Tag Archives: Bishop of Chester

July 1 2019 – IICSA Anglican Church Investigation

cw1_5427 - edited (2)




  1. Mr Greenwood tells the Inquiry: “When it comes to safeguarding, this is a thoroughly disreputable organisation and cannot be trusted.”

  2. We are now hearing from David Greenwood on behalf of MACSAS and a group of victims and survivors. “Cultural change will only come through the enforcement of tough penalties,” he says, with regard to safeguarding within the Church.

  3. Mr Scorer tells the panel: “I hope you can see the frustration of survivors about the pace of change and the fear, most of all, that progress will simply stall when this Inquiry comes to an end.”

  4. Mr Scorer says “any attempt to change hearts and minds in the church has to be led forcefully and vocally from the top… survivors don’t see that.” Watch live:

  5. We will now hear from the legal representatives of core participants, beginning with Richard Scorer on behalf of a group of victims and survivors.

  6. Ms Scolding is now explaining the structure of the Church in Wales as well as its safeguarding policies. Watch live:

  7. Independent Social Worker Edina Carmi has been instructed to review these sample cases and provide her expert opinion about whether the dioceses’ practices were in line with the relevant guidance and whether the steps taken were adequate.

October 18 2017 – Victor Whitsey – Former Bishop of Chester


Victor Whitsey

Hubert Victor Whitsey
Bishop of Chester
Diocese Diocese of Chester
In office 1974–81
Predecessor Gerald Ellison
Successor Michael Baughen
Other posts Bishop of Hertford 1971–74
Personal details
Born 21 November 1916
Died 25 December 1987 (aged 71)
Nationality British
Denomination Church of England
Occupation Bishop
Alma mater St Edmund Hall, Oxford

Hubert Victor Whitsey (21 November 1916 – 25 December 1987) was a Church of England bishop. He was Bishop of Hertford 1971–74[1] and Bishop of Chester 1974–81.[2]

Whitsey was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. After a curacy in Chorley he became the Vicar of Farington and the Rural Dean of Bolton[3] before his ordination to the episcopate.[4]

Allegations of sexual abuse

In 2016–17 Cheshire Constabulary conducted a 13-month investigation called Operation Coverage to investigate allegations that Victor Whitsey had sexually abused persons who were under the age of consent. In October 2017 the force announced that five male and eight female witnesses had alleged they were victims, and that were Whitsey still alive he would have been interviewed in connection with 10 of those 13 allegations.[3][5]

Slater and Gordon Lawyers represents four of Whitsey’s alleged victims.[5] Through Slater and Gordon, one alleged victim stated:

I longed for [Whitsey]’s blessing to achieve my wish of a future as a vicar, serving God and the community. He told me he agreed I had a calling from God. He also told me he had the power to give me everything I wanted in life and the power to take it all away. He then proceeded to abuse me sexually and psychologically. I was powerless to stop him.[5][6]

The alleged victim, who was a teenage boy at the time, added that as a result he lost his religious faith, started self-harming, and later had a mental breakdown and as a result had attempted suicide.[6]

The current Bishop of Chester Peter Forster and Archbishop of the Province of YorkJohn Sentamu, have accepted the allegations and issued an apology.[5]

See also


  1. Jump up^ “Who was Who” 1897–2007. London: A & C Black. 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7.
  2. Jump up^ “New Bishop of Chester”. The Times (58927). London. 31 October 1973. col E, p. 1.
  3. Jump up to:a b Holmes, David (17 October 2017). “Child sex attack shame of former Bishop of Chester”Chester ChronicleTrinity Mirror. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  4. Jump up^ Crockford’s Clerical Directory. London: Oxford University Press 1976. 1975. ISBN 0-19-200008-X.
  5. Jump up to:a b c d Sherwood, Harriet (17 October 2017). “Former bishop of Chester investigated over abuse allegations”The GuardianGuardian Media Group. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  6. Jump up to:a b Holmes, David (17 October 2017). “Sexual abuse victim of former Bishop of Chester speaks out”Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Trillo
Bishop of Hertford
Succeeded by
Peter Mumford
Preceded by
Gerald Ellison
Bishop of Chester
Succeeded by
Michael Baughen


October 18 2017 – “Former Bishop of Chester Hubert Whitsey investigated over abuse allegations” – The Guardian


Former bishop of Chester investigated over abuse allegations

Victor Whitsey, who died in 1987, would have been interviewed over allegations if he were alive, police say

Chester Cathedral. The allegations date from when Whitsey was bishop of Chester and from when he had retired.
 Chester Cathedral. The allegations date from when Whitsey was bishop of Chester and after his retirement. Photograph: Alamy

The former bishop of Chester, Victor Whitsey, is being investigated 30 years after his death over allegations of sexual abuse in the latest scandal involving high-profile figures in the Church of England.

