Category Archives: Sexual Abuse

FEBRUARY 22 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 8 2017] – “CHILD ABUSE IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND: JUSTIN WELBY MUST EITHER ACCELERATE THE CHANGE OR CARRY THE CAN”

Justin Welby – Archbishop of Canterbury

Photo source: Unknown – not specified

FEBRUARY 22 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 7 2020] – “THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – A SAFER SPACE FOR ABUSERS THAN FOR THE ABUSED”

Photo source: ‘Archbishop Cranmer’

OCTOBER 7 2020 – “THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND – A SAFER SPACE FOR ABUSERS THAN FOR THE ABUSED”

“This is precisely what the survivors fear; that under the media spotlight a flurry of activity has occurred – but they wonder what will happen when the media caravan moves on? Within the last month, with all this attention, with all the talk of improvement, and with hope and expectation abounding, two CofE survivors have attempted to take their lives. That is ultimately what this is all about: making life bearable for those the Church’s servants abused – whether they did so in clerical robes or grey suits. This report is a cause of great shame: prostration is the only response”

Martin Sewell

FEBRUARY 22 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [AUGUST 18 2019] – “CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE – WHY CAN’T THE CHURCH CLEANSE ITS OWN TEMPLE?”

AUGUST 18 2019 – “CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE – WHY CAN’T THE CHURCH CLEANSE ITS OWN TEMPLE? – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER’

“The gross evil of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy would have gone unexposed had it not been for three principal agencies, all secular.” That’s the damning opening sentence of an article in The Tablet which raises so many complex issues of episcopal authority, ethical transparency and ecclesial accountability…

There are a number of serving bishops who stand accused of turning a blind eye to chronic sexual abuse by other members of the clergy. There are allegations of collusion, manipulation and complicity in cover-up for reputational preservation, and even of cover-up of the cover-up. And the evidence is persuasive and damning. Why is a long-dead bishop like George Bell so readily thrown under a bus over one single, uncorroborated allegation, while living and serving bishops are shielded by a ‘one-year rule’ for a complaint to be made against them? What possible incentive do they have for consenting to dispense with that arbitrary rule when it would mean a discomfiting investigation into their failures and shortcomings? How may one hold diocesan bishops to account during their term of office when the relevant metropolitan bishop refuses to act?

The answer, of course, is that one cannot: they are kings in their dioceses, masters of their parishes, overseers of all boards and councils responsible for ministry and mission. They are immune from external investigation, shielded from the arrows of oversight, and guarded by the episcopal sword of sanctity.

FEBRUARY 12 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [JANUARY 6 2002] – “CHURCH ALLOWED ABUSE BY PRIEST FOR YEARS” – BOSTON GLOBE [US]

Jan 6 2002 – “Church allowed abuse by priest for years” – Front Page – Boston Sunday Globe…..the scandal broke and a film was made of the investigation 14 years later: “Spotlight” [2016]

“Boston Globe identified a pattern of systematic sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston in which known paedophile clergy were moved around parishes and/or sent to ‘treatment centres’ – but not prosecuted or de-frocked. The abuse was ‘covered up’. Any just legal recourse for victims was difficult – and made difficult” – Richard W. Symonds

JANUARY 13 2021 – WITCH-HUNTS, PERSECUTIONS, VENDETTAS, KANGAROO COURTS, LYNCH MOBS, SMEAR CAMPAIGNS AND CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS – “THE RULE OF THE LYNCH MOB” – FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 28 2015] – CHURCH OF ENGLAND NEWSPAPER

The rule of the lynch mob

Church of England Newspaper [CEN] – October 28 2015

By CEN on 28/10/2015 The rule of the lynch mob

Well let’s get it out of the way. All child abuse is wrong and horrible. All claims of child abuse should be investigated properly and the offenders, if found to be guilty in a court of law, should be flung into prison for a very, very long time.

So now we’ve done the formalities. There is much discontent with the Church of England’s behaviour over the way it has handled abuse allegations against one of its greatest sons, George Bell – a great ecumenist, liturgist, wartime leader and friend to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church.

It was announced last week that a legal civil claim has been settled by the Diocese of Chichester regarding sexual abuse claims against Bishop Bell. The allegation was first made in 1995 and was not reported to the police. The case was reopened in 2013 and now an unknown sum of money has been handed over.

But why on earth is the Church of England traducing the reputation of one of its greatest wartime spiritual leaders on the basis of recent allegations about the events of 65 years ago? We talk about cases of historic abuse in reference to Jimmy Savile crimes during the 60s, 70s and 80s, but this case is truly prehistoric.

Bishop Bell died in 1958 and the crimes of abuse he is alleged to have committed against a young child date from the late 40s and early 50s when the Bishop himself was in his late 60s and early 70s.

He is effectively being tried and convicted by the Church of England with little thought for proper justice and due process.

“We are all diminished by what we are being told,” said the modern Bishop of Chichester. He goes on to explain: “Our starting point is response to the survivor. We remain committed to listening to all allegations of abuse with an open mind. In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective and undertaken by people who command the respect of all parties.

“We face with shame a story of abuse of a child; we also know that the burden of not being heard has made the experience so much worse. We apologise for the failures of the past.”

And here much of the problem lies. The starting point must be justice, not just a concern for the ‘survivor’, because that is to jump to conclusions. The Bishop, and the independent assessors, have missed out a vital part of the process of justice that is that the accused is presumed innocent and has the right to defend themselves.

The indecent haste to describe Bishop George Bell as an abuser is a failure of nerve on the part of the Church of England. The diocese of Chichester may have failed to respond properly when the allegation of abuse was first reported in 1995, and although the accuser was offered pastoral support, this should not lead to any sort of admission of guilt on behalf of George Bell.

There is hysteria and a lynch-mob mentality surrounding some of the cases of historic abuse. We have seen this in the false allegations of murder, rape and ritual abuse made against politicians such as Ted Heath, Leon Brittan and Harvey Proctor. The Church is now as much a part of this overreaction as any other part of society.

