November 16 2017 – Church of England launches new-style Website and News Releases [but no new Statement on Bishop Bell or Carlile Review Release Date]

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news

https://www.churchofengland.org/search-results?keys=Bishop+George+Bell

Search results

801 results found

  1. Statement from Bishop Paul Butler on George Bell

    08/02/2016

    NEWS / The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding has issued a statement today following various media comments on his recent contribution in the House of Lords regarding Bishop George Bell.

  2. Independent review into handling of George Bell case

    28/06/2016

    NEWS / An independent review of the processes used in the George Bell case has been announced today in accordance with the House of Bishops guidance on all complex cases.

  3. Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case

    22/11/2016

    NEWS / Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case.

  4. Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958)

    22/10/2015

    NEWS / Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958).

  5. George, Martyr, Patron of England

    George, Martyr, Patron of England from Common Worship: Festivals by The Church of England.

  6. Bishop of Chichester statement following article in Brighton Argus

    03/02/2016

    NEWS / The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has issued the following statement following an article published in the Brighton Argus Newspaper.

  7. Bishops and other Pastors

    Bishops and other Pastors from Common Worship: Festivals by The Church of England.

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November 10 2017 – Quotations – “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…..”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/hollywood-and-westminster-may-erase-people-but-the-church-should-be-different/118188.htm

Hollywood and Westminster may ‘erase’ people, but the Church should be different

The director and producers of the completed but unreleased movie All the Money in the World have chosen to remove Spacey from the movie, recast his role and reshoot his scenes following sexual misconduct allegations against the actor.

This news jogged the memory towards a column earlier this month by the Christian Today editor Mark Woods, who drew attention to the unforgiving nature of worlds such as Hollywood and Westminster, compared with the Church.

He wrote: ‘Let’s be clear: no one can justify Weinstein-like behaviour, in Hollywood or in Westminster. But anyone can denounce evil. The Church is called to go further: to call sinners to repentance, and to offer the full and free forgiveness of Christ to all who want it. It’s hard to argue for mercy when the whole world is howling for vengeance, but that’s what we’re for.

I thought of this again last night when peering over someone’s shoulder (no, I don’t read newspapers edited by partisan Conservative politicians) at the London Evening Standard’s main cartoon, a withering depiction of the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Which in turn made me think back to this little diary item in the Mail on Sunday last month:

George Osborne’s fury at Theresa May for ditching him after the EU referendum has yet to abate. The former Chancellor – now editor of the Evening Standard – was told by a newspaper vendor close to his office: ‘You’ve really got it in for her, haven’t you, George!’ His ominous response? ‘I’m not finished yet.’

That rings true. Osborne is the epitome of the secular Westminster operator, a game-player who has devoted much energy into his drip-drip campaign of revenge against May, not because the two have much that divides them politically, but because she (apparently) told him to go away and ‘learn some emotional intelligence’ while dispensing with his services as Chancellor.

Osborne’s hubris was demonstrated when, in April, he finally bowed to pressure to quit the House of Commons after taking on the Standard job, saying he was leaving Parliament ‘for now’ as if being re-elected involved nothing more than reapplying to a top London club (and the most gossipy club in the capital, it is, too).

There is a wider point here: A good Christian would not spend months coldly issuing vengeful, repeated attacks on someone over such a disagreement. A good Christian would, for his own sake as well as that of others, forgive and move on.

But neither Westminster nor Hollywood remotely reflect the approach of the Church. Indeed, they are worlds apart from it.

Or at least they should be: 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, but that’s for another day.

In the meantime however, the Church should be wary of writing people off in the style of those Westminster types who say the career of a ‘disgraced’ politician is but a footnote against the headline of their mistake, or indeed those Hollywood types who ‘erase’ an actor from a film.

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November 9 2017 – Martin Sewell on ‘Must be Believed’ vs. ‘Must Be Taken Seriously’

Martin Sewell – General Synod Member and Child Protection Lawyer [Retd]

_____

The recent furore about the Parliamentary ‘sex scandals’ – which I prefer to think of as principally about bullying and the misuse of power – is causing people to ask a question afresh. Is it proper to ‘believe’ such allegations when made, or simply to ‘take them seriously’?

This has been live and topical question within the Church of England.

Not only do we have our own slew of allegations coming to the fore, as female clergy and lay people begin to share their stories every bit as serious and worrying as those of Hollywood and Westminster, but we have recently had the Carlile Report into the Church of England’s handling of the allegation against Bishop Bell lodged with Lambeth Palace. That was a month ago, on 7th October. Within that report will lie the answer to our question.

Unfortunately, the church has not yet released that report, telling me that it is being ‘finalised’. One wonders quite what processes this implies, and who exactly is ‘finalising’ this for the independent reviewer. Questions have been asked to clarify these matters, so far without substantial success, but that is a story for another time.

One of course accepts the need for victim anonymisation and giving criticised persons due process, but a projected publication date and confirmation of who exactly is doing what would be good to know in a church which is aiming to embrace transparency and accountability.

Yet the core question of how one treats complaints is a very real and relevant one. Lord Carlile will doubtless have considered both the law and the ‘hot off the press’ report of Sir Richard Henriques report on police mishandling of this very question. That report is important and has presented usable information right now: what is or is not the law is surely an independent matter of fact. The law reports are quite plain in reiterating and approving the approach of Baroness Butler-Sloss as set out in the Cleveland Report in 1987: the victim is entitled to be ‘taken seriously’.

The alternative view is persistently – and erroneously – attractive.

Statistically, most victims are truthful historians about what happened to them. Anyone who has spent time talking to victims of bullying and/or abuse knows how hard it is for them to find the courage to speak, especially when this truth-telling takes place in an institutionally hostile or defensive environment.

It therefore seems a kindness to offer immediate reassurance and support, which is right and proper. A friend, a confessor, an authorised listener, pastoral assistant or therapist may offer such belief and real good will be done by it, but once one enters the more forensic forums where the question becomes ‘Is this allegation true?’, an important and necessary cultural change is required.

In that different environment, which can, frequently does, and should result in life-changing decisions, a more balanced approach necessarily comes into play. In this forum, the only proper response is to fall back upon the tried and trusted principles such as ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and ‘he who asserts must prove’.

The Church of England patently lost sight of this, which resulted in the debacle by which the late Bishop George Bell failed to receive due process for the allegations posthumously made against him – a full half-century after his death. There has been quiet diplomacy going on behind the scenes at General Synod with those of a legal background imploring the National Safeguarding Team to align its approach with the law of the land. Initially this was to little avail, but that is now changing.

I believe we are witnessing a corrective sea change in how we approach these matters.

The Carlile Report was delivered on 7th October; by 13th October a new policy document was produced – ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, issued by House of Bishops (but not debated by Synod). It declares on p. 6:

The Church in exercising its responsibilities to suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations of abuse will endeavour to respect the rights under criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law of an accused Church Officer including the clergy. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and Church inquiry processes.’

Additionally, in a clarification which the NST did provide in answer to inquiries, we learn:

The key piece of guidance here is the ‘Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers’, which was published on 13 October 2017. There is guidance within this document in respect of responding to disclosures or allegations of abuse. For example, Section 2, First response (Page 25) states that 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.

An earlier flowchart that began with the words “Believe the victim” is no longer there. The latest practice guidance show that listening has occurred.

The language used for complainants and those complained against is always a sensitive issue. This guidance will usually be needed before there have been any findings in criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings. At this stage there will be people who have made complaints (referred to as safeguarding concerns or allegations in this guidance) and people against whom complaints have been made. Both victims/survivors and respondents will at this stage be alleged victims/survivors and alleged respondents. For ease of reference this guidance will use the terms ‘victims/survivor’’ and ‘respondent’ without presupposing the accuracy of the complaint. These should be regarded as neutral terms that do not imply the innocence or guilt of either party.

So the angel is in the detail.

These statements demonstrate a highly significant – and immensely welcome – U-turn on the part of the church in how it handles allegations. Instead of institutional pre-judgement, the parties are to be treated equally and with seriousness.

The alignment of the Established Church’s approach in these vital matters with the ordinary standards of justice found in every court in the land is a major change and ought not to be hidden under a bushel. There is much rejoicing in heaven over a sinner that repents.

It is not simply that a long-dead bishop is likely to have due process (though complete exoneration is, in my view, impractical to expect so late in the day), what is much more important is that village priests and curates from Cornwall to Cumbria and beyond, whose causes the great and the good will not rally around, will now have a fair hearing within the disciplinary structures of the church.

I am sure there will be some embarrassment that after two years of resistance Lord Carlile has endorsed the wisdom of the church’s critics. Why it took so long to accept the change, when all the necessary materials were made available at the outset, is also a question for another time.

This is not to be unkind, but rather to ensure that the impetus that improved things for Bishop Bell takes the next step and assists victims who have different injustices outstanding.

The more important priority is to explain to the victim community why this development is actually very good news for them and an important victory in their battle to reform a Church Establishment that finds it very hard to acknowledge its errors in plain and unambiguous terms.

Talking to one of the experienced lawyers for church victims recently, I listened as he described ‘the victim must be believed’ narrative as a blind alley. Too often, in the criminal law context, he explained that cash-strapped police forces ticked their empathy boxes by bringing prosecutions without committing the necessary resources to doing the job properly. This has led to Crown Prosecutors determining not to proceed, but the police being content because they could not be blamed, for had they not ‘believed the victim’? Job done.

Reputation management came before outcome as a priority, and that is unkind and deeply disrespectful. If a task is worth doing, it is worth doing properly.

The ‘always believe the victim’ doctrine is one of cheap virtue. Even cases that passed the tests and were brought to court have sometimes failed through insufficiently robust intellectual rigour being applied to all available angles of the case. An uncritical advancement of a case leads one to walk into a ‘sucker punch’, which would have been seen and avoided if only the case had been properly prepared at the outset. Premature belief can result in sloppy practice. One ceases to take each individual piece of the jigsaw, examine it carefully and ask the simple question: ‘Now what does this mean?’

If the evidence is insufficiently robust, it is better not to bring a case at all rather than to betray a complainant’s trust and leave them angry and humiliated because due process had been skimped with resulting failure.

Yet the legal standard is not unhelpful: ‘taking seriously’ is actually much better than knee-jerk ‘belief’.

