Monthly Archives: February 2018

February 23 2018 – “Position is not defensible” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

“Position is not defensible”

by

DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON, WHITFIELD ROAD, SHEFFIELD

Published: 10:00 Friday 23 February 2018 – Chichester Observer

It is mind-blowing that the Church of England can possibly think its position over the handling of an abuse claim against the late Bishop George Bell is in any way defensible.

Subsequent to the Carlile report, it now claims to have ‘some more information’ relating to the case, which it is not prepared to divulge. It is thus not only ignoring Lord Carlile’s recommendations about further procedures, but in his own words is also ignoring ‘due process of the rule of law’. It is probably also hoping that by such tactics, supporters and potential witnesses will go away or, indeed, die off – as one key witness already has.

One has to question why, again, the Church authorities are not prepared to publicise the so-called ‘new information’ in advance of an investigation, or to allow surviving family members their own legal representation. The answer could be that they are afraid that an outside QC would simply rip the case to pieces. Indeed, this may be the reason why they refused to allow Lord Carlile’s remit to extend to an actual verdict in the first place.

And with the IICSA inquiry into other cases in the Diocese of Chichester about to take place, they do not dare to appear politically incorrect.

The Carmi report of 2004, not published until 2014, makes it abundantly clear that for decades there have been ample opportunities for sexual abuse to occur in the wider cathedral context at the hands of a very wide range of potential perpetrators – of whom the bishop himself was not one.

Read more at: https://www.chichester.co.uk/news/your-say/position-is-not-defensible-1-8388613

February 23 2018 – Petition – To Reinstate Bishop Bell as a House Name at Bishop Luffa School

https://www.change.org/p/bishop-luffa-school-govenors-to-re-instate-bishop-bell-as-one-bishop-luffa-school-s-8-house-names?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_signer_receipt&utm_campaign=triggered&share_context=signature_receipt&recruiter=261774261&j=254048&sfmc_sub=329933803&l=32_HTML&u=46244913&mid=7233052&jb=416562

To Re-instate Bishop Bell as one Bishop Luffa School’s 8 house names.

We would like for either Andrewes house to return to Bell house as Bell has been proven innocent or for Bishop Luffa School to apologise to Bishop Bell’s family for so heavily reacting to rumour even though it is firmly believed in British law that a person is innocent until they are proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are guilty.

Professor Peter Billingham·4 hours ago
I admire & support this fine initiative and my wife and friends have long been acting & campaigning for Justice for George Bell.

·

Report
Richard W. Symonds·6 hours ago
Justice needs to be done – and seen to be done

February 22 2018 – “Archbishop of Canterbury to be quizzed in person at inquiry into Church of England’s handling of sex abuse allegations” – MailOnline

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5422805/Archbishop-Canterbury-quizzed-sex-inquiry.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

EXCLUSIVE: Archbishop of Canterbury to be quizzed in person at inquiry into Church of England’s handling of sex abuse allegations

  • Justin Welby will appear at Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)
  • Former archbishop Rowan Williams will also be called to answer questions
  • They’ll be asked about the handling of abuse claims in the Diocese of Chichester
  • Welby will be pressed on the investigation involving the Reverend George Bell
  • Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 40s
  • The hearing will also look at the Lord Carlile Report, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and failing to consider the rights of Bishop Bell
  • The hearing in London will start on March 5 and continue for three weeks 

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The Archbishop of Canterbury is to be questioned in person over how the Anglican Church dealt with allegations of sexual assaults against children.

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month.

The most senior clergyman in the Church of England – and his predecessor Rowan Williams – will be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex.

Most notably he will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester.

Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl, starting from when she was just five-years old, in the 1940s and 50s.

A complaint was initially made to the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, in 1995 but it wasn’t until a second complaint was made to Welby’s office in 2013 that the matter was passed on to the police.

The subsequent investigation by Sussex Police found that there was sufficient evidence to have arrested Bell had he still been alive.

The diocese apologised and paid compensation to the victim, known only as Carol, in 2015.

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month

Justin Welby is due to give evidence as a witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in central London next month

The archbishop will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester. Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 1940s and 50s

The archbishop will be pressed on the investigation into assault claims surrounding the Reverend George Bell, former Bishop of Chichester. Bell, who died in 1958, is alleged to have sexually abused a young girl in the 1940s and 50s

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since.

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell.

At an IICSA preliminary hearing on January 30, it was announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Williams had provided witness statements.

The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 which will last for three weeks.

Lambeth Palace say they will make a formal statement once the witness schedule has been finalised.

