Monthly Archives: April 2019

April 25 2019 – “The Canterbury Bell”


“The Canterbury Bell” – Campanula Medium


Ever since the murder of Thomas Becket made Canterbury a place of pilgrimage, this city has been thronged with visitors…

All visitors know that the cathedral is a must – but also worth seeing is the ancient church of St Martin’s, outside the medieval city, which is probably the oldest surviving working church in England. Beautiful in its simplicity, it was considered an antiquity when Bede was writing in the eighth century…

On the edge of the city is Harbledown, the last village passed by pilgrims at the end of their journey, and mentioned by Chaucer.

Henry II, on his way to seek forgiveness for Becket’s death, made a gift of 20 marks a year to the village’s leper house; and the village almshouses still receive payments from the Crown. Amongst the relics here is the alms box provided for pilgrims.

A modern gift nearby is Golden Hill, two and a half acres given to the National Trust to be kept as a children’s playground for all time.


CANTERBURY PILGRIMAGES – Pilgrims came to Canterbury from all over Britain, travelling in bands for protection along the highways, where they could find lodging at inns and monasteries, and where the wealthier could hire horses.

Like every popular shrine – whether that of Frideswide at Oxford, Thomas Cantilupe at Hereford or William at Norwich – the shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury could also expect a large number of more local visitors, from its circle of ‘pilgrim villages’, which would send a few members to represent the community.

Motives for pilgrimage varied: some pilgrims hoped for cures, some for remission of sins, some for handouts from monasteries en route, many simply to escape the boredom of their villages. It was a holiday, and back home they would show their ‘souvenirs’: a phial of ‘Canterbury water’, or a leaden pilgrim badge stamped with the symbol of the shrine.

Best known of these badges is the cockleshell worn by pilgrims to the shrine at Santiago de Compostela.

Those who went to Canterbury might wear a ‘T’ for Thomas or a Bell – hence the name of the flower, the Canterbury Bell.

[Source: “Secret Britain” – ‘South East England – Canterbury’ – pages 64-65 – published by The Automobile Association 1986]

April 18 2019 – “Church of England response to safeguarding recommendation” – Church Times – Letters – Revd Bonnie Evans-Hills



C of E response to safeguarding recommendation

Church Times – Letters

From the Revd Bonnie Evans-Hills

Sir, — When responding to atrocity cases, for which it was set up, the International Criminal Court — like other courts, for that matter — focuses primarily on the perpetrator, seeking to call out, name, and punish criminal acts, that they never happen again. Of course, they still do. The survivor’s testimony is a means to that end, treated as tools of witness — and no more.

But when it comes to building resilience in a community, in the aftermath of atrocity, the criminal court is only the first step in any work of reconciliation. For a community to thrive, it needs to listen to the stories and the needs of survivors of any abuse, crime, or atrocity. It is not just about retribution, but about flourishing: flourishing for the survivors and for the whole community as witness.

What the Church’s National Safeguarding Steering Group has done in rejecting the recommendations of the independent reviewers (News, 12 April) is to choose a path of self-protection rather than recognise the needs of survivors and give priority to them, and to the health of the Church and society.

There is a well-documented pattern of continued structural secrecy. This is a failing common to large organisations in a position of power and influence, and is defined in the book Crime and Human Rights: Criminology of atrocity and genocide by Joachim J. Savelsberg (Sage Publishing, 2010):

“Here we benefit from the work of a scholar, who has greatly contributed to our understanding of the ‘dark side of organisations,’ the many instances of regular rule breaking behaviour that is characteristic of life even in legitimate organizations.

“Sociologist Diane Vaughan stresses that members of organizations are always exposed to structural pressures resulting from competition and gaps between goals and legitimate means. They are likely to resort to the violation of laws, rules and regulations in order to meet organizational goals.

“Such rule violations become more likely as necessary structural features of organizations such as hierarchy or specialized subunits, create ‘structural secrecy,’ meaning they provide settings intra-organizationally where risk of detection and sanctioning are minimized. In addition, organizational processes such as the ‘normalization of deviance’ (ie, acceptance of deviant behaviour as normal) provide normative support for illegality, a pattern that has been documented” (page 78).

The best means of checking ourselves and our Church is through a system of accountability, as recommended by the reviewer, with the collaboration of survivors. All of us would be better served and safeguarded, including senior leadership, by listening to these survivors’ recommendations. It is a specialist area, which takes in much more than those assumed to be one-to-one cases at a parish level.

If our rhetoric is one of “All are welcome and all are loved,” we need to live up to the love we offer — a love that demands vulnerability and a willingness to listen to the voices of those in pain. When someone is hungry for bread, we should not then hand them a stone.

Address supplied

“Archbishop Welby’s judgement and integrity are being called into question, yet again” ~ Richard W. Symonds

“Smyth abuse – Survivors dispute Welby claim” – Church Times – Madeleine Davies


images (45)

Archbishop Justin Welby

“The Archbishop’s judgement and integrity are being called into question, yet again” ~ Richard W. Symonds

April 18 2019 – “Smyth abuse – Survivors dispute Welby claim” – Church Times – Madeleine Davies


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby


SURVIVORS of abuse perpetrated by John Smyth have written to Lambeth Palace to correct the Archbishop of Canterbury’s assertion that Smyth was “not actually an Anglican” — a comment made during an interview on Channel 4 News last week.

In total, the letter lists 14 points of dispute about the Archbishop’s comments.