When I was a child I believed in Father Christmas. There was superficial evidence for that belief. It had its utility for a while, yet could not hold up to scrutiny once I began to apply my mind to ‘taking the proposition seriously’.

In contrast, I take Jesus Christ seriously.

That does not make things easy. There are things I don’t fully understand, issues I put to one side hoping to gain a fuller understanding later, and I accept there are some questions that I may never fully grasp, yet that seems to me to be a sign of mature engagement.

Jesus himself made just such a distinction.

Not everyone saying “Lord, Lord” is a true follower. He pointed that out. Easy belief must give way to the better way of ‘taking seriously’. Many of us respond better to a faith leader whose whole life demonstrates serious engagement than to one who encourages premature superficial verbal assent.

So when the Carlile Report comes out, and we see the important changes explained in detail, I hope that we will find our Bishops and Safeguarding Officers rejoicing that that have been corrected with sound judgment, and not simply offer a surly nod or terse lip-service.

Rend your hearts not your garments‘ comes to mind. The redrawn documents must be accompanied by the real and public embracing of a new and more healthy culture, as we educate insiders and outsiders alike to the virtues of applying the proper standards in the appropriate points of engagement with those bringing their grievances to the church.

Serious but sensitive listening at the outset; rigorous forensic detachment during the investigatory stage; justice, repentance and proper support and reparation if the complaint is upheld.

What we are seeing is an important curving of the arc of our procedures toward justice, and that is a cause for modest celebration even as we acknowledge that there is so very much more to be done.

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March 2017 (Updated Oct 13 2017) – House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy Statement

 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.’

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November 5 2017 – Unholy Trinity ? Ecclesiastical Insurance Group [EIG] – Allchurches Trust Limited [ATL] – Church of England [CoE]

https://seaofcomplicity.blog/author/seaofcomplicity/

Opening comment from Ian Elliott

I welcome the release of this blog and hope that it will stimulate comment and discussion on these very serious issues that face the Church of England. There is a great and pressing need for change and it is already overdue.

I had the opportunity to review some of the practice of the Church through a review that I undertook of one survivor’s case, and presented my findings a year ago. Those findings are still relevant today.

Over the weekend I read with interest and some degree of sadness, the report and recommendations completed by Dame Moira Gibb and her team. Her analysis is revealing but I feel that the recommendations fail to address one critical problem that I had identified, and that is monitoring a deviant or incompetent bishop who seeks to hide their bad practice. I recommended that there needed to be critical, independent oversight and scrutiny of the safeguarding work undertaken in dioceses. Sadly, I note that this recommendation is not repeated by Dame Moira. History will show which approach is correct.

Ian Elliott,  Safeguarding Consultant

www.ianelliottsafeguarding.com

CofE & Insurance affiliation

This first article, about deep-rooted affiliation between the Church of England and its insurer, will hopefully provide a better understanding of CofE response to CSA survivors.

Some background history. Ecclesiastical Insurance was created in 1887 by the CofE to provide for its own insurance needs. Self-insurance was common among religious institutions at that time. The Methodists were first, creating their own insurance company 15 years earlier. It made economic sense – money went out from individual churches and returned to the central coffers to support the work of the Church.

For nearly a century Ecclesiastical was fully owned by the CofE. Then in 1972 the Church created Allchurches Trust Ltd to take on legal ownership of the insurer. The signatories of incorporation included both Archbishops at the time, Michael Ramsey (Canterbury) and Donald Coggan (York), plus the Dean of St Pauls, Archdeacon of Lincoln, and Secretary General of Synod and other CofE figures. Both archbishops used Latin place names (Cantuar and Ebor), a legal entitlement permitted to bishops. They were clearly acting as senior officers of the Church, and the Trust was perceived as a CofE body. The Trust has recently wanted to distant itself from this on Wikipedia.

In the decades that followed, Ecclesiastical gradually acquired several other companies to become Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (or EIG). They own Ansvar, one of the main insurer of UK charities, and Lycetts, a major equine and farm/estate insurance provider, amongst others. The group involves several layers of ownership with some subsidiary companies owning smaller subsidiaries. But the whole group is owned by Allchurches Trust Ltd (or ATL), and run as a charitable enterprise. Profit from EIG goes to ATL which distributes grants to churches & charities around UK and elsewhere.

Ecclesiastical also created an investment management firm in 1987 to provide investment products for clergy and dioceses. Originally called Ecclesiastical Investment, it was rebranded in 2015 to EdenTree as ‘Ecclesiastical’ was considered off-putting for an investment house seeking to widen its client base beyond the church. EdenTree is also fully owned by ATL and gives profit to the motherlode.

This short film celebrating EIG’s recent £50million donation to ATL within 3 years, shows the various components. And demonstrates the close affiliation to the Church of England.

Emphasis is on the many small charities the insurer supports, and it seems on the surface a ‘virtuous circle’ that Sir Philip Mawer (ATL Chair) describes. Indeed many small charities benefit from this enterprise.  But there is something missing from the picture….

What EIG and its owner ATL are less keen to draw attention to in this film, is the funding priority to support CofE Dioceses through ‘block grants’. Their annual reports and Companies House filing history give a clearer picture. A quick exploration shows that ATL gives between 80 and 90% annually to CofE and Anglican churches. In 2014 the total shared between CofE dioceses, cathedrals, churches and other Anglican churches was 92% of that year’s grants. So as a circle, it’s not hugely different from the good old days when Ecclesiastical was outright owned by the Church and ran as a financial loop.

To recap, a simple diagram of the flow of money might look like this: Follow the Money

Senior Clerics on EIG board of directors

The Church, EIG and ATL have all claimed the “church is simply another client” and that the insurer is entirely separate from the CofE. Whilst this may be legally accurate, Companies House records show high-ranking clerics on the board of directors of EIG across the past four decades. Archdeacons, deans and even bishops have been involved in running the insurer. Sir Philip Mawer, former Secretary General of the CofE Synod, has been on the board twice. The first time during his years serving as the church’s most senior civil servant.

It may be coincidental, but during decades of cover-up and suppression of abuse stories, the board has had three and even four senior church figures at a time. For example in 1993 – an archdeacon, two cathedral deans and a bishop – over a third of the board. Currently there is only one senior cleric – but until recently there had always been three or four. That’s considerable institutional heft and influence. It’s not hard to imagine the deference, embedded loyalty, patronage, and shared mutual interest that would have accompanied so much senior church presence. A bishop in any boardroom is likely to receive most deference in the room. A board made up of a third senior clerics cannot in any way be characterized as a “church is simply another client” situation – as one of the bishops and EIG and ATL have tried to claim in emails. The Church needs to be a good deal more honest about this corporate affiliation and the flow of money.

This powerful nexus throws up many ethical questions. I have tried to engage both church and insurer with a range of conflict-of-interest questions for nearly two years. But there has been little will to address them. The Church’s senior caseworker treated the questions with hostility and boredom during a mismanaged meeting last year. When raised with the National Advisor and current Lead Safeguarding Bishop, the questions have drawn a blank. 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! And EIG’s compliance director has treated me in phone conversations as an idiot who knows nothing about the world of corporate affairs. Most people don’t need a degree in ‘corporate’ to recognise moral affiliation … and the moral responsibility that should accompany it.

The two may be legally separate. But in terms that the general public would understand, the church and its insurer are morally and institutionally joined at the hip. These two corporate cultures have clearly shaped and reinforced each other over the decades. It’s a strange picture when put alongside the silencing and cover ups so many survivors have experienced. Would it be likely that senior figures in Ecclesiastical have been club-able with other bishops who’ve covered up abuse in the past? If any of these figures were approached by survivors in their dioceses – would they have informed them as part of their pastoral response of the potential conflict of interest? Have these senior clerics been advised to quietly encourage the structure to turn a blind institutional eye? Cover-up seems almost to have been a requirement for the job in past bishops! And ultimately, to whom have these clerics owed alleigance? The Church and its stated pastoral aims, or does fiduciary responsibility to the insurer claim priority? These are just some of the questions raised by this interwoven nexus. But cognitive dissonance and denial in CofE culture prevents senior figures or a too deferential Safeguarding from engaging with them.

Together with a whistle-blown House of Bishops document published last year, the image is of a church that pretends a ‘robust’ response whilst consciously operating a mirage. Instructions from the CofE’s legal head advised diocesan bishops to use “careful drafting” to “effectively apologise” without enabling victims to get compensation. The Church and insurer have in effect ran an ‘affiliated corporate hand-wash’ with both parts washing hands of responsibility for actions of the other. They maintain the pretence of seperation. The Church wants to quietly have its cake and eat it.

“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 document

Not one bishop commented on this document when it emerged last year. A nameless ‘spokesperson’ issued a three line defence. This corporate strategy bats any further questions away. Yet the policy and culture hidden in that document since 2007, involved all of the senior layer, and ran counter to the Church’s stated aims in Responding Well. This was a moment when bishops might have taken ownership of the deceptive mirage played out on survivors. Instead the article came out to a backdrop of silence as bishops ran to ground. Survivors see again and again this running to ground by the Church which only seems to respond when embarrassment is sufficiently acute. One wonders whether any of the bishops stood up, when the advice was issued by their senior lawyer, to say “Not my role to be an adjunct to an insurer – my role is to be a pastor and help heal survivors, not hoodwink them.” Perhaps some did say something like this privately. They didn’t have enough moxie to speak out.

The document matched the blanking and silencing of major questions by senior bishops leading up to the Elliott Review. Ultimately 17 letters to Archbishop Welby were ignored on the advice of the insurers and laywers acting on their behalf. Finally after an 18 month wait and colossal effort, two bishops – Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Truro – are due to come to a mediation to account for the blanking of these questions and give personal apology. To my mind it is the insurers who have most dug these bishops into such an uncomfortable and embarrassing position. That and a culture of denial and fear in the senior layer. And poor theology.

MACSAS tell me many survivors could match this document to their own experience of the Church’s response. It ticks too many boxes. Perhaps in time when attitudes change across the top, mediation will be a way forward where bishops have responded to survivors dishonourably or without healing in mind. Many current senior figures face difficulty, with a significant portion of senior bishops having faced recent CDM’s (Clergy Disciplinary Measure proceeedings) including Archbishop Sentamu, Bishop Paul Butler, Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop Martyn Snow and others. Eventually the Church will put its hands up properly and start being transparent.