Of course there are historic cases of abuse, and there was a long period of time when child protection procedures were unknown and reports of abuse were dealt with poorly. There were cover-ups and failures to believe the victims of abuse. But we’ve had at least two decades of improving things, legislating and regulating to make sure that protections are better, and that children are properly listened to and dealt with.

These improvements should have lessened the sense of hysteria and panic surrounding these cases. Abusers such as Jimmy Savile could never have thrived in today’s climate of safeguarding. Yet the case of George Bell proves that we are living in a state of perpetual and rising fears over allegations of child abuse and we in the Church of England have no answers to these fears. In fact, we are complicit in the lynch mob.

Remember the ritual abuse controversy of the 1980s and 1990s in which social workers and police were convinced that Satanists were involved in the mass killing and abuse of children. And there was no evidence at all in the end.

Remember also the mob that surrounded the home of a paediatrician. The witch-hunt is back and no prominent person is safe from being named – alive or dead. And if named their reputation is trashed.

This is the very opposite of the Christian faith that decries fear and says ‘judge not, lest ye be judged’.

George Bell, with his reputation for bravery, and his leadership in bringing the victims of Nazism to safety, opposing carpet-bombing of German cities and supporting the martyrs of the Confessing Church, is the type of church leader who would have confronted this lynch mob with calm courage.

There may be a stain on his reputation for a short time but his memory will be cherished again in future especially when we look back at this time of witch-hunting with a proper sense of perspective.

“The professional approach is to neither believe nor disbelieve the complainant and their allegation. There is no right or entitlement for a complainant to be believed, but there is a right and entitlement for a complainant to be treated with respect, to take their allegation seriously, to listen with compassion, and to record the facts clearly. It would appear the Church regarded ‘Carol’ as a victim to be believed at all costs. There seems to have been a panicked rush to judgement in which an astonishing lack of judgement was made manifest. Bishop Bell was an easy target, disposable and dispensable…’thrown under the bus’ for reasons unknown” ~ Richard W. Symonds

“Beware of throwing someone under the bus. Remember: the bus can shift into reverse” ~ Janette McGowen

Dean Martyn Percy refuses to co-operate regarding the memorials at Christ Church, and strongly criticizes the Church regarding Bishop Bell. Dean Martyn Percy gets ‘thrown under the bus’ by hidden powerful forces. Dean Martyn Percy suffers orchestrated attempts to oust him by smear campaign and character assassination. Dean Martyn Percy loses any chance of becoming a Bishop.

Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner co-operates [eg regarding the memorials at Chichester Cathedral – including George Bell House et al – and does not criticize the Church regarding Bishop Bell [quite the opposite, in fact]. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner’s ‘co-operation’ is rewarded with promotion to Lord Bishop by Archbishop Welby.

Lord Bishop George Bell refuses to co-operate with government regarding carpet bombing of Dresden et al, and strongly criticizes government. Lord Bishop George Bell loses any chance of becoming Archbishop to replace William Temple. Nearly 70 years later, Lord Bishop George Bell gets ‘thrown under the bus’ by hidden, powerful forces [eg witch-hunt, kangaroo court and lynch mob]. 

Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society – 14/01/2021

JANUARY 12 2021 – PART VI – THE UNHOLY WAR AGAINST MARTYN PERCY – “GODSPEED THE JUDICIAL REVIEW” | The Bell Society (wordpress.com)

JANUARY 12 2021 – PART VI – THE UNHOLY WAR AGAINST MARTYN PERCY – “GODSPEED THE JUDICIAL REVIEW”

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Christ Church Oxford to act on complaint against Dean

on Tuesday, 12 January 2021 at 1.44 pm by Simon Sarmiento – Thinking Anglicans
categorised as Church of England

Updated
See previous item.

press release from Christ Church

Further statement in response to media interest
12 January 2021

Christ Church’s Governing Body and Cathedral Chapter have decided to take forward internal disciplinary proceedings, following a complaint that was reported in October 2020. These proceedings are part of Christ Church’s HR procedures for dealing with employment issues, as set out in its Statutes.

We fully recognise that this has been an extremely distressing time for each of the parties involved, exacerbated by high levels of media interest and the strong feelings the case has generated. It is now crucial that this internal disciplinary matter is left to be resolved, formally and properly, through the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair. These procedures exist to protect all of our staff, students and congregants, and Christ Church as a whole, in equal measure.

Archbishop Cranmer has already published a further article on this:

Martyn Percy is a ‘sex pest’: Christ Church Oxford in new attempt to oust the Dean

This contains much information about the letter from the Reverend Jonathan Aitken to the Chapter, mentioned here earlier, but also it reproduces the reply to him from the Reverend Canon Graham Ward. The whole article is worth reading.

COMMENTS

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago

Worth quoting from the Statutes: Statute XXXIX – Part VII at 43(b):

“In nominating members of the Tribunal, the Chapter and the Governing Body shall exclude the Dean, and any person who has been involved in or associated with the making of the complaint or any part of it, or who has been involved in any preliminary hearing or investigation.” Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 2 days ago

“the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair…” …and how can trust in the process be engendered if the appointment of the ‘independent chair’ is made by the very people who have been waging what I perceive to be a historic vendetta against the Dean? I totally agree that independent and professional people should be used in handling allegations of abuse – people experienced in this specific area and recognised as having specialist excellence in this exact field. I totally agree that any complaint of abuse should be handled with utmost seriousness. We should always… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: If you are unaware, the independent chair in the previous internal tribunal was a retired High Court Judge. You could hardly get more independent than that. Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 2 days ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

Thank you Rowland. That is very true. However I simply don’t trust this Governing Body to do the right thing, given what I perceive to be their malicious persecution of Martyn Percy. Context matters, when it comes to navigating this Body’s actions. I do not trust them to operate with good intent. Clearly there are two important issues here: there is a woman’s plea for recognition of her complaint – and that should be handled scrupulously and independently – ideally, in my view, not by an appointee of the College, as I simply don’t trust their machinations. Secondly, there is… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: There is also a concurrent CDM on the same subject which the Bishop of Oxford has delegated to the Bishop of Birmingham. The CDM was initiated first. Reply

