purpose and austere morals make it extraordinarily unlikely that he could have done such a cruel and dishonest thing. And his closely-observed daily routine, when he was seldom alone and even more seldom unobserved, made it practically nigh-impossible.

Not some gullible parson

Canon Carey is not to be lightly dismissed. Though he lived to be 94, he remained tough-minded and his memory was astonishing. He could quote at will great chunks of Greek and Latin verse, learned at Eton and King’s College Cambridge in the days of much more rigorous education. Nor is he some unworldly, gullible parson, easily fooled.

Mentioned in Despatches

Before joining the priesthood he served in the wartime Navy, firstly as an ordinary seaman, then as a sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). He was aboard HMS Liverpool when she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on a Malta convoy, and in the destroyer HMS Onslaught during many perilous voyages to and from North Russia, on the convoys which Winston Churchill described as ‘the worst journey in the world’. He has Russian and British medals for this. In the summer of 1944 he was mentioned in despatches for his part in a skirmish with the Germans off the Channel Islands.

Meeting (and mistrusting) Jimmy Savile

Later, he worked for the BBC religious broadcasting department, where he met and mistrusted Jimmy Savile.

He describes the Church’s treatment of his old friend George Bell as ‘nauseating’, and has taken great trouble and much time to ensure that his rebuttal of these charges should be published. I spent some hours with him and was greatly impressed by his recall and his precision. He was there by day and by night for much of the period of the alleged abuse. And he does not accept the charges.

Yet he was never approached for his version of events by the Church of England, which claims to have conducted ‘a thorough pre-litigation process during which further investigations into the claim took place including the commissioning of expert independent reports.’ It also says ‘None of those reports found any reason to doubt the veracity of the claim.’

How odd. Any Englishman always has a reason to doubt any charge. It is a principle of liberty. English law requires all involved in investigating alleged crimes to doubt the accusation. The presumption of innocence demands that no man be convicted of anything until a jury of his peers has heard both sides of the case and is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.

How come they never looked?

Surely, that would involve searching for witnesses. Is it possible that Chichester Cathedral has no record, anywhere, of who worked for George Bell as his chaplain in the late 1940s and early 1950s? Is it possible that it was incapable of looking up Crockford’s Clerical Directory, now searchable online, which lists all living clergy, and identifies Adrian Carey as such a chaplain, conveniently providing his address.

A ‘thorough pre-litigation process’ would surely have found Canon Carey. Since he was not found, or asked, can it really be called thorough? What else did it not do, and what else did it not ask? We don’t know, since the whole thing is hidden by a shield of confidentiality which ‘Carol’ herself has not observed all that much. There’s no sign that George Bell’s extensive archive , detailing his many appointments and journeys, was matched against any dates which ‘Carol’ came up with . His biographer, Andrew Chandler, wasn’t asked his opinion, even though he lives in Chichester. A priest involved in handling the 1995 allegation, still very much alive, wasn’t asked about that either.

A nasty shock for the Bishop’s niece

The Sussex police, who said they would have arrested the Bishop had he been alive won’t say if they interviewed anyone apart from ‘Carol’ before reaching this conclusion. Nobody found or warned Barbara Whitley, the Bishop’s 92-year-old niece. She thinks the charges are preposterous, is much distressed by them and officially complained to the police about their part in blackening her uncle’s name. This resulted in their revelation that the Diocese involved them in the matter.

Soviet-style process

Meanwhile, a Soviet-style process goes on, in which George Bell’s name is removed from schools and other places that were once named after him. The world proceeds as if this is proven, defying the ancient principles of English law. In which case, this not just about the reputation of a great Englishman, forever besmirched and diminished by accusations of an especially filthy and callous crime.

It is about a personal example of selfless goodness, rare in our times, reduced without proof or due process to ashes and dirt.

Who is not vulnerable now?

And it is a threat to every one of us. Who is not vulnerable to an accusation, made after his or her death when no defence is possible? Come to that, as Field Marshal Lord Bramall recently found, it is a threat to the living as police officials, with brains seemingly made of wood, treat even the most honoured person as a suspect criminal on the basis of a single uncorroborated accusation.

One place where the accusations are still treated with proper English scepticism is Oxford, where Christ Church Cathedral (also the chapel of George Bell’s old college) stands. There, in a serene part of the ancient building, there is an unedited, uncensored memorial to the late Bishop. A small altar of black oak, out of which a rough but powerful cross has been carved, stands in front of a slab on which the following rather interesting words are incised, along with George Bell’s name, dates and titles:

‘No nation, no church, no individual is guiltless without repentance, and without forgiveness there can be no regeneration’.

The words are, of course, George Bell’s own, as he contemplated the post-war world. Certainly, nobody is guiltless. But who now most needs to repent, and who to forgive? I said this was a detective story, but most such stories are in fact based on the belief that a trial, and justice, will follow the investigation and the uncovering of the truth by the sleuth.

Not on this occasion. There is no earthly place where this question can be settled. There can be no trial and no final verdict, just a trial in the hearts of those men and women who have long valued the story of George Bell’s life as a rare example of human goodness, and seek to continue to do so. How do you find the defendant? Guilty, or not guilty?

 

***Since I wrote these words, the Church has commissioned and received a review of its handling of the case by the distinguished lawyer, Lord Carlile of Berriew. It received the report,which I understand from several sources to be severely critical of its behaviour, on the 7th October. It is now the middle of November. Why has it not been published?

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

 

Michael Wood writes ** I believe we each must make our journey to the ‘celestial city’ alone, as that brave and goodly man, Bunyan, described .
Christ is our focal point – not Rome, its Pope nor anyone else. **

Thanks Michael and Pilgrim’s Progress is a truly inspirational work but the Church thinkers like Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas through Greek philosophy (Logos) have much more to say. It’s all about salvation and confirming the law as the Christ said he came to Earth to do. The Church is in crisis but that’s thanks to globalism and its sickness which is progressive liberalism where War is necessary for “human rights” and the relatively wealthy are “refugees fleeing War and in need to free housing”. Genuine charity and good works are combined with sacred rites.
Read “Confessions” Saint Augustine and come home brother

 

This is probably the most comprehensive and persuasive blog post (or at the least the most well summarised) from our host in defence of George Bell’s posthumous reputation, and indeed as he’s repeatedly and correctly stated, the defence of the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, whether deceased or living.

It is clear to me from the evidence and information we have presented here that guilt has been far from established. Quite the opposite, in fact. I know Mr Hitchens isn’t doing this for any personal recognition from anybody, and I know he hasn’t been alone in fighting Bishop Bell’s corner, but he should be very proud of his stalwart and dogged defence of the accused and of English liberty and justice. I can only imagine, from what I’ve read about George Bell character and reputation, that he’d be very proud as well. Those in the church responsible for creating this mess should hang their heads in shame for their blithe conduct in this matter.

 

JohnMack, I understand and agree with your views on the CofE but having jumped that pan into cool refreshing streams of Gospel truth and integrity I’m not about to roast on the heat of Papal fallibility.

I know and admire the RC’s adherence to many Christian principles that others, like the CofE, miserably fail to do, but there are many other denominations that also show varying degrees of integrity.
However, I have yet to find one that faithfully adheres to Christ’s living example or that relies on the teachings of His Spirit as opposed to the interpretations of others.

Humanity finds it difficult to abandon the false principle of ‘safety in numbers’ and consequently is easily led astray.
I believe we each must make our journey to the ‘celestial city’ alone, as that brave and goodly man, Bunyan, described .
Christ is our focal point – not Rome, its Pope nor anyone else.

 

To Michael Wood and Robert Duncan
Who is speaking up against Welby’s anti Christian bullying guidelines?
Brothers come and convert to Catholicism. The Anglican Church always was an Oligarch’s church which rooted itself in comfort and weakness. It’s not a progressive liberal globalist elite’s Church because that is how the head of it behaves. How come the so called Church Of England commentators haven’t made this outrage a priority? Think about comfort and discomfort and the lack of materialistic and temporal reward for not conforming which we are called to do for Jesus Christ. Who does that in the Church of England?

 

It seems to me that Mr Hitchens is rather cleverly having his cake and eating it. Of course he did not use the phrase ‘squawking women’. But the natural assumption of most people reading his piece would assume that it is women who are doing the squawking. If that was not the impression he wished to give, he could have phrased it otherwise.

 

Does Mr Hitchens know ‘Carol’s’ real name, and if not, why not? I’d be amazed if no-one in Mr Hitchens’s office knew who she was. Can’t her identity be revealed in the papers? Why should a person be able to make allegations of this type and remain hidden? Why is her name a secret anyway? I hope someone within the rich press buys a copy of the report and leaks it, or someone in the C of E leaks it. No doubt the name on her cheque was her real one.

