Monthly Archives: November 2021

NOVEMBER 29 2021 – LORD LEXDEN LETTER – DAILY TELEGRAPH [NOVEMBER 25 2021] + FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 22 2015] – “CHURCH OF ENGLAND STATEMENT BY THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER DR. MARTIN WARNER ON THE RT. REVD. GEORGE BELL [1883-1958]”

Lord Lexden OBE

Restore the memorials to Bishop Bell – Lord Lexden

Thursday, 25 November, 2021

bell

When Bishop George Bell was wrongly condemned by the Church of England as a child abuser in 2015, his name was removed from a number of buildings in his Chichester diocese that had been dedicated to his memory.  Now that the Archbishop of Canterbury has belatedly accepted the Church’s error (see below), the Bishop’s name must be restored to all the places from which it was shamefully expunged. In a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on 25 November, Alistair Lexden urged Anglicans to demand action by the current Bishop of Chichester.

SIR — Bishop Bell’s name must be put back on the buildings in Chichester, as the Rev Dr Barry Orford insists (Letters, November 23). There is no sign, however, that the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, with whom I have clashed in the House of Lords, intends to lift a finger.

Last week he praised the statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as “both humble and courageous, reminding us that these virtues, evident in George Bell himself, do still surface in the Church of England”.

It is an outrage to put Archbishop Welby on the same plane as the great man whose reputation he traduced. Bishop Warner added that he had “no plans to make any further comments”. Anglicans must give him no peace until he either does his duty or resigns.

Lord Lexden
London SW1

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bell

Bishop Bell: a triumphant end to the campaign

Friday, 19 November, 2021

In 2016, Alistair Lexden joined a number of academics, politicians, lawyers, clerics and writers in a group which was established to refute the Church of England’s condemnation of Bishop George Bell, one of greatest of all Anglican bishops who died in 1958, as a child sex abuser.

Oct 22 2015 – “I would be grateful…if you could refrain from including George Bell in your guided tours and external presentations” – Dean of Chichester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine [to Cathedral Guides]

IMG_1572

Page 37 of Cathedral Guide ‘Society and Faith’ [later, the Guide was pulped]

NOVEMBER 26 2021 – “HEALING CAN NOW TAKE PLACE IN A SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION AND BRIDGE-BUILDING” – THE BELL SOCIETY

“HEALING CAN NOW TAKE PLACE IN A SPIRIT OF FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION AND BRIDGE-BUILDING

‘4 Canon Lane was called George Bell House but then was renamed’ – Chichester Observer – November 25 2021

“ARCHBISHOP’S STATEMENT SAYS THERE IS NO ‘SIGNIFICANT CLOUD’ OVER BISHOP” – CHICHESTER OBSERVER – NOVEMBER 25 2021

“Supporters express delight and hopes for further changes”

Supporters of Bishop Bell have expressed delight at the Archbishop’s statement about Bishop Bell.

Marilyn Billingham said that his remaining family, and many who still hold his memory in the highest regard, were please and hoped that he will now be fondly remembered.

She said: “It is with great thankfulness that we hear that The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby publicly withdraw his claim that there is ‘a cloud over Bishop Bell’s name’, following the isolated and unsubstantiated claim of child sexual abuse and affirm that ‘Bishop George Bell was and remains one of the most courageous, distinguished Anglican bishops of the last century’. George Bell was the Bishop of Chichester from 1929-1958; a matter of great pride to the people of the city”.

She said she hoped a previous decision to remove his name from a city building [4 Canon Lane – Ed] would now be reversed.

“As Archbishop Welby looks forward to the placing of a statue to Bishop Bell by the famous west door of Canterbury Cathedral, perhaps the Dean and Chapter and the current Bishop of Chichester [Dr Martin Warner – Ed] could also publicly celebrate.

“First steps could be to replace the dedication plaque commemorating the naming of 4 Canon Lane as George Bell House by Archbishop Rowan Williams in 2008, seeking to reverse all other decisions made to airbrush Bishop Bell from the memory of the diocese and to commission a fitting memorial in Chichester for the revered bishop”.

Richard W. Symonds from The Bell Society added: “The process of healing can now take place in a spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation and bridge-building – starting with the re-naming of 4 Canon Lane Chichester back to George Bell House”.

[RWS Note – 26/11/2021 – Updated 29/11/2021 – An event is planned for Tuesday February 1 2022 at George Bell House, 4 Canon Lane, Chichester. Other related planned events include one at Westminster on February 3 2022 and another in Chichester on February 4 2022. More details to follow…]

FURTHER INFORMATION

Virtue Online“ARCHBISHOP WELBY’S STATEMENT SAYS THERE IS NO ‘SIGNIFICANT CLOUD’ OVER BISHOP BELL”

NOVEMBER 24 2021 – “REPAIRING THE DAMAGE TO BISHOP BELL’S MEMORY” – DAILY TELEGRAPH – LETTERS [REV DR BARRY ORFORD AND DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON]

Daily Telegraph – Letters

NOVEMBER 21 2021 – PETER HITCHENS ON ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY, BISHOP GEORGE BELL – AND MARTIN WARNER, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER

Peter Hitchens

PETER HITCHENS ON MARTIN WARNER, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER – MAIL ON SUNDAY [NOVEMBER 21 2021]

Let us now praise Archbishop Justin Welby. These are words I never thought I’d write, but I must, because three weeks after I gave him what for on this page, Mr Welby has finally admitted he was wrong about the late, great Bishop George Bell (not to be mistaken for the horrible Peter Ball).

He has withdrawn his silly claim that a ‘significant cloud’ still hangs over Bishop Bell, who was presumed guilty by the CofE, when someone accused him of incredibly long-ago child abuse. In fact a series of detailed investigations have demolished the cases against him.

