May 10 2019 – ‘The Dean’s Bonfire’ – Chichester Cathedral – 2001



Q. Before we move on, we should deal briefly with one other matter touching on Dean Treadgold. Is it right that at the time of his retirement, or thereabouts, there came a time when he burnt a number of files held within the cathedral?
A. Yes. He had retired in the autumn of 2001 and moved a short distance away. What I remember of the episode is that he returned to the deanery, which then was empty, this was long before Dean Frayling arrived, removed a number of files from the deanery basement and had a fire in the garden. I don’t know what the files were. I think there is some indication that they might have been old chapter files, but they may well have been his own. It’s a bit odd that he’d moved away and then came back to do this, and it was sufficiently troubling for us to mention this to the police, which happened.
Q. And the police subsequently investigated it, including interviewing, I understand, Dean Treadgold under caution?
A. They took it very seriously, yes.
Q. But no further action was ultimately taken?
A. Ultimately, no further action was taken.
Q. Did anybody within the cathedral or the chapter think to get him back in, have a word with him and say, “What were you burning and why were you burning it?”, because, in theory, there’s a potential hole in your record keeping now?
A. I don’t remember that happening. I think the person who spoke to the police, as far as I can remember, was Canon John Ford, who by then was the acting dean between the two deans, and I can’t remember that we took further action ourselves, knowing that the police were involved. I think we took the view that that was police business.
Q. Once they’d taken no further action, why not then? Why not then say, “Hang on a minute, somebody who has moved away from the cathedral, who has retired, has come back, potentially taken chapter files and burnt them. We need to find out why and what they have burnt, if for no other reason than to find out where we have now got record gaps, or even take disciplinary action”?
A. I’m not sure what disciplinary action might have been taken against a retired dean. The answer to your question is that I don’t remember that kind of internal investigation happening.
Q. If we can move forward to the Carmi Report…


Full Text of Report: Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

31. The Carmi review was designed to imitate the serious cases reviews that were
conducted by local authorities in cases of death or serious harm to young people. It was
commissioned by Bishop Hind shortly after his appointment. His intention was to understand
how Banks “could have been able to perpetrate offences against so many boys over such a
long period”.
The Carmi review
Commissioning of the review
32. In September 2001, a letter from Bishop Hind was sent to each of the victims who had
been identified during the police investigation.59 This letter explained that a review would
be taking place. AN‑A11 agreed to participate in the review. Along with another victim of
Banks, he met with Mrs Carmi to discuss his experiences of abuse. The victims’ views would
form part of the completed report, which was eventually finalised in January 2004.
Problems encountered during the Carmi review
The leadership of Dean John Treadgold
33. Between 1997 and 2007, Canon Peter Atkinson (currently the Dean of Worcester60) was
a residentiary canon and chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. In his view, there was a “failure
of leadership” at Chichester Cathedral at the time of Banks’ arrest.61
34. Dean John Treadgold62 was the then Dean of Chichester Cathedral. Under his direction,
safeguarding matters were handled as pastoral concerns and nothing more. Canon Atkinson
described him as a “rugged individualist” with traditional views, who found it difficult to relate
to members of the Diocese and to external agencies.63
57 ACE022573_123 58 WWS000138_031 59 INQ000984_014-15 60 WWS000140_002 61 WWS000140_020 62 This is not the correct nomenclature, but is used in this report for ease of reference. 63 Atkinson 20 March 2018 147/22
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
35. Dean Treadgold appears to have experienced a particularly strained relationship
with Mrs Carmi, Mrs Hind and the police. For instance, at the debrief meeting chaired
by Mrs Carmi on 12 June 2001, the police raised concerns regarding his response to the
criminal investigation of Banks. It was specifically noted that the Dean “appeared defensive
and seemed to take the side of the Defendant”.
36. Shortly after his retirement in autumn 2001, Dean Treadgold returned to Chichester
Cathedral. He instructed the gardeners to burn a number of files held in the basement of
the Deanery. This incident was reported to the police by members of the Cathedral. A police
investigation was subsequently conducted, during the course of which the Carmi review was
suspended.65 Ultimately, the police took no further action and the Carmi review continued
from early December 2002. Canon Atkinson recalled that no internal investigation took
place regarding the burning of these potentially important files.66 Nobody in the Cathedral
appears to have questioned Dean Treadgold about this, nor did the Cathedral carry out any
enquiries of its own.
Opposition to the review
37. In a letter to Mrs Carmi dated 3 November 2003, Bishop Hind acknowledged receipt
of her completed report. He expressed his apologies for the extent to which her review
had been hindered by “members and officials of the Church”.
67 Indeed, Mrs Carmi told us the
Dean and Chapter were reluctant both to engage with the investigation and to assist in
encouraging further victims to come forward.68
38. When the review began two years earlier, Bishop Hind wrote to the Dean and to all
members of the Chapter requesting their full co-operation with Mrs Carmi in the completion
of her task.69 The responses to his letter expressed an unreserved willingness to assist, with
Dean Treadgold declaring that “I shall be quite happy to assist Mrs Carmi in any way I can”.
After he resigned from his post in October 2001, he was succeeded by Dean Nicholas
Frayling, who echoed these assurances of support for the investigation.
39. Despite this ostensible show of compliance by the Dean and Chapter, Mrs Carmi said
“there was a gap between what we were asking of them and what they were prepared to do”.
71 For
example, in addition to proactively contacting those victims whose identities were known
to the police, Mrs Carmi planned to offer a chance to contribute to all other individuals who
had not previously come forward. She intended to achieve this aim by writing to the wider
Cathedral and school communities.
40. Unfortunately, Mrs Carmi faced opposition from the Dean and Chapter when she sought
to initiate such communication. Dean Frayling was said to have described her request for
information as a “fishing expedition” which was likely to cause distress to many people in its
revival of historic events.72 As chair of The Prebendal School’s governing body, he expressed
similar concerns when Mrs Carmi attempted to contact current and former parents of
its pupils….

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