 

@Thucydides:
***The accusations made against him are unproven and will remain so for ever more, as he will never stand trial. The issue is rather one of fairness, about which people need to come to their own conclusions.***

Lewis Carroll gets pretty much the same treatment. Being dead, there’s nothing he can do about it, and the sad fact remains that some people simply *will* accuse him in their own minds despite the lack of tangible evidence that he ever did anything amiss.

 

There are those within the C of E that are as hostile and anti-Christ as its worst enemies without. The saga of Bishop Bell is a classic example of those elements of treachery within.
From top to bottom this cancer has all but destroyed its ability to think or act in a right and proper manner.
I have said many times here and elsewhere that the ‘organised’ churches are not representative of Christ’s message to mankind and are certainly not The Church that He referred to as being indomitable and invincible against man’s attempts to ‘pull it down’.
Christians who seek edification and suckle on such toxic sustenance are fooling themselves and supporting the enemies of Christ. They must get themselves back into the spirit of and reliance on His Word alone.

 

“It is about a personal example of selfless goodness, rare in our times, reduced without proof or due process to ashes and dirt.”

And that’s the point. As you said yourself, a society which believes in nothing will believe in anything. The traducing of our institutions is inextricably bound up with the end of deference. A decent holy man who stood against the tide of opinion at the time must be destroyed lest his example shows us what we have become.

 

It would be good to hear more of Mr Hitchens’ thoughts on the Church of England. For my part, if it were not for a profound love of England’s old churches and cathedrals, I would have turned Catholic long since. The C of E, in my view, has become a cowardly, purblind, politically correct institution, afraid to assert itself, devoid of beliefs, and desperately trying to ‘keep up with the times’: a policy that will destroy it.

Consider carefully Archbishop Welby’s weasel words, on children and gender, as reported the other day:

‘Children should grow up free of expectations of permanence.’

Don’t fret, Your Grace. The Church long ago delivered us of that.

 

Does presumption innocence exist anymore in any real form? It seems likely that it doesn’t, what is now published prior to and during a trial would seem to flout all the rules of sub judice and, not that long ago, many editors and journalists would have found themselves in contempt of court if they’d dared to publish some of the things they do today. We now have majority verdicts, the replacement of the objective and unambiguous double jeopardy rules with ‘new and compelling evidence’ which could mean anything, and the ‘victims’ allowed anonymity whilst the accused is not. All this is supposed to ensure ‘the conviction of the guilty’ whilst general crime rates increase and Chief Constables are allowed to say the they would have arrested those long since dead on the flimsiest of evidence

 

Mr Hitchens writes:

‘I seek only permission to disbelieve this charge, and ask that others – who do believe it – recognise that it is legitimate for people like me to disbelieve it’

As far as I’m aware, he needs no such permission: he, like everybody else, can believe what he wants. Mr Hitchens refers to English law, but Bishop Bell is dead, and so has no protection from libel or slander in law. The accusations made against him are unproven and will remain so for ever more, as he will never stand trial. The issue is rather one of fairness, about which people need to come to their own conclusions.

 

Not Guilty, without a doubt ; apart from that, how can Bishop George Bell be found guilty? He would have to be tried in a court by a judge and jury and the case proved against him, until then he is presumed to be innocent. How does anybody be put on trial posthumously? (I say the same for the late Prime Minister, Edward Heath).

 

Thank you again, Mr Hitchens, for a clear explanation of this case and its implications. Let’s hope the church will release the report. Perhaps they will need to be shamed into doing so – assuming enough people cared sufficiently to do so – but one hopes it shouldn’t have to come to that.

 

I am a long-time reader of (but first-time commenter to) this blog, and I have followed the Bell matter with interest since our host first took it up. In my view as a solicitor, the case against Bishop Bell is unpersuasive and I would return a verdict of “not guilty” in a hypothetical trial.

We must always be quick and ready to listen to the ‘Carols’ who bring forth accusations, but their veracity must be weighed against the evidence—abandoning the presumption of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ will only lead to ruin. I also feel that it is important to stand and be counted on matters such as this, since silence on issues of moral wrong can have subtle, but far-reaching, effects. To paraphrase Martin Niemöller’s poem, “First they came for Bishop Bell’s reputation, and I did not speak out…”

My suspicion is that someone within the CoE probably made a cost-benefit analysis that it would be easier to make a small payment to dispose of any potential claim than to risk greater financial (and reputational) damage by contesting the accusations, and they are now embarrassed to have been found to have ignored basic due process and natural justice in doing so (hence the reticence in publishing the report). For many large organisations, it is simply more efficient to settle some claims (meritorious or not) than to spend time and resources responding to them. When you combine that approach with an organisation that was previously lax in handling other accusations, it is easy to imagine how someone could have decided that ‘for the good of the church’, Bishop Bell’s reputation must be thrown under the bus (evidence against the accusation notwithstanding) so that the world could see that ‘something was being done’. This, of course, is an injustice and our host demonstrates moral courage in fighting to rectify it.

 

Yesterday – it was 40 days since Lord Carlile’s report was received by Lambeth Palace. It only took 40 days in the wilderness for Our Blessed Lord to prepare for His world changing ministry. Yet, we still wait for the report on the handling of Bishop Bell’s case to be published. The only excuse for this hiatus is that the report has yet to be “finalised”.

 

Mr Hitchens is still overly charitable to the Church of England, being at pains to point out that one of its representatives said that the Church had never claimed Bell to have been guilty.

I challenge anyone to read the Church of England statement of 20th October 2015, still on its website, and not to conclude from what it chose to include in it, that the inference of Bell’s guilt was clearly intended. Here is an excerpt:

“Following settlement of the claim the serving Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend Dr. Martin Warner, wrote to the survivor formally apologising and expressing his “deep sorrow” acknowledging that “the abuse of children is a criminal act and a devastating betrayal of trust that should never occur in any situation, particularly the church.”

Bishop Warner paid tribute to the survivor’s courage in coming forward to report the abuse and notes that “along with my colleagues throughout the church, I am committed to ensuring that the past is handled with honesty and transparency.”

Tracey Emmott, the solicitor for the survivor, today issued the following statement on behalf of her client:

“The new culture of openness in the Church of England is genuinely refreshing and seems to represent a proper recognition of the dark secrets of its past, many of which may still not have come to light. While my client is glad this case is over, they remain bitter that their 1995 complaint was not properly listened to or dealt with until my client made contact with Archbishop Justin Welby’s office in 2013. That failure to respond properly was very damaging, and combined with the abuse that was suffered has had a profound effect on my client’s life. For my client, the compensation finally received does not change anything. How could any amount of money possibly compensate for childhood abuse? However, my client recognises that it represents a token of apology. What mattered to my client most and has brought more closure than anything was the personal letter my client has recently received from the Bishop of Chichester.””

Featured post

November 17 2017 – “Publish the Carlile Report Now! We have waited long enough” – Peter Hitchens – Mail Online

Peter_Hitchens_at_SidneySussex
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/publish-the-carlile-report-now-we-have-waited-long-enough.html

17 November 2017 4:24 PM

Publish the Carlile Report Now! We have waited long enough

I intend to ask, every day until it is published, why the report which the Church of England commissioned into its handling of an allegation against the late Bishop George Bell, has not been published. The report, which is highly critical of Church behaviour, was delivered to the Archbishop of Canterbury on Saturday 7th October 2017. Once again, I must explain why I am devoting so much of my life to clearing the name of a long-dead Bishop. Here goes.

The matter is strikingly similar in some ways to that of Lord Bramall, disgracefully accused in conditions of total publicity of appalling offences on the basis of scanty evidence. But Lord Bramall, being still alive,  was eventually able to secure a proper retraction (thoihgh his wife did not live to see it). George Bell, a man (in my view) of comparable integrity   only has us to stand up for him.

Those who wish to know why Bell, a rare courageous voice in this or any time, matters, might wish to read this full account of the case.

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/as-the-c-of-e-still-sits-on-the-report-into-his-unfair-trial-the-story-of-how-george-bells-reputatio.html

Much more, including a detailed and professional review of the case by experts, can be found here

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/

Many weeks ago, the distinguished lawyer Lord Carlile of Berriew delivered a report to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This report has still not been published, and the Church can give no adequate explanation as to why it has not been.

I have good reason to believe that the report is pretty severe on the Church’s procedures. This is English understatement. I have little doubt that George Bell was publicly condemned on the basis of a procedure that would have shamed a banana republic.

Many people are affected by this, perhaps most shockingly  the Guardian newspaper, which reported the allegations against Bishop Bell as if they were proven charges and has never made any attempt to put this right, though I have pressed them to do so through their own internal procedures (the Guardian does not belong to any outside regulatory body). The Times did so slightly less prominently. A reasonable summary of the coverage is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35971308

My attempts to get the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to condemn their reporting also failed. I maintain that these reports would have been considered gravely inaccurate had Bishop Bell been alive. Why then were they not inaccurate just because he is dead? The BBC, surprisingly, did admit they had been wrong to accuse George Bell of ‘proven abuse’ and publicly regretted it, though they made no on-air correction.

