Monthly Archives: May 2022

MAY 26 2022 – MARTYN PERCY, GEORGE BELL AND THE ‘ORWELLIAN’ CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Dr Martyn Percy

THINKING ANGLICANS

Martyn Percy: Is the Church of England Orwellian?

on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 by Simon Sarmiento

Martyn Percy has written three articles which Modern Church has published.

“In three short articles, Martyn Percy looks at three words currently being given the full 1984 treatment: independent, ethical and trustworthy.  Is the Church of England using these words as defined by most dictionaries in 2022? Or, are we now enmeshed in an Orwellian church in which little that is said corresponds to our normal frames of reference?”

2 COMMENTS

Froghole

Dr Percy mentions the flood (or ‘flood’) at Bishopthorpe, and the fire at Chichester. This reminds me that the British state, like the Church of England has ‘form’ in misappropriating documents, as at Hanslope Park, Bucks (the FCDO migrated archives):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/625667/cary-report-release-colonial-administration-files.pdf.

The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins was able to make much hay from this with respect to her campaigns for justice in Kenya; see here for a recent discussion:

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/108/1084814/legacy-of-violence/9781847921062.html, at 408, 649-55 and 675;

note that one of the villains of her story, Evelyn Baring, chaired the committee which produced the Howick report on crown appointments in the Church (1964, as Lord Howick of Glendale). The desire for secrecy and concealment seems to be a profoundly unappealing aspect of the national character. As is the do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do approach to government in Church and State. The unpleasant Savoyard philosopher, de Maistre, noted that a nation often gets the government it deserves; perhaps the same might be said of its prelates. *If* this is true, what does it say about modern Britain?

Richard W. Symonds

In his essay “Politics and the English Language” (1946) George Orwell wrote: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. We have been witness to the ‘murder’ and character assassination of not only Martyn Percy but also Bishop Bell – and others. In 1935, poet TS Eliot wrote ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ – a play commissioned by the Bishop of Chichester George Bell on the martyrdom of the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket. The play can be seen as a prophetic warning to the Church of England.

In 1965, Stephen Spender wrote: “Orwell perhaps lacked poetry, but…he echoes the message of Wilfred Owen, the greatest poet of the First World War: ‘All a poet can do today is to warn’. 1984 remains…a necessary warning”.

The Church of England are clearly not listening to the warnings – by poets or anyone else.

This is beyond a tragedy as we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty – its Supreme Governor.

Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern

There will be no expressions of sorrow, regret or acknowledgement of the need for repentance on the part of anyone at Christ Church, let alone its clergy, simply because they will have been told by Winkworth Sherwood and Luther Pendragon that such admissions of failure could be constructed as an admission of guilt and further diminish the already abysmal reputation of the institution.

Gilo

Gilo

Why does the Oxford scandal matter?

Similar could happen to any priest in the CofE. Dodgy lawyers and disreputable laundries have shown how easy it is to work alongside the structures of a dysfunctional diocese and malevolent college to assist in the design and production of the giant carcrash that has happened in Oxford diocese. And the CofE must now add ‘weaponized safeguarding’ to its list of forms of abuse.

A judicial inquiry is required. Nothing less will disinfect Oxford malfeasance (diocese, cathedral, college, lawyers, laundries) with the sunlight of scrutiny. 

Whatever this is … it does not look like safeguarding. It is misappropriation of process for malign purpose and looks to have involved many layers of dishonesty and even fraud. 

All needs full investigation. And the Archbishops should be putting Oxford Diocese into Visitation and its bishop and cathedral under suspension pending investigation. 

https://t.co/V2R6JLZpMF

Excerpts from ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ article [above]

The Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board is not independent. They are funded by the Archbishops’ Council, accountable to it, and have no remit or powers that render it independent. It operates out of Church House in Westminster. Ergo, it is another internal laundry machine, merely branded ‘independent’ in order to satisfy the PR imperative for reputational damage control.

Alex Carlile’s review into the Church of England’s treatment of George Bell was independent, and given his searing judgment against the Church of England’s woeful and chronic maladministration of justice, you might understand why they don’t want to commission another one of those.

But an “independent inquiry” has to mean what it says, and do what it says on the tin. To achieve that, the Church of England cannot protect itself by setting the Terms of Reference, and then picking the coppers, counsel, judge and jury; and then controlling the PR on the verdict.

Dear Editor


On my way to the ‘Devil’s Jumps’ archaeological site on the South Downs, I decided to go into Funtington village church.

Sitting in the peaceful calm, I read its parish magazine – a piece by the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner.

The Bishop was asking the diocese parishioners to focus on being more engaged, more generous, and more open.

Regarding the wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell, Bishop Warner could hardly be said to be more engaged, more generous or more open – in fact, his silence has been deafening.

I left the beautiful church of peace and calm, and carried on to my destination.



Yours sincerely


Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

‘CATHEDRAL SAFEGUARDING PROCESSES WERE TOO SLOW TO STOP SEX OFFENDER’ – CHURCH TIMES – MAY 27 2022

MAY 9 2022 – “THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE MARTYN PERCY/OXFORD CASE AND THE BISHOP BELL/CHICHESTER CASE ARE BEYOND QUESTION AND BEYOND DISTURBING” – RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

“THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE MARTYN PERCY/OXFORD CASE AND THE BISHOP BELL/CHICHESTER CASE ARE BEYOND QUESTION AND BEYOND DISTURBING”

RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

THINKING ANGLICANS – Opinion – 11 May 2022

on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 11.48 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion

Martyn Percy Prospect Why I’m leaving the Church of England
“Mired in allegations of partisanship and incompetence, the Church is now incapable of running its own affairs. After a series of farcical “safeguarding” claims, the former dean of Christ Church, Oxford, no longer feels he belongs”
[This is covered as a news item in The Guardian and Church Times.]

Archbishop Cranmer Bishop of Oxford instructs lawyers to censor Archbishop Cranmer

Diocese of Oxford Dr Martyn Percy has announced he is to leave the Church of England

Felicity Cooke ViaMedia.News Leading, Following, or Forgetting? The Church and the World35 Comments

Former Oxford college dean quits Church of England, calling it an ‘unsafe’ place to workThe TelegraphThe Very Rev Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean of Christ Church, agreed to step down following a mediation process that concluded in February.Flag as irrelevant
Oxford dean Martyn Percy quits ‘unsafe’ CofE | The TimesThe TimesThe ousted head of an Oxford college has quit the Church of England, saying it was an “unsafe place to work”. Martyn Percy, 59, left Christ Church …Flag as irrelevant
Martyn Percy quits the Church of England after long-running dispute – Christian TodayChristian TodayFormer Christ Church DeanMartyn Percy, has announced his decision to … Percy was dean of both the Oxford University college and cathedral …Flag as irrelevant
Religion news 12 May 2022Religion Media CentreMartyn Percy, former Dean of Christ Church Oxford, quits the Church of England; More money for struggling parishes and front-line services; …