During the interview on Friday, which explored the Church of England’s response to Smyth’s abuse, Archbishop Welby said that Smyth “was not actually an Anglican. The church he went to in South Africa was not Anglican, and Iwerne was not part of the Church of England.”

Smyth was living in South Africa when a disclosure of abuse was made in Ely diocese in 2013, and died there last year. He was a former chairman of the Iwerne Trust, which ran holiday camps for boys at English public schools, and is now part of the Titus Trust. A six-month Channel 4 News investigation, broadcast two years ago, found that both the Iwerne Trust and Winchester College had learned of allegations of abuse by Mr Smyth in the 1980s, but failed to report them to the police (News, 10 February 2017).

One of the survivors who wrote to Lambeth Palace this week, Graham*, described the claim that Smyth was not an Anglican as “farcical”, given that he worshipped in the C of E.. The letter tells the Archbishop that Smyth had in fact been a licensed Reader in the diocese of Winchester.

A spokesperson for the diocese of Winchester said: “When the allegations first came to light we reviewed our records. There was nothing to suggest that John Smyth had had a formal role within the diocese and so no further investigation was undertaken.”

Graham also listed the many links between the Iwerne Trust and the C of E, pointing out that survivors in the United Kingdom and trustees of the Trust — some of whom were ordained — had attended Anglican churches.

In his interview, Archbishop Welby said: “The Church of England was never directly involved, but we take responsibility because there was a Church of England clergyman, though not on the payroll, who was in charge of the Iwerne Trust and there were Anglicans there . . .”

He also emphasised that the allegations did not pertain to the Iwerne Trust’s camps — the abuse had taken place at Smyth’s home.

But Archbishop Welby did not mention that the report commissioned by the Iwerne Trust and compiled in 1982, prompted by a suicide attempt by a survivor, was written by a C of E priest, the Revd Mark Ruston, when he was Vicar of Holy Sepulchre with All Saints, Cambridge. It described what it called the “beatings” of 22 young men.

“The scale and severity of the practice was horrific . . . eight received about 14,000 strokes: two of them having some 8000 strokes over three years.”

The contents of the report were disclosed to a number of Anglican clergy. Smyth went on to live in Zimbabwe, where he continued to run holiday camps — Zambezi Ministries — and South Africa.

“Had any one of these men spoken out about what they knew, upwards of 60 African children might not have been viciously beaten, and Smyth might have faced the justice he deserved,” the letter says.

Archbishop Welby told Channel 4 News that he had had “no idea” of Smyth’s abuse until 2013. “I heard a report about an allegation of abuse; it was made in Ely diocese, and the Bishop of Ely had contacted the statutory authorities . . . and I wrote to the Primate in South Africa.”

In fact, it was the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, who wrote to the Church in South Africa.

Asked about a promised review, Archbishop Welby told Channel 4 News that it could not take place until the Church had secured the participation of the other organisations involved: a reference to Scripture Union, Winchester College, and the Titus Trust.

“Unless you can get everyone in you are never going to get anywhere near the truth,” he said. “We’ve written to them; we’ve not had answers from all of them; and I would very much like them to reply promptly and quickly, and let’s get on with it and discover what we need to learn.”

Several survivors of Smyth’s abuse have launched a civil claim against the Titus Trust (News, 24 August 2018), and it is understood that the Titus Trust will consider a review only once these have been concluded (News, 1 March).

Graham suggested that it was “perverse that the decision as to which organisations should have the veto on a review has been taken before the review itself, when all of the facts are not yet known”.

He also disputed the Archbishop’s comment that there had been “very rapid contact” with the survivors, and that the bishop in charge of safeguarding and safeguarding officers had met them.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace declined to clarify the Archbishop’s comments but said that he hoped to meet survivors “as soon as possible”.

*Name changed to protect anonymity



Sorry not enough, Archbishops’ letter says after IICSA — and a survivor agrees

26 Mar 2018

‘I am ashamed of the Church’, Archbishop Welby admits to IICSA hearing

21 Mar 2018

John Smyth QC, 77, accused of shed beatings, dies in Cape Town

13 Aug 2018

George Bell: the life matched the legacy

01 Feb 2019

UK news in brief

18 May 2018

Archbishop Welby apologises for ‘mistakes’ in case of George Bell

24 Jan 2019

April 14 2019 – Church of England Governance Structures

Leadership and Governance

The Church is led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and 106 other bishops. They provide guidance and direction to the churches across the country and make decisions on the Church in society. The General Synod is an assembly of bishops, clergy and laity, and creates the laws of the Church. The seven National Church Institutions work together to support the mission and ministries of the Church.
Archbishops of York and Canterbury face each out outside cathedral


The Archbishop of Canterbury is responsible for churches in the southern two-thirds of England. He also fills a unique position in the world-wide Anglican Church as spiritual leader. The Archbishop of York is the senior bishop responsible for churches in the northern third of England. Together they lead the vision and direction of the Church of England.

Each of our 42 dioceses has a lead bishop known as a diocesan bishop. Most are supported by other (suffragan or area) bishops. All diocesan bishops are members of the House of Bishops, along with a small number other elected bishops. The House of Bishops is one of the three houses of the General Synod. The General Synod is an assembly of bishops, clergy and laity, which meets at least twice a year to debate and decide the Church’s laws and discuss matters of public interest.

Our two archbishops and 24 other bishops sit in the House of Lords, making a major contribution to Parliament’s work. They are known as Lords Spiritual.

Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Queen appoints archbishops, bishops and deans of cathedrals on the advice of the Prime Minister.