The ‘Argus’ of Brighton and the Chichester Observer, while they have given me space in which to plead George Bell’s case, have continued to treat the matter as settled and George Bell as guilty.  Horrible, Stalinoid things have followed – a school and a school school house have been renamed, portraits have been taken down (and in one casae eventually restored) and flowers removed form Bell’s memorial in Chichester Cathedral (though this has now ceased, and the monument, once defaced by a nasty little notice about ‘safeguarding’,  is now rarely without flowers at its base). In some ways worst, George Bell House, given to the Church in his memory by a group of Anglican nuns who loved George Bell, and named in his honour by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has had Bell’s name stripped from it. Mentions of him have also been removed from a guidebook to Chichester cathedral.

The Carlile report was the result of many months of work. It is a review into the process which led to the public condemnation, as a child-molester, of the late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell.

George Bell is not to be confused with Bishop Peter Ball of Lewes, convicted of serious sexual offences a short time ago. I mention this because I have received more than one letter from persons who have made this confusion. I sometimes wonder if those who condemned George Bell realised that this confusion would be made.

Trying to clear George Bell’s name was difficult. The Church had recruited the Sussex Police to say that they would have arrested the Bishop had he been alive. Many ignorant people thought this was evidence of his guilt, though it is no such thing, and their foolish conclusions only show how poorly we are now taught the rules of our own liberty.

This was an absurdity. He had been dead since 1958 and the alleged offences supposedly dated from even earlier than that.  The only evidence they had was a single uncorroborated accusation.

It is interesting that this is all it takes to get Sussex Police to arrest someone, when he has been dead for 57 years and there is no conceivable action they can take against him. For Sussex Police are among those many forces which claim they already have far too much to do.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5079547/Now-police-force-gives-solving-minor-crimes.html

But the Police have since explained that it was the Church which out them up to this. Did the Church realise that so many people would be persuaded by this ‘arrest’ of a corpse that George Bell was guilty as charged? I wonder.

The same Church was very hard on anyone who criticised its action. The Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd Martin Warner, complained : ‘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.’

Apart from being prejudicial, by using the term ‘survivor’ instead of the neutral expression ‘complainant’, this seeks to use the complainant as a sort of human shield.  It would be ridiculous if no objections to an allegation could be voiced lest the upset the person making the allegations. Justice of all kinds would cease, and every defendant, criminal and civil, would be guilty as charged.

One of his episcopal colleagues (who has since apologised after I engaged in a long struggle to explain to him that this was his Christian duty) actually claimed in the House of Lords that supporters of George Bell had said ‘hurtful things’ about his accuser, a flat untruth. For reasons which escape me, nothing has been done to amend the record of the House of Lords itself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I intend to return to this once the Carlile Report is eventually published. It is one of many unfinished tasks, which will be easier once this whole matter is in the light of day. There is no good excuse for further delay in publication.

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

 

 

Following this matter, I am becoming increasingly vexed and disgusted with the established Church and some of its members, which have shown themselves to be of dubious moral character – or at the least, poorly educated in both their Christian faith and duty, as well as traditional English law – despite their fancy titles. Many of us have known for years, even those like myself who aren’t and have never been CofE, that the Church of England is generally a progressive left-wing institution with barely a shred, if even that, of Christian conservatism or integrity remaining. But this case indubitably displays how far from grace this institution has fallen, when it so utterly failed to come to the aid of a revered Bishop, and one of its own, who, as far as we know and understand, was (at least) ten times the moral, wise, Christian man many of his modern day successors are, especially those who sought to blacken his name for one reason or other. Parts of the media and police have also been a disgrace. In our secular and generally anti-religious and poorly educated age, this comes as no shock or surprise, even though this doesn’t make it any less wrong. But the handling by the CofE in this matter has been utterly inexcusable and unacceptable. As you’ve rightly and repeatedly stated, nobody is safe if this is allowed to stand. And so full public apologies and retractions must be made by all those within the Church involved here. The media and police should also do the same, though I imagine the chances of this happening are even more remote.

 

I posted the following text yesterday.

However, I wonder if this part of the text that Mr Hitchens read aloud at some kind of the memorial service or meeting for Bishop Bell in the last winter?

I find interesting that there are some words quite ’relevant’ today in November.

Yes, we have been *waiting*.

***
Murder In The Cathedral by T.S.Eliot

Part I

Chorus

Here let us stand, close by the cathedral. Here let us wait.
Are we drawn by danger? Is it the knowledge of safety, that draws our feet
Towards the cathedral? What danger can be
For us, the poor, the poor women of Canterbury ? what tribulation
With which we are not already familiar? There is no danger
For us, and there is no safety in the cathedral. Some presage of an act
Which our eyes are compelled to witness, has forced our feet
Towards the cathedral. We are forced to bear witness.

Since golden October declined into sombre November
And the apples were gathered and stored, and the land became
brown sharp points of death in a waste of water and mud,
The New Year waits, breathes, waits, whispers in darkness.
While the labourer kicks off a muddy boot and stretches his hand to the fire,
The New Year waits, destiny waits for the coming.
Who has stretched out his hand to the fire and remembered the
Saints at All Hallows,

Remembered the martyrs and saints who wait? and who shall
Stretch out his hand to the fire, and deny his master? who shall be warm
By the fire, and deny his master?

 

Thanking you for fighting the good fight. The CoE has indeed become ‘the Labour Party at prayer’

 

I was not surprised by the actions of the Church of England.

Eighteen years ago in Ireland, during a sustained bout of anticlericalism (or rather Anti-Catholicism), which continues even today, Nora Wall, a nun in the Sisters of Mercy order, was convicted of rape (the first such conviction for a woman in this country) and gaoled for life (another first for a woman). A homeless man was also convicted of the offences, presumably to lend credence to the accusations. This man, Pablo McCabe, was actually in prison on the date of one of the offences.

Her religious order did not defend her. Journalist Kevin Myers (who was born in Leicester as far as I remember) quipped once that the Sisters of Mercy showed no charity and the Sisters of Charity showed no mercy. This was untrue of course but it did apply in the case of Wall. (Myers lost his job with the Sunday Times a few months ago for offences against political correctness.)

The judge when sentencing spoke of Wall’s “betrayal” of the young girl.

The Sisters of Mercy said they were “devastated by the revolting crimes”. “Our hearts go out to this young woman who, as a young child, was placed in our care. Her courage in coming forward was heroic.” Even after Wall was cleared they did not withdraw their statement of support for the accuser and did not apologize to their own nun.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomed the verdict.

As for the press, Wall had been describes as “Vile Nun”, “Pervert Nun” and “Mercy Devil”. One headline was “I Was Raped By Anti-Christ”. The Sunday World newspaper let its imagination run wild and had to pay 175,000 euros in damages after her name was cleared. (The late Richard Webster noted that it is the serious papers which are in general more susceptible to losing their sense in witch hunts.) Myers was one of the very few journalists to stand up for Wall and to point to the witch hunt. The media in Ireland, including the state broadcaster, are with few exceptions, stridently critical of the Church, of course, in particular its surviving traditionalist members who are unwilling to accept the radical re-writing of history based on lies.

Wall was released from prison after the accuser and the witness unwisely gave a press interview and relinquished anonymity. The witness was recognized by a businessman who had earlier been falsely accused himself. It turned out the she had been declared unreliable as a witness then and should not have been allowed to testify afterwards. This detail was overlooked and is typical of witch hunts.

When Bishop Bell’s accuser made her first allegation there was already a climate of press hysteria about child abuse, centred on the infamous Bryn Estyn case (which Webster investigated in a lengthy book). She repeated her allegation a year after the death of the man who shall not be named, when hysteria had reached unprecedented levels.

 

I have read all the material about Bishop George Bell on the Chichester Observer and Brighton Argus websites and the conclusion I drew was shame on both publications and the Church of England and Sussex Police ; it all smacks of taking the easy option of finding a man who is long dead, guilty of highly questionable allegations.

 

Is the C of E bound by Freedom of Information requests? That might be a way to oblige them to furnish you with a copy of the report.

***PH : Thank you, but no, and this not the way FoI works anyway. ***

 

Mr. Hitchens, your cause and your tenacity in pursuing it are admirable. On the face of it, the Church of England has behaved abominably, and deserves to be hounded until this wrong is righted.

 

It is not so long ago the sense of proportion was mentioned in this blog.
I think there is a huge contrast between the cases of Bishop Bell and of ’Squawking’.

In October 2015 the Guardian and other newspapers had published articles on Bishop Bell with shamelessly thoughtless headlines with clear statement that he *was* a pedophile or he *abused* a child as if they knew it as a proven truth.