Simon Dawson

Simon Dawson 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

Could somebody please remind me why the Bishop of Oxford is standing back from this process, in fact seems to be standing back from the entire situation. Is there a history to this that I am unaware of? Thanks Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago Reply to  Simon Dawson

I don’t pretend to know how it is possible for there to be a concurrent CDM against the Dean and the intended Christ Church internal tribunal on the same subject matter with the chance that there could be conflicting outcomes. I imagine the Bishop has recused himself on the same basis as Archbishop Sentamu did in the case of the CDM against the former Bishop of Chester: personal intimate acquaintance and to avoid any suggestion of lack of impartiality. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

It seems to me such people are recusing themselves because of spineless cowardice and lack of moral courage.Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Janet Fife

Janet Fife 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

The Bishop of Birmingham is a strange choice, since there are serious questions about his handling of safeguarding matters; particularly in the Tom Walker case.That case was mishandled throughout and he Bp. Urquhart ws criticised in the review. Then the victim was made to sign an NDA before being allowed to see the (redacted) review report into her own case.

It would have been better to have chosen a bishop with more credibility. Reply

Alyson Peberdy

Alyson Peberdy 1 day ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

I very much support what you say Susannah Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

May I point out, gently but very firmly, that which is obvious to anyone with moral eyes wide open [rather than moral eyes wide shut]: What is happening to Martyn Percy at the hands of the Christ Church governing body is almost exactly the same as what is happening to Bishop Bell at the hands of the Church of England hierarchy – the only difference being that one is living and the other one dead. The parallels are astonishingly similar. Both issues necessitate the same solution: A fully independent body. Perhaps the only way to resolve this, in both cases,… Read more »Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Jane Chevous

Jane Chevous 19 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Thank you for saying what you do about a climate of provisional belief. If one advocates for a fair hearing for Martyn Percy by minimising or gaslighting the woman concerned, one is no better than the college dons so criticised. It is important for all victims that we see her complaint taken seriously and that she is treated with respect and compassion Reply

Janet Fife

Janet Fife 5 hours ago Reply to  Jane Chevous

We have a fine line to tread here. All complainants must be taken seriously and treated with respect and compassion. All complaints must be investigated thoroughly by expert and independent professionals. In a pastoral or therapeutic context, we treat claims to have been abused as genuine. However, in public discourse, as in legal contexts, until the offence has been proved we speak of the ‘alleged’ abuser and the ‘alleged’ victim. Otherwise we violate the cardinal precept of law that the accused is innocent until proved guilty; and we risk destroying the reputation, career, health, and home of someone who may… Read more » Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 5 hours ago Reply to  Jane Chevous

Absolutely agree. We owe it to all victims of abuse to create a ‘climate of belief’ and there’s a real danger that, if complainants’ claims are belittled or disbelieved, that others will find it impossible to find the very great courage necessary to come forward. Again and again, there have been examples of victims ‘not being taken seriously’, especially when it involves the great and good. Conversely, it is an amazing and therapeutic experience, when a person finds the courage to come forward, and they are listened to with a strong and receptive willingness to believe. In the case in… Read more » Reply

Martin Sewell

Martin Sewell 2 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah, I worked in this field for three decades representing every kind of party. That experience gives one perspective. I go back to the Cleveland Report of 1987 where the experts correctly identified that your suggestion was wrong. In Cleveland over a hundred children were wrongly removed from families because of a mantra propagated by a bonkers paediatrician not dissimilar to what you are inadvertently advancing. It sounds reasonable but is actually very dangerous. The Courts – where there are very few complaints as to the integrity of the processes and outcomes – apply the alternative “ Always listen to… Read more » Reply

God 'elp us all

God ‘elp us all 2 days ago

So there ..
It is now crucial that this internal disciplinary matter is left to be resolved, formally and properly, through the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair.
So- put up AND shut up?
Let the stones cry out … what a shambles, what a shower. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago

“The harrowing of Martyn Percy is no longer simply a chronic case of institutional bullying, systematic degradation and harassment, but a full-blown conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Godspeed the Judicial Review” ~ ‘Archbishop Cranmer’Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

robert

robert 1 day ago

Graham Ward claims to know nothing of the Surviving Church blog (see the Cranmer article), and yet that blog entry was withdrawn and then revised presumably because of legal attention – but from whom then? Is Ward denying that pressure didn’t come from Christ Church – or are the authorities at Christ Church not talking to Ward either? Reply

Simon Sarmiento

AuthorSimon Sarmiento 1 day ago Reply to  robert

As the revised Surviving Church blog article explained, the intervention came in the form of a letter of complaint from Kate Wood. It’s hard to believe that happened without anybody on the Chapter knowing about it, even after the event. Reply

Stephen Parsons

Stephen Parsons 1 day ago Reply to  Simon Sarmiento

In the original version of the blog post, I suggested that there were things that did not add up in the narrative of the appointment of Kate Wood. She claimed to be in total prior ignorance about the case beforehand, knowing nothing of the shenanigans at Christ Church. She, a professional who had worked in safeguarding for the central Church some years before, protested that she had never heard of Dean Percy, Canon Ward and another of the complainants Canon Foot. I withdrew my incredulity and the expressions of disbelief in what I said in the second version of the blog. I also… Read more » Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Stephen Parsons

Yes, “stitch-up” for both Martyn and the lady complainant.

It stinks of perverted justice at a very high level indeed.Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

David Lamming

David Lamming 1 day ago Reply to  Stephen Parsons

Stephen, The Governing Body may have wished to appoint a member (or members) to the ‘first’ Tribunal in 2018/19, but they were prevented from doing so by the terms of clause 43(a) of the Statutes: 43.(a) The Tribunal appointed under clause 42 shall comprise: (i) an independent Chairman; and (ii) so many members of the Chapter as may be nominated by the Chapter; and (iii) an equivalent number of members of the Governing Body to be nominated by the Governing Body. The significant words in 43(a)(ii) are “as may be nominated by the Chapter”. So, there is no obligation on… Read more »Last edited 1 day ago by David Lamming Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  robert

I believe Stephen Parsons of ‘Surviving Church’ withdrew his original blog entry because of Kate Wood raising legal concerns (libel).