However, a spokesman for the Archbishops’ Council told MailOnline: ‘The Archbishop was one of the first to call for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Church of England is committed to working with IICSA in a transparent way.

‘He is aware that for the survivors who are brave enough to come forward to the Inquiry and give their testimony this will be a very difficult time which is why he is prepared to do the same.’

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

Welby's predecessor Rowan Williams will also be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex

Welby’s predecessor Rowan Williams will also be quizzed on their handling of a number of high-profile abuse allegations in the Diocese of Chichester in Sussex

 The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 in central London which will last for three weeks

 The investigation into the Anglican Church has its first public hearing on March 5 in central London which will last for three weeks

As part of its investigation into the Diocese of Chichester it will examine allegations of abuse by other priests, particularly Roy Cotton, Colin Pritchard and Gordon Rideout.

Rev Cotton, a parish priest in Brede, near Rye, Sussex had been convicted for an indecent assault on a child in 1954 but despite this was ordained in 1966.

He is thought to have had as many as 10 victims, which included two brothers from Eastbourne who won damages from the diocese after it recognised that the Church had failed to stop them being abused as choirboys in the 1970s and 80s.

Cotton died in September 2006 before he could be brought to justice.

Pritchard served as the vicar of St Barnabas, in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex until 2007 after being arrested over sex abuse claims

He pleaded guilty the following year to sexually abusing two boys in the 70s and 80s and was jailed for five years.

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

A subsequent report in 2011 into Cotton and Pritchard found that victims’ claims had not been treated seriously.

Meanwhile Canon Rideout was found guilty of 36 separate sex offences by a jury at Lewes Crown Court in 2013.

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

While the inquiry will not examine the truth or substance of the allegations into Bishop Bell, it will analyse how the victim was treated and what improvements in safeguarding the Church has made since

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ¿rush to judgement¿ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell (above, centre)

Crucially, the £100 million hearing will also look at the findings of the Lord Carlile Report, published in December, which criticised the Church for a ‘rush to judgement’ and of failing to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell (above, centre)

The attacks, which included attempted rape and indecent assaults on both boys and girls, some of whom were 13-years of age, took place between 1962 and 1973 in Sussex and Hampshire.

He later pleaded guilty in 2016 to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 at a children’s home in Reigate, Surrey which took place between July 29 1969 and July 21 1974.

The Chichester hearing will also consider the case of Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, and investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences.

However a separate, more detailed hearing into Ball, who was friends with Prince Charles, will take place in July.

On the website, the inquiry states: ‘There have been a significant number of internal investigations of the diocese carried out both by child protection individuals and individuals within the church itself.

‘The Chichester hearing will examine those investigations, what they found and what has changed as a result.

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

The inquiry, chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, is investigating the extent to which institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse

‘The Chichester hearing will also examine what steps the Church of England as a whole has taken to improve its practice and to respond to the experiences discovered within the Diocese of Chichester.

‘Of importance to the focus to the hearing will be the accounts of disclosure of abuse by complainants from within the Diocese of Chichester: both whether they were believed, how they were treated, and what happened as a result of the complaint.

‘If they were unable to disclose their abuse at the time, why they were so unable and what steps they consider the church could and should have made to improve the processes in respect of safeguarding where they consider that the response given was not adequate.

‘The case study will investigate, amongst other things, the following: the culture of the church, by which the investigation team means its behaviours, values and beliefs, and if those behaviours, values and beliefs inhibited or continued to inhibit the investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5422805/Archbishop-Canterbury-quizzed-sex-inquiry.html#ixzz57rKe2oTt
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IMG_0782

[Original submission – before editing]

Dear Editor

It is also our duty to prioritise those falsely accused of sex abuse [“Why it is all our duty to prioritise child safety”, Telegraph, Feb 20).

In 2009, football manager Dave Jones wrote a book about his experience – “No Smoke, No Fire” * – which led Judge David Clarke to conclude after the court case:

“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”

In 2015, Bishop George Bell was falsely accused of sex abuse, which led the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to monstrously conclude last month that a “significant cloud” still hangs over this long-dead, venerated Bishop of Chichester – even after a report by Lord Carlile QC.