Although many people among others Mr Hitchens have been protesting, the articles are sadly still there on the internet and anyone would read them and misunderstand the falsehood as the truth.

The Guardian openly says in their PR;
”We will give people the facts, because they want and need the information they can trust, and we will stick to the facts.”

I have also noticed that the BBC changed a little bit, through inserting the word ’alleged’ in the sentences. This little word ’alleged’ is important but many other journalists do not care – probably because Bishop Bell is not with us and cannot protest.

I see here a parallel with the abortion of unborn babies – they cannot protest or escape.

And now we see so many people are reacting strongly against Mr Hitchens’s article and its headline as if it were wrong – although they really do not have any firm, reasonable basis. I think it is totally out of proportion – or selective sense of justice.

So many people are suddenly interested in truth and the meaning and intention of a text & its headline – where were they on 22 October 2015?

 

Absolutely right, the church and much of the media’s handling of this affair has been an absolute disgrace. Any decent fair minded person would applaud your stance. Is there anything practical we can do to help?

 

In visiting the Carlile Review website, there are two items of interest about the report. The Terms of Reference state that ‘The Church of England will determine whether the full report can be sufficiently redacted or otherwise anonymised to enable its publication without risking disclosure of the complainant’s identity.’ Under the Frequently Asked Questions, however, it states that ‘The report will first be presented to the Church of England, National Safeguarding Steering Group. It will then be published in full.’

If we overlook this apparent clash (‘published in full’ vs. published ‘without risking disclosure’) and accept the narrower Terms of Reference as the controlling standard, it seems that the only permissible reason for the delay would be to redact any material that could somehow reveal ‘Carol’s’ identity. Are we to believe that it has taken over forty days to do this? Once asked, the question seems to answer itself, doesn’t it?

 

Along with the sly and weasily statement of October 2015, the statement of the Bishop of Durham (8th February 2016) still resides on the Church of England website, in which he says:

“Almost three years ago a civil claim was made, raising allegations of abuse by George Bell, the former Bishop of Chichester.
In response to the claim independent legal and medical reports were commissioned and duly considered. The evidence available was interrogated and evaluated. This led to a decision to settle the claim and to offer a formal apology to the survivor. This decision was taken on the balance of probabilities – the legal test applicable in civil claims.
The church therefore, having evaluated the evidence before them, accepted the veracity of the claims before them.”

It will be fascinating to learn the nature of the independent legal and medical reports mentioned, and the reasons why “the evidence available” was so limited – perhaps because it was not looked for?

Also keenly anticipated is the detail of what measures the Church undertook to test the assertions of the claimant, as any half decent employer would on behalf of an employee unable to defend himself.

Featured post

November 29 2017 – “If you like justice and loathe injustice, please sign this petition” – Peter Hitchens

peter-hitchens_877_1871668c
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/if-you-like-justice-and-loathe-injustice-please-sign-this-petition-now.html

29 November 2017 2:29 PM

If you like Justice and loathe Injustice, please sign this Petition now

Please sign this petition

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/publish-the-carlile-review-on-bishop-bell-now

By signing it you strike a blow for justice in general and for the presumption of innocence in particular, and also against the mentality (very much on show in today’s Church of England) that is swift to condemn, and slow to admit mistakes, which is common and dangerous in o07r society.

It was not my idea and I’m not sure what the bit about building bridges is for (though who can be against it?), but it is a great opportunity to pursue and obtain justice.

 

Swift to condemn. Slow to admit their own mistakes

As of today, 29th November 2017, the Church of England have been sitting on the Carlile Report into the unfair hole-in-corner wrecking of the great George Bell’s reputation for 53 (53!) days. That is almost six weeks. They have no real excuse for this.

See here

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/c-of-e-tries-to-defend-its-delay-over-publishing-the-carlile-report-which-severely-criticises-its-ha.html

Lord Carlile is a highly skilled QC and was without doubt extremely careful in his gathering and presentation of evidence, It is hard to believe that the C of E, which made such a mess of the Bell case, really needs months more to tweak and twiddle it into perfection.

Those of you unfamiliar with this shocking case may read the details here http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/publish-the-carlile-report-now-we-have-waited-long-enough.html

(links are provided to in depth analysis), and also here

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/as-the-c-of-e-still-sits-on-the-report-into-his-unfair-trial-the-story-of-how-george-bells-reputatio.html

Featured post

November 29 2017 – New Bell Petition – “Publish the Carlile Review on Bishop Bell – Now!”

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/publish-the-carlile-review-on-bishop-bell-now

To: The Archbishop of Canterbury

PUBLISH THE CARLILE REVIEW ON BISHOP BELL – NOW!

Campaign created by
Richard W. Symonds
PUBLISH THE CARLILE REVIEW ON BISHOP BELL - NOW!

(1) To call on the Church of England to release the Carlile Review.

(2) To ‘re-build bridges’.

Why is this important?

The Church has a responsibility to ensure justice is done.

How it will be delivered

Deliver the Petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace


Reasons for signing

  • The report should be released.

  • Justice is meant to be blind not in favour of kangaroo courts and witch hunts of dead men

  • Transparency and humility is key.


    • Justice and the Presumption of Innocence need to be defended in these intolerant times

    • Justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done. For the National church to be failing in this respect does not give the example Christians should be giving to the world.

    • A dreadful injustice compounded by the unnecessary delay in the release of the Carlile Report.

Featured post

November 27 2017 – Accuracy and “On reading and seeing what is not there” – Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday

peter-hitchens_877_1871668c
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/on-reading-and-seeing-what-is-not-there-a-widespread-problem-and-on-bicycles-.html

“….When I attempted to make a formal complaint about their handling of their error, to the Guardian ‘Readers’ Editor’, it was at first ignored. I had to send it several times before I received a snotty response more or less telling me that it was my own fault if people misunderstood what I said.  This is a tenable position in a pub argument, though not a good or respectable one in a national newspaper,  and I do not think the Guardian would much like it if others applied the same rule to its own pages. It certainly doesn’t accord with C.P. Scott’s immortal dictum that facts are sacred. But given the Guardian’s adherence to the old Press Complaints Commission code, which is against inaccuracy,  it doesn’t deal with the real problem, which is that the Guardian published something inaccurate about me and hasn’t properly regretted it or corrected it.

Here’s what the code says :

1 Accuracy i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. iii) The press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.’

I shall pursue this as far as I can. I am not optimistic, after The Guardian’s shocking refusal (I took this to the very limit) to acknowledge any error in declaring Bishop George Bell a child abuser in October 2015 when all it had to go on was a pretty sketchy allegation. Yet it wrote:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/22/church-of-england-bishop-george-bell-abused-young-child

However, in this case, it is beyond doubt that the Guardian claims that I wrote something I did not write, whereas in the Bell case it had no hard legal obligation – only a moral one, since Bell was deceased – to distinguish between an allegation and a proven charge. ‘Only’ a moral obligation?  Well, you know what I mean.

The problems in both cases could have been avoided if those involved had read their material more carefully.

Featured post

November 27 2017 – “Piety and Provocation: A Study of George Bell” by Andrew Chandler – Humanitas – George Bell Institute [2008]

9780802872272

http://www.jesus4u.co.uk/reviews/piety-and-provocation

Piety and Provocation: A Study of George Bell, Humanitas

Chandler, Andrew
Publisher:
George Bell Institute (2008)
ISBN:
13978955055812
Purchase:
Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk

It is easy for the denizens of Sussex to get George Bell out of proportion but the mainstay of Bell studies, Andrew Chandler does not make this mistake, even though he works at the Bell Institute in Chichester. The brief, clear-eyed survey of Bell’s life and achievements is summed up in his phrase “a costly failure”, not only for him but for the great causes he espoused of world peace and Christian unity. Chandler might have added his failure to inculcate a zeal for social justice into the Church of England which only surfaced under the extreme pressure of re-invigorated liberal capitalism in the late 1970s.

Sadly, Bell’s heritage is largely based on three myths. First, he is said to have opposed the area bombing of Dresden in 1945 which he did not; his major intervention took place in February 1944. This sheds light on the second myth, that Churchill turned him down for Canterbury because of his Dresden speech when, at worst, it might have been because of his actual speech although, Chandler notes, there were many and good reasons why Fisher should have been chosen. Thirdly, Bell is widely regarded as a pacifist although the two full length speeches at the back of this book flatly contradict this.

This is not to say that Bell did not have a full and fruitful life: his support of ecumenism laid a foundation on which we are still building today; his patronage of the arts – crowned by T.S. Eliot’s Murder in The Cathedral – has left a lasting heritage, not least in Chichester; and his writings, though not academically nor theologically profound, possess a directness of thought which refreshes the jaded mind.

Chandler finds it difficult to reach the core of a man who was private – even secretive – uncharismatic and self-effacing, presenting the biographer with a series of contradictions. One instance which Chandler does not note is that the zealously campaigning Bell only made his Lord’s maiden speech in 1938, nine years after taking his seat.

