Monthly Archives: October 2016

…. ‘ The process leading up to the settlement, the apology and the announcement was long, complex and carried out with all the sensitivity that a case of this nature demands.

Both legal and medical advice was taken with a number of lawyers involved in the core group including a very experienced practitioner in the field of civil claims relating to child abuse. The clear legal advice received was that on the balance of the probabilities the claimant was likely to succeed if her claim were heard in court…the presumption of innocence and  ‘ beyond reasonable doubt’ only apply in criminal cases.

It  would have been unjustifiable to spend the time and money on defending a claim the Church was likely to lose, and put the claimant through the ordeal of giving evidence…

The Bell Group has suggested that the Church can and should disclose further  sensitive information about Carol and her claim. The Church does not accept their legal analysis, which relies on an out-of-date version of a statute…The Church has a wider duty to Carol than that. She has already expressed hurt by the campaign to “ clear his name” as it implies she has not been believed.

We recognise that no procedure is ever perfect and that is why our guidelines provide for the commissioning of ‘ lessons learned’ reviews at the end of complex cases involving allegations of sexual abuse; we will soon be announcing further details of the review into the handling of the George Bell case…..

…the core base of all church safeguarding is the work done in our 12,500 parishes.. This is where safeguarding is worked out every day of the week—and all church policies and practices have to be designed for this. The local church is a place of welcome for all but the welcome has to be safe for all’.

From ‘ Duty of Care’ by the Bishop of Durham, The House: Parliament’s Magazine 28 October 2016

Lord Lexden on Bishop Bell – House of Lords – October 25 2016


House of Lords

Here is what Lord Lexden said in the House of Lords last Tuesday (Oct 25):

  • To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are planning to give anonymity to sex abuse suspects before they are charged.

  • My Lords, as noble Lords will be aware, an amendment on this issue has been tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, in Committee on the Policing and Crime Bill, which will be debated in early November. The Government’s position is that there should be a presumption of anonymity prior to charge for any sexual offence, but that there will be circumstances in which the public interest means that a suspect should be named.

  • In relation to allegations of sexual abuse, does my noble friend agree that many people are asking themselves and Members of both Houses of Parliament whether the presumption of innocence until proved guilty is still in existence? Is it not our duty to take action—either by instituting anonymity until the point of charge, as backed by the Director of Public Prosecutions last week, or by other effective means—to reduce the terrible toll of suffering caused by false and malicious allegations against innocent people in all walks of life? Finally, do the Government agree that the institutions of both state and Church need to show much greater concern for the reputations of eminent people from the past who cannot speak for themselves? I refer to statesmen such as Sir Edward Heath, traduced by Wiltshire Police without a shred of evidence, and the great bishop, George Bell, who died in 1958 and whose reputation has been severely damaged by today’s Church authorities as a result of a secret process—a kind of private trial, which was widely deplored in a debate in this House earlier this year.

  • I totally agree with my noble friend that the strength of our legal system is that people are innocent until proved guilty, and I hope that that always stays the case. I also completely sympathise with his point about the terrible suffering that people can go through when their names are made public but they are not in fact guilty of anything. I will not talk about individual cases but he mentioned people against whom the accusations were found to be groundless. It is important to say that there is a very fine and difficult balance to be struck. The voicing of victims’ concerns and the naming of people in the public interest to allow further evidence or further victims to come forward needs to be balanced with the right to privacy and protection of the person who is suspected.


    Anonymity for sex abuse suspects

    Wednesday, 26 October, 2016

    In a Lords debate on 30 June (see below), Alistair Lexden called for the introduction of measures to protect people suspected of sex abuse from harassment by the media and misconduct by the police which do grave damage to their reputations while they are under investigation without any charges having been laid against them.

    He returned to this very serious problem, which has caused appalling personal tragedies, through an oral question in the Lords on 25 October.

    He asked the government to give anonymity to sex abuse suspects before they are charged. Follow the link to read the exchanges which followed… Hansard

A Dark, Hidden History of Child Sexual Abuse within the Diocese of Chichester in East and West Sussex

Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests ?


A retired Church of England priest has been found guilty of a string of sex offences dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

Vickery House, 69, from West Sussex, had denied eight counts of indecent assault against six males aged 14 to 34, between 1970 and 1986.

He told the Old Bailey he was ashamed of his actions but claimed they were not sexual assaults.

House, of Brighton Road, Handcross, will be sentenced on Thursday.