The words of Judge David Clarke should haunt the present Archbishop.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

 

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley, West Sussex 

RH11 0NN

 

Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)

Email: richardsy5@aol.com

“No Smoke, No Fire” – The Autobiography of Dave Jones [Know The Score Books 2009]

February 3 2018 – “Church of England accused of disclosing fresh Bell allegation to save Archbishop embarrassment” – Daily Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/02/church-england-accused-disclosing-fresh-bell-allegation-save/

Church of England accused of disclosing fresh Bell allegation to save Archbishop embarassment

The motion, which is currently being assessed by Church of England lawyers, would not have been discussed at this month's meeting but would have been added to the agenda for later meetings had it received enough support.   
The motion, which is currently being assessed by Church of England lawyers, would not have been discussed at this month’s meeting but would have been added to the agenda for later meetings had it received enough support.    CREDIT: PA

The Church of England has been accused of disclosing evidence of a fresh allegation against Bishop George Bell in order to preserve the Archbishop of Canterbury from embarrassment at Synod.

The Church announced it had received “fresh information” about alleged sexual abuse by the highly-respected bishop, who died more than 70 years ago, on Wednesday, just over a week before the issue was due to be debated at a meeting of the Church of England’s governing body.

Synod members who had planned to propose a motion aimed at beginning the process of rehabilitating Bell’s reputation have decided to shelve it as a result.

The motion, which is currently being assessed by Church of England lawyers, would not have been discussed at this month’s meeting but would have been added to the agenda for later meetings had it received enough support.

But its proposer David Lamming, a lay member from the diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich said he had decided to “put it on ice” following the disclosure of the new allegation.

Motions must receive 100 signatures in order to be added to the potential agenda for future events.

Mr Lamming told the Daily Telegraph: “I don’t think I can ask Synod to sign something that they are uncomfortable with in the light of this recent development.”

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson, the daughter of Bishop Bell’s friend Franz Hildebrandt, said the development made her “question [Welby’s] leadership”.

“I’m quite sure it was to distract attention away from the pressure that was building on Justin Welby to apologise for his earlier statement,” she said. 

“An Archbishop has to be able to take a bit of embarrassment, he has got to be able to say that he’s got it wrong.”

Professor Andrew Chandler, Bell’s biographer, said: “People will assume that there is some manipulation at work in all this, and whether that is true or not I don’t know.

“In the intensely political context in which all of this has emerged, it’s natural for people to have these suspicions, but it’s the Church that has created this context.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church of England’s lead Safeguarding bishop said the announcement was made “in light of General Synod questions that need to be responded to and the reference to the case in the IICSA hearing yesterday”.

 

February 20 2018 – Transcript about Bishop Bell – BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ – Saturday Feb 10 2018

Page 1 of 6
BBC RADIO 4 ‘TODAY’ PROGRAMME
SATURDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2018
TRANSCRIPT OF ITEM ABOUT BISHOP GEORGE BELL
JW Justin Webb (‘Today’ presenter)
DB Desmond Browne QC
GB Bishop George Bell (recorded, speaking in 1957)
MB Martin Bashir (BBC Religion Editor)
Lrd C Lord Alex Carlile CBE QC, Independent Reviewer
AC Andrew Chandler (Bell’s biographer)
TT Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop at Lambeth
ABC Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
Starting at 08.37 and ending at 08.45
JW People who say they were survivors, or are survivors, of sexual abuse in
the Church of England are gathering in protest this morning against the
way their cases have been handled, but a lawyer who investigated one
case of alleged abuse against a long-dead bishop has told this
programme the Church is behaving like a dictatorial government. Lord
Carlile found failings in the way the Church investigated claims of abuse
against the former bishop, George Bell. BBC News has learned that the
Church has denied Bell’s family the chance to be represented by a
lawyer in a new investigation into… Here’s our Religion Editor, Martin
Bashir.
“Christ is the King, O friends rejoice…” (congregational singing)
MB The hymn, written by Bishop George Bell, who died 60 years ago, but
whose reputation is still the subject of contention between his
supporters and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
DB It won’t be resolved until there is an unequivocal acknowledgement that
Bell was an innocent man.
MB The barrister, Desmond Browne QC, who was baptised by George Bell.
“O magnify the Lord, and raise…” (singing)
GB “I’m in a new town, and speaking to you in a new church, one of the
newest in Sussex.”
MB George Bell, preaching in 1957. The former Bishop of Chichester’s
heroic reputation was first questioned two years ago when the Church
paid almost £17,000 to a woman who said she’d been sexually abused.
An independent review by the barrister, Lord Carlile, called the Church’s
investigation “inadequate”, and too willing to believe the accuser. The
Church accepted his criticisms, but the Archbishop of Canterbury said a
‘significant cloud’ was left over Bell’s name. I asked George Bell’s
biographer, Andrew Chandler, whether he had any sympathy for Justin
Welby’s predicament.
MB On the one hand he has scores of complainants, people who have
alleged that they’ve been victims of relentless abuse. At the same time,
he’s trying to respect the memory of a deceased bishop.
AC I do not accept that he has respected the memory of a long-dead bishop.
I think if a horde of Visigoths had been invited to trample on the
memory of Bishop Bell, they could hardly have done a more thorough
job.
MB Ten days ago the Church announced it had passed fresh information
about George Bell to the police, but gave no further details, and said it’ll
hold its own new inquiry. The BBC has seen correspondence which
denies George Bell’s surviving family the chance to be represented by
the barrister, Desmond Browne. Church officials have instead chosen a
safeguarding expert. Lord Carlile says his recommendations are being
ignored.
Lrd C The Church, in doing that, is behaving in a very peculiar way, rather like a
small dictatorial government deciding to go ahead in any way it wishes,
regardless of due process and the rule of law. It flies in the face of the
recommendations I made which the Church said it accepted, and I’m
afraid the Church has got to get a grip on this.
MB During his speech at Synod yesterday Justin Welby made only the
briefest of references to the issue of abuse.