If you know about Bell, this brief survey is probably not for you but, then, as Chandler shows, most people only think they know him.

Featured post

November 26 2017 – “Refugees” – A Poem by Brian Bilston

refugee-protest-afp

“REFUGEES” – A POEM BY BRIAN BILSTON

THEY HAVE NO NEED OF OUR HELP

SO DO NOT TELL ME

THESE HAGGARD FACES COULD BELONG TO YOU OR ME

SHOULD LIFE HAVE DEALT A DIFFERENT HAND

WE NEED TO SEE THEM FOR WHO THEY REALLY ARE

CHANCERS AND SCROUNGERS

LAYABOUTS AND LOUNGERS

WITH BOMBS UP THEIR SLEEVES

CUT-THROATS AND THIEVES

THEY ARE NOT

WELCOME HERE

WE SHOULD MAKE THEM

GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM

THEY CANNOT

SHARE OUR FOOD

SHARE OUR HOMES

SHARE OUR COUNTRIES

INSTEAD LET US

BUILD A WALL TO KEEP THEM OUT

IT IS NOT OKAY TO SAY

THESE ARE PEOPLE JUST LIKE US

A PLACE SHOULD ONLY BELONG TO THOSE WHO ARE BORN THERE

DO NOT BE SO STUPID TO THINK THAT

THE WORLD CAN BE LOOKED AT ANOTHER WAY

 

(NOW READ FROM BOTTOM TO TOP)

Featured post

November 26 2017 – The Anglo-German “Reconciliation” Tapestry – Ursula Benker-Schirmer – Chichester Cathedral

17883830_1385619008148403_1202135502100320241_n
Reconciliation between Germany and England for the cathedral in Chichester. Tapestry 40 square meters. By Ursula Benker-Schirmer

The ’Anglo-German Tapestry’, which includes references to the life of St Richard, was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bishop Bell’s birth in 1983.

s-l225
Anglo-German Tapestry by Ursula Benker-Schirmer

New-image-of-Quire

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/about-us/delve-deeper-1/anglo-german-tapestry/ (November 2017)

The Anglo-German Tapestry

Tapestry by Ursula Benker Schirmer

Tapestry by Ursula Benker-Schirmer

The beautiful Anglo-German tapestry, designed by Ursula Benker-Schirmer took three and a half years from conception to completion and is made using pure linen, silk and cotton.  It was designed to harmonise with the architecture and colours of nearby windows in the Cathedral.  The centre panel was woven in Germany and the two side panels at West Dean College, near Chichester.  Benker-Schirmer assembled the forms as if they were rock crystal fragments.  The tapestry was dedicated on 15th June 1985.
The principal symbols of the tapestry are:

The Chalice: symbol of St Richard of Chichester, at the centre of the tapestry with the cross above it. The red wine at the bottom of the chalice signifies the blood of Christ.
The Candle: is light and fire.
The Fig Trees: in the side panels are symbols of life and fecundity. St Richard had one in his garden and taught a priest how to graft them.
The Fish: along the lower area are traditional Christian symbols.
The Dove: above the Cross; symbol of the Holy Spirit and of peace.
The Triangle: symbol of the Holy Trinity.
The Lotus: in red, it emerges from the water. It supports the chalice and the cross. It is often used as a Christian symbol of birth and rebirth in Christ.
The Serpent: emerges from the lotus and rises below the cross. It symbolises struggle, temptation, suffering and hardship.
The Cross: the symbol of the victorious cross is at the centre. It is the cross of suffering.
The Circle: the artist suggests several interpretations – the world, the cycle of life, the symbol of infinity, God at the centre of our life. The tapestry shows it broken to “open the way to Eternity”.

 

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/news/famous-anglo-german-tapestry-taken-down-for-shrine-refurbishment-posted-9-august-2011.shtml (August 2011)

Famous Anglo-German Tapestry taken down for Shrine Refurbishment…

Picture: Removal of Tapestry

Removal of Tapestry

A refurbishment of the historic Shrine of St Richard at Chichester Cathedral is taking place throughout August.  This interesting project will include the temporary removal for cleaning of the large and striking Anglo-German tapestry (approx 7m x 4m), the addition of specially designed metal grilles and candle stands, and the cleaning  and restoration of the marble floor.

The refurbishment has generously been made possible by the Bishop Eric Kemp Memorial Fund.  Bishop Eric (Bishop of Chichester 1974 to 2001) died in 2009.  He often said he wished the Shrine could be restored and made more worthy of Sussex’s own Saint, St Richard.

The Shrine of St Richard has been a site of pilgrimage throughout the ages.  Nowadays, the Shrine is a focus for prayer in the Cathedral where visitors can come and leave their prayers and petitions.  It is not unusual for over 200 prayers to be left at the Shrine each week.  Each day, these prayers are collected by the Cathedral Clergy and offered at Holy Communion service.

The Anglo-German Tapestry was placed at the altar in 1983 and was designed by Ursula Benker-Schirmer.  This vibrant work is one of the Cathedral’s modern pieces and it is dedicated to two bishops of Chichester: St Richard (1245 – 1253), and Bishop George Bell (1929 – 1958), patron of the arts and founder of the World Council of Churches.  The tapestry was woven in Germany and at West Dean College, near Chichester and took 3.5 years from conception to completion.

St Richard was Bishop of Chichester from 1245 – 1253 and died at Dover on 3rd April 1253.  In his eight years as a bishop, Richard had become so beloved of the people of Sussex that the Cathedral immediately became a place of pilgrimage.  The people said his name Ricardus stood for ridens (laughing), carus (dear) and dulcis (sweet).

In 1930 an altar was placed at the Shrine and in 1991 a portion of the authenticated relic, probably of St Richard’s arm, which had been preserved at the abbey of La Lucerne in Normandy, was interred beneath the altar.

Featured post

November 26 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 – Nov 20 2017

peter-hitchens_877_1871668c
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/11/c-of-e-tries-to-defend-its-delay-over-publishing-the-carlile-report-which-severely-criticises-its-ha.html

20 November 2017 1:16 PM

C of E tries to defend its delay over publishing the Carlile Report, which severely criticises its handling of the Bell case.

 

The Church of England today published this statement, seeking to defend the 44 day (and counting) delay since it received the Carlile Report into its handling of abuse allegations against the late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell (see many posts here)

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/timing-publication-independent-review-processes-used-bishop-george-bell-case

Nobody wants to risk identifying the complainant and it would, I think, be easy to ensure that the report was redacted to ensure that this risk was removed. It would certainly not take more than six weeks to achieve this. More than six weeks also seems more than enough to consult those criticised, though this is now more or less obligatory under the ‘Maxwellisation’ rules instituted after that businessman was once criticised in a report. 

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?

 

 

 

 

Mr Hitchens writes,

”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.”

When my husband and I visited Chichester Cathedral this Summer, we checked for a short time the Cathedral’s bookshop if there was anything about Bishop Bell left. There was not much, or rather, nothing. My husband only bought a beautiful booklet of ’Saint Richard’ because he wanted to know more about the saint.

Later, at home he found something in the booklet and showed it me:

”Bishop George Bell was Bishop of Chichester at the time of the 700th anniversary of St Richard’s death, in 1953, and he issued a spiritual call ’to every priest and every parish in the diocese to renew their discipleship, and to pray to God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit’.

During the year the bishops visited each deanery, and in Chichester there were lectures and special services, including a celebration of the Eucharist by the Archbishop of Canterbury. There was also a pageant in which The Acts of Saint Richard were performed in the palace forecourt. Each performance ended with a procession of clergy, actors and audience to the shrine.

Bishop Bell also created a Guild of St Richard for the newly confirmed.

Since 1953 the shrine of St Richard has been further enriched. The ’Anglo-German Tapestry’, which includes references to the saint’s life, was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bishop Bell’s birth in 1983.”

We later also found in a pamphlet in Japanese (not mentioned in English one) that Bishop Bell’s ashes rest at the shrine in the Cathedral.

We left *a small posy of flowers* with a card at the memorial to Bishop George Bell (I wrongly thought I had to hide the flowers under my cardigan at the entrance) and there were already two more bunches of beautiful flowers there.

 

I have realised now that I should have writen the C *of* E.

 

@John Vernau

Thank you for your comment. I have probably given you an impression that I am very optimistic about the effect of the Carlile Report.

I think this would be an opportunity for the leaders of the C o E to show if they have enough conscience and courage (left) to admit that they have made several serious mistakes under the procedure and wronged the good name of Bishop Bell without any irrefutable foundation. And very importantly, this should not be mixed with the credibility of ’Carol’. I do not think it is the heart of the matter.

