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FEBRUARY 4 2022 – BISHOP GEORGE BELL MEMORIAL FUND CONFERENCE – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – CHICHESTER

ADDRESS BY LORD CAREY – FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

GEORGE BELL CHARITY

FEB 4TH 2022

I am delighted to be here today for this meeting and launch of George Bell Memorial Fund for Refugees. I want to thank Dr. Ruth Hildebrandt – Grayson for her contribution and our friend Dr. Chandler, who has done more than most to keep the memory of Bishop Bell alive. 

There is a challenging verse in 1 Kings 18 where King Arab meets Elijah and says ‘ Ah, there you are – the troubler of Israel!’ That was a trifle rich because Ahab was one of the most corrupt leaders of Israel. But to evil people good people are always seen as troublemakers – disturbers of the peace. George Bell was a troublemaker and all people who want to make real changes in our world are often seen as troublemakers. I want to salute all troublemakers present, because we are following in the footsteps of George Bell – valiant fighter for truth and indomitable troublemaker. Andrew Chandler is a troublemaker because he has used his considerable scholarship to protest against the treatment of a great man. Patrick Sookdeo is undoubtedly a troublemaker because he more than most has been vocal in his concerns for Christians in Muslim lands. Richard Symonds has been a brave and persistent dragon fly in the ear of the hierarchy; so has Ruth and many of us here. Sometimes it has to be done. George Kennedy Allen Bell was a troublemaker. He showed it persistently throughout his career. He was not always liked, respected – even within his own church and the government did not always appreciate his interventions.

I note with some amusement that in 1938 Bell was instrumental in getting valuable information from Bonhoeffer through to the British government but his activities were not always appreciated. Anthony Eden would say later ‘ I see no reason to encourage this pestilent priest’. I am sure that Eden was deliberately echoing the words that led to Thomas Becket’s murder – although I am quite sure that that was not what Eden intended – of course not. Bell was never going to relent in his concern for those suffering in German. Those who disturb the placid waters of cowardice and complacency will always be regarded as troublemakers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that great German theologian, had a special relationship with George Bell. And Bell for his part had a close relationship with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his friend, Franz Hildebrandt referring to them both as ‘my boys’.  They were all troublemakers.

What would Bell be concerned about today if he lived to share our times?

Without question, this man who cared so deeply for Jewish refugees would be angry about the plight of refugees today.

Every year the annual World Watch List produced each year by  Open Doors which identifies, in rank order, the various countries where persecution is prominent. It confirms the increasing trend, year on year, and reveals that over 360 million Christians worldwide — that’s 1 in 7 – now live under persecution.

Their conservative estimate is that last year 5898 Christians were killed for their faith,  5110 Churches and other Christian buildings were attacked or torn down, 6175 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned…and 3829 were abducted.

This is followed by the Release International Report on the situation, globally. Both reports identify that Afghanistan has become the No1 hotspot and there are a number of appeals out to assist Afghan minorities who are stuck in Kabul or sitting in tents as refugees in Pakistan Iran Turkey Greece and elsewhere.

In India, encouraged no doubt the new anti-conversion laws and pre-existing prejudices towards the lower-caste Dalits, a series of attacks on Christians and their churches are carried our by Hindu nationalists.

 In Pakistan, the longest-serving Christian victim of the draconian Blasphemy Laws – Zafar Bhatti – is given a death sentence. Meanwhile, Qamar Rafiq discusses the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan seen through the lens of ongoing rape abduction and forced conversions / marriages.

 From China, an Uyghur intellectual who was incarcerated and tortured by the Chinese Community Party describes the horror that goes on in their ‘killing fields’. A Christian book-seller is sentenced to 7 years in prison despite appeals and protests from NGOs and the West. The CCP now bans the sharing and promotion of religious literature on the internet. There then follows is a chilling report on how Human Rights are defined in China and which are widely divergent with the rest of the civilised world. Finally, Human Rights Lawyer Nina Shea shows how the CCP attempt to cover up Religious Genocide and Repression.

 From Kenya come reports of further Islamist killings of Christians – and a brave woman who stood up to them and called them out.

 From Nigeria come reports of more killings of Christians by Fulani Militants whilst Government forces look on and do absolutely nothing.

 In Iran a convert from Islam begins a 4 year prison sentence. Three Christian guys record a song on behalf of the persecuted minorities there.

 And in France a Catholic religious procession is subject to Islamist death threats and insults.

I think this shows the relevance of the Charity we are launching today- in conjunction with yesterday’s gathering in Westminster. George Bell would definitely have approved of this launch, although I suspect he would not want to have his name attached to it. He would have been thrilled by Ruth’s initiative in this project. He would make no distinction between Christians, Jews and others. For him, need not creed was the key factor. Freedom from want, fear, persecution and violence was paramount and Bell’s concern for the Jewish people was well known. He would agree wholeheartedly with the Barnabas Fund that in today’s world it is Christians who are so greatly in need of protection. Indeed, it is my conclusion that the Barnabas Fund is the only organisation capable of doing what is required at this time. It has the reach, it has the links, it has professional and experienced workers in the various countries.

I do urge us all to take a special interest in this new charity; we all have a part to play. Ruth has began this work with a substantial gift and we must build on it.

And, of course, in this diocese of all dioceses there will be especial sympathy to this project. George Bell may be physically dead but his values, his concerns and his love – together with that of Henrietta, his formidable wife- live on.