A lawyer representing four of the alleged victims has claimed the abuse was covered up by the C of E and has called for a independent review.

The allegations date from the late 1970s when Whitsey was bishop of Chester, and in the 1980s after he had retired and was living in the diocese of Blackburn.

The C of E said it had supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults. The police told the church that, had Whitsey still been alive, he would have been interviewed in relation to 10 allegations. Whitsey died in 1987.

In a statement, the archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said: “We are deeply sorry and apologise to those individuals who have come forward to share their account of abuse by a bishop in the Church of England who was in a position of power and authority. We appreciate that it is very difficult for individuals to come forward and to give their account.

“Sexual abuse is a heinous crime – and is an absolute and shameful breach of trust. We acknowledge that for survivors the effects of sexual abuse are lifelong. We are offering pastoral support to all those who have come forward and continue to hold them all in our prayers.”

It added: “The church will consider what lessons can be learned from this case and whether any action needs to be taken as a result of what these inquiries have shown.”

Cheshire police said the allegations related to 13 people, five males and eight females. “The abuse is alleged to have taken place whilst the bishop was living and working in Chester and one incident is reported to have taken place outside the county,” a statement said. The police investigation had spanned 13 months, it added.

Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents four of Whitsey’s victims, said: “The abhorrent and disgusting abuse perpetrated by Bishop Whitsey destroyed many lives, driving some to attempt suicide. What is equally abhorrent is that the Church of England knew of his abuse, did nothing to stop it and covered it up. It is crucial that there is now an independent review into Whitsey abuse and who failed to act when they learnt of his heinous behaviour.”

The law firm understands that a complaint was made to the C of E while Whitsey was still serving as bishop of Chester, but it was not passed to police. The church was believed to have been made aware of further allegations following Whitsey’s retirement, but no action was taken.

Slater and Gordon released a statement from one of Whitsey’s alleged victims. It said: “When I met Victor Whitsey I was young, innocent, and naive. I longed for his blessing to achieve my wish of a future as a vicar, serving God and the community. He told me he agreed I had a calling from God. He also told me he had the power to give me everything I wanted in life and the power to take it all away. He then proceeded to abuse me sexually and psychologically. I was powerless to stop him.

“I blamed myself, though I was the only victim and rationalised that it was my fault … I told no one; who would believe a teenage boy’s word against a bishop of the Church of England? I became reclusive and came to the ultimate conclusion. The prospect of ever seeing Victor Whitsey again was so abhorrent to me that I turned my back on my beloved church and my calling to serve God. I self-harmed and have spent a lifetime focusing on resentment and bitterness.

“Twenty years after my abuse, I suffered a complete mental nervous breakdown which included attempted suicide. Because of the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of Victor Whitsey I lost my faith, my chosen life as a vicar, my self-belief, my freedom from worry and my dignity. Child sex abuse is a crime which stays with you for a lifetime. As a child you don’t understand why or what is happening, but as you grow older you realise the enormity of the abuse and it hurts you all over again – you blame yourself for allowing it – you hate yourself for being weak.

“Since my abuse, not a day has gone by that I have not thought about what happened to me.”

The author of the statement said he hoped there would be a public inquiry “to understand not only what Whitsey did to his victims but to also learn who knew what he was doing, to what extent his actions were intentionally covered up, and who else was complicit in the crimes that he committed, and for which, I continue to suffer every day of my life”.

The church has faced a number of high-profile cases of sexual abuse.

Peter Ball, a former bishop of both Gloucester and Lewes, was jailed in October 2015 for the grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men aged 17-25 who had sought spiritual guidance from him between 1977 and 1992. He was released from prison in February after serving 16 months.

A damning independent report, published in June, found that senior figures in the C of E had colluded over a 20-year period with the disgraced former bishop.

The report made harrowing reading, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said. “The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour,” he said.

George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury who was criticised in the report, resigned as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford.

Two years ago, the church issued a formal apology for alleged sexual abuse committed by one of its most senior figures, George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago. It also settled a civil claim brought against Ball by a survivor.

However, critics accused the church of acting improperly and without sufficient evidence, saying Bell’s “condemnation as a paedophile” had irreparably damaged his reputation.

An independent report into the church’s handling of the case is expected to be published next month.