Let’s look at a specific story of church/insurer contamination

Sent by Teresa Cooper as part of a joint press release with Joe

Teresa Cooper who has spent thirty years campaigning for truth and justice for Kendall House is seeking explanation and profound apology from the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, for his handling of her case in 2007. Teresa was summoned to a meeting to give account of her abuse and found herself meeting three men on her own. One was the bishop; another was Canon David Grimwood from Church in Society which had jurisdiction over Kendall House. The third man was from Ecclesiastical. Teresa says “The Bishop of Rochester proceeded to discredit and undermine my story directly in front of the insurer. In effect, he called me a liar and said there were no drugs used at Kendall House, which was astonishing”. It was later reported by the BBC that Rev David Grimwood removed critical files which later provided clear evidence of what took place at the Church of England home. Teresa also has clear evidence in a private email sent between Kent County Council and this senior priest that lawyers acting for the insurer instructed him and the diocese to withhold critical documents from her. This later affected the outcome of her case in 2010. The three men at that meeting all knew that Teresa was seeking access to these files to show evidence of the allegations. It took another nine years before a full inquiry into Kendall House took place. Teresa now insists on a public statement of apology from Bishop Nazir-Ali and proper acknowledgement from the church of decades of cover-up. She has received what she considers to be a “pretence of justice”. Teresa says, “I deal daily not only with serious health conditions, but also live with the reality that my children were born with birth defects as result of the chemical experimentation I was subjected to as a teenager.” Teresa goes on to say, “the church and their insurer worked together to suppress the truth and discredit the facts – this is undeniable. It is a shocking part of my story that the church does not want to acknowledge! Bishop Nazir-Ali couldn’t even be bothered to tell the new bishop about the Kendall House situation.” She is seeking a meeting and apology from Archbishop Welby in recognition of the layers of cover-up and all the profound impact on her life and continuing health struggle she undoubtedly faces. She hopes to explore mediation with the Church so they can help her move forward with the rest of her life. The CofE has so far refused her any help and therapy.

This story powerfully illustrates the nexus of church and insurer working in tandem. It looks more than a little cosy. It looks frankly corrupt. There’s an overwhelming case for justice and it’s time the CofE stopped washing its hands – and gave Teresa real justice.

Headmasters on EIG board of directors

In addition to senior CofE figures, three headmasters have also been on the board of the insurer. Ecclesiastical’s website states that it insures over 40% of independent schools. These three headmasters, across more than three decades, are listed on Companies House as having been directors (governors) of other prep schools in addition to headship of their own schools. More than half these have had abuse cases and media reports. One example is Caldicott. All three headmasters had governance of this school at different times – a school with a complex abuse history spanning decades and centred around its own headmaster. But many of the other schools too have been subject of abuse allegations:

Abingdon, Ashdown, Ashfold, Cothill Trust, Loretto, Millfield, Mount House, Radley College, Repton, Stoke Brunswick, Summerfields, Wellington College

Does the presence of headmasters, presumably representing the interest of all these schools, on EIG raise similar ethical questions? Have survivors from these schools been informed that heads/governors of their schools were part of the insurer possibly handling claims? Those I’ve asked had no idea and were shocked to discover these potential conflicts of interest. One Caldicott survivor told me that one of these had praised Peter Wright as the “finest prep school headmaster of his generation” at Wright’s retirement speechday. There’s no grounds for suspecting any of the three had prior idea that Wright had been subject of rumours from the late 1960’s onwards and across the decades. But these links between the worlds of private school, church and insurer are bound to raise questions for survivors. Has EIG insured all these schools? I asked a few. They were reluctant to say.

“Virtuous Circle”?

The CofE is making exponentially rising amounts of money from one of the UK’s major insurance businesses. Some dioceses encourage parishes to regard Ecclesiastical as the ‘official insurer’ of the diocese and in effect the only go-to. This is the case in my own diocese. There are currently only two insurance companies for CofE churches to choose from – Ecclesiastical and Trinitas – but Ecclesiastical insures the vast majority. About 95%. This effective monopoly clearly benefits dioceses, by a far mile the major beneficiary of the charitable enterprise. It’s entirely up to the Church of England how it wants to manage part of its corporate affairs. But if that involves a contaminated structure in which survivors are being further harmed – then it needs bringing into daylight.

The contaminated response that Teresa and I have witnessed in different ways in our cases is mirrored elsewhere. Many CofE survivors have been harmed by the Church’s affiliated hand-wash and toxic fusion of pastoral and legal games. The CofE needs to sort out its broken culture, acknowledge the embedded conflict of interest and potential corruption in this nexus. They need to recognise the need for urgent structural change. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation could best be celebrated by having another.

The ‘circle’ will only really recover virtue in the eyes of survivors when the Church creates an authentic redress system. One that is fair, dignified, transparent, and above all focused on healing – to replace the current adversarial rollercoaster the CofE relies on. If the Church wanted, it could almost overnight begin to remove the toxic barriers (blanking, silencing, amnesia, denial, legal games, closing down of cases, fog & obfuscation, complicity, hand-washing, etc) that cause much additional suffering to survivors.

I’m not the first to raise some of these questions – far from it. Bishop Paul Butler and Archbishop Welby buried their heads in the sand for at least five years to repeated challenges from survivors about ‘smoke and mirrors’. When will the Church stop walking behind the crisis of itself – and give shape to a transparent and genuinely healing response to CSA survivors? Will the House of Bishops wake up at this late stage? Perhaps the next generation of bishops will be the ones who redeem the chaos of wounds and bewilderment left behind by the current senior layer.

Comment from Bishop Alan Wilson

Bishop of Buckingham invited us to include this in the press release, and we share it here

“My concern is that although the Church has made some progress with safeguarding over the past few years, there is still a long way to go if it is to become a safe place. Many survivor experiences still fall well short of the good intentions recently expressed towards survivors of John Smyth abuse. There is still no national safeguarding service with the authority to do a proper job. Over-dependence on ecclesiastical lawyers and insurers leads to defensive behaviour, selective memory, and serious pastoral inadequacy. Training is welcome, of course, but of limited usefulness if all people are being trained in is a weak and ineffective system, founded on a culture of excessive deference and secrecy. Payouts that should be the beginning of a pastoral relationship with a healing community are still too often the last word. There is still much bafflement and ignorance within the church about spiritual abuse, and even a refusal in some places to acknowledge let alone take responsibility for what are patently harmful theologies. The senior ties of the church to Ecclesiastical our insurer looks very weird through the eyes of survivors, and this is another area that calls for full disclosure and explanation. All organisations have ground to make up in this area, but I dream of a day the Church of England will stop dragging its feet, be honest, take responsibility, and become a leader in understanding and effective response to and action for those who have been damaged by contact with it.”

Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson

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November 1 2017 – “Call for ‘living memorial’ to child abuse victims” – Jersey Evening Post

https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/11/01/call-for-living-memorial-to-child-abusevictims/

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Call for ‘living memorial’ to child abuse victims

News | Published: 

 

A ‘LIVING memorial’ for people who suffered child abuse in Jersey – such as a research or education centre – has been proposed by a representative of victims, the Chief Minister has said.

 

In its first official response to the damning findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which were published in July, the government announced yesterday that it intended to spend £2.9 million to employ an additional 19 full-time staff to implement the eight core recommendations made by the panel.

The government also published an action plan, and progress update, for the recommendations, which include the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner to ensure that children had a voice. The States response also said it intended to address the negative view of the ‘Jersey Way’ – how the Island is run.

Chief Minister Ian Gorst, who supports all of the inquiry’s recommendations, said that he believed that the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner was one of his most important priorities. A shortlist of candidates has been drawn up for the role.

But he added that among the more difficult recommendations to implement would be tackling the negative perception of the ‘Jersey Way’ and dealing with sensitive legacy issues, such as the possible demolition of Haut de la Garenne – a former care home at the heart of the abuse investigation – and the suggested building of a ‘lasting memorial’ for victims.

Senator Gorst said, however, that the development of a ‘living memorial’ to promote better childcare in the Island appealed to him.

‘I don’t want to drive that particular agenda – I would like it to come from a conversation or consultation. But it has been suggested to me by one of the legal representatives of abuse victims that it should actually be a living memorial,’ he said.

‘So this would be a research or educational centre about best practice in childcare or social work, which might be a very fitting memorial rather than just a slab of rock somewhere.’

The Senator said that there was now a shortlist of five candidates for the role of Children’s Commissioner and that interviews would be held over the next fortnight, with the intention of the successful person being in the post by January 2018.
Read more at https://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2017/11/01/call-for-living-memorial-to-child-abuse-victims/#L7ebXGjW8EUVWqdG.99

 

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November 2 2017 – Justice for Bishop Bell hindered by further delay in Church Statement

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Lord Carlile has already concluded the Church of England’s investigation on Bishop Bell was “flawed and unfair”.
The Church, for reasons only known to itself, has delayed the release of its Statement on Bishop Bell until the end of November – maybe even later.
This is likely to create yet another injustice, entirely of the Church’s own making.
Despite this delay, the Bell Society will continue to focus on two local issues:
1. Restoration of 4 Canon Lane back to George Bell House
2. Re-hanging the Portrait of Bishop Bell in the Dresden Room of George Bell House (at present, the Portrait lies in storage within the Cathedral’s private Library.
~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society – Nov 2 2017
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October 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 ~ Richard W. Symonds [The Bell Society]

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“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 [The Bell Society]

 

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The Plaque 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” 
Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.
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October 27 2017 – Restoration of George Bell House and The Portrait

IMG_9510This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017]

The Plaque 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” 

Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.

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October 22 2017 – George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Dresden and Bonhoeffer Rooms

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George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester
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Dresden Room – George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/catering-hospitality/conference-banqueting.shtml

BonhoefferRoomconference
Bonhoeffer Room – George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane

bookings@chichestercathedral.org.uk
Maria Gordon

Bookings & Events Administrator

Chichester Cathedral
The Royal Chantry
Cathedral Cloisters
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1PX
Tel: 01243 813586  Fax: 01243 812499
 
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October 22 2017 – 2nd Anniversary of the Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958)

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

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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

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O pray for the peace of Jerusalem;

They shall prosper that love thee.