Whatever the truth of the matter, for Graham Ward to say he was ignorant of what ‘Surviving Church’ was saying, means he is incompetently misinformed about what is going on – and he has lost his ‘moral compass’. Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago

I don’t think the provisions about constitution of the tribunal have been correctly summarised in the ‘Church Times’ article. What the Statutes actually say is this: “The Tribunal appointed [under clause 42] shall comprise: (i) an independent Chairman; and (ii) so many members of the Chapter as may be nominated by the Chapter; and (iii) an equivalent number of members of the Governing Body to be nominated by the Governing Body.” An interesting point. The CT states that there were no nominations from the Chapter ‘last time’, but the Governing Body was represented. 0 = 0. The point is now… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

I have been informed that the Governing Body was not represented on the previous internal tribunal and it was agreed that Sir Andrew Smith should act alone, with the Dean consenting. Stephen Parsons has explained above that a different approach is being contemplated this time. Reply

Kate

Kate 1 day ago

This feels like the point at which it is in the interests of both college and the Dean (but not necessarily the Complainant) to reach a financial settlement sufficient for the Dean to depart without either party incurring the cost / burden of the tribunal. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 19 hours ago Reply to  Kate

It’s a witch-hunt. If Martyn Percy can return to good health – which is easier said than done in the circumstances – why should he depart under pressure from what can only be called an elite ‘lynch mob’?Last edited 19 hours ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 5 hours ago Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

That’s my view too. While I’m being unapologetically Godwinian, if people had failed to resist Hitler on grounds of cost, and nice Mr Chamberlain had come to an arrangement with Hitler… well… then (in my opinion) bullies get their way. A nice polite settlement where Martyn Percy leaves is *exactly* the kind of outcome this (frankly far from elite) group of people seem to me to have been working to achieve. Of course, only Martyn Percy himself can know the harrowing impact this (what I perceive as) harrassment has had on his personal well-being, and the well-being of those he… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 3 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: Please see my reply to Kate! There is a current C of E CDM which is independent of the action being taken by Christ Church. A moment’s reflection on that should make it apparent how inappropriate your final paragraph is. Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 9 hours ago Reply to  Kate

Kate: I don’t think that suggestion can relate in any way to the present situation: the actuality of (1) a CDM on the part of the Church plus (2) an intended internal Christ Church disciplinary tribunal, both relating to the incident (correctly we have to say alleged incident) involving the woman in the Cathedral vestry. Neither could be ‘resolved’ by a financial deal. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 7 hours ago

Dean Martyn Percy refuses to co-operate regarding the memorials at Christ Church, and strongly criticizes the Church regarding Bishop Bell. Dean Martyn Percy gets ‘thrown under the bus’ by hidden powerful forces . Dean Martyn Percy suffers orchestrated attempts to oust him by smear campaign and character assassination. Dean Martyn Percy loses any chance of becoming a Bishop. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner co-operates [eg regarding the memorials at Chichester Cathedral – including George Bell House et al – and does not criticize the Church regarding Bishop Bell [quite the opposite, in fact]. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner’s ‘co-operation’ is rewarded with… Read more »Last edited 7 hours ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 3 minutes agoAwaiting for approval Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

It has been drawn to my attention that my statement below is inaccurate: “Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner co-operates [eg regarding the memorials at Chichester Cathedral – including George Bell House et al – and does not criticize the Church regarding Bishop Bell [quite the opposite, in fact]. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner’s ‘co-operation’ is rewarded with promotion to Lord Bishop by Archbishop Welby” Apparently, subject to the provisions of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, the twenty-one Church of England bishops in the House of Lords – in addition to the five ex officio [Canterbury, York, London, Durham and Winchester] – are there… Read more »Last edited 2 minutes ago by Richard W. Symonds

Stanley Monkhouse

Stanley Monkhouse 5 hours ago

A general comment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR3spFtfVhNz8XryJMU7D6INBCkCpIC9_zWrwQRUeXJrjJ4TstnaA-QE1DU&v=KYGs7N1F7-E&feature=youtu.be Here is an Irish TD’s (= MP) extraordinarily powerful speech in the Dail (Irish parliament) coruscating the current Taoiseach (PM, sat there) and the church and civil authorities of the past. It is all the more powerful for her measured tone. The light of her rage shines through to illuminate the path to redemption. Will the authorities take it? This is a manifestation of the demonic conjunction of the power of the institutional church in what was then a quasi-theocracy, and the spineless collusion of the authorities. It’s the same but different here with the powerful… Read more »

FURTHER INFORMATION

CHURCH TIMES

DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH FACES NEW ATTEMPT TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE – CHURCH TIMES

THE Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, is to face another internal tribunal.

Dean Percy is both Dean of the cathedral and Master of the college. The Governing Body of the college decided on Monday to initiate a tribunal to decide whether the Dean should be removed from office after a complaint was made about an incident in the cathedral in October (News, 20 November 2020).

The alleged incident has been described as harassment, and the college has spoken of its serious nature. For the tribunal to be set up, both the cathedral chapter and the Governing Body had to judge the complaint to be “supported by sufficient evidence which could, if proved, constitute good cause for the removal of the Dean from office”. This they have both done, after an investigation by an independent investigator, Kate Wood. The college will now seek an independent senior lawyer to chair the tribunal.

The college authorities have spent a figure widely reported to be more than £2 million over the past three years attempting to remove Dean Percy, after a dispute over governance and salaries. An earlier tribunal, conducted by a senior judge, Sir Andrew Smith, exonerated him of every one of the 27 charges of improper conduct made against him (News, 23 August 2019). An appendix to Sir Andrew’s report, said to contain criticism of the Dean’s accusers, has not been made public.

Dean Percy is still awaiting an employment tribunal, expected in the autumn, to claim back the legal expenses, said to be more than £400,000, used to defend himself against the earlier charges; most of the expenses he owes. He has to fund his own defence once again for this second tribunal.

