Tag Archives: Barbara Whitley. Aged 92. Niece of Bishop Bell

January 7 2018 – “The Seven Resolutions” – ‘Rebuilding Bridges’ Morning Conference – Church House Westminster – February 1 2018


Thursday February 1 2018 – Church House Westminster


The Seven Resolutions for the ‘Rebuilding Bridges’ Morning Conference at Church House Westminster on Thursday February 1

To call for:
1. Archbishop Justin Welby to apologise for his “significant cloud” comment concerning Bishop Bell. Any effective ‘rebuilding of bridges’ is almost impossible without this Apology.  
2. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner to invite Barbara Whitley, Bishop Bell’s niece, for a “face-to-face” meeting [she has already requested such a meeting]. The Bishop of Chichester has already met ‘Carol’.
3. Chichester Cathedral’s Dean and Chapter to restore 4 Canon Lane back to George Bell House – and to invite Lord Rowan Williams to re-dedicate the new plaque at George Bell House.
4. Chichester Cathedral’s Chancellor and Canon Librarian, Revd Dr Anthony Cane, to permit the display of Bishop Bell’s Portrait (in storage within the Cathedral Library) at Church House on Feb 1.
5. Chichester Cathedral’s Dean, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, to correct Page 37 of the Cathedral Guide “Society and Faith”:
6. General Synod to undertake a Full Debate at the earliest opportunity, regarding the serious implications arising from Lord Carlile’s report.
7. Prayer

December 22 2017 – “Bishop Bell’s niece: Welby should resign” – Daily Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard

Bishop Bell’s niece: Welby should resign

“I’m absolutely determined to get this clear before I die. You know, he’s a blood relation. And I know he’s a good man. And I know this sort of thing didn’t ever happen,” she said.    CREDIT: PA

The only surviving relative of Bishop George Bell has called for the Archbishop of Canterbury to resign as she says she is “determined” to clear his name before her death.

Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, 93, said she was left feeling “very shaky” when the Carlile review into the Church’s handling of abuse allegations against Bell came out last week.

Lord Carlile found that the Church was wrong to publicly name Belland the former Bishop of Chichester had been “hung out to dry” by leaders who were too focused on protecting the Church’s reputation.

The Archbishop, Justin Welby, was in post when the Church apologised for Bell’s alleged abuse in 2015.


I’m absolutely determined to get this clear before I die.Barbara Whitley

Responding to the report he apologised only “for the failures of the process” and pointed out that Bell, while regarded by many as a hero for his work against Nazism, was “accused of great wickedness”.

Mrs Whitley, who lives in a care home, told the BBC that the report, and the Archbishop’s response, made her “really very down”.

“I’m absolutely determined to get this clear before I die. You know, he’s a blood relation. And I know he’s a good man. And I know this sort of thing didn’t ever happen,” she said.

Asked if the Archbishop should resign, she said he should.

Last week Bell’s friends and supporters criticised the Archbishop for his response.

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson, the daughter of Bishop Bell’s friend Franz Hildebrandt, said Bishop Bell’s family deserved a personal apology from the Archbishop and the Bishop of Chichester.

“The Church can’t have its cake and eat it. Either he is innocent, in which case they must apologise, or he is guilty, which they can’t prove, and the report makes clear that they have not proved,” she told this newspaper.

The Church wrote to Mrs Whitley last week to apologise for the pain caused to her and her family.

Lord Carlile also said the Archbishop’s comments were “very disappointing”.

Bishop Bell, who died in 1958, was accused by a woman known as “Carol” of sexually abusing her when she was between five and eight years old.

She first came forward in 1995 and wrote to the Church again in 2012 and 2013 to reiterate her complaint.

Lord Carlile did not make a finding on whether the allegations were true or false but said a case against Bell would have been unlikely to succeed in court.

The Church also refused to accept one of Lord Carlile’s recommendations, that alleged abusers should not be publicly named where the allegations are disputed, unless facts are found to substantiate them, and naming them is deemed to be in the public interest.