There are seven national administrative bodies that work together to support the mission and ministries of the Church. These are called National Church Institutions (NCIs).

Each has a role to play in helping the day-to-day work of churches across England. They serve as the Church’s central office, managing finance, education, communications, and more, to keep the Church of England growing.

They work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

The seven NCIs are:

  • The Archbishops’ Council
    Leadership, strategy and executive responsibility (see below)
  • Lambeth Palace
    The office and home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Bishopthorpe Palace
    The office and home of the Archbishop of York.
  • The Church Commissioners
    Manages the national Church’s investment fund and provides money to support the Church’s work.
  • The Church of England Pensions Board
    Provides retirement services for those who have served or worked for the Church.
  • National Society for Promoting Religious Education
    Our education department.
  • The Church of England Central Services
    HR, Finance & Resources, IT, Legal, Communications, and Record Centre.

The NCIs are separate legal entities, but they are a common employer. The present arrangements were established under the National Institutions Measure 1998.

The Archbishops’ Council was established in 1999. The Council is a charity, set up in law to co-ordinate, promote, aid and further the work and mission of the Church of England. It does this by providing national support to the Church in dioceses and locally, working closely with the House of Bishops and other bodies of the Church. The Archbishops’ Council is one of the seven National Church Institutions.

Our objectives

The Archbishops’ Council has nine objectives.

To bring more of the people of England to the faith of Christ through the Church of England

To strengthen the Christian faith and life of all who worship God in the Church of England

To ensure there are sufficient ordained and lay ministers of the required gifts and qualities who are effectively deployed to enable the Church of England to fulfil its mission, and to support those ministers in their calling, development, ministry and retirement

Common good
To contribute to transforming our society and communities more closely to reflect the Kingdom of God through loving acts of neighbourliness and service to all

To promote high quality Christian education in Church of England schools and voluntary education settings, and through our Church contribution to other schools, colleges, further and higher education institutions

Resources for the Church
To help dioceses and cathedrals to be most effective in their mission, by providing cost-effective national and specialist services and advice

To ensure all children and vulnerable adults are safe in the Church

To operate the national governance arrangements of the Church of England as cost-effectively as possible in pursuit of the Church’s mission

A Church for all people
To be a Church that can provide a home for all people in England
The Archbishops’ Council plans for 2017.


Safeguarding: to ensure
all children and vulnerable
adults are safe in the Church,
by continuing to build
infrastructure and processes
for the National Safeguarding
Function to promote a safer
Church at all levels, including
the development of policies
and practice guidance, longterm audit processes, training,
high-level casework handling,
survivor engagement and
responding to the Independent
Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse



Archbishops’ Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Archbishops’ Council is a part of the governance structures of the Church of England. Its headquarters are at Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ.

The Council was created in 1999 to provide a central executive body to co-ordinate and lead the work of the Church. This was a partial implementation of the recommendations of the report “Working Together as One Body” produced by Michael Turnbull (then Bishop of Durham) in 1994.

Objectives and Objects

The Council describes its objectives as:

  • enhancing the Church’s mission by:
    • promoting spiritual and numerical growth,
    • enabling and supporting the worshipping Church and encouraging and promoting new ways of being Church, and
    • engaging with issues of social justice and environmental stewardship
    • sustaining and advance the Church’s work in education, lifelong learning and discipleship;
  • enabling the Church to select, train and resource the right people, both ordained and lay, to carry out public ministry and encouraging lay people in their vocation to the world; and
  • encouraging the maintenance and development of the inherited fabric of Church buildings for worship and service to the community.

And its objects as:

  • giving a clear strategic sense of direction to the national work of the Church of England, within an overall vision set by the House of Bishops and informed by an understanding of the Church’s opportunities, needs and resources;
  • encouraging and resourcing the Church in parishes and dioceses;
  • promoting close collaborative working between the Church’s national bodies, including through the management of a number of common services (Communications, Human Resources, IT etc.);
  • supporting the Archbishops with their diverse ministries and responsibilities; and engaging confidently with Government and other bodies.

Legal Status and Membership

The Archbishops’ Council was established by the National Institutions Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1998.[1] It has its own legal identity and is, in addition, a charity.

The Council is made up of:

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are the joint Presidents of the Council, but the Archbishop of Canterbury normally chairs its meetings.

The Council is one of the “National Church Institutions”;[3] the others include the Church Commissioners, the Church of England Pensions Board and the General Synod.

Committees and Staff

The work of the Council is assisted by a number of committees:

  • Mission and Public Affairs Council (including the Hospital Chaplaincies Council)
  • Board of Education
  • Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns
  • Council for Christian Unity
  • Central Council for the Care of Churches
  • Committees of the Ministry Division
    • Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled People
    • Deployment, Recruitment and Conditions of Service Committee
    • Theological Education and Training Committee
    • Vocation, Recruitment and Selection Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Audit Committee

In 2006, the Council employed about 250 staff. The senior posts include:

  • Secretary-General to the Council and the General Synod

  • Chief Education Officer
  • Director of Mission & Public Affairs
  • Head of Cathedral and Church Buildings
  • Director of Ministry
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Head of Legal Office and Chief Legal Adviser to the General Synod
  • Clerk to the Synod and Director of Central Secretariat


The members of the Council are also members and directors of the Central Board of Finance of the Church of England. Technically, the Board of Finance is a separate legal entity, however all major decisions are taken by members of the Council in their capacity as the directors of the Board.