Under the college statues, the cathedral Chapter can nominate one or more of its members to the tribunal. The Governing Body can then nominate a matching number. For the first tribunal, the Chapter nominated no one; so Sir Andrew judged the evidence alone. On Wednesday, the college treasurer, James Lawrie, confirmed that both the Chapter and the Governing Body would be represented on the tribunal. The conduct of the tribunal is not set out in the statutes, but Mr Lawrie said that its decision, which is simply whether to recommend the removal of the Dean from office, will be by a simple majority, meaning that the independent chair can be outvoted.

What the statutes do say is that, when nominating people to the tribunal, both the Chapter and the college must exclude “any person who has been involved in or associated with the making of the complaint or any part of it, or who has been involved in any preliminary hearing or investigation”. Although the authorities insist that the new complaint is unrelated to earlier disputes, it will be hard to find anyone neutral in either the Chapter or the college.

As well as the internal tribunal, the complaint triggered a church investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM). The cathedral safeguarding officer brought the complaint, backed up by Ms Wood’s report. Because the complaint mentioned sexual harassment, the National Safeguarding Team (NST) has set up a core group.

Again, this is the second time Dean Percy has been investigated by the NST. He was exonerated last September after an earlier complaint made by the college authorities (News, 11 September 2020).

The Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, judged that the CDM process should go ahead. He then recused himself, as have the diocesan registrars, delegating the matter to the Bishop of Birmingham, who is using an ecclesiastical lawyer from the Province of York.

If the bishop in charge considers that the complaint has substance, he can initiate a formal investigation, which would involve another collection of evidence and statements, to be heard in a formal tribunal.

This is some way down the line, however. At present, Dean Percy is still to respond to the complaint in writing. The Dean voluntarily stepped back from his duties in November, and was shortly afterwards signed off work. He remains unwell, and is therefore unable to instruct a lawyer.

SURVIVING CHURCH

Gladiatrix 

Martin

If you are so concerned about Winckworth Sherwood why haven’t you as a former solicitor with Safeguarding experience 1) asked the relevant partner to justify their conduct, 2) asked the senior/managing partner for an explanation, or 3) made a formal complaint to the SRA of professional misconduct and breach of the Code of Conduct?

Dean Percy and the case for specialist professional competence

https://survivingchurch.org/2021/01/08/dean-percy-and-the-case-for-specialist-professional-competence/embed/#?secret=eGFGjBd43h

Dean Percy and the case for specialist professional competence

JANUARY 12 2021 – PART VI – THE UNHOLY WAR AGAINST MARTYN PERCY – “GODSPEED THE JUDICIAL REVIEW”

Christ Church Oxford to act on complaint against Dean

on Tuesday, 12 January 2021 at 1.44 pm by Simon Sarmiento – Thinking Anglicans
categorised as Church of England

Updated
See previous item.

press release from Christ Church

Further statement in response to media interest
12 January 2021

Christ Church’s Governing Body and Cathedral Chapter have decided to take forward internal disciplinary proceedings, following a complaint that was reported in October 2020. These proceedings are part of Christ Church’s HR procedures for dealing with employment issues, as set out in its Statutes.

We fully recognise that this has been an extremely distressing time for each of the parties involved, exacerbated by high levels of media interest and the strong feelings the case has generated. It is now crucial that this internal disciplinary matter is left to be resolved, formally and properly, through the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair. These procedures exist to protect all of our staff, students and congregants, and Christ Church as a whole, in equal measure.

Archbishop Cranmer has already published a further article on this:

Martyn Percy is a ‘sex pest’: Christ Church Oxford in new attempt to oust the Dean

This contains much information about the letter from the Reverend Jonathan Aitken to the Chapter, mentioned here earlier, but also it reproduces the reply to him from the Reverend Canon Graham Ward. The whole article is worth reading. 

COMMENTS

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago

Worth quoting from the Statutes: Statute XXXIX – Part VII at 43(b):

“In nominating members of the Tribunal, the Chapter and the Governing Body shall exclude the Dean, and any person who has been involved in or associated with the making of the complaint or any part of it, or who has been involved in any preliminary hearing or investigation.” Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 2 days ago

“the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair…” …and how can trust in the process be engendered if the appointment of the ‘independent chair’ is made by the very people who have been waging what I perceive to be a historic vendetta against the Dean? I totally agree that independent and professional people should be used in handling allegations of abuse – people experienced in this specific area and recognised as having specialist excellence in this exact field. I totally agree that any complaint of abuse should be handled with utmost seriousness. We should always… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: If you are unaware, the independent chair in the previous internal tribunal was a retired High Court Judge. You could hardly get more independent than that. Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 2 days ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

Thank you Rowland. That is very true. However I simply don’t trust this Governing Body to do the right thing, given what I perceive to be their malicious persecution of Martyn Percy. Context matters, when it comes to navigating this Body’s actions. I do not trust them to operate with good intent. Clearly there are two important issues here: there is a woman’s plea for recognition of her complaint – and that should be handled scrupulously and independently – ideally, in my view, not by an appointee of the College, as I simply don’t trust their machinations. Secondly, there is… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 2 days ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: There is also a concurrent CDM on the same subject which the Bishop of Oxford has delegated to the Bishop of Birmingham. The CDM was initiated first. Reply

Simon Dawson

Simon Dawson 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

Could somebody please remind me why the Bishop of Oxford is standing back from this process, in fact seems to be standing back from the entire situation. Is there a history to this that I am unaware of? Thanks Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago Reply to  Simon Dawson

I don’t pretend to know how it is possible for there to be a concurrent CDM against the Dean and the intended Christ Church internal tribunal on the same subject matter with the chance that there could be conflicting outcomes. I imagine the Bishop has recused himself on the same basis as Archbishop Sentamu did in the case of the CDM against the former Bishop of Chester: personal intimate acquaintance and to avoid any suggestion of lack of impartiality. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

It seems to me such people are recusing themselves because of spineless cowardice and lack of moral courage.Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Janet Fife

Janet Fife 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

The Bishop of Birmingham is a strange choice, since there are serious questions about his handling of safeguarding matters; particularly in the Tom Walker case.That case was mishandled throughout and he Bp. Urquhart ws criticised in the review. Then the victim was made to sign an NDA before being allowed to see the (redacted) review report into her own case.

