Tag Archives: Bonfire

May 9 2019 – IICSA Investigation of Chichester Diocese [Terence Banks Jnr – sexual abuse & prosecution. Dean Treadgold – bonfire & missing files]. Eric Banks Snr, ‘Carol’, Bishop Bell and Mistaken Identity

170461775

Chichester Cathedral [from George Bell House, Canon Lane]

file:///C:/Users/DAVID/Downloads/anglican-church-case-studies_-chichester-peter-ball-investigation-report-may-2019%20(3).pdf

IICSA Investigation Report – May 9 2019

The Anglican
Church
Case Studies:
1. The Diocese of
Chichester
2. The response to
allegations against
Peter Ball
Investigation Report
May 2019

Contents
Executive Summary iii

Part A: Introduction 1

Part B: Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester 15

B.1. Introduction to the Diocese of Chichester case study 17
B.2: Chichester Cathedral 22
B.3: The cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard 41
B.4: Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group 57
B.5: The Butler-Sloss report 59
B.6: Complaints under the Clergy Discipline Measure 64
B.7: The Archepiscopal Visitation 65
B.8: The allegations against Gordon Rideout, Robert Coles and
Jonathan Graves 74
B.9: Operation Perry 83

B.10: George Bell 85

B.11: Culture of the Church 90
B.12: Mandatory reporting 96
B.13: Current situation in Chichester 100
Part C: Case study 2: The response to allegations against Peter Ball 109
C.1: Introduction to the Peter Ball case study 110
C.2: Peter Ball’s ordination and progression within the Church of England 112
C.3: Peter Ball’s time in Lewes 116
C.4: Peter Ball’s appointment as Bishop of Gloucester 120
C.5: The events leading to Peter Ball’s arrest 122
C.6: The Gloucestershire Constabulary investigation 126
C.7: The response of the Church of England during the 1992 police
investigation 136
C.8: The decision to caution 153
C.9: Peter Ball’s resignation and the consideration of disciplinary action 160
C.10: Peter Ball’s return to ministry 169
C.11: Internal Church reviews 179
C.12: The Northamptonshire Police investigation 184
C.13: Operation Dunhill 186
Part D: Conclusions and recommendations 195
Conclusions 196
Recommendations 206

ii
Annexes 209
Annex 1: Overview of process and evidence obtained by the Inquiry 210
Annex 2: Glossary 221
Annex 3: Chronology relating to the Chichester Case Study 227
Annex 4: Chronology relating to the Peter Ball Case Study 229
Annex 5: Key individuals 231
Annex 6: Table of convicted perpetrators of child sexual abuse in the
Diocese of Chichester 239
Annex 7: Tables of convictions and allegations against Peter Ball 242

