Monthly Archives: September 2017

September 9 2017 – Heritage Open Day – Chichester Cathedral


Portrait in storage at Cathedral Library


Drawing in storage at Cathedral Library


Sign to George Bell House erased – now sign reads 4 Canon Lane


Warm Welcome ?




4 Canon Lane [formerly George Bell House]


St Richard’s Walk

October 5 2017 – Carlile Review on Bishop Bell imminent

gbh-exterior-with-cathedral (1)

4 Canon Lane [to be re-named George Bell House ?]


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.





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  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.


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


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.


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

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

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

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

September 6 2017 – Rotherham Sex Abuse Survivors Still Seek Answers

Rotherham sex abuse survivors still seek answers after new reports published


Survivors of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal say they fear they may never get the answers they want about what happened in the town after a new series of reports concluded no individual council staff can be brought to account.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said the publication of the six reports on Wednesday was a “completely wasted opportunity” after the reviews commissioned by Rotherham Council at a cost of £440,000 said neither senior managers nor individual social workers could be disciplined.

The reports were ordered in the wake of the 2014 Jay Report, which laid bare how more than 1,400 children were raped, trafficked and sexually abused in the town between 1997 and 2013 by gangs of men of largely Pakistani heritage.

My thoughts on the Rotherham Council inquiries into how they let down victims of child sexual exploitation 

The author of one of the new reviews told a meeting in the town he had found it was “more cock-up than conspiracy” at the local authority.

Lawyer Mark Greenburgh said “there’s simply little or anything that Rotherham Council can do” to take action against former senior staff.

Another report, which looked in detail at the cases of 15 individual exploited children, concluded that in all but one: “I have not found any examples of individual casework so poor or dangerous that disciplinary action against individual practitioners would be warranted.”

Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion (Lewis Whyld/PA)
Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion (Lewis Whyld/PA)

In this report, independent consultant Jean Imray said: “I believe the practice I have reviewed is indicative of widespread systemic failure rather than anything for which individual practitioners can be held to account.”

Speaking outside a heated meeting at Rotherham town hall, survivor Sammy Woodhouse said: “I want people held accountable and it just feels like it’s never going to happen.”

Ms Woodhouse, who has waived her right to anonymity and campaigned on behalf of survivors, said: “I think it’s been a waste of time and a waste of money. I’ve been told it’s cost over £400,000.

Sammy Woodhouse, a survivor of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, outside Rotherham town hall (Dave Higgens/PA)
Sammy Woodhouse, a survivor of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, outside Rotherham town hall (Dave Higgens/PA)

“We could have done a lot more with that money. We’ve got the same answers over and over again like we did in all the other reports. I feel they’ve just looked at the Jay Report and rewritten it all again.”

Ms Woodhouse said she was also angry that former council leader Roger Stone and Shaun Wright – the former councillor in charge of children’s services who resigned as South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner in the wake of the scandal – were among a series of former officers who refused to co-operate with the reports.

She said: “They’re getting on with their lives now and we’re picking up the pieces.”

Ms Champion, the former shadow women and equalities secretary, was forced to quit her frontbench role last month after a backlash for saying “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”.

In his report, Mr Greenburgh said former council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald, who is now chief executive of Liverpool City Council, and former head of children and families, Jacqueline Wilson, “each missed opportunities to have changed the outcomes”.

“Archbishop defends paedophile move” – BBC News – July 19 2000

Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK

Archbishop defends paedophile move
Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor

Archbishop Murphy-O’Connor maintains he acted properly
One of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church in England and Wales has defended his decision to allow a known paedophile to continue working as a priest, despite warnings he would re-offend.A BBC investigation found evidence suggesting Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor ignored the advice of doctors and therapists that Father Michael Hill would carry on assaulting children.

Michael Hill

Michael Hill: Paedophile priest

Archbishop Murphy-O’Connor told BBC News 24 he “regretted exceedingly what happened” – namely that after he allowed Hill back to work in 1985 after suspending him as a priest, Hill went on to indecently assault more altar boys and was jailed in1997.But the archbishop said he had been acting on advice from professionals at a time when the behaviour of child abusers was not as well understood as at present.


He said: “The risk I took and the action I took then were on the understanding that I had at that time, and many many other people had, of paedophilia – of child abuse.

“We were not aware at that time of its addictive nature and therefore the advice that we were often given by professionals was guarded, was sometimes ambiguous.

I went to see the bishop personally and told him what was going on; he said he would deal with it

Mother of one of Hill’s victims

“If you were to say would I do that now in the light of the knowledge we have, not just me, I would say no I wouldn’t.”Hill was jailed after pleading guilty to nine counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency, committed over a 20-year period.

In 1985, the archbishop – then Bishop of Arundel in West Sussex – allowed Hill back to work after earlier revoking his licence to work in a parish.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church, Nicholas Coote, said the then bishop had given Hill administrative leave, putting him into training for a secular job where he lived for an 18-month trial period as a private citizen, not as a priest.

But after the trial period, Hill convinced the Church he was a reformed character, said Mr Coote, and the priest was returned to pastoral duties.

He later became chaplain at Gatwick Airport where he abused a boy with learning difficulties.

Mr Coote said the Church had “acted sensibly, wisely and responsibly” over the affair.

The spokesman said it was now in the Catholic Church’s guidelines to inform the police of such incidents, but he said parents themselves frequently did not want to go to law, for fear of putting their children through a trial.

“No one is stopping people going to the police,” he added.

Bishop ‘promised action’

But families’ of Hill’s victims say the Church should have done more.

The mother of one of the boys abused by Hill in Surrey told the BBC: “I went to see the bishop [Murphy-O’Connor] personally and told him what was going on. He said he would deal with it.

“But little did I know he would take Father Hill from this parish and put him in another parish. Well he shouldn’t have done that.”

Documents seen by the BBC suggest the archbishop ignored the advice of doctors and therapists who warned that Hill was likely to re-offend.

Archbishop Murphy-O’Connor has now agreed that boys abused by the priest should receive compensation, but as part of the settlement they were required not to speak publicly about what happened.

A BBC News investigation in 1999 revealed evidence that some Catholic bishops in the UK were failing to follow the church’s child protection guidelines, allowing priests accused of child abuse to continue working.

Since 1994 the Catholic Church has had strict rules in place which state that if a complaint is made against a priest, social services should be informed and the priest removed from parish duties.

“Bishop remained deeply ashamed over his handling of sex abuse claims” – The Argus – September 2017


Michael Hill

Background [Extract in hardcopy only – not online][written by Argus editor Arron Hendy]

In 2015, he admitted he was deeply ashamed of the way he handled sex abuse allegations concerning a Catholic church priest in the 1980’s.

“He told the Hay Festival in South Wales how, as the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, he allowed priest Michael Hill to become the chaplain of Gatwick Airport despite Hill confessing to him that he had abused young boys”