In 2006, the Council had a budget of approximately £61 million, principally derived from the Church Commissioners (about £32 million) and contributions from each of the dioceses(£24.5 million).

Spending in that year included grants to the dioceses (£31 million), training clergy (both funding for colleges and allowances for individuals in residential training – £10 million), grants to organisation such as Churches Together, the Church Urban Fund and the World Council of Churches (£2.2 million), and housing assistance for retired clergy (£2.8 million).[4]

Notable members

  • William Fittall, Secretary-General from 2002 to 2015
  • Philip Fletcher, 2007 to 2016
  • David Lammy, 1999 to 2002[5]
  • Jayne Ozanne, 1999 to 2004
  • Mark Russell, CEO of the Church Army, 2005 to 2011 and since 2015
  • Glyn Webster, current
  • Safeguarding controversy and CDM complaint

    In May 2016 Webster was one of six bishops accused of misconduct by somebody who claimed to be a survivor of child sex abuse. He was cited in the Guardian and Church Times along with Bishops

  • Peter Burrows,
  • Safeguarding controversy and CDM complaint

    A survivor of child sex abuse made a formal complaint in May 2016 under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure procedure against Burrows and five other bishops (Steven CroftMartyn SnowGlyn WebsterRoy WilliamsonJohn Sentamu) for failing to act on his allegations. The survivor said he first told Burrows in 2012 about his abuse by a serving priest. All five bishops dismissed the complaint owing to the one-year time limit imposed by the CDM process.[4][5]

  • Steven Croft,
  • Protest at his enthronement

    Protest Brochure

    Two survivors of clerical child sexual abuse staged a peaceful protest outside Croft’s inauguration as Bishop of Oxford on 30 September 2016.[18] One of them claimed he had told Croft three times in 2012 and 2013 when Croft was formerly Bishop of Sheffield of his rape by a serving priest, but the bishop and other senior figures had failed to respond or take action despite the abuser still being alive. The cover of the protest brochure handed out to the public pictured all six bishops[19] who the survivor claimed had failed to respond, including John SentamuArchbishop of York.[20] The survivor commented to the Church Times that he was angry that the C of E had the “nerve” to enthrone bishops after safeguarding complaints had been made against them. He went on to say

    This is absolute proof that the Church of England does not truly recognise the profound and long-lasting impact such abuse has on survivors at all.[21]

    The protest was shown on ITV[22] and the BBC.[23] Croft met with one of the survivors in front of the news cameras.

    Police Investigation

    In 2018 it was reported in media that Croft was being investigated by South Yorkshire Police, alongside Archbishop Sentamu, Bishop Martyn Snow and Bishop Peter Burrows, for failure to respond properly to a report of clerical child abuse. The priest against whom the allegation was made went on to commit suicide the day before he was due in court in June 2017.[24][25][26] The Archbishop of York’s office said:

    The diocese of York insists that Sentamu did not fail to act on any disclosures because that responsibility lay with Ineson’s local bishop, Steven Croft, who was at the time bishop of Sheffield.[27]

    Guardian editorial contrasted Sentamu’s response to a statement from Archbishop Welby at IICSA, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, in which Justin Welby stated

    It is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response to say “I have heard about a problem, but … it was someone else’s job to report it”.[28]

    Matt Ineson, the victim of the alleged abuse, has called for the resignations of Sentamu and Croft.[29] In May 2018, Archbishop Welby declined to discipline Croft, and said he “will take no further action” other than ensuring that Dr Croft received further safeguarding training and understood his responsibilities as a diocesan bishop.[30]

  • Martyn Snow,
  • Safeguarding controversy

    In May 2016 Snow was one of six bishops cited in the Guardian and Church Times as subject of Clergy Disciplinary Measure complaints owing to their alleged inaction on a survivor’s disclosure.[16][17] The bishops contested the complaints.[18] All six bishops were pictured on a protest brochure which the survivor handed out at Steven Croft‘s enthronement as bishop of Oxford later that year.[19][20] In 2018, Snow was reported in the media to be one of several bishops being investigated for failure to act on this safeguarding disclosure. The priest against whom the allegations were made, killed himself the day before due to appear in court.[21][22][23]

  • Roy Williamson and Archbishop of York,
  • John Sentamu as subject of Clergy Disciplinary Measure complaints owing to their inaction on the survivor’s disclosure.[5][6]
  • Safeguarding clergy disciplinary measure complaint and police investigation

    Protest brochure

    In May 2016 Sentamu was one of six bishops accused of procedural misconduct by a victim of child sex abuse (the accusation was to do with how the complaint was handled; none of the six were involved in the abuse). Sentamu was named in the Guardian[59] and Church Times[60] alongside Peter BurrowsSteven CroftMartyn SnowGlyn Webster and Roy Williamson, as subject of Clergy Disciplinary Measure complaints owing to their inaction on the survivor’s disclosure. The bishops contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit. Sentamu had acknowledged receipt of a letter from the survivor with an assurance of “prayers through this testing time”. But according to the Guardian report, no action was taken against the alleged abuser nor support offered to the survivor by the church. A spokesperson for the archbishop said that Sentamu had simply acknowledged a copy of a letter addressed to another bishop. “The original recipient of the letter had a duty to respond and not the archbishop”, the spokesperson said. All six bishops appeared on a protest brochure which the survivor handed out at Steven Croft’s enthronement as Bishop of Oxford.[61] In April 2018 it was reported that Archbishop Sentamu and four other bishops were under investigation by South Yorkshire Police for failure to respond properly to a report of clerical child abuse. A memo from June 2013, seen by The Times and other media revealed that Sentamu had received the allegation but recommended that ‘no action’ be taken. The priest against whom the allegation was made went on to commit suicide the day before he was due in court in June 2017.[62][63][64] The Archbishop of York’s office said:

    The diocese of York insists that Sentamu did not fail to act on any disclosures because that responsibility lay with Ineson’s local bishop, Steven Croft, who was at the time bishop of Sheffield.[65]

    Guardian editorial contrasted Archbishop Sentamu’s response to a statement from Archbishop Welby at IICSA, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, in which Justin Welby stated

    It is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response to say “I have heard about a problem, but … it was someone else’s job to report it”.[66]

    Matt Ineson, the victim and survivor at the heart of the case, has called for the resignations of Archbishop Sentamu and Bishop Steven Croft.[67]

  • The bishops contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit.[7] All six bishops were pictured on a protest brochure which the survivor handed out at Steven Croft’s enthronement as Bishop of Oxford later that year.[8][9]



  1. ^ National Institutions Measure 1998 Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine on the Office of Public Sector Information website – retrieved 6 May 2008
  2. ^ Members of the Archbishops’ Council – retrieved on 19 October 2011
  3. ^ “National Church Institutions – The Church of England”
  4. ^ Annual Report 2006 Annual Report and Finance Statements 31 December 2006 – retrieved 6 May 2008
  5. ^ “LAMMY, Rt Hon. David (Lindon)”Who’s Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2017Archbishops’ Council, 1999–2002

April 14 2019 – The Bell Tower – Tower of London – Charles Bailly [1542-1625]: “Wise men ought to se what they do, to examine before they speake; to prove before they take in hand; to beware whose company they use; and, above all things, to whom they truste”


The Bell Tower – Tower of London

The Bell Tower


The Bell  Tower

The Bell Tower is situated immediately adjoining the Queen’s House. The tower was constructed to reinforce the defensive wall of the inner bailey and was built during the late twelfth century, making it the second oldest tower after the Norman White Tower and may have been built on the orders of King Richard the Lionheart (1189-99).

The Bell  Tower

The Bell Tower derives its name from the small wooden turret situated on top of the tower which contains the Tower’s ‘curfew bell’, used to inform prisoners given the liberty of the Tower that it was time to return to their quarters. Today it is sounded at 5.45pm each day, to warn visitors that the Tower is about to close.

Several famous prisoners were held in the Bell Tower during Tudor times, including Sir Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and the Princess Elizabeth. More and Fisher were sent to the Tower by Henry VIII for their refusal to subscribe to the Act of Supremecy, which made the monarch Head of an English Church which was divorced from Rome. The situation had arisen through Henry’s desire to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope could not grant Henry the required annulment, as Catherine’s nephew, Charles V, the powerful Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain held him in his power.

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More

The brilliant Sir Thomas More (pictured), King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and the author of Utopia, spent a period of incarceration in the Bell Tower. The staunchly Catholic More refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and swear allegiance to the King as Supreme Head of the Church in England for which on 17th April 1534, he was imprisoned in the Tower.

At first, More’s imprisonment was not overly harsh. His family were allowed to bring drink and warm clothing, and his wife Alice and daughter, Margaret Roper, were allowed to visit him. However as More continued to refuse to be persuaded to sign the oath, the fire in his cell, then his food, warm clothing, books and writing implements were all removed. On 1st July 1535, More was tried at Westminster, charged with high treason and sentenced to death. More was executed on Tower Hill on 6th July, 1535. He is buried in the nearby tower chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula.

Bishop Fisher

The Bell  Tower

Imprisoned in the Tower on 16th April 1534, the Catholic martyr John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, is believed to have been lodged in the Upper Bell Tower, directly above More’s lodgings.

Fisher was the only English bishop who had refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, although captive in the same tower, they communicated by means of messages delivered by their servants. The Pope promised to create Fisher a cardinal, to which the enraged Henry famously declared that Fisher would have no head to wear his cardinal’s hat on. Bishop Fisher’s trial took place on 17th June, he was found guilty, and executed on 22nd June 1535.

Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth I) also suffered a term of imprisonment in the Bell Tower at the age of 21, during the reign of her elder sister Mary I. Suspected of underhand involvement in the Wyatt Rebellion, Elizabeth was arrested and taken to the Tower of London by boat, landing at Traitors Gate, the princess angrily proclaimed that she was no traitor. During a heavy down pour of rain, Elizabeth had no choice but to enter the Tower. She passed under the arch of the Bloody Tower where she may have seen, across the inner ward, the scaffold left over from the execution of Lady Jane Grey, who was also implicated in Wyatt’s Rebellion.


In the spring of 1571, Baillie was about to leave Flanders with copies of a book by the bishop of Ross in defence of Queen Mary,[2] which he had got printed at the Liège press, when Roberto di Ridolfi, the agent of Pope Pius V, entrusted him with letters in cipher for the queen, and also for the Spanish ambassador, the Duke of Norfolk, the Bishop of Ross, and Lord Lumley. They described a plan for a Spanish landing on Mary’s behalf in the eastern counties of England. As soon as Baillie set foot on shore at Dover, he was arrested and taken to the Marshalsea. The letters were, however, conveyed in secret by Lord Cobham to the bishop of Ross, who, with the help of the Spanish ambassador, composed other letters of a less incriminating nature to be laid before Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth’s chief advisor.