Pray for the Jews,

Pray for the Jews in Stepney, and Whitechapel, and Bethnal Green;

Pray for the German Jews;

For all those suffering pain, suffering disgrace,

Because of their race.

Pray for those who have a Jewish parent or grandparent,

And are Christians by faith.

Pray for the older people, who have laboured all their days,

Who have struggled bravely for Germany,

Who have lived nobly for Germany,

Whose sons have died for Germany,

Who are now spurned and despised,

Because they come of the Saviour’s race.

Pray for the young men and women,

Who had begun to work for Germany;

Following honest callings, honourable professions,

Eager to serve their country, as their fathers served it,

Who are now flung out, and denied all share in the national life,

Because they come of the Saviour’s race.

Pray for the children

Who yesterday were happy and free from care,

Happy in their schools, happy in their games,

Happy with other German boys and German girls,

With the same lessons, the same toys,

The same hopes, the same troubles and joys,

Who are now persecuted by their teachers,

Persecuted by their schoolfellows,

Pilloried in their classroom,

Expelled from the playground,

Because they come of the Saviour’s race.

Pray for the Non-Aryan Christians,

Who have rejected Judaism,

And have accepted the Cross.

To the Jews, the Jews from the whole world

Give succour and sympathy.

But to these Non-Aryan Christians

Who speaks a word of comfort ?

Who clothes them, or feeds them ?

Who visits them in prison ?

Who shares with them the Cross of Christ ?

Pray for all Non-Aryan Christians,

Pray for them, and help them !

And remember the Saviour’s word – 

Inasmuch as ye did it not to the least of these,

Ye did it not to me.

 

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October 19 2017 – “The Right Royal Cover-Up Continues” – Morning Star – Peter Frost

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https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4fe3-The-right-royal-cover-up-continues#.Weiy9PkrKUk

The Right Royal Cover-Up Continues


OCT 2017 Thursday 19TH
posted by Morning Star in Features

Edward Heath, Cyril Smith and an ex-archbishop of Canterbury are just a few of those exposed as part of the great abuse cover-up. PETER FROST worries the full the truth will never come to light


HARDLY a day can go by without another revelation about another Establishment figure being a child abuser or worse.

The latest story reveals that MI5 knew the country’s chief prosecutor had covered up a sex abuse inquiry into Cyril Smith but did nothing because it was not its job to expose paedophiles.

The files released by the intelligence agency show it was aware that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had lied to a newspaper over its decision not to prosecute Smith. But MI5 decided not to make the information public because its duty was to “defend the realm” rather than to expose a prominent politician accused of being a paedophile.

Another similar case has seen ex-Tory prime minister Edward Heath named by Wiltshire police who tell us — far too late of course — that Heath would have been questioned over sex abuse claims, if he was alive, when they came to light.

Of course a glimpse at the internet will demonstrate that Heath has been under suspicion for abusing young men and worse for years — accusations that have always been swept aside by the Establishment.

Yet another inquiry into abuse by Church of England Bishop Peter Ball has revealed just what a corrupt and hypocritical bunch the religious arm of the British Establishment really is.

This time the high-ranking Establishment figure who conspired to cover up sexual abuse and other wrongdoing was non-other than the ex-archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

An independent report found that senior Church figures colluded over a 20-year period Ball, who sexually abused boys and men.

This is just one arm of a veritable octopus of Establishment cover-ups that touches clergy, government, police, intelligence services — right up to the very peak of British society, including several ex-prime ministers and even one heir to the throne.

When Ball was first accused of gross indecency against a 17-year-old boy in 1992, a string of senior Establishment figures — including Carey, other top clergy, Cabinet ministers, a High Court judge, public school headmasters and magistrates — came forward in his support, lobbying the police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Ball’s lawyers also told the police they had a letter of support from a high-ranking member of the royal family. It wasn’t hard to guess which royal they wanted to think they were talking about. When he was arrested Ball was Bishop of Gloucester, which covers Prince Charles’s Highgrove Estate. Ball described Prince Charles as a loyal friend.

Even after his disgrace Ball was offered, and accepted, a home in a cottage on the Prince’s Duchy of Cornwall estate. He continued to enjoy close relations with Charles, even reading the homily at Charles’ father-in-law’s funeral in 2006.

All that high-level lobbying meant Ball escaped prosecution for the offence. He received only a police caution.

The bishop continued visiting public schools until 2007. A fresh investigation was opened in 2012, which led finally to his conviction for multiple and serious sexual abuse.

One of Ball’s victims, Neil Todd, attempted suicide three times before killing himself in 2012. In the recent church report Ball was portrayed as the victim, whereas the church offered little compassion for the vulnerable and young Todd, being “most interested in protecting itself.”

This is an echo of a much earlier report from Baroness Butler-Sloss, who in an earlier review of abuse by Church of England clergy admitted she was more interested in protecting the reputation of the church than anything else.

Theresa May, both as home secretary and today as Prime Minister, has staunchly refused to include abuse

accusations about the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland.

Why is Kincora so important? Because there is abundant evidence that MI5, MI6 and other British intelligence agencies know that many high-ranking British Establishment figures were personally involved in the abuse. These included Lord Mountbatten — great uncle and mentor of Prince Charles.

It was Mountbatten who introduced the notorious Jimmy Savile into the royal family and paedophile Savile too became a regular Buckingham Palace guest and a mentor, adviser and fixer to Prince Charles.

Savile was never prosecuted but he certainly raped, molested and abused over a thousand children, many of them helpless patients in hospitals to which Tory minister Edwina Currie had given him uncontrolled access.

May’s refusal to include the Kincora boys’ home in the general inquiry is certainly because it would expose the connection between paedophiles, MI6, MI5 and the royals.

Prince Charles often described Jimmy Savile as one of his best friends. He wanted Savile to be Prince Harry’s godfather — wiser counsel stopped that but the two men shared holidays and much else.

Royal patronage and the Establishment cover-up that came with it certainly shielded Savile. He was never prosecuted and when he died the BBC broadcasted sycophantic tributes. Only later was the ghastly truth revealed.

These Establishment cover-ups go back a long way. Many years ago respectful press barons keen to get honours would keep royal and political scandals from the public view.

 

By the 1960s and ’70s it was more difficult keeping these things under wraps. Some say the new wave of mass cover-ups started with a dossier compiled in the 1980s by the late Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens and which he passed to the then-home secretary Leon Brittan.

Dickens, who died in 1995, told his family that he had details in the dossier that would blow the lid off the lives of powerful and famous child abusers.

In 1981, Dickens named the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman, as a paedophile in the House of Commons. Parliamentary privilege meant he could not be sued for slander.

In October 1978, Hayman left a package of paedophilia-related material on a London bus. The police traced the package to him and then found his diaries describing sexual acts with children. Hayman was never charged.

In 1983, Dickens claimed there was a paedophile network involving big, big names — people in positions of power, influence and responsibility and threatened to name them too in the Commons.

In 1984 Dickens met with and gave his child abuse dossier to the home secretary, Brittan. Much later it would be revealed that Brittan too was himself an abuser.

Dickens received many threats for naming important and powerful paedophiles — threatening calls were followed by burglaries at his London home.

In 2013 Labour MP Tom Watson asked the Home Office for Dickens’s dossier. They told him it had been referred to the police at the time but had not been retained.

The matter was raised again in July 2014 by then Labour MP Simon Danczuk. Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said the circumstances in which the dossier had gone missing were alarming and recommended an inquiry.

Lord Brittan confirmed that he received what he described as a substantial bundle of papers from Dickens in 1983, when he was home secretary, and that he handed them all over to the relevant officials for further investigation.

A Home Office review said that information it received between 1979 and 1999 had been passed on to the relevant authorities.

Lord Brittan suggested his information had been passed to the police, but Scotland Yard told the Guardian it has no record of any investigation into the allegations.

According to the Telegraph, Mark Sedwill, then permanent secretary to the Home Office, admitted that it had lost, destroyed or simply not been able to find at least 114 potentially relevant files.

This has led to accusations of a high-level cover-up from some unexpected quarters. Senior Tory MP and former children’s minister Tim Loughton is one who has accused the Home Office of trying to hide the facts.

Lord Tebbitt has told BBC’s Andrew Marr he believes there had been a cover-up because at the time people instinctively tried to protect the system. “I think at the time most people would have thought that the Establishment, the system, was to be protected, and if a few things had gone wrong here and there it was more important to protect the system than to delve too far into it.”

May, who was home secretary for seven years, must take much of the responsibility for the most recent stages of the great cover-up.

She was finally persuaded in July 2014 to hold a review into many historic child abuse allegations. The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse finally tried to start work on July 9 2015.

May first appointed Baroness Butler-Sloss to chair the review despite the fact that she was the sister of Sir Michael Havers, who had as Tory attorney general suppressed the reporting of abuse claims in the 1980s. Butler-Sloss stood down as chair of the inquiry just a few days into the job.

The next chair was Fiona Woolf, who quickly resigned when it was discovered she was great friends with Lord Brittan and his wife.

It took some time to find the next chair. She was Justice Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand high court judge. When she resigned after less than 18 months she was replaced by Professor Alexis Jay. The inquiry was given new terms of reference but few believe it will ever produce any meaningful report.

In July 2015, previously lost Whitehall files were discovered. In one, dated November 1986, the then head of MI5, Sir Antony Duff, accepted a denial by an MP that he was a child-abuser, but noted that “the risk of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger.”

The missing dossier has been linked with stalled investigations into the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal. Hayman was just one of hundreds of high-ranking visitors to this brothel near Barnes Bridge.

Prime minister Edward Heath, Liberal MP Cyril Smith, the Queen’s art historian Anthony Blunt, several other Conservative politicians, Buckingham Palace staff and a Labour MP were others on the long list of those accused of visiting.

In January 2015, an academic researcher found a file of allegations against unnatural sexual proclivities by high-ranking people. The document had gone to the prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s. It was a classified report on Hayman’s original case but it was the handwritten notes by Thatcher that were most interesting — she was insisting that Hayman was not to be named.

She had written a “line to take” note saying: “Say authorities have carried out an investigation. Nothing to suggest that security prejudiced.”

The internet is full of everything from careful evidence-based case-studies to wild conspiracy theories. So how do we find the real truth?