It would have been better to have chosen a bishop with more credibility. Reply

Alyson Peberdy

Alyson Peberdy 1 day ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

I very much support what you say Susannah Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

May I point out, gently but very firmly, that which is obvious to anyone with moral eyes wide open [rather than moral eyes wide shut]: What is happening to Martyn Percy at the hands of the Christ Church governing body is almost exactly the same as what is happening to Bishop Bell at the hands of the Church of England hierarchy – the only difference being that one is living and the other one dead. The parallels are astonishingly similar. Both issues necessitate the same solution: A fully independent body. Perhaps the only way to resolve this, in both cases,… Read more »Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Jane Chevous

Jane Chevous 19 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Thank you for saying what you do about a climate of provisional belief. If one advocates for a fair hearing for Martyn Percy by minimising or gaslighting the woman concerned, one is no better than the college dons so criticised. It is important for all victims that we see her complaint taken seriously and that she is treated with respect and compassion Reply

Janet Fife

Janet Fife 5 hours ago Reply to  Jane Chevous

We have a fine line to tread here. All complainants must be taken seriously and treated with respect and compassion. All complaints must be investigated thoroughly by expert and independent professionals. In a pastoral or therapeutic context, we treat claims to have been abused as genuine. However, in public discourse, as in legal contexts, until the offence has been proved we speak of the ‘alleged’ abuser and the ‘alleged’ victim. Otherwise we violate the cardinal precept of law that the accused is innocent until proved guilty; and we risk destroying the reputation, career, health, and home of someone who may… Read more » Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 5 hours ago Reply to  Jane Chevous

Absolutely agree. We owe it to all victims of abuse to create a ‘climate of belief’ and there’s a real danger that, if complainants’ claims are belittled or disbelieved, that others will find it impossible to find the very great courage necessary to come forward. Again and again, there have been examples of victims ‘not being taken seriously’, especially when it involves the great and good. Conversely, it is an amazing and therapeutic experience, when a person finds the courage to come forward, and they are listened to with a strong and receptive willingness to believe. In the case in… Read more » Reply

Martin Sewell

Martin Sewell 2 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah, I worked in this field for three decades representing every kind of party. That experience gives one perspective. I go back to the Cleveland Report of 1987 where the experts correctly identified that your suggestion was wrong. In Cleveland over a hundred children were wrongly removed from families because of a mantra propagated by a bonkers paediatrician not dissimilar to what you are inadvertently advancing. It sounds reasonable but is actually very dangerous. The Courts – where there are very few complaints as to the integrity of the processes and outcomes – apply the alternative “ Always listen to… Read more » Reply

God 'elp us all

God ‘elp us all 2 days ago

So there ..
It is now crucial that this internal disciplinary matter is left to be resolved, formally and properly, through the correct procedures, which will include the appointment of an external, independent chair.
So- put up AND shut up?
Let the stones cry out … what a shambles, what a shower. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago

“The harrowing of Martyn Percy is no longer simply a chronic case of institutional bullying, systematic degradation and harassment, but a full-blown conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Godspeed the Judicial Review” ~ ‘Archbishop Cranmer’Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

robert

robert 1 day ago

Graham Ward claims to know nothing of the Surviving Church blog (see the Cranmer article), and yet that blog entry was withdrawn and then revised presumably because of legal attention – but from whom then? Is Ward denying that pressure didn’t come from Christ Church – or are the authorities at Christ Church not talking to Ward either? Reply

Simon Sarmiento

AuthorSimon Sarmiento 1 day ago Reply to  robert

As the revised Surviving Church blog article explained, the intervention came in the form of a letter of complaint from Kate Wood. It’s hard to believe that happened without anybody on the Chapter knowing about it, even after the event. Reply

Stephen Parsons

Stephen Parsons 1 day ago Reply to  Simon Sarmiento

In the original version of the blog post, I suggested that there were things that did not add up in the narrative of the appointment of Kate Wood. She claimed to be in total prior ignorance about the case beforehand, knowing nothing of the shenanigans at Christ Church. She, a professional who had worked in safeguarding for the central Church some years before, protested that she had never heard of Dean Percy, Canon Ward and another of the complainants Canon Foot. I withdrew my incredulity and the expressions of disbelief in what I said in the second version of the blog. I also… Read more » Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  Stephen Parsons

Yes, “stitch-up” for both Martyn and the lady complainant.

It stinks of perverted justice at a very high level indeed.Last edited 1 day ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

David Lamming

David Lamming 1 day ago Reply to  Stephen Parsons

Stephen, The Governing Body may have wished to appoint a member (or members) to the ‘first’ Tribunal in 2018/19, but they were prevented from doing so by the terms of clause 43(a) of the Statutes: 43.(a) The Tribunal appointed under clause 42 shall comprise: (i) an independent Chairman; and (ii) so many members of the Chapter as may be nominated by the Chapter; and (iii) an equivalent number of members of the Governing Body to be nominated by the Governing Body. The significant words in 43(a)(ii) are “as may be nominated by the Chapter”. So, there is no obligation on… Read more »Last edited 1 day ago by David Lamming Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 1 day ago Reply to  robert

I believe Stephen Parsons of ‘Surviving Church’ withdrew his original blog entry because of Kate Wood raising legal concerns (libel).

