“The extraordinary life of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon will be celebrated at a memorial service at Chichester Cathedral on Saturday (today)…The Queen will be represented by Susan Pyper, Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex…Naomi March, the late Duke’s adopted daughter will read ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and the Earl of March, the grandson of the late Duke, will read, ‘Turn Again to Life’ by Mary Lee Hall [“Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine…”]…
“Paying tribute at the time, his son, now the 11th Duke of Richmond and Gordon, called his father unorthodox, a free-thinker and deeply committed to improving the area”
[“Around 600 guests expected at the Duke’s memorial service” – Chichester Observer – November 23 2017 – Page 5]
RWS Note: The late Duke of Richmond and Gordon signed The Bell Petition a few months before his death in September 2016 – a Petition which included the restoration of George Bell House.
Charles Moore on Bishop Bell – The Spectator – November 25 2017
“Just over two years ago, the Church of England authorities hurriedly condemned George Bell because of claims that he had abused a child nearly 70 years ago. They paid money to the alleged victim. Bell, Bishop of Chichester and the leading British supporter of Christian resistance to Hitler, died in 1958. Many protested at the process by which Bell had been condemned. No contemporary documents seemed to have been studied and no surviving witnesses, such as his domestic chaplain, had been asked for their testimony. The mere accusation carried all before it. So great was the anger that the Archbishop of Canterbury courageously decided to review the decision to which he had been party and called in Lord Carlile QC to review the process which damned Bell. Lord Carlile reported in early October, and the steer was that the church would release his report roughly now. On Monday, however, a C of E press release said that the authorities ‘are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed’. ‘This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication,’ it explained. A few months! Obviously those criticised should be allowed to comment privately on what the report says, but there was only one accuser and only one supposed perpetrator. This is not the Chilcot report. Two thoughts occur. The first is that the delay strongly suggests that Lord Carlile has found the process to have been severely wanting. The second is that the ‘safeguarding’ team at the heart of the process are being much better safeguarded than ever poor Bell was” – Charles Moore
This Portrait is in storage within the Cathedral Library [September 9 2017] – No Public Access [except on Heritage Open Days eg September 9 2017]
The Plaque reads:
“Bishop Bell has a worldwide reputation for his tireless work for international reconciliation, the arts, education, and church unity. The House that bears his name provides a place where work in these areas can continue and prosper. The generosity of an Anglican Order, the Community of the Servants of the Cross (CSC) has enabled the purchase of the House. Canon Peter Kefford (Treasurer of Chichester Cathedral 2003-2009) was the prime initiator in establishing George Bell House as a centre for Education, Vocation and Reconciliation”
Photograph: Howard Coster, 1953. It is the last portrait photograph of Bishop Bell.
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