Sadly we don’t because millions of pounds and thousands of work hours have produced enough smoke and mirrors to make sure that rare and dangerous commodity, the truth, will remain well hidden for many years to come. And that is just how those in the highest positions of power like it.

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October 18 2017 – “Act promptly” – Bishop George Bell – ‘The Caution List’ – January 1939

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“Act promptly” – Bishop Bell – Page 197

“He belonged to his age and still has the power to belong to another” – Andrew Chandler on Bishop Bell – Page 166

‘In 1946 the bishops of the Church of England received on “absolutely confidential” terms a compendium of the codes and practices of episcopacy. Drawn from the official minutes of the Bishops’ Meetings, this presented a selection of decisions on a variety of matters agreed by the bishops across the first half of the twentieth century, and it allows the historian to understand more clearly how the episcopacy understood itself, not in public but behind closed doors.

‘Here, for example, among the sections listed in the table of contents is one on “Clergy: Discipline and Disability.” Over this it is worth pausing, not least because perhaps the only official, printed acknowledgement that there existed in the Church of England a Caution List.

‘[The Archbishop of Canterbury: ‘To the outside world there is no such thing as the Caution List.”] This named priests known to have been guilty of criminal or moral offenses or viewed with “grave suspicion.”

‘In fact, there were 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. 

‘This significant, secret manual of episcopal practice was no ordinary labor, 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.” [Note 2: 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. Bell was clearly proud of this publication, writing his name and the exact date of issue (10 January 1946) on the flyleaf]

‘When Bell became chaplain to Archbishop Davidson he would have taken the minutes of these important, but private, meetings of bishops. After he became a bishop himself he never rested content merely to accept the official minutes now provided by his successors . He made his own.

‘It is interesting to compare his notes with the official record from which the 1946 compendium was drawn. Discussion of clergy discipline seldom occurred, for they were regarded as diocesan matters.

‘But when the revision of the Caution List was raised in January 1939 Bell’s notes, though abbreviated, become strikingly firm.

‘”Act promptly,” he writes in bold handwriting, underlining the words not once but twice.

‘This stands out on the page because Bell seldom drew a single line under a word in these meetings , and in all the notes that he made across almost thirty years it is indeed one of the very few times that any phrase or word was emphasized not once, but twice. The word “proofs” follows clearly, though further words are obscure. [Note 3: Bell Papers, vol. 301, p. 5]

‘By the late 1940s and early 1950s Bell was in age and experience a very senior bishop indeed, one whose authority was called upon by both archbishops if they were poorly placed, or unable, to execute a confidential duty themselves. The author knows of one case of clergy discipline in which Bell was asked to intervene. Indeed, by now a working relationship with the Caution List had been a part of almost Bell’s entire career…

‘The allegation of 2015 is anomalous. Indeed, it seems to exist in its own world, evidently uncorroborated by any other independent source. It also remains unique, for apparently no other such accusation has arisen.

‘In sum, we are asked to invest an entire authority in one testimony, and to dismiss all the materials by which we have come to know the historical George Bell as mere figments of reputation.

‘The corollary of such a method may now be witnessed in the hasty removal of his name or image from public institutions and commemorations.

‘It may simply be observed here that such iconoclastic activities are not unknown to historians of other, far darker, times and contexts’. 

 

[Source: “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” by Andrew Chandler – Eerdmans 2016 – ‘Postlude: History and Allegation’ – Pages 196 to 199]

 

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October 18 2017 – “Former Bishop of Chester Hubert Whitsey investigated over abuse allegations” – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/former-bishop-of-chester-hubert-whitsey-investigated-over-abuse-allegations

Former bishop of Chester investigated over abuse allegations

Victor Whitsey, who died in 1987, would have been interviewed over allegations if he were alive, police say

Chester Cathedral. The allegations date from when Whitsey was bishop of Chester and from when he had retired.
 Chester Cathedral. The allegations date from when Whitsey was bishop of Chester and after his retirement. Photograph: Alamy

The former bishop of Chester, Victor Whitsey, is being investigated 30 years after his death over allegations of sexual abuse in the latest scandal involving high-profile figures in the Church of England.

A lawyer representing four of the alleged victims has claimed the abuse was covered up by the C of E and has called for a independent review.

The allegations date from the late 1970s when Whitsey was bishop of Chester, and in the 1980s after he had retired and was living in the diocese of Blackburn.

The C of E said it had supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults. The police told the church that, had Whitsey still been alive, he would have been interviewed in relation to 10 allegations. Whitsey died in 1987.

In a statement, the archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said: “We are deeply sorry and apologise to those individuals who have come forward to share their account of abuse by a bishop in the Church of England who was in a position of power and authority. We appreciate that it is very difficult for individuals to come forward and to give their account.

“Sexual abuse is a heinous crime – and is an absolute and shameful breach of trust. We acknowledge that for survivors the effects of sexual abuse are lifelong. We are offering pastoral support to all those who have come forward and continue to hold them all in our prayers.”

It added: “The church will consider what lessons can be learned from this case and whether any action needs to be taken as a result of what these inquiries have shown.”

Cheshire police said the allegations related to 13 people, five males and eight females. “The abuse is alleged to have taken place whilst the bishop was living and working in Chester and one incident is reported to have taken place outside the county,” a statement said. The police investigation had spanned 13 months, it added.

Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents four of Whitsey’s victims, said: “The abhorrent and disgusting abuse perpetrated by Bishop Whitsey destroyed many lives, driving some to attempt suicide. What is equally abhorrent is that the Church of England knew of his abuse, did nothing to stop it and covered it up. It is crucial that there is now an independent review into Whitsey abuse and who failed to act when they learnt of his heinous behaviour.”

The law firm understands that a complaint was made to the C of E while Whitsey was still serving as bishop of Chester, but it was not passed to police. The church was believed to have been made aware of further allegations following Whitsey’s retirement, but no action was taken.

Slater and Gordon released a statement from one of Whitsey’s alleged victims. It said: “When I met Victor Whitsey I was young, innocent, and naive. I longed for his blessing to achieve my wish of a future as a vicar, serving God and the community. He told me he agreed I had a calling from God. He also told me he had the power to give me everything I wanted in life and the power to take it all away. He then proceeded to abuse me sexually and psychologically. I was powerless to stop him.

“I blamed myself, though I was the only victim and rationalised that it was my fault … I told no one; who would believe a teenage boy’s word against a bishop of the Church of England? I became reclusive and came to the ultimate conclusion. The prospect of ever seeing Victor Whitsey again was so abhorrent to me that I turned my back on my beloved church and my calling to serve God. I self-harmed and have spent a lifetime focusing on resentment and bitterness.

“Twenty years after my abuse, I suffered a complete mental nervous breakdown which included attempted suicide. Because of the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of Victor Whitsey I lost my faith, my chosen life as a vicar, my self-belief, my freedom from worry and my dignity. Child sex abuse is a crime which stays with you for a lifetime. As a child you don’t understand why or what is happening, but as you grow older you realise the enormity of the abuse and it hurts you all over again – you blame yourself for allowing it – you hate yourself for being weak.

“Since my abuse, not a day has gone by that I have not thought about what happened to me.”

The author of the statement said he hoped there would be a public inquiry “to understand not only what Whitsey did to his victims but to also learn who knew what he was doing, to what extent his actions were intentionally covered up, and who else was complicit in the crimes that he committed, and for which, I continue to suffer every day of my life”.

The church has faced a number of high-profile cases of sexual abuse.

Peter Ball, a former bishop of both Gloucester and Lewes, was jailed in October 2015 for the grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men aged 17-25 who had sought spiritual guidance from him between 1977 and 1992. He was released from prison in February after serving 16 months.

A damning independent report, published in June, found that senior figures in the C of E had colluded over a 20-year period with the disgraced former bishop.

The report made harrowing reading, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said. “The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour,” he said.

George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury who was criticised in the report, resigned as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford.

Two years ago, the church issued a formal apology for alleged sexual abuse committed by one of its most senior figures, George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago. It also settled a civil claim brought against Ball by a survivor.

However, critics accused the church of acting improperly and without sufficient evidence, saying Bell’s “condemnation as a paedophile” had irreparably damaged his reputation.

An independent report into the church’s handling of the case is expected to be published next month.

 

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October 16 2017 – Statement – “Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest” – Catholic World News – July 16 2010

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“Catholic Priests Falsely Accused” by David F. Pierre – Ch 9 – Categories of False Accusations – 2. The “dead priest” accusation – Page 83 [Notes & References]
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=6947

Catholic World News

Archbishop Chaput defends reputation of falsely accused priest

July 16, 2010

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver issued a statement on July 13 announcing that Msgr. William Higgins, a priest who died in 1967, had been falsely accused of the sexual abuse of a minor.

“More than a year ago a female plaintiff filed a complaint under the pseudonym ‘Jane Doe’ against Monsignor William Higgins,” said Archbishop Chaput. “Msgr. Higgins passed away in 1967, after more than five decades of loyal service in this archdiocese … Other than this single complaint made 42 years after Msgr. Higgins’ death, no complaint has ever been advanced against this fine priest.”

Archbishop Chaput continued:

Through the litigation and the extensive discovery in the case, the archdiocese determined that the plaintiff’s complaint was not credible and the charges made against Msgr. Higgins were groundless. The plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed all claims.

If Msgr. Higgins were alive today, he would be in good standing and able to minister in the archdiocese. False charges do inexcusable harm to a priest’s good name, his reputation earned over years of service to others, and to the lay Catholic faithful and other dedicated priests. We are saddened that such a charge was made, but want you all to know that you can esteem Msgr. Higgins and keep him in your prayers as a righteous man.

As we work to ensure all people in the Archdiocese of Denver are safe, so too are we determined to defend the reputation of the many, many innocent good men and women who work in the archdiocese and give so much to others.

Further information:

 Comment
  • Posted by: Don Vicente – Jul. 16, 2010 9:21 AM ET USA
  • I am glad to live in the US, where an accused is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty. It would behoove everyone to remember this when accusations are made. Abuse is a terrible crime; so is false accusation.
Featured post

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

1 (1)

“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

https://www.disabilitylaw.ca/disability-lawyer-calgary/proof-on-balance-of-probabilities

What does proof on a balance of probabilities mean?