Whatever the truth of the matter, for Graham Ward to say he was ignorant of what ‘Surviving Church’ was saying, means he is incompetently misinformed about what is going on – and he has lost his ‘moral compass’. Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago

I don’t think the provisions about constitution of the tribunal have been correctly summarised in the ‘Church Times’ article. What the Statutes actually say is this: “The Tribunal appointed [under clause 42] shall comprise: (i) an independent Chairman; and (ii) so many members of the Chapter as may be nominated by the Chapter; and (iii) an equivalent number of members of the Governing Body to be nominated by the Governing Body.” An interesting point. The CT states that there were no nominations from the Chapter ‘last time’, but the Governing Body was represented. 0 = 0. The point is now… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 1 day ago Reply to  Rowland Wateridge

I have been informed that the Governing Body was not represented on the previous internal tribunal and it was agreed that Sir Andrew Smith should act alone, with the Dean consenting. Stephen Parsons has explained above that a different approach is being contemplated this time. Reply

Kate

Kate 1 day ago

This feels like the point at which it is in the interests of both college and the Dean (but not necessarily the Complainant) to reach a financial settlement sufficient for the Dean to depart without either party incurring the cost / burden of the tribunal. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 19 hours ago Reply to  Kate

It’s a witch-hunt. If Martyn Percy can return to good health – which is easier said than done in the circumstances – why should he depart under pressure from what can only be called an elite ‘lynch mob’?Last edited 19 hours ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Susannah Clark

Susannah Clark 5 hours ago Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

That’s my view too. While I’m being unapologetically Godwinian, if people had failed to resist Hitler on grounds of cost, and nice Mr Chamberlain had come to an arrangement with Hitler… well… then (in my opinion) bullies get their way. A nice polite settlement where Martyn Percy leaves is *exactly* the kind of outcome this (frankly far from elite) group of people seem to me to have been working to achieve. Of course, only Martyn Percy himself can know the harrowing impact this (what I perceive as) harrassment has had on his personal well-being, and the well-being of those he… Read more » Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 3 hours ago Reply to  Susannah Clark

Susannah: Please see my reply to Kate! There is a current C of E CDM which is independent of the action being taken by Christ Church. A moment’s reflection on that should make it apparent how inappropriate your final paragraph is. Reply

Rowland Wateridge

Rowland Wateridge 9 hours ago Reply to  Kate

Kate: I don’t think that suggestion can relate in any way to the present situation: the actuality of (1) a CDM on the part of the Church plus (2) an intended internal Christ Church disciplinary tribunal, both relating to the incident (correctly we have to say alleged incident) involving the woman in the Cathedral vestry. Neither could be ‘resolved’ by a financial deal. Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 7 hours ago

Dean Martyn Percy refuses to co-operate regarding the memorials at Christ Church, and strongly criticizes the Church regarding Bishop Bell. Dean Martyn Percy gets ‘thrown under the bus’ by hidden powerful forces . Dean Martyn Percy suffers orchestrated attempts to oust him by smear campaign and character assassination. Dean Martyn Percy loses any chance of becoming a Bishop. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner co-operates [eg regarding the memorials at Chichester Cathedral – including George Bell House et al – and does not criticize the Church regarding Bishop Bell [quite the opposite, in fact]. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner’s ‘co-operation’ is rewarded with… Read more »Last edited 7 hours ago by Richard W. Symonds Reply

Richard W. Symonds

Richard W. Symonds 3 minutes agoAwaiting for approval Reply to  Richard W. Symonds

It has been drawn to my attention that my statement below is inaccurate: “Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner co-operates [eg regarding the memorials at Chichester Cathedral – including George Bell House et al – and does not criticize the Church regarding Bishop Bell [quite the opposite, in fact]. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner’s ‘co-operation’ is rewarded with promotion to Lord Bishop by Archbishop Welby” Apparently, subject to the provisions of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act 2015, the twenty-one Church of England bishops in the House of Lords – in addition to the five ex officio [Canterbury, York, London, Durham and Winchester] – are there… Read more »Last edited 2 minutes ago by Richard W. Symonds

Stanley Monkhouse

Stanley Monkhouse 5 hours ago

A general comment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR3spFtfVhNz8XryJMU7D6INBCkCpIC9_zWrwQRUeXJrjJ4TstnaA-QE1DU&v=KYGs7N1F7-E&feature=youtu.be Here is an Irish TD’s (= MP) extraordinarily powerful speech in the Dail (Irish parliament) coruscating the current Taoiseach (PM, sat there) and the church and civil authorities of the past. It is all the more powerful for her measured tone. The light of her rage shines through to illuminate the path to redemption. Will the authorities take it? This is a manifestation of the demonic conjunction of the power of the institutional church in what was then a quasi-theocracy, and the spineless collusion of the authorities. It’s the same but different here with the powerful… Read more »

FURTHER INFORMATION

CHURCH TIMES

DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH FACES NEW ATTEMPT TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE – CHURCH TIMES

THE Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, is to face another internal tribunal.

Dean Percy is both Dean of the cathedral and Master of the college. The Governing Body of the college decided on Monday to initiate a tribunal to decide whether the Dean should be removed from office after a complaint was made about an incident in the cathedral in October (News, 20 November 2020).

The alleged incident has been described as harassment, and the college has spoken of its serious nature. For the tribunal to be set up, both the cathedral chapter and the Governing Body had to judge the complaint to be “supported by sufficient evidence which could, if proved, constitute good cause for the removal of the Dean from office”. This they have both done, after an investigation by an independent investigator, Kate Wood. The college will now seek an independent senior lawyer to chair the tribunal.

The college authorities have spent a figure widely reported to be more than £2 million over the past three years attempting to remove Dean Percy, after a dispute over governance and salaries. An earlier tribunal, conducted by a senior judge, Sir Andrew Smith, exonerated him of every one of the 27 charges of improper conduct made against him (News, 23 August 2019). An appendix to Sir Andrew’s report, said to contain criticism of the Dean’s accusers, has not been made public.

Dean Percy is still awaiting an employment tribunal, expected in the autumn, to claim back the legal expenses, said to be more than £400,000, used to defend himself against the earlier charges; most of the expenses he owes. He has to fund his own defence once again for this second tribunal.

Under the college statues, the cathedral Chapter can nominate one or more of its members to the tribunal. The Governing Body can then nominate a matching number. For the first tribunal, the Chapter nominated no one; so Sir Andrew judged the evidence alone. On Wednesday, the college treasurer, James Lawrie, confirmed that both the Chapter and the Governing Body would be represented on the tribunal. The conduct of the tribunal is not set out in the statutes, but Mr Lawrie said that its decision, which is simply whether to recommend the removal of the Dean from office, will be by a simple majority, meaning that the independent chair can be outvoted.Advertisement

What the statutes do say is that, when nominating people to the tribunal, both the Chapter and the college must exclude “any person who has been involved in or associated with the making of the complaint or any part of it, or who has been involved in any preliminary hearing or investigation”. Although the authorities insist that the new complaint is unrelated to earlier disputes, it will be hard to find anyone neutral in either the Chapter or the college.