The former vicar in Berwick, East Sussex, worked under Bishop Peter Ball, who was jailed for 32 months earlier this month after he admitted molesting young men between 1977 and 1992.

BBC News

26 responses to “Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests ?

  1. John Derbyshire

    Yes, who will rid us of the paedophile priests, well on present form certainly not the Church authorities. Let me explain, many years ago my late father along with three other Church Officers was informed by the Vicar that he was deeply worried about clergy appointments. At first they thought he was going to say the new clergy are not to the calibre of yesteryear. Instead he told them he was deeply concerned about appointments and then shocked them with the statement that paedophiles where being appointed as Bishops, he named Peter Ball by name.
    So it could be the appointments system that is it fault. Now as the Bishops appoint the clergy, then there may develop a concentration of sexual deviants in a Diocese, This leads to the question of who is appointing or promoting paedophiles in the Church. I think the appointment of Bishops should be more open than as it is at present and the Laity should be more vocal in telling the authorities that they do not want cover ups for clergy or priests who commit sexual crimes. For if both the laity and clergy prefer to hide the crimes and relocate clergy, they should be charged with covering up crimes.

    • Peter McKelvie talked to Tom Watson on the phone, Tom Watson then did his PMQ, as a consequence of the PMQ, David Hencke and A N Other went to Tom Watson about Elm Guest House (EGH) and after that Tom Watson met with Peter McKelvie for the first time. Peter mistakenly believed that Tom knew about EGH at the time of the PMQ, he did not. The PMQ referred solely to the information referred to by Peter. The paedophile ring referred to by Tom was the Peter Righton, Charles Napier et al (PIE) ring.


      • Parsonage

        “The paedophile ring referred to by Tom was the Peter Righton, Charles Napier et al (PIE) ring.”

        That’s not the way the Panorama journalist tells it

        “Watson’s source was Peter McKelvie, a whistleblower with a long experience of working in social work and child protection. He had helped on a 1994 BBC documentary, The Secret Life of a Paedophile, which profiled Righton and brilliantly exposed how he had been allowed to rise to the top ranks of social work despite having admitted a sexual interest in children to colleagues. McKelvie claimed that evidence recovered by police from Righton’s house contained the supposedly explosive link to No. 10. McKelvie believed he had a lead to the former senior aide being prepared to look after child -pornography.

        But who was this ‘senior’ politician? Watson was quick to point out who it
        wasn’t, ruling out Peter Morrison, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. I soon established whom McKelvie believed it to be: a man who is now today a government minister. I won’t name him because, as we have seen over the past few months, baseless accusations against innocent men can cause permanent reputational damage. Mr Watson did not, evidently, believe these claims to be baseless — indeed, when I made my inquiries, I was also told that two witnesses would be able to confirm Minister X’s involvement. But when I tracked down the supposed witnesses, both told me that he never been part of the abuse they had suffered.”


      • LJMT

        And also because the Church is supposed to be, in many areas is, but in some shockingly has not been, on the side of the good guys, a safe place, a clean well, and pure of heart, not mired in lust. Following Jesus, that is, not navel gazing, churchy, narcissistic, misogynist, and sordid, nor persecuting the better clergy. Every time a cleric involved deeply in sin gets promoted a decent clean living one doesn’t and the Holy Spirit is grieved.

        It is a feature of many horror films that one of the worst things that can happen is that someone turns for help to the safety of the good guys and the good institutions, and finds them rotten. That is why it matters so much, and why those who have infiltrated the church, called bad good, lust love, and everything, down to the age of consent relative, must be booted out post haste, along with any structures or committees that might have promoted the wrong sort, as asserted by John Derbyshire above, for the church to survive and do the works of God, which is what it is there for.

  2. dpack

    re the clergy,if robin bryans is correct there is a long history of wronguns being not only being concealed to avoid scandal or tolerated but at times reaching high office within the coe and nonconformist churches.

    as recent events have demonstrated the coe seems to have the same issues as the vatican and no dought various other religious organizations.

    much as is seen in residential social work bad attracts bad and drives out good(and visa versa) which has the effect of concentrating wronguns into clumps.the greenlight data for the care system does seem to show hot spots and areas with low offending rates(hopefully not low detection rates).

    a similar map for religious organizations might well show similar variations and possibly lead to the “common factors”.


    • If we want to get those who abuse children brought to justice we need to work with people of good will from all sides. The Churches seem to be the ones who have buried this the most deeply. All political parties have been less inquisitive than they should have been. Sure, there are some odd games afoot and scores being settled. The police have been rubbish historically.