She has to accept the fact that there is no witness beside her and we have to accept the fact that there is no proof that can 100% prove that the Bishop was innocent. But then again we have the important principle of the presumption of the innocence. The C o E, the Police and many journalists have failed to respect that important principle. I think the Report should be able to establish this point.

You quoted:

“To provide the Church of England with a review which, having examined relevant documents and interviewed all relevant people, ensures that:

1. Lessons are learnt from past practice:

– As Mr Hitchens and others have shown that the alleged investigation done by the C o E was not thorough and orderly and caused distress not least to the Bishop’s niece. This failure has to be learnt and documented and they have to apologise her. (Have they done it already?)

2. Survivors are listened to and taken seriously, and are supported:

– They failed to take and support ’Carol’ seriously in the beginning. They failed to take the truth seriously too.

3. Good practice is identified and disseminated:

– The way the Church dealt with Police and the media on this issue cannot be called ’good’.

4. Recommendations are made to help the Church embed best practice in safeguarding children and adults in the future.”

– They have to think about safeguarding people from defamation too.

 

Re Ky | 22 November 2017 at 09:42 AM

“Mr Hitchens and many other more, myself included, want to see:
1) An admission that the procedure was (as it was) quite unjust.
2) 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.”

That would be wonderful, Ky, but I’m not hopeful. In fact I’m not sure that we’ll see an un-redacted version, or any version at all, of what the Church calls the ‘draft’ of the ‘lessons learned review’. Their statement of 22/11/2016, “The reviewer [Lord Carlile] will produce an executive summary, which will be published to support the dissemination of learning” implies that the summary, at least, may see the light of day as written, but I wouldn’t count on it. I think Lord Carlile has reported to the Church and the Church will, in the fullness of time, report to us. The independent part of the review is over, but reviewing continues.

The same (2016) statement provides the terms of reference for the review, which in my opinion provide little solace for those interested in justice. The objectives of the review are identified as:
“To provide the Church of England with a review which, having examined relevant documents and interviewed all relevant people, ensures that:
1. Lessons are learnt from past practice
2. Survivors are listened to and taken seriously, and are supported
3. Good practice is identified and disseminated
4. Recommendations are made to help the Church embed best practice in safeguarding children and adults in the future.”

Also, the “scope of the review” goes no further back in time than 1995. I suspect the current delay is to needed to masticate the ‘draft’ report into a familiar CofE mixture of pious pabulum and corporate gibberish, in which it will be held that much disseminating of many valuable best-practice safeguarding lessons learned has occurred. I very much hope that I’m wrong, but the rehabilitation of Bishop Bell’s reputation may have to wait until the ‘survivor’ in this case can no longer be so described.

 

The Cof E hierarchy who are responsible for enabling the unjust and official smearing of Bishop Bell’s good name and reputation have, through lack of proof and witnesses, collectively broken the 9th commandment.
What, in Heaven’s name, does that make them!?

 

Mr Hitchens and many other more, myself included, want to see:

1) An admission that the procedure was (as it was) quite unjust.

2) 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.

3) The recognition by several media organisations that they treated an allegation as a proven charge and were wrong to do so.
What do we need in order to be able to step forward?

An impartial, objective and well-researched report written by a thoughtful and highly respected lawyer:

I have heard such a report exists in this world – but it is still firmly locked and kept secret from public. There are reasons why we have to wait, they say. But the question is whether 46-days is a reasonable length of time or not.

Does the C o E really care for Bishop Bell’s 92-year-old niece, Ms. Barbara Whitley, who has been distressed by this treatment of the good name of her beloved uncle? I am sure that the restoring of Bishop Bell’s impaired reputation would meant a lot for her, as well as for other both young and old people.

 

I fear that those hoping for a takedown of the church’s actions will be disappointed: the report and its remit have been controlled by the CoE from the off; and they chose Lord Carlile, a lawyer who’s preciously defended draconian anti-terrorism powers.

Traditional English liberties aren’t sacred here, but just one factor that can be “balanced” against other considerations like public order and victims’ rights.

After the obligatory refusal to assign any personal blame, the best we can hope for is probably some recommendations urging restraint in the publishing of future accusations.

 

‘note how they have slipped in “a few months” as the normal period of delay’ (Mr Rob)

Yes, they must have seen your claim to write about this issue every day until it is published and thought that if the let you know it will take a few months you might desist. It is weaselly from them. This is an organisation thinking in self-preservation mode, thinking only about PR. For a church this is outrageous, a complete dereliction of its stated purpose. When put under pressure by ‘Carol’s’ lawyer the church deals with the issue immediately, but when dealing with the issue immediately is not in their benefit they stall.

I applaud you for your determination.

 

All of this is to confuse the wheat with the chaff. Who cares about this old stickler Bell and his hangups about Nazis in the 1930s or carpet bombing in the 1940s?

Is somebody seriously saying that there was something wrong about our revered Archbishop Welby believing all that the victim or survivor has had to say about the cruel treatment she suffered at the hands of that wicked Bell (so cruel and upsetting that she could only bring herself to speak about that treatment when she was certain that the villain was well dead) or is someone saying that his Lordship might have been tempted to sacrifice even that old geezer from history, for the sake of promoting his modern image as an administrative investigator of unimpeachable credentials?

Is it not enough of a burden that his Lordship has the thoroughly unpleasant task of having to constantly apologise for the shortcomings of others in the Church, as though it did not pain him beyond endurance to have to point his finger at those lesser mortals who have sinned by act or omission?

 

“….. issues over factual accuracy and identification of ‘Carol’.”
I can understand they they still feel constrained to keep her identity secret, but ‘factual accuracy’ rather suggests that they’re not even sure now if she really exists – interesting.

 

“Nobody wants to risk identifying the complainant …” says PH.

I strongly disagree.

If someone is claiming money by way of “compensation”, I don’t give tuppence for their credibility if they remain anonymous and act via solicitors.

 

Please keep at them. Please contact the CoE every day.

 

I venture to predict that the report is so damning of their actions that it will never see the light of day. That’s how the system “works”.

 

The statement doesn’t really say anything at all, does it? They’re playing for time (note how they have slipped in “a few months” as the normal period of delay…).

Keep up the pressure, Mr H, I am sure that more and more people are through your efforts becoming acquainted with this case and the lamentable actions of the Church of England.

 

One can only contrast the Bishop’s bravery for standing against British terror bombing of Germany in WW2 with the timidity of the C of E in publishing a report that might show they acted wrongly in this case.

Featured post

November 26 2017 – “What good is a church without justice?” – Peter Hitchens on Bishop Bell – Mail on Sunday

peter-hitchens_877_1871668c
Peter Hitchens

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

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 (or his biographer, who knew his way around it) to check the claims against it. They never found or warned Bell’s living niece, Barbara Whitley, who was astonished and appalled to see her uncle suddenly smeared in public, and is still livid.

They never looked for or consulted Adrian Carey, Bell’s personal chaplain, who lived in the Bishop’s Palace at the time of the supposed crimes. We did. Until the day he died, Canon Carey rejected the charges as baseless and impossible.

The Church’s main response was to accuse us, quite falsely, of attacking the complainant, which we never did. Then, very grudgingly, it announced a review. Then, with glacial slowness, it appointed a QC, Lord Carlile, to undertake it. Lord Carlile delivered his report on October 7. You can imagine what it says. The C of E is still making excuses for not publishing it. How quick they were to condemn another. How slow they are to admit their own fault.

Publish it now.

Featured post

November 25 2017 – Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – The Spectator

download (29)
Charles Moore

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/the-queen-and-prince-philips-70th-anniversary-party-sounds-glorious/


“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

IMG_0247

Featured post

November 25 2017 – Memorial Service in Chichester Cathedral for the Duke who signed the Bell Petition

nintchdbpict000349853528
The 10th Duke of Richmond and Gordon [Photo by Jonathan Stewart]

http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/around-600-expected-for-the-late-duke-s-service-at-chichester-cathedral-1-8262658

“The extraordinary life of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon will be celebrated at a memorial service at Chichester Cathedral on Saturday (today)…The Queen will be represented by Susan Pyper, Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex…Naomi March, the late Duke’s adopted daughter will read ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and the Earl of March, the grandson of the late Duke, will read, ‘Turn Again to Life’ by Mary Lee Hall [“Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine…”]…

“Paying tribute at the time, his son, now the 11th Duke of Richmond and Gordon, called his father unorthodox, a free-thinker and deeply committed to improving the area”

[“Around 600 guests expected at the Duke’s memorial service” – Chichester Observer – November 23 2017 – Page 5]

 

RWS Note: The late Duke of Richmond and Gordon signed The Bell Petition a few months before his death in September 2016 – a Petition which included the restoration of George Bell House.