In Andrew’s wonderful biography of George Bell, there is a quotation from the Swedish Archbishop

Bishop Söderblom, Bishop of Uppsala, saying of George Bell as a young man that ‘nobody is more important to the future of the ecumenical revival that this silent Bell. This Bell never rings for nothing. But when it does ring, its tune is silver-clear’.

But this very morning, Richard Symons dropped me an email with this simple line in it:

Let the silent Bell sing,

Let the silent Bell ring,

Throughout all lands

And to all peoples

With clarity

With charity

And with that love

From above.

This new Charity will give fresh power to the relevant message of Jesus Christ, through his servant, George Kennedy Allen Bell.

End.

JUNE 14 + JUNE 19 2021 – “THE PARABLE OF THE BAD SAMARITAN” + “DIOCESE OF OXFORD MISREPRESENTS THE PRESIDENT OF TRIBUNALS, LEAVING MARTYN PERCY ‘UNDER A CLOUD'”

Image by ‘Goddard’

Archbishop Cranmer

https://archbishopcranmer.com/the-parable-of-the-bad-samaritan/

https://archbishopcranmer.com/diocese-of-oxford-misrepresents-president-of-tribunals-martyn-percy/

MARCH 27 2021 – “UNACCOUNTABLE CABALS OF POWERFUL BULLIES, MANIPULATORS, ENFORCERS, SILENCERS AND ABUSERS GIVE THEMSELVES PERMISSION IN THE CHURCH TO DO WHAT THEY LIKE WITH IMMUNITY AND IMPUNITY. THEY ARE IN CONTROL – AND OUT OF CONTROL. WE LET IT HAPPEN. WE DO NOTHING – OR NOT ENOUGH. CAN ANYONE STAND UP TO THEM NOW, OR IS THE COST TOO GREAT WITH TOO MUCH TO LOSE?” – RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

FEBRUARY 5 2021 – “BETWEEN SCYLLA [THE MONSTERS] AND CHARYBDIS [THE WHIRLPOOL]”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_Scylla_and_Charybdis

How did Odysseus sail between Charybdis and Scylla?

When Odysseus attempted to sail between them, he encountered disaster on both sides. Being caught between Scylla and Charybdis is a lot like being between a rock and a hard place. 

JANUARY 29 2021 – ABUSE SURVIVOR CONFUSES BISHOP BELL WITH BISHOP BALL

Former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball

Thank you #### for a thought-provoking piece. You are always balanced, and informative.

I end up at a different conclusion, but your points are as always well made and I think we agree on the principles.

If it were just the evidence of this case, as you have explained it, it would seem justified to restore PTO. But this isn’t an isolated incident. Personally, I don’t think he should have had it restored after the Bell case. There was deliberate withholding of evidence from the police, for example. It’s not just about: does he pose a current risk? It’s also about, what message does this give to Bell and Smyth survivors and their families?

#######

“Source and name withheld as a courtesy – but are in the public domain” – Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

Bishop of Chichester George Bell

JANUARY 23 2021 – FROM THE ARCHIVES [1971] – “USING THE DOG-COLLAR IN THE INTERESTS OF NATIONAL SECURITY”

Colin Wallace – “Colin disguised as a clergyman – during a raid on Belfast Airport to test security there”

Photo source – “Who Framed Colin Wallace?” by Paul Foot [Pan 1990] Pages 208-209] 

Using the ‘Dog-Collar’ as an MI5/MI6 Front – “For Reasons of National Security…Not in the Public Interest” – Kincora and Colin Wallace

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‘Colin disguised as a clergyman – during a raid on Belfast Airport to test security there’ (Source: “Who Framed Colin Wallace?” – Paul Foot – Pan 1990 – Page 208)

PAEDOPHILE INVESTIGATION “WAS NOT IN THE PUBLIC’S INTEREST BECAUSE IT COULD ‘DESTABILISE NATIONAL SECURITY’”

The Belfast Telegraph reported last year:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/royal-family-member-was-investigated-as-part-of-paedophile-ring-before-coverup-excop-says-31088592.html

The former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told by a detective  that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons.
“I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
“He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

1971 – Kincora Boys’ Home in Northern Ireland and William McGrath [“Who Framed Colin Wallace?” by Paul Foot – Macmillan 1989/Pan 1990 – Pages 115-146/208-209 Photo] 

June 10 2016 Chichester Post Letter – Richard W. Symonds [Kincora, “Who Framed Colin Wallace?”]

Dear Editor

This month [June 2016], the Kincora Inquiry at Banbridge Courthouse Northern Ireland, is investigating allegations that ‘State Agencies’ provided security protection to known paedophiles.

In 1974, former Army Intelligence Officer Colin Wallace – who lives in Arundel – discovered sexual abuse was taking place at the Kincora Boys Home and brought it to the attention of his superiors. Nothing was done.

In 1981, seven years later, three senior care workers working at Kincora were jailed after admitting sexual abuse of boys in their charge.

In 1982, Sussex Police were brought in to find evidence of a paedophile ring. Nothing was found.

In 1989, Paul Foot wrote “Who framed Colin Wallace?”. The Spectator’s Robert Kee said of the book at the time: “The finest and most alarming example of professional investigative journalism which I have ever read”.

What is the answer to the book’s question?

It’s not pretty.

Richard W. Symonds – Crawley