June 22 2017 – “Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball and The Gibb Report” – A Personal Reflection by Richard W. Symonds of The Bell Society


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A BBC article today raises at least two disturbing issues as we await Lord Carlile’s Report on Bishop Bell:

1. Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has asked the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey to step down from his position as Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, in the light of The Gibb Report. Dame Moira Gibb’s independent review criticised Lord Carey: “I accept the criticisms made of me. I apologise to the victims of Peter Ball…I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind these allegations”.

2. Lord Carey also did not put the ex-Bishop Peter Ball on the Church of England’s “Lambeth List”, which ‘names clergymen about whom questions of suitability for ministry have been raised’. This List would appear to allude to the “Caution List” as described by Andrew Chandler on Page 196 of “George Bell, Bishop of Chichester – Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship” [Eerdmans 2106]: “Over this it is worth pausing, not least because it is perhaps the only official, printed acknowledgement that there existed in the Church of England a Caution List. (The Archbishop of Canterbury: “To the outside world there is no such thing as a Caution List.”) This named priests known to have been guilty of criminal or moral offence, or viewed with “grave suspicion”. In fact, there were national and diocesan caution lists, and each diocesan bishop was advised to keep his own up-to-date; to consult it before making any appointment, and to pass any new name directly to Lambeth Palace…” 

peter ballImage copyright PA: Ball was jailed for sex offences against teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s


Lord CareyImage copyright GETTY IMAGES: Lord Carey 



Dame Moira Gibb


The Gibb report makes a number of recommendations about the Church, saying it should “reaffirm and take steps to demonstrate the individual and collective accountability of bishops for the safety and protection of everyone within the church”.



https://gatwickcitytimes.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/june-22-2017-church-of-england-colluded-with-sex-abuse-bishop-peter-ball-bbc/ (Gatwick City Times)

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/archbishop.welby.asks.lord.carey.to.consider.his.position.as.assistant.bishop.over.bell.abuse.case/110142.htm?email=1 (Christian Today)

‘Paedomanic Media’ to relegate Bishop Bell Report to back pages as Jersey Care Inquiry hits front pages?

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THE use of taxpayers’ money to help politicians learn how to ‘avoid answering questions’ at a time when public sector workers are losing their jobs is ‘astonishing’, a union leader has said.

Nick Corbel of Unite the union has heavily criticised the spending of more than £50,000 on preparing Jersey’s ministers to deal with the international media when the findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry are published.

Last week, the JEP revealed that the States spent £18,000 to employ former Tory spin doctor Ramsay Jones to advise ministers on the matter, on top of £33,5000 which was paid to PR firm Portland Communications.

Mr Corbel said that he thought it was ‘amazing’ that this amount of money could be spent at a time when dozens of States workers face redundancy as part of a £73 million cost-cutting programme and when the States are considering raising a new tax through the waste charge.

‘This is taxpayers’ money being used in order to teach politicians how to avoid answering questions,’ he said.

‘The public don’t want our ministers avoiding answering questions. That money could be better used and once again this spending comes at a time when we are being told that times are tight, that cuts are having to be made, that user-pays charges will have to come in which will impact on business. It is astonishing,’ he said.
Read more at https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester-october-2015-to-october-2017/


Further information on Jersey Inquiry



March 2 2017 – “Unreserved apology” from Diocese of Chichester in 2012 regarding Roy Cotton & Colin Pritchard – The Argus – ‘On This Day – Five Years Ago’

Argus March 2 2017 – Argus March 2 2012

October 2008 – “George Bell, 1883-1958 – A Bishop To Remember – A Study Guide for his Diocese to mark the 50th Anniversary of his death” by Rachel Moriarty



February 16 2017 – “No coverage of city event” – Chichester Observer – Letter – Richard W. Symonds


February 12 2017 – Archbishop of Westminster says decision to end child refugee scheme ‘shocking’


Archbishop of Westminster says decision to end child refugee scheme ‘shocking’

Updated: Feb 12th 2017 06:00 PM

The decision to end the lone child refugee scheme is “truly shocking” and should be reviewed, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has said.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols said stopping the scheme would mean unaccompanied youngsters would be more likely to fall prey to human traffickers.

The Home Office said more than 900 minors were transferred to the UK last year, under either the Dublin Regulation because they have family links in this country, or under the Dubs amendment that requires the Government to give refuge to youngsters stranded in Europe.

But the Government sparked controversy when it emerged the Dubs scheme, named after its architect, Labour peer Lord Alf Dubs, will be capped once another 150 unaccompanied children are brought to Britain, on top of the 200 who have already arrived.

Campaigners and politicians had originally called for 3,000 to be resettled.

Cardinal Nichols is the latest high-profile figure to criticise the decision, following charities and the head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The Archbishop of Westminster said: “By repealing Article 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, known as the Dubs amendment, the Government is seen by many as abandoning its statutory and moral duty to take effective action for the protection of vulnerable, unaccompanied child refugees.

“If this is the case, then it is truly shocking.

“The Home Office have stated that during 2016 over 900 unaccompanied children were brought to safety from Europe, including 750 from Calais.

“However, the need is evidently far greater and I am informed that there are a number of Local Authorities willing and resourced to take many more of these children into their care.

“I urge the Government to look again at all available resources and to work with renewed vigour, internationally and at home, to support and enable programmes to assist these vulnerable children.”

He also urged those concerned about the scheme’s closure to volunteer to take in refugees.

Lord Dubs, flanked by a group of children, local politicians and faith leaders, delivered a 50,000-signature petition to Number 10 on Saturday, accusing the Government of a “very shabby cop out”.

December 9 2016 – Statement of The George Bell Group [following Lord Carlile’s appointment]

Lord Carlile


Statement of 9 December by the George Bell Group

Statement of 9 December by the George Bell Group, in response to the announcement on 23 November 2016 that Lord Carlile is to be the independent case reviewer.

The George Bell Group welcome the announcement on 23 November 2016 that Lord Carlile of Berriew is to be the independent reviewer of the process which led to the statement by the Church of England on 22 October 2015 that the Bishop of Chichester had issued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim regarding allegations of child sexual abuse by the late Bishop Bell.

In their own Review of the case, dated 17 March 2016, the George Bell Group strongly urged that justice to the memory of Bishop Bell demanded that there should be ‘” proper review of both the process and the evidence which resulted in the October statement”.  Although the announcement of Lord Carlile’s Review states that it will “look at the processes surrounding the allegations”, the Group note that by its Terms of Reference it “will provide a detailed evidence-based analysis of the responses and decision making processes concerning the case”. Accordingly, we welcome the statement made by Lord Carlile, as reported in the Church Times on 25 November 2016, that “investigating the Church’s own inquiries into the truth of Carol’s complaint would be the ‘heart’ of his job”, and his further statement that “material from both inside and outside the C of E would be considered, including any written evidence submitted by Bell’s defenders”.  We trust we can infer from this that Lord Carlile does not intend to limit his review to examining “process”, but will look afresh at the validity or otherwise of the allegations made against Bishop Bell. We welcome this warmly and will be making a detailed submission to the Review.

The Group further notes that it is the Church of England which will “determine whether the full report can be sufficiently redacted or otherwise anonymised to enable its publication without risking disclosure of the complainant’s identity”.  We have never sought to have the anonymous complainant identified. However the continuing refusal of the Church to publish its evidence, even in redacted form to protect her identity, and the failure to disclose clearly the process  by which its “Core Group” reached their conclusions has created much public misgiving. On that account, once Lord Carlile’s Review is complete the maximum transparency possible will be crucial to redressing that misgiving and regaining public confidence.

Andrew Chandler