 

Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – The Spectator – November 25 2017

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/the-queen-and-prince-philips-70th-anniversary-party-sounds-glorious/ 

“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

Featured post

November 23 2017 – “This delay is intolerable” – Midhurst and Petworth Observer – Letter – Meriel Wilmot-Wright of Chichester

download (28)

LETTER: Bell report wait is intolerable

MERIEL WILMOT-WRIGHT, LITTLE LONDON MEWS, CHICHESTER

Published: 01:00 Thursday 23 November 2017

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.

Read more at: http://www.midhurstandpetworth.co.uk/news/your-say/letter-bell-report-wait-is-intolerable-1-8257965

Featured post

November 23 2017 – “This delay is intolerable” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Meriel Wilmot-Wright of Chichester

2348http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/your-say/letter-bell-report-is-intolerable-1-8257965

LETTER: Bell report [wait] is intolerable MERIEL WILMOT-WRIGHT, LITTLE LONDON MEWS, CHICHESTER

Published: 01:00 Thursday 23 November 2017

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. 

Featured post

November 22 2017 – “Terms of Reference” of the Carlile Review ?

terms-of-reference

http://carlilebell.co.uk/

“Terms of Reference” according to Lord Alex Carlile QC and the Carlile Review

Terms of Reference

“Terms of Reference” according to William Nye and the Church of England

Church of England Statement on George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Nov 20 2017

 

 

Featured post

George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral

The entrance door to george bell house in chichester partly open
George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral – before the name change [Picture: Alamy]
IMG_0239
4 Canon Lane – November 2017 – RWS Photography
IMG_0240
4 Canon Lane – November 2017 – RWS Photography

IMG_0248
George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral [circa 2014]
IMG_0295 (1)

 

 

Featured post

The Bell Chronology – 1883 to 2083 – Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

images-9

Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

1883 to 2023

CHRONOLOGY COMPILED BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

img_6292

George Bell House - 4 Canon Lane - Chichester Cathedral
George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral – before the name change [Picture: Alamy]

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

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

1929 – George Bell appointed Bishop of Chichester 

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)

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

1958

Oct 3 1958 – George Kennedy Allen Bell dies

1961

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]

1967

1967 – “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester” by Ronald C.D. Jasper [OUP 1967]

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

1985 

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)

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

1991

July 16 1991 – “American paedophile jailed” [The Times, London, England] – Richard Gauthe, brother of Gilbert Gauthe (see 1983 & 1985 entries)

1993

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

Sept 2001 – Nolan Report published

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’]

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

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 8 2008 – George Bell House at Chichester Cathedral opened and dedicated by the recently-retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

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

July 13 2010 – Statement: “Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest” – Catholic World News – July 16 2010

2011

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

Nov 1 2011 – Jimmy Savile scandal breaks – in UK

Nov 3 2011 – “Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre, Jr. – in US

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]

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

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

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

April 5 2013 – “Great Lives – George Bell” – BBC Radio 4 – Series 30 [with Andrew Chandler, Matthew Parris and Peter Hitchens]

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

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

March 27 2014 – “Betrayed – The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis” by Richard Scorer [Biteback Publishing 2014]

Sept 21 2014 – “Jersey Anglican Church abuse accuser needs ‘closure'” – BBC Jersey

Nov 2014 – Operation Midland launched by Metropolitan Police [and closed in March 2016]

 2015

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” – BBC Jersey

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

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

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 – “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 – “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 2015 – Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner issues a formal apology to the alleged victim ‘Carol’

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 31 2015 – “Peter Ball: letters of support released” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

Winter 2015 – Chichester Cathedral Newsletter – Stephen Waine, Dean on Bishop Bell

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 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 – “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 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 – “Group is formed in support of Bishop Bell” / “Archbishop responds to criticism” / “Bishop Bell reaction – School and Cathedral buildings renamed” – Chichester Observer

April 1 2016 – “Vigil to protest against treatment of late bishop” – The Argus – Reporter: Joel Adams

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 – “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 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

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 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 – 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 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 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 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]

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.

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 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 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 3 2017 – Peter Ball, former Bishop of Lewes, released from jail after serving 16 months of a 32-month sentence

Feb 5 2017 – A Poetry Evening to mark the Birthday of Bishop George Bell – Friends Meeting House – Chichester – 6.30pm

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 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 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 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 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 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.’

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 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 

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 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 (or his biographer, who knew his way around it) to check the claims against it. They never found or warned Bell’s living niece, Barbara Whitley, who was astonished and appalled to see her uncle suddenly smeared in public, and is still livid. They never looked for or consulted Adrian Carey, Bell’s personal chaplain, who lived in the Bishop’s Palace at the time of the supposed crimes. We did. Until the day he died, Canon Carey rejected the charges as baseless and impossible. The Church’s main response was to accuse us, quite falsely, of attacking the complainant, which we never did. Then, very grudgingly, it announced a review. Then, with glacial slowness, it appointed a QC, Lord Carlile, to undertake it. Lord Carlile delivered his report on October 7. You can imagine what it says. The C of E is still making excuses for not publishing it. How quick they were to condemn another. How slow they are to admit their own fault. Publish it now” ~ Peter Hitchens

 

The entrance door to george bell house in chichester partly open
George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral – before the name change [Picture: Alamy]

Nov 26 2017 – “Refugees” – A Poem by Brian Bilston

Nov 26 2017 – Anglo-German “Reconciliation” Tapestry in Chichester Cathedral by Ursula Benker-Schirmer – commissioned for the centenary of Bishop George Bell’s birth in 1983.

Nov 26 2017 – “Piety and Provocation: A Study of George Bell” by Andrew Chandler – Humanitas – George Bell Institute [2008]

Nov 26 2017 – Accuracy and “On reading and seeing what is not there” – Peter Hitchens – Mail on Sunday

Nov 29 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 29 2017 – New Bell Petition – “Publish the Carlile Review on Bishop Bell – Now!”

Nov 29 2017 – “If you like justice and loathe injustice, then please sign this petition” – Peter Hitchens

Comments

It’s naive to imagine that good people can’t do bad things, of course, but there has to be evidence. In cases like this, it seems impossible to even obtain evidence, let alone determine guilt or innocence. And yes, it’s a very dangerous situation if we get to the stage where people are assumed to be guilty unless proven innocent.

Posted by: Persephone | 30 November 2017 at 12:02 PM

I have signed the petition. The C of E’s horrible statement irritated me because it referred to ‘Carol’ as ‘the survivor’, and did so over ten times. This is deeply wrong, and isn’t much different from a barrister referring to a defendant as ‘the murderer’. If such a thing happened, the judge would have something to say about that kind of language. The problem with it is obvious.
I suggest that everyone now refers to Bell’s reputation ‘as if’ it has been restored.
The damage to his reputation should be written and spoken about in the past tense. Can’t we should just assume this, as if it’s a given, as in ‘Now that Bell’s reputation is restored we can relax until the next attack on the presumption of innocence comes along…’ or something like that….
Posted by: John Aspinall | 30 November 2017 at 08:53 AM

It’s very important that when an organisation decides that someone is guilty without a fair hearing they are held to account for that decision.
Posted by: Jacob Chase | 29 November 2017 at 05:43 PM

Nov 30 2017 – ‘Bishop Bell’ Letter – Martin Sewell – The Spectator

Dec 1 2017 – “Justice” – Joanna Bogle

Dec 2 2017 – “Bishop Bell delay…What delay?” says Church – Letters – The Spectator

Dec 2 2017 – From The Archives [July 2017] – General Synod – The Carlile Review – Bishop of Bath and Wells – Martin Sewell & David Lamming

14. Mr Martin Sewell (Rochester) asked the Chair of the House of Bishops: The
Terms of Reference of the Carlile Review provide that: “The Church of England will
determine whether the full report can be sufficiently redacted or otherwise anonymised to
enable its publication without risking disclosure of the complainant’s identity.”
So that there may be complete confidence in our transparency, how will it be ensured that
those whose original judgements may be criticised are suitably distanced from the
redaction of the report, and will Lord Carlile be free (should he so choose) to indicate
whether he agrees or disagrees with the redacted format when published?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells (Rt Revd Peter Hancock) replied on behalf of the Chair of the
House of Bishops: The redaction of the Carlile Review will be undertaken solely by
reference to the normal principles, including where appropriate the need to honour
assurances of confidentiality and to comply with the Data Protection Act. The redaction
will be overseen by the Secretary General to the Archbishops’ Council [William Nye – Ed] who was not involved in the decisions being evaluated by the Carlile Review. It will of course be
62 entirely up to Lord Carlile to state whether he agrees or disagrees with the format upon
publication.
Mr Martin Sewell: The Carlile Review arose partly because the Church allegedly used
victim confidentiality to shield its own self from criticism. The answer that you have given
refers to confidentiality assurances having been given in the plural. Is that intended to
imply that the complainant to the Bishop Bell case will not be alone in the witness
protection programme?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: By now General Synod is aware that Martin Sewell knows
a lot more about the Lord Carlile Review process than I do. It is right that I do not know
that level of detail. Where there is an independent review, it is very important that I stand
– and others stand – back from it. I am here to help the archbishops and the House of
Bishops respond to those reviews. So the answer, Martin, is that I do not know the
answer to that very detailed question, but I will get a written reply for you.
Mr David Lamming (St Edmundsbury & Ipswich): In the light of the answer referring to
the redaction of the report being overseen by the Secretary General to the Archbishops’
Council [William Nye – Ed], are you able to give Synod a timetable as to when that is going to happen and when the report is to be published, particularly bearing in mind your answer to the last
question that it is to be considered at the next full meeting of the House of Bishops?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: You are talking about the Lord Carlile Review?
Mr David Lamming: Yes.
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: My understanding is that the work of the review itself will be
completed by the end of this month. It will then be down to Lord Carlile when he publishes
the report. 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.