Now that Mr Welby has given way, we must hope for a similar climbdown from the current far-from-great Bishop of Chichester, whose name I forget, who badly needs to right the wrongs done to his genuinely distinguished forerunner.

Dr Martin Warner – Bishop of Chichester

Photo source: Wiki Commons

FURTHER INFORMATION

‘Thinking Anglicans’

‘Surviving Church’

NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “BELL’S NAME WAS REMOVED FROM A KEY BUILDING IN CHICHESTER, AND THE ARCHBISHOP’S STATEMENT COULD SPARK REQUESTS FOR ITS REINSTATEMENT” – KELLY BROWN – CHICHESTER OBSERVER

June 6 2019 – ‘Welcome to George Bell House’ – Pictured left – Chichester’s Professor Peter Billingham [1953-2020]. Pictured right – Sheffield’s Reverend James Grayson

George Bell House, Chichester [before 2015]

4 Canon Lane, Chichester [after 2015]

“BELL’S NAME WAS REMOVED FROM A KEY BUILDING IN CHICHESTER, AND THE ARCHBISHOP’S STATEMENT COULD SPARK REQUESTS FOR ITS REINSTATEMENT” – KELLY BROWN – CHICHESTER OBSERVER ET AL

NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “NO NATION, NO CHURCH, NO INDIVIDUAL IS GUILTLESS WITHOUT REPENTANCE, AND WITHOUT FORGIVENESS THERE CAN BE NO REGENERATION” – BISHOP GEORGE BELL [1883-1958]

George Bell House [before 2015]

PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY ON BISHOP GEORGE BELL

REVEREND NICK FLINT – FACEBOOK

THINKING ANGLICANS

CHARLES MOORE – TELEGRAPH – NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A STATUE FOR CHURCH TO REPENT TERRIBLE SLUR AGAINST BISHOP ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE”

“It is also brave. Justin Welby is taking personal responsibility for the injustice done to the man he himself describes as “one of the most courageous, distinguished Anglican bishops of the last century”. It is a big admission”

Charles Moore

YOUTUBE – PN

CHRISTIAN TODAY

WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE / CHICHESTER OBSERVER / RYE OBSERVER / LITTLEHAMPTON GAZETTE / WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES

Bell’s name was removed from a key building in Chichester and the Archbishop’s statement could spark requests for its reinstatement….

In response, the current Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner said: “I greatly welcome Archbishop Justin Welby’s statement on Bishop George Bell. It is both humble and courageous, reminding us that these virtues, evident in George Bell himself, do still surface in the Church of England of our own time

Kelly Brown

THE ARGUS

“IS IT SOMETIMES GOOD TO CHANGE ONE’S MIND? A QUESTION AT GENERAL SYNOD” – ‘SURVIVING CHURCH’

NOVEMBER 17 2021 – “I WAS WRONG…WE ALSO OWE A DUTY OF CARE TO THOSE WHO ARE ACCUSED” – ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY ON BISHOP GEORGE BELL

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Source: Wiki Commons

No significant cloud over Bishop George Bell: ‘I was wrong’ says Archbishop Welby – Church Times – 17 November 2021

PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY ON BISHOP GEORGE BELL

BBC – “ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY SORRY FOR ABUSE-ACCUSED BISHOP COMMENT” [HARRY FARLEY]

GUARDIAN “JUSTIN WELBY ADMITS HE WAS WRONG TO SAY THERE WAS A CLOUD OVER GEORGE BELL” [HARRIET SHERWOOD]

DAILY TELEGRAPH“ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY SORRY FOR SLUR AGAINST BISHOP ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE” [GABRIELLA SWERLING]

ANGLICAN INK – “JUSTIN WELBY APOLOGIZES FOR HIS PART IN THE GEORGE BELL AFFAIR”

THE TIMES *

GLASGOW TIMES/PENARTH TIMES – “ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY APOLOGISES FOR COMMENTS ABOUT LATE BISHOP”

PETER HITCHENS – “ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY FINALLY CLIMBS DOWN OVER HIS CLAIM OF A SIGNIFICANT CLOUD OVER GEORGE BELL

YAHOO NEWS – “ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY APOLOGISES FOR COMMENTS ABOUT THE LATE BISHOP BELL”

THINKING ANGLICANS

CHARLES MOORE – TELEGRAPH – NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A STATUE FOR CHURCH TO REPENT TERRIBLE SLUR AGAINST BISHOP ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE”

It is also brave. Justin Welby is taking personal responsibility for the injustice done to the man he himself describes as “one of the most courageous, distinguished Anglican bishops of the last century”. It is a big admission

Charles Moore

I welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury’s gracious apology.
It will not only restore the reputation of one of our greatest churchmen, but do much to heal unnecessary division in the Church of England.
It sets a much needed example at a time when the presumption of innocence at the heart of English law continues to be undermined.

Dr Gerald Morgan

YOUTUBE – PN

CHRISTIAN TODAY

WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE / CHICHESTER OBSERVER / RYE OBSERVER / LITTLEHAMPTON GAZETTE / WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES

Bell’s name was removed from a key building in Chichester and the Archbishop’s statement could spark requests for its reinstatement…

In response, the current Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner said: “I greatly welcome Archbishop Justin Welby’s statement on Bishop George Bell. It is both humble and courageous, reminding us that these virtues, evident in George Bell himself, do still surface in the Church of England of our own time

Kelly Brown

THE ARGUS

“IS IT SOMETIMES GOOD TO CHANGE ONE’S MIND? A QUESTION AT GENERAL SYNOD” – ‘SURVIVING CHURCH’

LORD LEXDEN

Virtue Online“ARCHBISHOP WELBY’S STATEMENT SAYS THERE IS NO ‘SIGNIFICANT CLOUD’ OVER BISHOP BELL”