The civil standard of proof is proof on a balance of probabilities. The criminal standard is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This article deals with civil standards of proof. Saying something is proven on a balance of probabilities means that it is more likely than not to have occurred. It means that it is probable, i.e., the probability that some event happens is more than 50%. So mathematically proof on a balance of probabilities is 50.1% likelihood of something having occurred.
A lawyer I once knew explained it this way. You see the scales of justice. They are evenly balanced. Both sides are the same height. But if one side has the weight of a feather added to it, causing it to go down and the other side to go up. Now that side with the weight of a feather has won. Proof greater than that is not required. Simply a balancing of both sides seeing which side has the stronger proof.
Quotes from cases where judges have commented on the civil standard of proof follow:
McIver v. Power, [1998] P.E.I.J. No. 4, Prince Edward Island Supreme Court – Trial Division, MacDonald C.J.T.D.,
5 In any civil case the plaintiff must prove their case on a balance of probabilities if they are to succeed. This means that the plaintiff must prove that his facts tip the scale in his favor even if it is only a 51% probability that he is correct.
F.H. v. McDougall, [2008] S.C.J. No. 54:
44 Put another way, it would seem incongruous for a judge to conclude that it was more likely than not that
an event occurred, but not sufficiently likely to some unspecified standard and therefore that it did not occur.
As Lord Hoffman explained in In re B at para. 2:
If a legal rule requires a fact to be proved (a “fact in issue”), a judge or jury must
decide whether or not it happened. There is no room for a finding that it might have
happened. The law operates a binary system in which the only values are zero and one.
The fact either happened or it did not. If the tribunal is left in doubt, the doubt is resolved
by a rule that one party or the other carries the burden of proof. If the party who bears
the burden of proof fails to discharge it, a value of zero is returned and the fact is treated
as not having happened. If he does discharge it, a value of one is returned and the fact
is treated as having happened.
In my view, the only practical way in which to reach a factual conclusion in a civil case is to decide whether it
is more likely than not that the event occurred.
[49] In the result, I would reaffirm that in civil cases there is only one standard of proof and that is proof on a balance of probabilities.
Snell v. Farrell, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 311 is a medical malpractice case and the issue was whether the plaintiff required a firm medical opinion to establish a causal link between her surgical outcome and the defendant doctor’s actions. Sopinka J., speaking for the Supreme Court of Canada, commented on the difference between medical certainty and legal certainty. He commented that “near certainty” is the medical standard of causation while the legal standard requires only a 51% probability. He concluded that a firm medical opinion is not required to establish causation in law. Rather, causation is a question to be determined by weighing all of the evidence in order to determine whether a causal link has been established on a balance of probabilities.
Veerasingam v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 241 — Federal Court of Canada
. . .paras 29 that the term “balance of probabilities” was equivalent to “more likely than not”, but with two distinct steps involved as to the burden of proof and legal test. […] to be persuasive evidence of that risk “on a balance of probabilities” or to show that it was “more likely than not.” The Board uses this terminology throughout its decision. […] As demonstrated, the Board was mindful of its role in considering the evidence of “risk” to the Applicant on a balance of probabilities. . .
Roseanne Conley v. Keel Construction, 2005 NBQB 263
[2] On the question of liability the onus of proof must be met by the claimant, Mrs. Conley and the standard of proof is that of a balance of probabilities, i.e. is it more likely than not that the incident occurred in the manner she alleges.
Bhullar v. I.C.B.C., 2009 BCPC 44
But the burden of proof here is not like a criminal charge, beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is on the balance of probabilities, more likely than not. . . While I have an expert opinion, which I accept, that this car was either driven with a key or towed, for the reasons I have already gone into, I do not find this vehicle was towed, which means the likelihood is, more likely than not, balance of probabilities proven the vehicle was driven with a key. The only people that had keys were the claimants. Nobody else. If that is true, which seems to be true on the facts, then again more likely than not, Mr. Bhullar was involved in the theft and burning of the vehicle.
Mitcham v. Canada, 2003 FCA 340 Federal Court of Appeal
. . . While Mr. Mitcham is now diagnosed as having fibromyalgia symptoms, the Board, weighing the evidence on a balance probabilities, held that he was more likely than not capable of regularly . . .
R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 SCR 103 — 1986-02-28 Supreme Court of Canada
. . . in such a case and it is sufficient if the court considers that upon the evidence before it it is more likely than not that the fact does not exist. . . . The test is the same as that applied in civil proceedings: the balance of probabilities. . .
Canada (Minister of National Revenue) c. Fabrication GMCA Inc., 2002 FCT 1260 Federal Court of Canada
. . . (3) The evidence must show, on a balance of probability, that it is more likely than not that collection would be jeopardized by delay. . . Lamer J. for her to conclude that on a balance of probabilities it was more likely than not that giving the respondent further time could compromise the collection in question. . .
R. v. Turner, 2004 BCSC 1778, Supreme Court of British Columbia
. . . [14] The standard of proof in civil trials is proof on a balance of probabilities; namely, proof that something is probable or more likely than not. . . . . In criminal trials, such as this trial, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is higher than the civil standard of proof on a balance of probabilities. . .
So you can see the test of proof in a civil case is whether it is more likely than not, that something occurred. No more, no less.


Author:
Allan Bayda
Featured post

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]

IMG_9906

October 14 2017

 

The Most Reverend and Right Hon The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury

Lambeth Palace

London SE1 7JU

 

My Lord Archbishop

 

I am writing to ask if you would consider bringing forward the Church of England Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883-1958) toOctober 22 2017, to correspond with the October 22 2015 Statement two years ago.

Thank you for giving this request your consideration.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester-october-2015-to-october-2017/

 

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October 10 2017 – “Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports” – Christian Today

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/bishop.george.bell.review.to.criticise.churchs.handling.reports/115579.htm

Bishop George Bell review to criticise Church’s handling – reports

Bishop George Bell’s reputation could be restored after an official review in the Church’s handling of abuse allegations is expected to be critical of how the CofE handled the case.

The wartime Bishop of Chichester, a celebrated Anglican figure who was given the equivalent of a Saints’ Day, was accused of historic abuse in 2015.

Bishop George Bell was a celebrated theologian who was praised for his staunch opposition to Hitler’s Nazi regime. Courtesy of Jimmy James

A Church inquiry two years ago found ‘on the balance of probabilities’ he had abused a child in the late 1940s and 1950s. The Church awarded his alleged victim, known only as ‘Carol’, compensation of £15,000 after experts said they had ‘no reason to doubt’ the claims.

The case is hotly debated both within the Church and across the wider establishment with Bell’s accusers saying the compensation is long overdue. But a George Bell support group was launched last year to argue his positive reputation and legacy is being tarnished by unsubstantiated claims.

recent debate on historical child sex abuse in the House of Lords reflected the growing concerns among leading establishment figures about the George Bell case.

It is expected to be critical of the Church’s initial investigation, although it does not rule on the bishop’s guilt or innocence, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Featured post

October 9 2017 – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair'” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

http://thejusticegap.com/2017/10/church-englands-handling-allegations-bishop-bell-flawed-unfair/

Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’

A review into historic abuse allegations against a celebrated bishop is expected to criticise the Church of England’s handling of the case as ‘flawed and unfair’.

As reported on the Justice Gap (here), 37 years after the death of former Bishop of Chichester a woman known as ‘Carol’ made complaints that he had abused her when she was a young girl in the late 1940 and early 1950s. Bell has been described as ‘the most significant English clergyman of the 20th century’ and who spoke out against the Allies’ carpet-bombing of German cities such as Dresden.

The allegations first arose in 1995. In October 2015 a claim was settled by the Church of England and compensation reported to be £15,000 was paid out. The current Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner issued a formal apology in October 2015.

In July 2016 two members of the General Synod, Martin Sewell and David Lamming, both retired lawyers, proposed a motion of ‘no confidence’ in the investigation. Speaking to the Justice Gap, Sewell said that the case was ‘almost unique’ insofar as its review was conducted in ‘complete purdah’. ‘You can’t get anything out of the Church and that is what raised our hackles. It must deal with these matters with transparency and accountability,’ he said.

The Bell case represents the perfect storm from which injustice emerges. We had a Church fearful and sensitive to allegations that it might be covering up abuse, a plausible complainant, a long dead Bishop with no living heirs, and a culture which had abandoned the presumption of innocence in favour of asserting that all complainants are entitled to be believed.’
Martin Sewell

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has spoken in parliament about his ‘distress’ at the Church’s treatment of Bishop Bell and claimed that its procedures ‘had the character of a kangaroo court and not a just, compassionate and balanced investigation of the facts’. The George Bell Group was set up in response to the perceived unfairness at the late Bishop’s treatment. The campaign – supported by former chairman of the Bar Desmond Browne QC, historian Andrew Chandler, Frank Field MP and the Conservative Peer and historian Lord Lexden – calls the wording of the October statement ‘(at best) reprehensibly equivocal, and (at worst) positively misleading’.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Lord Carlile handed his report to the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. You can read Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday on the George Bell case (The spirit of justice seems to be dead in many parts of this country).


This article was first published on October 9, 2017

 

Profile photo of Jon RobinsAbout Jon Robins
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

Featured post

October 8 2017 – “Celebrated Church of England bishop accused of child abuse ‘will have his good name restored’ by an inquiry” – Mail on Sunday

download-4
Lord Alex Carlile – The Carlile Review

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4959492/Bishop-accused-abuse-good-restored.html

Celebrated Church of England bishop accused of child abuse ‘will have his good name restored’ by an inquiry

  • Official review will criticise Church investigation into Bishop George Bell
  • Bishop Bell was praised for speaking out against Hitler in the 1930s
  • But Church said he has sexually assaulted a child on the ‘balance of probabilities’

MAIL ON SUNDAY – OCTOBER 8 2017

Allegations: Bishop George Bell

 

Allegations: Bishop George Bell

 

A celebrated bishop whose reputation was destroyed when the Church of England labelled him a paedophile is set to have his good name restored, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

An official review of the handling of abuse allegations against the late Bishop George Bell will criticise the original Church investigation as flawed and unfair, it is understood.

Bishop Bell the wartime Bishop of Chichester who died in 1958, was praised for speaking out against Hitler in the 1930s – and he was granted the Anglican equivalent of a Saint’s Day, an annual commemoration.