The scheme might have been successful had Burghley not made use of a traitor, named Thomas Herle, to gain Baillie’s confidence. Herle described Baillie as “fearful, full of words, glorious, and given to the cup, a man easily read”.[3] Herle had also gained the confidence of the bishop, and a complete exposure of the whole plot was imminent when an indiscretion on Herle’s part convinced Baillie that he was betrayed. He endeavoured to warn the bishop by a letter, but it was intercepted, and Baillie was conveyed to the Tower of London, where he refused to read the cipher of the letters, and was put on the rack. The following inscription, still visible on the walls, records his reflections inspired by the situation: “L. H. S. 1571 die 10 Aprilis. Wise men ought to se what they do, to examine before they speake; to prove before they take in hand; to beware whose company they use; and, above all things, to whom they truste. |— Charles Bailly.”

One night, the figure of a man appeared at Baillie’s bedside. He claimed to be John Story, whom Baillie knew to be in the Tower awaiting execution. In reality the figure was that of a traitor of the name of Parker, but Baillie fell into the trap with the same facility as before. On Parker’s advice he endeavoured to gain credit with Burghley by deciphering the substituted letters of the bishop of Ross. He revealed also the story of the abstracted packet, and sought to persuade Burghley to grant him his liberty by offering to watch the correspondence of the bishop of Ross. That he gained nothing by following the advice of his second friendly counsellor is attested by an inscription in the Beauchamp Tower as follows: ‘Principium eapientie Timor Domini, I. H. S. X. P. S. Be friend to no one. Be enemye to none. Anno D. 1571, 10 Septr. The most unhappy man in the world is he that is not pacient in adversities; for men are not killed with the adversities they have, but with ye impacience which they suffer. Tout vient apoient, quy peult attendre. Gli sospiri ne son testimoni veri dell’ angolcia mia, aet. 29. Charles Bailly.’

April 13 2019 – “Cloud Cuckoo Archbishop” – ‘Bats in the Belfry’ – Christopher Hill



Cloud Cuckoo Archbishop

Archbishop Justin Welby this evening on Channel 4 News urged the country to reunite post-Brexit.

Could he not make a start by promoting unity in his own backyard?

After two exhaustive reports on allegations against Bishop George Bell found that the church’s procedures had been shambolic and the allegations without any legal merit, the Archbishop should have gratefully jumped at the opportunity to close the whole sad affair.

Instead he said that there remained a cloud over Bell’s name, and has since refused to withdraw or apologise for the remark. This has upset many church men and women, some of them influential, and unnecessarily caused angry disunity.

It is never too late. Could he not now concentrate on his immediate responsibilities and help his church to reunite by abandoning stubbornness and issuing a recantation of his ‘cloud’ remark?

April 12 2019 – “Church abuse survivors speak out over handling of Bishop of Chester misconduct complaint” – Chester Standard – Steve Creswell

Church abuse survivors speak out over handling of Bishop of Chester misconduct complaint

Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster.


Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster.

SURVIVORS of sexual abuse by members of the clergy have raised concerns about the Church’s handling of a formal complaint against the Bishop of Chester.

The Standard has spoken to two victims of historic abuse who fear a Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) brought against Bishop Peter Forster will not be judged objectively.

One is priest Matt Ineson who was raped in the 1980s by a Bradford vicar who took his own life on the day of his first court appearance two years ago.

CDMs are the Church’s in-house disciplinary process and are always escalated to the Diocesan bishop – or sometimes the archbishop – to pass judgement.

Critics say the lack of public accountability and ‘behind closed doors’ nature of the complaints procedure make it easy for senior clergy to cover up allegations of abuse.

The CDM filed at the end of March against Bishop Forster relates to reports that in 2009 he ignored a letter from Warrington vicar Charles Gordon Dickenson confessing to child abuse.

Dickenson, now 89, was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court last month after admitting eight counts of sexual assault against a boy in the 1970s.

Chester and District Standard:

Former vicar Charles Gordon Dickenson was jailed for historic child sex abuse.

The Diocese of Chester has accepted its failures, admitting that the letter should have been passed to the police for investigation a decade ago. Dickenson remained free to officiate in the diocese until his retirement in 2014.

The CDM against the Bishop of Chester is being brought by Sir Roger Singleton, interim safeguarding director at the Church and former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s.

It has been confirmed that it will be considered by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

But Mr Ineson and another survivor, who wishes to remain anonymous, say that Mr Sentamu has himself been the subject of a CDM and allege he has previously ignored disclosures of abuse.

Mr Ineson was raped and abused aged 16 by former Bradford vicar Trevor Devamanikkam between 1984 and 1985.

He says his disclosures to the Church fell on deaf ears, leading him to file CDMs in 2016 against five bishops, as well as Mr Sentamu.

However, the complaints were never investigated by the Church because they were brought outside of the 12-month time limit.

Devamanikkam took his own life on June 6, 2017 – the day of his first court appearance.

Mr Ineson and others claim the Church of England (C of E) uses its own arbitrary 12-month rule to block investigations into historic sexual abuse that are more than a year old.

Indeed, permission is still being sought from the Church’s President of Tribunals to bring the CDM against Bishop Forster ‘out of time’.

Mr Ineson told this newspaper: “Victims of church abuse, including myself, have raised concern about Archbishop Sentamu handling the complaint into Bishop Forster as they say he is compromised as he himself has been subject to complaints that he ignored disclosures of abuse and left at least one priest abuser years to go unchecked.