      I recently went through a link from here to a history of the Belgian cases. It’s worse than I imagined. There was abuse on an industrial scale, with children simply being taken off the street to order. The investigations seem to have petered out due to political cowardice and collusion.

      Watson is not the boogeyman. Neither is he flawless. He’s not a powerful man like Dominic Strauss-Kahn or Jeffrey Epstein. Look at his demeanour. It does seem plausible to me that there are powerful men with insatiable sexual appetites who have the ability to indulge themselves whenever they feel like it. They may feel themselves as the alpha males. The real movers and shakers. We are seeing such men coming apart in Fifa right now. We saw Mosley and his Nazi sex parties.

      It seems clear to me that there are some among this powerful elite who enjoy raping children. The evidence of the people coming forward is often confused and fragmented. They were children when this was done to them! The evidence of Jane and Nick and others is entirely consistent with what was happening to children in Belgium. The UK is not an isolated occurrence. Our focus needs to be on these grotesque and insatiable men. As in Belgium, they may be in the parliament, in the police force, in the judiciary, in the church and in the royal family. Wherever serious power is to be had and especially unaccountable un-scrutinised power, these men will be present.


      “The evidence of Jane and Nick and others is entirely consistent with what was happening to children in Belgium.”

      Well surely allegations should stand or fall upon their own credibility. It would seem that neither Jane nor Nick’s allegations, nor indeed those of Darren or David, pass this litmus test. To say that they are credible on the basis of imputed association with occurrences in another country strikes me as unsound in the extreme. Should Chris Fay, the convicted fraudster, be judged to be telling the truth re his tale of Britain’s photo (pink tutu, boy on knee) on the same basis?



      I agree with much of your post, but I have an issue with this comment:-

      “We saw Mosley and his Nazi sex parties.”

      Mosley stated that these ‘sex parties’ took place in the context of role play/consensual BDSM activity involving only consenting adults. His testimony has been accepted in law, and Mosley successfully sued the NOTW for implying otherwise. In fact, the women involved – all adults well over 18 – were very unhappy with the media descriptions of them as ‘prostitutes’. Seemingly, Mosley did pay for the rental on the venue – but only because he happened to be wealthy. Their take on it was very different to that of the gutter tabloid press. The women were not prostitutes, and Mosley is not, and never has been, a Nazi (his father certainly had sympathies in that direction, but we should not transfer the sins of the father onto the son).

      I think it is very dangerous and wrong-headed to conflate adult consensual sex activities with child abuse. Such a conflation runs the risk of getting close to the Mary Whitehouse type anti-sex mentality of the past, in my view.


      I agree in general with what you say, but I think it is hard to assume that these members of a ‘powerful elite’ act independently to satisfy their perverted desires. There is much more at stake, why on earth should such people be supported in their powerful positions?

      Your work colleague represents the ‘I’m alright jack’ mentality in the UK, those who have benefited financially and don’t want to disrupt the status quo, which allows them a better life style over others. It’s also about aspiration, climbing the ladder at the expense of others, so they are happy to be in denial, to believe the MSM etc propaganda, for party political reasons, that support their comfortable lifestyles over others, even the denial of the now burgeoning evidence of CSA in every instituition in Britain, not a very compassionate society!

      You are right that if we want to confront and deal with the CSA issue, we all have to get over our party political prejudices and accept that every institution, from the establishment down has been infected (like a rotting fish) and has been allowed to, because of this same denial, it is not party political, but people are using it as such to prevent the much needed changes!

  3. iantoosmart


    I’m not intending to be censorius, but what I’m saying is that there seem to be a class of very powerful men who have ready access to unusual sexual activities. Presumably, such men pay a lot of money for this. My presumption is that some must be paying for children. This certainly has been proven in Belgium. People who are coming forward as adults are reporting that when they were children they were used by such men. I’m no Mary Whitehouse. I’m trying to find a better way of characterising such men and their activities which more accurately portrays their weakness and lack of control rather than what I see as a constant re-inforcement of the strength of such men by conspiracy theories that see them as always protected by ‘the establishment’. Although men who indulge in sex with children in these circumstances may have the best lawyers and although they may have connections with those pulling the levers of power, they are ultimately child rapists and I am trying to make the case that we should use that term rather the more anodyne ‘paedophile’. Clearly there are some in the police who are well aware of some of these individuals, but for lack of hard evidence and a degree of interference, they are unable to act. These men and not ‘child-lovers’.