ABC “Our approach to safeguarding needs culture change. Our renewing…”
MB Later this morning a large gathering of survivors will confront members
of Synod as they arrive at Church House. They’re angry about the way
the Church has handled their complaints of abuse. Bishop Bell’s
biographer, Dr Andrew Chandler, says the burden of responsibility now
rests at the very top.
AC I can’t think of any other Archbishop of Canterbury in modern times who
has become so deeply and so publicly embroiled in a debate of this kind,
and, in that sense, we are on new ground. And it’s very difficult to know
exactly where it might lead.
JW Well, that’s Bishop George Bell’s biographer, Andrew Chandler, ending
that report from Martin Bashir. We can talk to Tim Thornton, who used
to be the Bishop of Truro, is now the Bishop at Lambeth, who works
directly for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Good morning to you.
TT Good morning.
JW On that point about George Bell’s family being allowed to use the legal
representation that they choose, why shouldn’t they?
TT It’s not a question of whether they should or shouldn’t. Actually, in Lord
Carlile’s report he doesn’t actually make that specific point. What he
says is that there should be somebody who is appointed to speak out on
behalf of the deceased person who allegations have been made against,
and on behalf of any family they may have.
JW Yeah, and they’ve chosen someone and you’re saying they can’t.
TT No, that’s something that we have done. What your whole package
seemed to ignore is that people have come forward, very sadly, and
made complaints about behaviour that happened a long time ago.
JW Yeah.
TT What we’re doing is taking their voice very seriously indeed.

JW Can I just get this straight? The family want to be represented by a
barrister, whose name is Desmond Browne. May he represent them?
TT What, what we’ve done is set up a Core Group following new
information that came forward after the report done by Lord Carlile was
published. That Core Group has met, and at that Core Group was
somebody who was there to represent the deceased person in this case,
Bishop George Bell…
JW Yes, but they didn’t choose him, the family didn’t choose him. Why
shouldn’t they choose the person?
TT If you let me finish, the point I’m making is that that first Core Group has
to make a decision about whether the evidence that’s come forward is
credible or not. I think you’d accept with me, it’s completely wrong for
the family to be concerned about matters until the matters are seen to
be credible. It would be very wrong for us to go to the family of the
deceased person and raise an issue with them which then doesn’t need
to be looked into any further.
JW But surely they have some standing in this? They need to know what the
allegations are and have a say over whether they think they’re credible
or not, otherwise there’s no point in having the meeting.
TT They do, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re in communication with the
family. We’re taking that forward.
JW So you’re saying that, that what you’re doing is right, you’re sticking up
for it in spite of what Lord Carlile said, and they are not going to be
allowed to be represented by their own barrister?
TT No, what I’m saying is that we are taking Lord Carlile’s recommendations
very seriously, they are going through our processes, even before
they’ve done that, and it’s tragic, isn’t it, that some, some more
information has come forward since the publication of Lord Carlile’s
report, and we are taking the voice of the survivors and those who are
complaining very seriously. And in that process we are putting forward
somebody who will represent the voice of Bishop Bell, and I …
JW But not the person they want. That’s the point.