“The priest in my case was eventually charged with six serious sexual offences and killed himself the day he was due in court. The church used the one-year rule to block any investigation into the archbishop and refuse to investigate him.”

In response, a spokesman for the office of the Archbishop of York said: “When a complaint comes to an Archbishop, he routinely considers with the benefit of advice, as to whether there are any circumstances which would make it inappropriate for him to deal with the complaint.

“If he considers there are, then he will ask the other Archbishop to deal with it. As the process has only just begun in this case– still awaiting decision on whether the complaint can be brought ‘out of time’ – there is nothing further to say on this procedure at the moment.”

Chester and District Standard:

Archbishop of York John Sentamu.

The second survivor said he had taken out a CDM against the Bishop of Durham over the handling of his own abuse case, only to see it dismissed by Mr Sentamu. However, he later received a 20-page response from the Bishop of Durham that reportedly expressed “bitter regret” at the way the case was handled.

Both he and Mr Ineson say they have heard of other complaints being either dismissed or no further action (NFA) taken.

The Standard asked the Church of England for statistics on the number of CDMs brought against bishops and archbishops, and their outcomes.

Survivors claim that no bishop or archbishop has ever been disciplined as a result of a CDM.

The only exception is former Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, Peter Ball, who was already serving jail time for sexually assaulting 18 teenagers and men between the 1970s and 1990s.

The offices of the Bishop of Salisbury and the Bishop of Lincoln were also approached for the CDM statistics as they are leading a review of safeguarding procedures in the Church.

The Church is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and clear figures have not been provided. However, a C of E spokesman indicated that some were available in the annual reports of the Clergy Discipline Commission, which oversees CDMs.

These show that between 2015 and 2017 (the last year for which statistics are available) a total of 19 fresh complaints were made against bishops or archbishops. Some also carried over from previous years.

The reports state that 11 complaints were dismissed, two were NFA, and one ‘penalty by consent’ was imposed in 2015. There was also one ‘prohibition following conviction’, thought to relate to Peter Ball.

The outcomes of the remaining CDMs are not stated and the Church spokesman has not elaborated on these. No names are given in the annual reports.

Full statistics prior to 2015 are not available as complaints records held at Bishopthorpe Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of York, were destroyed in floods at the end of that year.

Chester and District Standard:

Records held at Bishopthorpe Palace near York were destroyed by flood water in 2015.

In 2010 the C of E published the outcome of its Past Case Review (PCR), which was a two-year investigation into historic allegations of abuse across all dioceses.

A subsequent review of the PCR by Sir Roger Singleton found the Church disregarded dozens of allegations.

The PCR examined more than 40,000 files but found that just 13 cases of alleged child sexual abuse warranted formal action.

In June last year, Sir Roger said he believed the Church “downplayed” the issue in public statements to avoid damage to its reputation.

But he also found “no evidence whatsoever of a deliberate attempt to mislead” or that anyone broke the law.

The second survivor who spoke to The Standard said he has little hope that Bishop Forster will be held accountable for failing to report Dickenson’s abuse in 2009, but added that he could be made a scapegoat.

He said: “This CDM looks like selective accountability. What about other bishops who walked away from disclosures? What about the bishops who presided over an industrial-scale whitewash in the Past Case Review period (2008 – 2010) in which many dozens of cases were quietly ignored? What about bishops who’ve denied disclosures and distanced themselves from their own inertia?

“The crisis of the senior layer of the Church of England is that they haven’t found a way of putting hands up to past mistakes and owning their own failure.”

He and survivors group MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) highlighted a report published on April 4 this year by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

A MACSAS spokesman said the document “illustrates the Church of England’s comprehensive failure in the treatment of victims of its own abuse”.

SCIE’s independent research indicates that fewer than one in five people who reported abuse in the church say they received a satisfactory response, and more than half never received any meaningful response at all.

The group spokesman said: “Those of us whose lives have been devastated by clergy abuse know this from long and bitter experience. We are victimized first by our abusers, and again by the church’s ‘defensive responses’ to criticism of its failings.

“For many years the Church of England has responded to the crisis of clergy abuse by saying ‘You can trust us. We’ve got this in hand’. The SCIE report confirms what we have known all along – that the church can no longer be trusted to manage disclosures of abuse.

“We repeat our call that this work should be handed over to a fully independent body.”

There is currently no UK law that requires the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse – although campaigners have been pushing for such legislation.

However, bishops at the head of their dioceses have responsibility for safeguarding issues and are expected to pass on intelligence about suspected criminal activity to the police.

The Church has stressed it treats all complaints seriously and, aside from the CDM, Bishop Forster’s actions in 2009 are also being investigated by its National Safeguarding Team (NST).

Chester and District Standard:

The Bishop of Chester has said he will make no further public comment until after the NST review.

Bishop Forster has led the Diocese of Chester since 1997 and is said to be the Church of England’s longest serving bishop. He is due to retire by March next year when he turns 70.

In a statement released earlier this month, he said he had delegated all safeguarding matters to the Bishop of Birkenhead until the end of the NST review, which is due to begin shortly.

He said: “I have taken this decision in response to recent comment into my handling of the Gordon Dickenson case in 2009.

“An independent review will seek to identify where any failures in procedures arose, and what lessons can be learned and I look forward to contributing to the review and to giving a full account of my actions in relation to this matter.

“The Diocese of Chester takes seriously its safeguarding responsibilities at every level. Whilst an independent review into my actions takes place, I recognise that I should not continue to lead the safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese.

“I will continue in all other duties relating to my role of Bishop of Chester.