    • Aardvark

      If such powerful child abusers are not protected, how have they constantly got away with their crimes? You just have to look at Gojam’s post about child abusing Bishops to be confronted with the fact that multiple, child abusers have infiltrated into powerful establishment positions and have not been prosecuted, in fact, the establishment has covered up for them.

      There is clear evidence that members of the establishment have committed child abuse crimes and have been covered up for.(Sir Peter Hayman, Sir Peter Morrison, Sir Cyril Smith etc etc etc, there are multiple closed files etc etc). If there is no collusion with their peers etc, how did they get away with their crimes? Why has child abuse been tolerated by those in positions of power, when in broader society it is seen as abhorrent? It is very hard to imagine, as you say, that these, powerful child abusers, have been able to act independently. How did they get into positions of power,and maintain that power, with their own particular, abhorrent to most, peccadilloes?

    • tdf


      Agreed, certainly, that ‘paedophile’ is not really an appropriate term considering its meaning in Greek. To an extent the fact that this word has entered into the common lexicon represents a victory of sorts (albeit largely pyrrhic) for the P.I.E.

  4. Pingback: Rev Vickery House: Will No One Rid Us Of These Paedophile Priests – News4Security

Sex abuse priest Gordon Rideout jailed for 10 years

  • 20 May 2013
  • 2524736193
Media caption
Canon Gordon Rideout denied abusing girls and boys at a children’s home

An Anglican priest who abused children in the 1960s and 70s has been jailed for 10 years.

Canon Gordon Rideout, 74, from East Sussex, who is now retired, was found guilty of 36 separate sex offences by a jury at Lewes Crown Court.

The attacks took place between 1962 and 1973 in Hampshire and Sussex.

Most of them were carried out at Ifield Hall children’s home in Crawley, when he was an assistant curate. The charges related to 16 different children.

Rideout, from Polegate, had denied 34 indecent assaults and two attempted rapes.

He was acquitted of one charge of indecent assault against a five-year-old child.

‘Position of trust’

Rideout was the assistant curate at St Mary’s Church in Southgate, Crawley, from September 1962 to September 1965.

During that time he regularly visited the Barnardo’s children’s home, Ifield Hall, which has since been demolished.

The majority of the offences took place there, although he was also convicted of four charges of indecent assault on two girls at the Middle Wallop army base, where he was a padre at St Michael’s Church on the site.

In 1972 he was accused of three indecent assaults at the base, but was cleared by a military hearing.

He was also the subject of a police investigation in 2001.

Nigel Pilkington, head of the CPS South East complex casework unit, said: “As an assistant curate and then chaplain, Gordon Rideout was in a position of trust which he systemically abused, indecently assaulting the vulnerable youngsters that he met over a number of years.

‘Brutal beatings’

“He was able to wander through Ifield Hall and the gardens, even visiting children when they were sick and alone in bed.

Media captionGordon Rideout also faced trial in 1972 for indecent assault but was acquitted

“One victim recalled how the children would hide under their covers when he came into their dormitories.”

Mr Pilkington said a number of his victims attempted to speak out about the abuse, but were subjected to “brutal beatings” when they did.

“Some of his victims told police in interviews that it simply ‘wasn’t worth complaining’ because of the punishment they would receive in return,” he said.

“Instead the victims hid what happened to them for many years and none of us can begin to imagine the impact that has had on their lives.”

‘Destructive suffering’

Barnardo’s director of children’s services, Sam Monaghan, said: “We are extremely saddened by this case and our deepest sympathies go out to those who have suffered; it has taken great courage for them to step forward and relive their experiences.

“We are glad that justice has been served and believe it is critical that abusers are held to account for their crimes, regardless of when they took place.”

Following the sentencing, the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said Rideout had caused “immeasurable and destructive suffering over a long period of time”.

“He has also betrayed the trust and respect of many who have valued his ministry,” he said.

But in a statement, Dr Warner noted that the Diocese of Chichester was left with the question of why it had taken so long for “these grave accusations to be taken seriously and brought to trial”.

“What lessons do we all have to learn from this terrible catalogue of abuse about the strength and effectiveness of our communication within and between agencies that have responsibility for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults?

“In the Diocese of Chichester we shall continue to interrogate those procedures and to do our very best to ensure that we deliver the quality and standard that others expect of us.”