But to the fury of devotees, his character was blackened when the Church declared two years ago that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ he had sexually assaulted a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Senior Church officials apologised and paid £15,000 compensation to the anonymous complainant, known only as ‘Carol’, who said she had been molested during visits to the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester.

But insiders said the review, commissioned last year after criticism of the Church’s handling of the case and which was led by top lawyer Lord Carlile, is believed to be critical of the investigation, although it does not rule on the bishop’s guilt or innocence.

Lord Carlile handed his report to the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. The Church of England said it would issue a response when it was published.

 

Featured post

October 8 2017 – “It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead” – Mail on Sunday – Peter Hitchens

IMG_9510
This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017] – “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” Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4959468/Peter-Hitchens-says-Theresa-deserved-conference-saga.html

It’s never ‘tough’ to pick on the dead 

The spirit of justice seems to be dead in many parts of this country. I always disliked Ted Heath but I am revolted by the police treatment of him, and by some public reaction to it.

The police do not decide guilt or innocence. No man should be condemned without a hearing and we are all innocent until proven guilty.

Have we forgotten these ancient British rules? I hope not. Now I gather that the Church of England’s hierarchy are trembling in their cassocks about a report (soon to be published) into their disgraceful smearing of the late Bishop George Bell, a man of real courage and principle who makes them look like pygmies.

To appear as if they were tough on today’s real paedophiles (which they aren’t), these prelates condemned Bishop Bell on the basis of a solitary uncorroborated allegation made decades after the alleged crime. Blackening the names of dead men to boost your own reputation is a pretty wretched thing to do.

We can only punish it with contempt. But we should punish it all the same, or nobody is safe.

 

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October 8 2017 – “The Exculpation of Bishop Bell” – ‘4 Draft Resolutions’ – The Lychgate – Ifield Village – Wednesday October 11 2017 – 2pm to 5pm

THE BELL SOCIETY

Press-Release

“THE EXCULPATION OF BISHOP BELL”

[FOLLOWING THE CARLILE REVIEW]

The Lychgate – Ifield Village – Wednesday October 11 2017 – 2pm to 5pm

 

4 Draft Resolutions

Resolution 1: Restoring the name “George Bell House” in Chichester

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/september-8-2017-carlile-review-on-bishop-bell-imminent/

Resolution 2: Withdrawing Booklet “Chichester Cathedral – Society and Faith” from the Cathedral Bookshop

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/bishop-bell-letter-delivered-to-bishop-of-chichester-november-16-2016/comment-page-1/

Resolution 3: Updating The Bell Petition to mark the passing of the 10th Duke of Richmond [Petition signatory] 

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester#

Resolution 4: Publishing The Bell Chronology to mark Bishop Bell’s 59th Anniversary [October 3]

richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester-october-2015-to-october-2017/

 

“Having acted so unjustly and unfairly towards Bishop George Bell in the recent past, it is hoped the Church will now be anxious to uphold English law [which states anyone who is not found guilty is thereafter presumed innocent], and act accordingly.

“There is very little doubt ‘Carol’ was abused as a child by a cleric within the Diocese of Chichester; but there is great doubt – and always has been – it was Bishop Bell. The findings of the Carlile Review give credence to those doubts”

~ Richard W. Symonds. The Bell Society

 

IMG_9510
This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017] – “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” Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.
GBH-Exterior-with-Cathedral
4 Canon Lane [to be re-named George Bell House?]

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/visiting/_folder1/

 

UPDATES

October 9 2017 – “Church of England’s handling of allegations against Bishop Bell ‘flawed and unfair’” – The Justice Gap – Jon Robins

 

 

For more information on this News Release, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley, West Sussex

Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

Featured post

October 5 2017 – Carlile Review on Bishop Bell imminent

gbh-exterior-with-cathedral (1)
4 Canon Lane [to be re-named George Bell House ?]
IMG_9510
This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017] – “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” Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.
 

 

 

CARLILE REVIEW ON BISHOP BELL

http://carlilebell.co.uk/

Bishop George Bell

High Altar and Quire

Lord Carlile CBE, Q.C has been asked to carry out a review of the Church of England’s settlement of a claim by “Carol” in relation to allegations of abuse by the late Bishop George Bell.

The complaint relates to events within the period 1948-1953. The Bishop died in 1958.

The Terms of Reference contain a full description of the objective and scope of the review.

Lord Carlile invites anybody who has material evidence and documents to submit them by sending them by email to him at carlile@carlilebell.co.uk  if hard copy is preferable to emails, please could such copy be sent to him at Lord Carlile of Berriew, House of Lords London, SW1A OPW.

Confidentiality

Anyone responding to this call for material will be guaranteed anonymity unless:

  • Your identity is already in the public domain and/ or
  • You explicitly confirm you are content to be identified

Accuracy

Lord Carlile will make sure he fully understands and reflects what you tell him.  He will make a record of any meeting with you.  He guarantees to confirm the accuracy of that record with you.

Support

Lord Carlile understands how difficult it may be for some to come forward and help him.  If a meeting is arranged, you will be welcome to bring someone with you.  He will make sure that, when requested, there are arrangements

  • To provide you with emotional support
  • To meet any travelling and accommodation costs in accordance with the Church of England’s established arrangements.

New Safeguarding concerns

Any new safeguarding concerns will have to be referred to the relevant safeguarding body.

When will the review be finished

It is planned that the review will be completed for submission by the end of July 2017.  Consideration will then be given to publication. Some confidential material may have to be redacted but this will not affect the completeness of the report.

Telephone contact

It is easier for the review if contact is made by email or by post.  However, if you wish to contact Lord Carlile by telephone please do so on 0203 432 9891, where Lord Carlile’s confidential assistant Katherine Strathern will be available to take your call in the first instance.  If you are telephoning please state clearly that you are calling about this review.

1. The Bell Chronology

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester-october-2015-to-october-2017/

2. “The Exculpation of Bishop Bell” by Richard W. Symonds [for immediate release following publication of The Carlile Review]

3. “Archbishop of Canterbury accuses BBC of failing to show same ‘integrity’ over child abuse as the Church” – Christian Today

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/archbishop.of.canterbury.accuses.bbc.of.failing.to.show.same.integrity.over.child.abuse.as.the.church/114954.htm

4. Commemoration Service at St Martin-within-Ludgate [Ludgate Hill] to mark Bishop Bell’s 59th Anniversary – Wednesday – October 4 – 5pm

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/october-1-2017-commemoration-service-at-st-martin-within-ludgate-ludgate-hill-to-mark-bishop-bells-59th-anniversary-wednesday-october-4-5pm/

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/october-4-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/

5. “Did Church keep abuse secret?” – The Argus – Oct 5 2017 – Page 9

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2017/10/05/october-5-2017-did-church-keep-abuse-secret-the-argus/

Featured post

The Bell Chronology – 1883 to 2023 – Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

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Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

1883 to 2023

CHRONOLOGY COMPILED BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

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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]

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

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]

 

Dec 2 2017 [Postponed until Church releases Carlile Review] – “Bishop Bell – Resolution, Reconciliation and Remembrance” – Venue: 4 Canon Lane – Formerly George Bell House – Chichester – Keynote Speaker: Martin Sewell [General Synod Member and Child Protection Lawyer – Retd]

 

 

 

 

2018

Feb 4 2018 – Evening to mark the 135th Anniversary of the birth of Bishop George Bell of Chichester

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

 

2023

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

Featured post

July 2017 – General Synod

https://www.churchofengland.org/media/4033825/general-synod-july-2017.pdf

Revd Dr Patrick Richmond: Thank you for all you are doing for safeguarding. The
Norwich Safeguarding Team are expecting and looking forward to a parish handbook on
safeguarding. Are they right to be expecting that? Is there a timescale?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: Thank you for the question. It gives me the opportunity to
talk about three documents that may not have been seen by all members of Synod. They
are designed to be approachable and to be attractive. You have asked particularly about
support for parishes. Two things. One is that we are working on a safeguarding hub,
which will be a go-to place for all safeguarding questions, and also there is to be a parish
safeguarding handbook that will bring everything together. If we need change – and we
do need change – policies are only as good as our ability to deliver them, and that is what
we are working on at the moment. I will get back to you with a more detailed answer
about timescales. Progress is moving, I would want to say very encouragingly, towards
both of those.
13. Mr Martin Sewell (Rochester) asked the Chair of the House of Bishops: The Gibb
report on the Church’s response to the crimes of Bishop Peter Ball is lengthy, complex
and has serious implications. The equally important Carlile report on the Bishop Bell
Review is expected to be published later this year. Given the importance of transparency
and accountability in raising public confidence in our safeguarding culture, will the House
seek the co-operation of the Business Committee to ensure that members of Synod may
extensively evaluate the Church’s responses to these reports by no later than February
2018?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells (Rt Revd Peter Hancock) replied on behalf of the Chair of the
House of Bishops: The Independent Review by Dame Moira Gibb was published on 22
June 2017. It is available on the internet and I encourage all Synod members to read it if
they have not already done so. Synod’s particular role in safeguarding is to legislate, and
further legislation may come to Synod arising from the Gibb Review. Synod would then
be able to debate any matter brought before it. Synod last debated safeguarding
legislation in 2016. The National Safeguarding Team holds fringe events at practically
every Synod. Any Synod member is welcome to come and discuss safeguarding matters
with them. The Gibb Report makes clear that the House of Bishops is ultimately
accountable for Safeguarding in the Church of England. The House has not met since
the publication of the Gibb Report. The Carlile Report is not yet published. Both will be
considered at the next full meeting of the House.
Mr Martin Sewell: A supplementary. Can I also say thank you. You have the toughest
gig in the Church of England at the moment and you deserve all credit for standing up to
it. Thank you for that. I have already told you my question, but I have to read it. The
Secretary General tells us that Synod has a role beyond legislating and that we also
consider other matters of religious or public interest – see his answer to question 30,
paragraph 5. Bishop Peter, the written answer elegantly evades my requested
commitment. Did you bring into account that the public will be very interested if, in six
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months’ time, they learn that we still have nothing substantial to say about safeguarding
shortcomings?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: Thank you, Martin. I also welcome that question because
it gives me an opportunity to give General Synod more details.
The first is what are we doing about this? I am meeting with both Archbishops on
Saturday evening to discuss this. Synod may not be aware, but on Thursday the Church
of England has a National Safeguarding Steering Group which will be receiving not only
the thinking that has come through Dame Moira Gibb’s Review but beginning to look
about how the Church might respond to Lord Carlile’s Review, and the question you have
asked will be discussed there. The House of Bishops has already agreed an extended
session, with an extra day to consider that question. More importantly, I shall be talking
to the Business Committee, as the lead Bishop on safeguarding, about just that matter.
Revd Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes (Durham): Your answer says that the Gibb Report
makes clear that the House of Bishops is ultimately accountable for safeguarding. Has
the House considered that the Gibb Report seems – it seems to me – to make it clear that
the House of Bishops probably should not be ultimately responsible for safeguarding,
particularly where the complaint relates to a Bishop? Is there any consideration being
given to having another body which could look at those complaints?
The Bishop of Bath & Wells: Consideration is certainly being given to that. I am not sure
that I quite agree with the premise that you give us as an introduction to that question.
I think I might be right in thinking that you are slightly misinterpreting what Dame Moira
Gibb has said.
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 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, 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.