As well as the internal tribunal, the complaint triggered a church investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM). The cathedral safeguarding officer brought the complaint, backed up by Ms Wood’s report. Because the complaint mentioned sexual harassment, the National Safeguarding Team (NST) has set up a core group.

Again, this is the second time Dean Percy has been investigated by the NST. He was exonerated last September after an earlier complaint made by the college authorities (News, 11 September 2020).

The Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, judged that the CDM process should go ahead. He then recused himself, as have the diocesan registrars, delegating the matter to the Bishop of Birmingham, who is using an ecclesiastical lawyer from the Province of York.

If the bishop in charge considers that the complaint has substance, he can initiate a formal investigation, which would involve another collection of evidence and statements, to be heard in a formal tribunal.

This is some way down the line, however. At present, Dean Percy is still to respond to the complaint in writing. The Dean voluntarily stepped back from his duties in November, and was shortly afterwards signed off work. He remains unwell, and is therefore unable to instruct a lawyer.

SURVIVING CHURCH

Gladiatrix

Martin

If you are so concerned about Winckworth Sherwood why haven’t you as a former solicitor with Safeguarding experience 1) asked the relevant partner to justify their conduct, 2) asked the senior/managing partner for an explanation, or 3) made a formal complaint to the SRA of professional misconduct and breach of the Code of Conduct?

JANUARY 10 2021 – THE BELL ALTAR – CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL – OXFORD

THE BELL ALTAR – CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL – OXFORD

Gillipaw’s Journal

By Gillipaw

Photo by Gillipaw

The Bell Altar, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

The words are engraved into the floor in front of the altar, made to mark the Millennium. Dedicated to the memory of Bishop George Bell, who courageously opposed the bombing of German cities in World War II.

A fascinating day walking around Oxford. We visited Boat Houses, The Sheldonian, the Bodleian and the “Rad Cam”. Lunched in the tranquillity of New College garden, followed by a walk around the Cloisters, a location for Harry Potter films.

Onwards to Christ Church, joining the queues to see inside the Quad, the splendour of the Hall, and the Cathedral. So many details, artwork and film locations to take in.

A couple of hours in the Ashmolean, loving all the artworks, especially the Pissarro collection and the Musical Instruments.

Onwards to Oxford Beach – created for the summer behind the Castle. Dined in “The Big Bang”, what a selection of sausages and mash. Jazz music, artwork in creation, and bowler and top hat light fittings. A great day.

FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 21 2015 – TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHURCH OF ENGLAND SECRETARY-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM FITTALL AND MARTYN PERCY DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD]

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FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 21 2015 – TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHURCH OF ENGLAND SECRETARY-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM FITTALL AND MARTYN PERCY DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD]

Oct 21 2015 – Telephone conversation between Church of England Secretary-General Sir William Fittall and Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford

On the October 21, 2015, I had been rung by the then Secretary-General of the Archbishops’ Council and of the General Synod of the Church of England, Sir William Fittall. It was Fittall who told me, over the phone, that a ‘thorough investigation’ had implicated Bishop George Bell in an historic sex-abuse case, and that the Church had ‘paid compensation to the victim’. Fittall added that he was tipping me off, as he knew we had an altar in the Cathedral dedicated to Bell, and that Bell was a distinguished former member of Christ Church. [Fittall was also educated at Christ Church Oxford from 1972 to 1975 – Ed]

Sir William Fittall

Fittall asked what we would do, in the light of the forthcoming media announcements. I explained that Christ Church is an academic institution, and we tend to make decisions based on evidence, having first weighed and considered its quality. Fittall replied that the evidence was ‘compelling and convincing’, and that the investigation into George Bell has been ‘lengthy, professional and robust’. I asked for details, as I said I could not possibly make a judgement without sight of such evidence. I was told that such evidence could not be released. So, Christ Church kept faith with Bell, and the altar, named after him, remains in exactly the same spot it has occupied for over fifteen years, when it was first carved.

~ Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford – December 2017

FURTHER INFORMATION

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/january-9-2021-from-the-archives-october-25-2020-william-nye-shadowy-figure-behind-the-archbishop-of-canterbury-and-beyond-private-eye-23-october/

JANUARY 9 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 21 2015 – TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHURCH OF ENGLAND SECRETARY-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM FITTALL AND MARTYN PERCY DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD]

FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 21 2015 – TELEPHONE CONVERSATION BETWEEN CHURCH OF ENGLAND SECRETARY-GENERAL SIR WILLIAM FITTALL AND MARTYN PERCY DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD]

Oct 21 2015 – Telephone conversation between Church of England Secretary-General Sir William Fittall and Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford

On the October 21, 2015, I had been rung by the then Secretary-General of the Archbishops’ Council and of the General Synod of the Church of England, Sir William Fittall. It was Fittall who told me, over the phone, that a ‘thorough investigation’ had implicated Bishop George Bell in an historic sex-abuse case, and that the Church had ‘paid compensation to the victim’. Fittall added that he was tipping me off, as he knew we had an altar in the Cathedral dedicated to Bell, and that Bell was a distinguished former member of Christ Church. [Fittall was also educated at Christ Church Oxford from 1972 to 1975 – Ed]

Sir William Fittall

Fittall asked what we would do, in the light of the forthcoming media announcements. I explained that Christ Church is an academic institution, and we tend to make decisions based on evidence, having first weighed and considered its quality. Fittall replied that the evidence was ‘compelling and convincing’, and that the investigation into George Bell has been ‘lengthy, professional and robust’. I asked for details, as I said I could not possibly make a judgement without sight of such evidence. I was told that such evidence could not be released. So, Christ Church kept faith with Bell, and the altar, named after him, remains in exactly the same spot it has occupied for over fifteen years, when it was first carved.

~ Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford – December 2017

FURTHER INFORMATION

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/january-9-2021-from-the-archives-october-25-2020-william-nye-shadowy-figure-behind-the-archbishop-of-canterbury-and-beyond-private-eye-23-october/