More on this story

  • Gordon Rideout child sex abuse victims not believed
    20 May 2013
  • Jury retires in Gordon Rideout sex abuse trial
    15 May 2013
  • Canon Gordon Rideout denies child sex attacks in Sussex
    8 May 2013

    Report into paedophile priests Cotton and Pritchard investigated

    • 19 July 2011
    Roy Cotton (left) and Colin Pritchard

Image captionRoy Cotton and Colin Pritchard abused young boys

The Church of England is starting an investigation into how inaccurate information was published in a report on two paedophile priests.

The report, by Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss for the Church, looked at how historic claims of abuse by two Sussex priests were handled.

Lewes and Hastings Archdeacon, the Ven Philip Jones, denied there had been a cover-up.

“The Church has gone to great lengths to make sure that is not the case.”

The report followed a review by Baroness Butler-Sloss into the cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard, who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s.

Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, Bexhill, until 2007 after being arrested over sex abuse claims. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys and was jailed for five years.

The offences took place while he was parish priest at St Andrew’s Church in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

The court heard that Cotton had been involved in the offences but died in 2006, two weeks before Pritchard was arrested. Cotton worked as a priest in Brede, near Rye, in the 1990s.

Cotton was ordained in 1966, despite having a conviction for indecently assaulting a choir boy in the 1950s, and went on to abuse at least 10 boys from Eastbourne.

Inaccuracies in the Butler-Sloss review came to light after a BBC investigation.

Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, told the baroness that he had given Cotton permission to officiate in 1999 to permit him to celebrate communion in the nursing home where he was then living.

But the BBC discovered he was not admitted to the nursing home until September 2003.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Chichester said last week new information had come to light since its publication of the report, adding Cotton had been ill from 1999 onwards and may have spent some time in hospital.

The archdeacon said Bishop Benn “maintained consistently” that he had understood his information he gave to be accurate.

And he said the report was still credible.

“The main thrust of the report relates to safeguarding practice and the recommendations she has made are full and entirely to the point,” he said.

“We have taken the recommendations on board in their entirety.

“Ultimately our priority is for the safeguarding of children.”

Bishop Benn is away on sabbatical and was not available for comment.

More on this story

  • Church ‘sorry’ for abuse failings
    9 June 2011
  • CofE agreed paedophile ordination
    26 May 2011
  • Church criticised over sex abuse
    25 May 2011
  • Review into sex abuse ‘failings’
    14 December 2010

Peter Hitchens on Liberty and Freedom


Peter Hitchens

“For many years now I have not always said in public what I think in private…I expect the number of things about which we cannot speak to grow…it is dangerous in these thought-policed times even to make such a confession…Freedom of speech and thought…are very delicate and easily smashed…Watching our current elite’s treatment of liberty is like watching a baboon carrying a priceless Ming vase across a stone-paved floor”


“The row that has silenced York Minster’s bells” – Church Times – Letter -October 28 2016 – Page 20


Sir, – A member of my immediate family is one of the young people who were members of the recently sacked bell-ringers at York Minster.

During their time there, they have been welcomed by the rest of the team and not only grown in their ringing ability, but also developed many friendships.

I have dared to hope that this young person would also be able to grow in their Christian faith that our family has always tried to nurture.

Disappointingly, this is what that young person has learnt from the actions of the Dean and Chapter of York Minster over the past few days:

  • That it is acceptable to mislead people to achieve a desired outcome.

  • That even when your untruth is discovered it is better to try to justify it than apologise.

  • That it is acceptable to punish many innocents for the (so far) unproven misdeeds of one individual.

  • That in the face of overwhelming support for those you have wronged it is acceptable to make no effort to correct the situation you have created.

  • That freedom of speech is unwelcome if it does not support your own position, and should be punished.

  • That it is better to build walls of division than extend the hand of reconciliation.

We are called to be Christ-like in our Christian faith. We are called to love, forgive, and reconcile with others, irrespective of where any fault may exist. We are called to show grace and mercy to all.

While many simply love to hear them rung, church bells serve as a reminder to all that God is here, and that many follow their call to worship Him.

The current silence of the bells of York Minster serves only to remind us that God may be so easily excluded from our daily lives.

It is all the sadder that this situation has resulted from the actions of such senior figures in the Church of England; and yet the opportunity still exists for them to remedy this, and correct the surely unintended messages above that they have thus far conveyed.



The Bell Tower, Chichester Cathedral