“I will not be making any further public comments in relation to this matter until the outcome of the independent review.”

Diocese of Chester twice covered up parish vicar’s abuse of young boy

Specialist lawyer’s concern over Diocese of Chester cover-up of child sex abuse

Bishop Peter Forster delegates safeguarding responsibility after cover-up reports

Bishop of Chester Dr Peter Forster could retire before outcome of abuse cover-up inquiry

Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) lodged against Bishop of Chester Peter Forster

April 10 2019 -“Never forget: Recalling the Death of Bonhoeffer” – Deacon Greg Kandra

Never Forget: Recalling the Death of Bonhoeffer

German Federal Archives/Wikipedia

The great preacher, writer, theologian and witness to the faith, Dietrich Bonhoeffer,was executed on April 9, 1945, just days before the Nazi camp where he was held, Flossenbürg, was liberated. He was 39.

Here’s what happened: 

On 4 April 1945, the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, were discovered, and in a rage upon reading them, Hitler ordered that the Abwehr conspirators [those who had plotted for Hitler’s assassination] be destroyed. 

Bonhoeffer was led away just as he concluded his final Sunday service and asked an English prisoner, Payne Best, to remember him to Bishop George Bell of Chichester if he should ever reach his home: “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.”

Bonhoeffer was condemned to death on 8 April 1945 by SS judge Otto Thorbeck at a drumhead court-martial without witnesses, records of proceedings or a defense in Flossenbürg concentration camp.  He was executed there by hanging at dawn on 9 April 1945, just two weeks before soldiers from the United States 90th and 97th Infantry Divisions liberated the camp,  three weeks before the Soviet capture of Berlin and a month before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

Bonhoeffer was stripped of his clothing and led naked into the execution yard where he was hanged, along with fellow conspirators Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Canaris’s deputy General Hans Oster, military jurist General Karl Sack, General Friedrich von Rabenau, businessman Theodor Strünck, and German resistance fighter Ludwig Gehre.

Eberhard Bethge, a student and friend of Bonhoeffer’s, writes of a man who saw the execution: “I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer… kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer…In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”

His legacy has been profound:

Bonhoeffer’s life as a pastor and theologian of great intellect and spirituality who lived as he preached—and his being killed because of his opposition to Nazism—exerted great influence and inspiration for Christians across broad denominations and ideologies, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the anti-communist democratic movement in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

Bonhoeffer is commemorated in the liturgical calendars of several Christian denominations on the anniversary of his death, 9 April. This includes many parts of the Anglican Communion, where he is sometimes identified as a martyr.

In our own troubled time, Bonhoeffer’s courage in the face of evil, and his suffering in the face of persecution, stand as a testament to true Christian witness — the very essence of what it means to be a “martyr.”

His likeness is preserved in Westminster Abbey, alongside other martyrs, including St. Oscar Romero and Martin Luther King, Jr.

He continues to teach and inspire Christians today.

“The first service one owes to others in a community involves listening to them,” he wrote. “Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for others is learning to listen to them. God’s love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives God’s Word but also lends us God’s ear. . . . We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them.”

He also urged us to be open to God’s will in our lives, whatever that may be.

“We must be ready,” he said, “to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pray for us.

April 9 2019 – “Clergy burnt church files after being accused of covering up abuse” – Christian Today – Harry Farley [March 20 2018]


The Deanery Garden at Chichester Cathedral

Clergy burnt church files after being accused of covering up abuse, inquiry hears


A senior clergyman burnt church files, an inquiry heard today, after he failed to report the systematic abuse of children by a priest to the police.

John Treadgold, the former dean of Chichester Cathedral, returned to the empty deanery after he retired in 2001, took files from the basement and burnt them in the garden, his former colleague Peter Atkinson said.

Peter Atkinson
IICSA – Peter Atkinson was Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral under John Treadgold and is now Dean of Worcester.

It happened as Terence Banks, the head steward of the cathedral, was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys over a period of 29 years. He was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2001 after an investigation by Sussex police.

However it later emerged through a report conducted by Edina Carmi in 2004 that Treadgold had been told of Banks’ abuse by a victim in 2000 but had not reported it to the police, the child protection adviser or social services.

Of Banks’ 12 victims, all were under 16 years of ago and some were as young as 11. He was eventually convicted in 2001 of 23 charges of indecent assault, five of buggery, one of indecency with a child under 14 years, and  two of attempting to procure acts of gross indecency.

The current dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, was chancellor of Chichester Cathedral at the time, and told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse that Treadgold came back to the deanery after he had retired and burnt files that were in the basement.

IICSAThe inquiry is chaired by professor Alexis Jay, second from left.

‘What I remember of the episode is that he returned to the deanery, which was then empty, removed a number of files from the deanery basement and had a fire in the garden,’ Atkinson told the inquiry today.

‘I don’t know what the files were,’ he added.

‘It is a bit odd that he moved away and then came back to do this. It was sufficiently troubling for us to mention this to the police.’

He said the police ‘took it very seriously’ but ‘ultimately no future action was taken’.

He described Treadgold’s dealings with the police as ‘defensive’ and said he blurred homosexuality with paedophilia in his attitude.

‘The conflict over homosexuality and abuse was, like many men of his background and his generation, there was an unease about her whole idea of homosexuality and a sort of presumption that homosexual men where unsafe in relation to other men, particularly younger men or boys.’

The independent inquiry into child sex abuse is hearing evidence into how the diocese of Chichester dealt with allegations of abuse as a case study for the wider Church of England.