Dec 2 2017 – Lord Carlile: “A complete loss of authority…the whole conduct of the police in this case [of Damian Green MP] is quite extraordinary”

Dec 2 2017 [Postponed until Church releases Carlile Review] – “Bishop Bell and Re-Building Bridges” – Venue: Dresden and Bonhoeffer Rooms – 4 Canon Lane – George Bell House – Chichester – Keynote Speaker: Martin Sewell [General Synod Member and Child Protection Lawyer – Retd]

Dec 5 2017 – “Justice for George Bell” Poster [distributed outside Chichester Cathedral on Sunday April 3 2016]

Dec 5 2017 – From The Archives [Oct 27 2017] – Restoration of George Bell House and The Bishop’s Portrait 

img_9510 (2)
George Bell, Bishop of Chichester
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”

Dec 12 2017 – From the Archives [Nov 29 2017] – “If you like justice and loathe injustice, then please sign this petition” – Peter Hitchens

Comments

Signed it just now and glad to be able to do so and would like to say thank you for your own hard work in making this case known to more and more people who should be very concerned by what has been done here.
***PH writes: Thank you. It is quite hard to get most people interested, as George bell doesn’t have the profile other wronged figures such as Lord Bramall have. Yet the principle is the same. I was rather moved last night at the annual Anglo-German Advent Carol service in the Church of St Mary the Virgin (where Anglicans and Lutherans join in singing Advent hymns from both countries, and the Bible is read in English and German, a result of the arrival, 80 years ago, of a group of German Lutheran refugees in Oxford). There were German Christians there who revere George Bell because of his links with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and who were appalled by what had happened, but as yet did not know that there was a group acting in George Bell’s defence. Now they do.***
It’s naive to imagine that good people can’t do bad things, of course, but there has to be evidence. In cases like this, it seems impossible to even obtain evidence, let alone determine guilt or innocence. And yes, it’s a very dangerous situation if we get to the stage where people are assumed to be guilty unless proven innocent.
Posted by: Persephone | 30 November 2017 at 12:02 PM
I have signed the petition. The C of E’s horrible statement irritated me because it referred to ‘Carol’ as ‘the survivor’, and did so over ten times. This is deeply wrong, and isn’t much different from a barrister referring to a defendant as ‘the murderer’. If such a thing happened, the judge would have something to say about that kind of language. The problem with it is obvious.
I suggest that everyone now refers to Bell’s reputation ‘as if’ it has been restored.
The damage to his reputation should be written and spoken about in the past tense. Can’t we should just assume this, as if it’s a given, as in ‘Now that Bell’s reputation is restored we can relax until the next attack on the presumption of innocence comes along…’ or something like that….
Posted by: John Aspinall | 30 November 2017 at 08:53 AM

Dec 7 2017 – Lord Carlile “produced a damning report calling for tougher rules” in 2011 – BBC

Dec 7 2017 – “Why is the C of E still messing around with the Carlile Report?” – The Spectator – Letter – Peter Hitchens

Dec 7 2017 – “Mud sticks to the innocent too” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Marion Somerville

Dec 9 2017 – “Bell Society Notes” by Richard W. Symonds

Dec 9 2017 – “A shocking indictment of complacency and complicity” – Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Report – Senator Ian Gorst

Dec 9 2017 – From The Archives [Nov 5 2017 and July 21 2017] – “Let us hope and pray ‘The Jersey Way’ does not also become known as ‘The Chichester Way’ or ‘The Lambeth 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]

Dec 14 2017 – Petition Presentation to Lambeth Palace

Dec 14 2017 – BBC South East Today – Short item on Bishop Bell and the Petition [“Blink and you’ll miss it!” – RWS]

“The Church of England is expected to publish tomorrow a long-awaited report into the handling of a sex abuse case involving a former Bishop of Chichester. The Church accepts the late Bishop George Bell abused a girl during the 1940’s and 50’s and has paid her compensation, but he never faced criminal charges. Today, a 1000 signature petition was delivered to Lambeth Palace, calling on the Church to publish its review, of the way the case was handled, as soon as possible”

Dec 14 2017 – C. of E. set to publish report into the handling of George Bell ‘abuse’ case, but will it satisfy the critics?” – Christian Today – James Macintrye

Dec 14 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

Dec 15 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

Dec 15 2017 – Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

Dec 15 2017 – Bishop George Bell – The Independent Review by Lord Carlile of Berriew, CBC, Q.C. [The Carlile Review] – Published: 15 December 2017 

Dec 15 2017 – “Bishop besmirched by the Church” – Front Page Headline – Page 1 – Daily Telegraph – Robert Mendick

Dec 15 2017 – “Restore the good name of George Bell, demand bishops” – Page 2 – Daily Telegraph – Robert Mendick

Dec 15 2017 – “George Bell verdict – Church’s botched handling unfairly destroyed reputation of bishop” – Christian Today – Harry Farley 

Dec 15 2017 – “Traducing George Bell’s name was ‘just wrong’ says Carlile review” – Church Times – Tim Wyatt

Dec 15 2017 – “George Bell review: Justin Welby refuses to apologise as row over ‘innocent until proven guilty’ rages” – Christian Today – Harry Farley

Dec 15 2017 – BBC 1 – South East Today – News – 6.30pm

“For Bishop Bell’s reputation to be catastrophically affected in the way that occurred was just wrong” ~ Lord Carlile

“I am appalled by the Church’s behaviour, particularly by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement ‘there is still a cloud over George Bell’s name’. They should admit entirely what they did was wrong. They dragged his reputation through the dirt, and they should now ‘make of penitential efforts’ – to use a term they will be familiar with – to put right what they have done” ~ Peter Hitchens

Dec 15 2017 – “Anglican church ‘rush to judgement’ in George Bell child abuse case” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Dec 15 2017 – “‘An example of human goodness’: how child abuse claims shredded George Bell’s reputation” – The Guardian – Harriet Sherwood

Dec 15 2017 – “Archbishop criticised for refusing to clear bishop besmirched by the Church” – Daily Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard & Robert Mendick

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson, the daughter of Bishop Bell’s friend Franz Hildebrandt, said Bishop Bell’s family deserved a personal apology from the Archbishop and the Bishop of Chichester. 

“The Church can’t have its cake and eat it. Either he is innocent, in which case they must apologise, or he is guilty, which they can’t prove, and the report makes clear that they have not proved,” she told this newspaper. 

Professor Andrew Chandler, Bell’s biographer, said the Archbishop’s statement was “wrong” and “illogical”. 

“It fails a basic test of rational justice,”he said. “It lacks an understanding of all kinds of dimensions which require compassion, not least in Chichester, where people feel deeply upset by this.”

Dec 15 & 16 2017 – Press Reader – Media coverage on Bishop George Bell and the released Carlile Review

Dec 16 2017 – “Welby criticised over handling of historic child abuse case” – Newburgh Gazette

Dec 16 2017 – “‘He can say Bishop Bell wouldn’t be found guilty, it doesn’t change the facts'” – “A person of dignity and integrity” – “Legal expert pointed to overlooked evidence” – The Argus – Spotlight – Reporter: Joel Adams

 

 

 

2018

rebuilding-bridges-revised-draft-visual
Design by Peter Crosskey

Feb 1 2018 – “Bishop Bell – Re-Building Bridges” – Morning Conference – Church House Westminster [The Council Room] – 08.30am – 12.30pm

Feb 4-11 2018 – Bishop Bell Week – to mark the 135th Anniversary of the birth of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

Oct 3-10 2018 – Bishop Bell Week – to mark the 60th Anniversary of the death of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

 

2023

Feb 4 2023 – Bishop Bell Week to mark the 140th Anniversary of the birth of Bishop George Bell of Chichester

2083

Feb 4 2083 – Bishop Bell Week to mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Bishop George Bell of Chichester – The ’Anglo-German Tapestry’, which includes references to the life of St Richard, was commissioned to mark the centenary of Bishop Bell’s birth in 1983.

Featured post

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