TT … and we will be in communication with the family.
JW Yeah. But not, it’s not the person they want? They’re not going to get
the person they want.
TT We shall be in communication with the family.
JW Is there still a ‘significant cloud’ over George Bell’s name?
TT It is very sad to say that further information has come forward and until
this whole matter has been resolved, I can’t say what will be the
outcome.
JW But there is still, in your view, and that was the phrase used by the
Archbishop, wasn’t it, a ‘significant cloud’ over George Bell’s name, that
is still the position?
TT Yes.
JW He also talked about culture change, we heard that in the package when
he was talking to us. When he talks about culture change, what does he
mean?
TT I think he means that we all have to take the voice of the survivors in this
matter very seriously, that’s why the Archbishops of Canterbury and
York will be outside the entrance to Church House this morning at nine
o’clock, standing alongside the survivors who turn up, in silence thinking
and reflecting on the shameful fact that so many, sadly, senior church
people have abused people in the past. As the Archbishop of Canterbury
has made very clear on many occasions, this is something that really
does concern him, and he is ashamed to think of what we’ve done, and
therefore we have to listen very carefully to the voice of the survivors,
take seriously what they’re saying, and this morning, not just at the
protest that’s happening beforehand but at the presentation in Synod,
all members of General Synod will be hearing the voice of survivors.
JW And, alongside the voice of the survivors, must be justice towards those
who are accused, mustn’t it?

TT Justice for everybody involved in these horrendous processes.
JW Tim Thornton, Bishop Tim Thornton, thank you very much.
NR [Nick Robinson] It’s now a quarter to nine.

Feb 20 2018 – “Report of a Case Review by Edina Carmi commissioned by John hind, Bishop of Chichester in 2004” – The CARMI Report

REPORT OF A CASE REVIEW BY EDINA CARMI COMMISSIONED BY JOHN HIND, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER, IN 2004

Although this report is dated 2004 the purpose of publishing it now is threefold.  At the time, Serious Case Reviews were not generally published.  But pressure from some of the victims has grown, while society has changed greatly.  As recent events have shown, there is concern that child abuse was and is more widespread than anyone might have assumed.  

The report followed a long-standing period of child abuse involving Chichester Cathedral and its choir school.  There were several perpetrators, and the main one was neither a member of the clergy nor a teacher at the school, but a layman who had grown up in theCathedral close as a result of his family’s longassociation with the Cathedral.  He had a voluntary post at the Cathedral and was liked and trusted, as well as having a certain standing within Cathedral society.  For much of this time he had access to the School and its pupils through choir activities. The period of abuse ranged from the early 1970s to 2000, when he was charged as the result of one of his many victims going to the police.  

It is clear that at the time there was a culture (not confined to the Cathedral) which sought to protect the institution at the expense of the victim. Although training procedures had been put in place in the parishes in 1997, the Cathedral was slow to institute them.  As a result, traditional precepts such as requiring evidence of an incident, or refusing to consider anonymous information,were followed.  But under the child protection legislation, it is enough to have concerns about the welfare of a child, as the Children Act of 1989 makes the interests of the child paramount.  The change of emphasis took a long time to be comprehended: at the time it was perceived that introducing children to homosexual practices was more harmful than the abuse itself, with its lasting psychological damage.

The school seems to have had a clearer awareness of procedures relating to complaints of child abuse than did the Cathedral, although a complete change of Cathedral personnel and the implementation of proper procedures were subsequently achieved.  It was felt at the time that complaints could be dealt with in-house, whereas it is imperative in these matters that the safeguarding (child protection) officer of the institution be involved straight away. The result was that some dissatisfied parents took matters into their own hands and went to the police.   Another consequence was that the children were in general protected while at school, but when they entered the Cathedral precincts – where some lessons took place– safeguards fell away.   There was no joined-up supervision.  The articles of association of the school have now been changed to sever the dependence of the school on the Cathedral and to change the character of its governing council.

The chief offender was sentenced to 16 years in prison.  A number charged with lesser offences were also sentenced.  Some of them (‘lay vicars’ or adult choristers) were on release re-admitted to the Cathedralchoir and other church choirs, making their assimilation controversial because of the close-knit character of Anglican society in ChichesterThis was hard for victims and their families to acceptA second Chichester school was also involved and one teacher was convicted.

Some of the men who were practising Anglicans admitted their behaviour under the seal of the confessional.  The rule at the time was that confession was entirely confidential, but although this is still sothere is now pressure for change.  Current thinking is thatin such circumstances absolution should be conditional on the perpetrator reporting him (or her) self to the police.

This report fed the investigations which led to the later reports of Roger Meekings, Lady Butler-Sloss and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commissaries (following theVisitation).  The main emphasis of the above was on abuse by clergy within the Diocese of Chichester.  The Carmi report deals exclusively with offences by lay people in and around Chichester.