November 13 2017 – Resignation of Lorna Ashworth who “has represented the diocese of Chichester on the Synod for 12 years, and was elected to the Archbishops’ Council last year”

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/17-november/news/uk/lorna-ashworth-resigns-from-general-synod-over-revisionism

Lorna Ashworth resigns from General Synod over ‘revisionism’

10 NOVEMBER 2017

REFORM

A CONSERVATIVE Evangelical, Lorna Ashworth, resigned from the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod on Thursday in a letter that condemned “an agenda of revisionism . . . masked in the language of so-called ‘good disagreement’”.

Mrs Ashworth, a member of Reform and the GAFCON UK Task Force, called in July for an alternative Anglican structure in Britain, similar to the Anglican Church in North America (News, 28 July).

In her resignation letter, published on Friday, she described “an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness” at the General Synod. “Instead, an agenda of revisionism is masked in the language of so-called ‘good disagreement’. In fact, ‘good disagreement’ and ‘unity’ have trumped the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.”

The letter continues: “In light of this revisionist agenda and the heretical teaching that comes with it, I am no longer willing to sit around the table, pretending that we, as a governing body of the Church of England, are having legitimate conversations about mission.

”I refuse to be mistaken as one participating in the fanciful notion of ‘good disagreement’. As such, I am standing down from the Archbishops’ Council with immediate effect and all subsequent bodies, including the General Synod.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said that he was “sad” that she had decided to resign.

“Her prayerfulness, magnanimity, and her grasp of all matters in hand has been a great asset to us all,” he said. “Those who elected her were of the view that she had much to give to the working of the Council, especially in the area of Renewal and Reform.

“However, I do not share her doubts that the Church of England will be part of God’s renewal of the Christian faith in this nation. I am convinced that the Church of England remains faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ and will move forward rooted in the Christian faith as we have received it.

“I share Lorna’s passion to make disciples in all nations and her conviction that God will continue to build his Church in this nation. I certainly will miss her in our partnership in the gospel.”

Speaking in the Synod in July, Mrs Ashworth expressed concern that it had become “unable to articulate the saving message of Jesus Christ” (News, 14 July). She warned: “Until we have a House of Bishops full of shepherds who stand only for the truth . . . our work can only offer confusion and plurality to a lost and dying world.” She praised the “foresight” of GAFCON in appointing Canon Andy Lines as a missionary bishop (News, 4 July, 2017).

Later that month, she was among the signatories to a letter to The Daily Telegraph in July, requesting an alternative Anglican structure in Britain (News, 28 July). Noting the creation of the Anglican Church in North America, the letter sought “a similar renewal of orthodox Anglicanism and of Anglican structures in these islands”. Meetings to this end were under way.

She was among those listed one year ago as members of the GAFCON UK Task Force (News, 25 November).

Mrs Ashworth has represented the diocese of Chichester on the Synod for 12 years, and was elected to the Archbishops’ Council last year.

The Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, also expressed sadness at her decision to resign, made “because she does not want to be drawn into compromise with those who seek to revise the plain teaching of Scripture. I pay tribute to her sincerity and courage.”

November 8 2017 – “Guard against hysteria” – West Sussex Gazette Letters – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

IMG_0114
“Guard against hysteria” – West Sussex Gazette – Letters – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

 

Dear Editor

I have now become deeply uncomfortable when the word “allegations” is read – especially in relation to “inappropriate behaviour” of a sexual nature (“Weinstein allegations look like start of a shift in the way we treat others forever”, WSG, Nov 1).

It’s not just Chomsky’s warning which brings discomfort when front page news is dominated by allegations about people’s sex lives: “Reach for your pocket and see whose pulling out your wallet”.

It’s the frenzied hysteria – a kind of ‘paedomania’ – which can grip the public’s imagination. Allegations can get out of control – a ‘storm’ is created in which injustices emerge and lives and reputations of innocent people are destroyed. 

We need to be so careful when ‘pointing fingers’ at the alleged guilty. Three are pointing back.

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

October 15 2017 – “Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby apologises to sexual abuse survivor ‘Gilo’ for C of E failings”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/15/archbishop-of-canterbury-justin-welby-apologises-to-sexual-abuse-survivor-gilo-for-c-of-e-failings

Justin Welby apologises to sexual abuse survivor for C of E failings

Archbishop of Canterbury writes personal letter to survivor known as Gilo for his office’s failure to respond to 17 letters

Justin Welby
 Justin Welby’s letter of apology came after a mediation session between Gilo and two senior bishops. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has personally apologised to a sexual abuse survivor for his office’s failure to respond to 17 letters seeking help and redress.

Three bishops have also urged the Church of England’s insurance company to review its settlement with the survivor, saying they are “very concerned about the way in which the claim was handled at the time”.

In a letter to the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG), the bishops expressed disquiet that “horse-trading” between lawyers over settlements has had “little concern for the impact” on survivors.

The two letters are the latest developments in a long struggle by Gilo – who is also known as Joe, and whose surname is withheld at his request – to force the C of E to acknowledge both the abuse he experienced as a teenager at the hands of a senior church figure and its failure to respond properly to his disclosures.

Gilo told dozens of C of E figures, including three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop, of his abuse over a period of almost four decades. A highly critical independent report commissioned by the C of E into Gilo’s case said last year that the failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on his disclosures was “deeply disturbing”.

Welby’s letter to Gilo says: “I am writing to say how profoundly sorry I am for all the abuse you have suffered … I am shocked to hear of what has happened to you and the impact over so many years.”

The archbishop wrote that he was aware that Gilo had been “in communication with me here at Lambeth Palace over a period of time. I am sorry that the way your correspondence was handled has not been helpful to you, and has not been to the standard you would expect”.

Gilo received only one response to his letters to Welby, from a correspondence clerk offering prayers.

Welby wrote that he had asked for a review of processes. “There are lessons to learn and I am keen that we learn them and make any changes necessary.”

The archbishop’s letter of apology arose from a mediation session between Gilo and two bishops: Tim Thornton, to whom Gilo says he disclosed details of his abuse in 2003 and who is now bishop at Lambeth; and Paul Butler, the bishop of Durham and the C of E’s lead bishop on safeguarding at the time of the independent review of the case.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the two bishops said they “recognise that the church continues to face serious challenges through its response to survivors” and “these matters need to be faced honestly and squarely”.

Butler and Thornton, along with Alan Wilson, the bishop of Buckingham, also wrote to the EIG to raise concerns. They called on the insurance company to revisit cases “where past practice may have reached a settlement that did not truly match the significance of the impact of the abuse”.

They wrote: “In particular we have been very concerned to hear how ‘horse trading’ around the level of settlements has occurred between lawyers with little concern for the impact such an approach has had on the survivor.”

The bishops suggest the EIG should review the settlement it reached with Gilo. He received £35,000 after the church agreed it was at fault, but pastoral care was cut off following the agreement.

The bishops’ letter said they were “very concerned about the way in which [the case] was handled at the time”. The impact of abuse on Gilo “has been lifelong and continues. It has seriously impacted his health and wellbeing. This in turn has affected his work and finances.”

Gilo has repeatedly criticised the C of E’s close relationship with the EIG and the presence of senior clergy on its board of directors. He has claimed the insurers advised the church to cut off emotional and psychological support in a move that “directly conflicted” with the church’s pastoral and compassionate responsibilities.

He told the Guardian: “It’s a courageous and bold move by these bishops to finally grasp a powerful corporate nettle in such a clear way.

“They are right. The settlement process is a degrading, demeaning horse trade in which the insurer holds all the cards, and can effectively hold a gun against the heads of survivors and our own lawyers. It is a skewered and broken system that doesn’t serve justice.

“The church is finally recognising the cost of impact. And cost, too, for many survivors who have campaigned for change against a silent and discrediting church, and both former and current bishops who have covered up. All those survivors, and the ones who’ve fallen away bitter and angry and left unhealed, need recognition of the cost in their lives and real justice.”

In its reply to the bishops’ letter, the EIG said there was no basis to revisit the settlement agreed with Gilo. It had responded to his complaints about EIG’s handling of his case “with patience and sensitivity”, it said.

The company sought to “see all survivors treated with sensitivity, fairness, compassion and respect, and to achieve reconciliation”.

In a statement, the EIG said: “As independent insurers, we are not responsible for the abuse perpetrated by those for whom the church is accountable. Our role is to handle insured claims for financial compensation fairly for these acts of abuse.

“We and other insurers are bound by comprehensive, industry-wide regulation that oversees the way we operate and handle claims, and by the civil justice system.

“It is not in our gift to change civil law, which defines the claims process. Negotiations between lawyers – characterised in the bishops’ letter as ‘horse trading’ – are a normal part of that process. So are full and final settlements, which bring certainty to all parties within the civil justice system.

“It is, however, in the Church of England’s gift to provide further compensation as well as ongoing pastoral care to victims and survivors of clergy abuse if it so wishes.”

 This article was amended on 22 October 2017 because an earlier version said Gilo had disclosed details to Tim Thornton. This has been corrected to say Gilo says he disclosed details to Thornton.

 

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