iii
Executive Summary

This phase of the Anglican Church investigation has examined two case studies. The
first was the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual
abuse against children. The second concerned Peter Ball, who was a bishop in Chichester
before becoming Bishop of Gloucester. In 1993, he was cautioned for gross indecency,
and was convicted of further offences in 2015, including misconduct in public office and
indecent assault.
The Church of England should have been a place which protected all children and supported
victims and survivors. It failed to be so in its response to allegations against clergy and laity.
The Diocese of Chichester
The Diocese of Chichester covers East and West Sussex, with 506 churches and 365
parishes. There are 450 clergy and employed lay workers, as well as a significant number of
retired clergy.
Over 50 years, 20 individuals with connections to Chichester Diocese have been convicted
or have pleaded guilty to sexual offending against children
iv
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
families of teenage boys. He took them out alone and gave them keys to his flat. This was
known to some individuals in the Diocese, but no steps were taken to prevent him working
with children.
Reverend Jonathan Graves
In 2017, after a second investigation by Sussex Police, Reverend Jonathan Graves was
convicted of seven counts of indecent assault, two counts of indecency with a child and four
counts of cruelty to a child. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Graves befriended
teenage boys in his role as priest, and then engaged in sexual activity with them. This
included sadism and masochism. He was warned by the safeguarding adviser in 2000 that he
should not have under 18s in the house, but nothing was done to enforce this or follow up
on suspicions about him within the parish.
Reverend Colin Pritchard
Reverend Colin Pritchard was a friend of another perpetrator, Reverend Roy Cotton. Both
abused Mr Philip Johnson during his teenage years. Pritchard pleaded guilty in 2008 to seven
counts of sexual assault against two boys in a parish in Northamptonshire. He was jailed for
five years. In 2018, he was convicted of several counts of indecent assault and rape against
a boy aged between 10 and 15, for which he received a sentence of 16 years’ imprisonment.
The allegations were that he conspired with Cotton to commit these offences, which took
place while he was vicar in a Chichester parish.
The Diocese
From the early 1990s until 2013 onwards, when the conclusions of the Visitation were
implemented, there were inadequate safeguarding structures and policies in place within
the Anglican Church and in Chichester Diocese. The responses to child sexual abuse were
marked by secrecy, prevarication, avoidance of reporting alleged crimes to the authorities
and a failure to take professional advice.
It was the opinion of Mr Colin Perkins, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, that Coles
represented “the worst case in the Diocese, the most serious case … a diocesan bishop, an area
bishop, an archdeacon and two safeguarding advisers knew that he had admitted some of the
matters about which he had been questioned … and none of them told the police”.
1
Several internal reviews failed to expose the nature and scale of the problem of child
sexual abuse within the Diocese. Instead, they were used by Church leaders to act out
their personal conflicts and antagonisms. The reviews ultimately came to nothing until the
Archbishop of Canterbury intervened by ordering a Visitation.
The 1997–98 Sussex Police investigation into Cotton and Pritchard, both later convicted,
was inadequate. There was unnecessary delay and a failure to explore all lines of enquiry.
As a consequence, no charges were brought and both offenders escaped justice at that
time. The later investigations by Sussex Police, namely Operations Perry and Dunhill, were
of a much higher quality. The police and the Diocese worked closely together during those
investigations.
1 Perkins 15 March 2018 131/10-17
v
Executive Summary
Peter Ball
In his 2015 guilty plea, Peter Ball admitted he had abused his position as Bishop of Lewes
and Bishop of Gloucester to offend against 17 teenagers and young men. That offending
involved deliberately manipulating vulnerable teenagers and young men for his own sexual
gratification and included naked praying, masturbation and flagellation. It was presented by
Ball as following the teachings of St Francis. One witness described how Ball had repeatedly
suggested they watched television together naked, as such ‘humiliation’ was part of the
teachings of St Francis and would provide a more direct route to a closer relationship to God.
Many of Ball’s victims passed through the ‘Give a Year to God’ scheme, which Peter Ball had
set up while he was Bishop of Lewes in the early 1980s. This scheme was not subject to any
monitoring or supervision by the Diocese of Chichester or by anyone from the Church.
One such victim was Neil Todd, who was seriously failed by the Church and ultimately
took his own life at the age of 38. In 1992, Ball’s housekeeper and her husband were so
concerned about his treatment of Mr Todd that they reported it to a senior bishop working
with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Nothing constructive was done, despite the likely abuse
of power by Ball and Neil Todd’s undoubted vulnerability. The Church discounted Ball’s
conduct as trivial and insignificant, displaying callous indifference to Neil Todd’s complaints.
Later, during the Gloucestershire Constabulary investigation of the matter, the Church
expressed unwavering public support for Peter Ball and, following his caution, gave him
extensive financial help. Neil Todd received limited counselling support, but no redress or
practical assistance.
The Gloucestershire Constabulary investigation was thorough, but the force failed to
share important information with the Church after Ball’s caution. The Crown Prosecution
Service (CPS) advice to offer him a caution for one offence of gross indecency was wrong,
and contrary to Home Office guidance at that time. Ball could properly have been charged
with several other offences in 1992, at least one of which he subsequently pleaded guilty
to in 2015.
Peter Ball’s charisma, charm and reputation enabled him to avoid a criminal conviction. He
used his power and influence to groom individuals and manipulate the institutions of the
Church. The Church’s response to his arrest in 1992 was to minimise his offending and later
to return him to ministry with indecent haste, without any kind of basic assessment of risk
to children.
On behalf of the Church, the Archbishops’ Council has accepted that it displayed “moral
cowardice” in its response to the allegations against Peter Ball.2
An important aspect of the Peter Ball case study was the failure of leadership of Lord
George Carey, then Archbishop of Canterbury. He equivocated throughout the responses to
allegations about Ball, seeming frequently to do the wrong thing when there was a choice
to be made. His ‘compassion’ whilst often accorded to Ball, did not extend to his victims.
Examples of this were Archbishop Carey’s overt support for Ball’s innocence, despite having
no justification for his position, and the Christmas letter he sent to parishioners, in which
he wrote, “We hope and pray that the investigation will clear his name”.3 Further, he wrote to
2 Submissions 27 July 2018 154/17
3 ACE000255_001

vi
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
the Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary during their investigation of Ball, to
say that the allegations against him were “unrepresentative of his style”.4 This statement was
neither accurate nor appropriate.
Following Ball’s caution for gross indecency in 1992, Archbishop Carey could have decided
to take disciplinary action against him. He did not. The only person with effective power
to prevent Ball from returning to ministry, or to limit it, was Archbishop Carey. It was he
who granted Peter Ball permission to officiate and he who publicly called for him to be
treated “as any other retired bishop”.
5 Almost every aspect of his decision-making regarding
Peter Ball indicates poor judgement and a failure to recognise the appalling experiences of
Ball’s victims.
Peter Ball seemed to relish contact with prominent and influential people. This included
royalty and other titled individuals, and heads of well-known public schools. He was
frequently described as ‘charismatic’ and an outstanding preacher. Some of these people
rushed to support him in the aftermath of his arrest. In the years that followed, they wrote
to the police, the CPS and the Church in the belief that their opinion of Peter Ball’s character
mattered, despite not knowing all of the facts or the allegations. Lord Lloyd of Berwick,
Lord Renton and Tim Rathbone MP all wrote in their support of Ball. Such people in public
office should have taken greater care before using their positions of prominence to seek to
influence the criminal justice system.
Peter Ball sought to use his relationship with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to
further his campaign to return to unrestricted ministry. The Prince of Wales informed the
Inquiry he was not aware of the significance or impact of the caution that Peter Ball had
accepted, and was not sure that he was even told that Peter Ball had been cautioned at
the time. During the period of that campaign, the Prince of Wales and his private secretary
spoke about Peter Ball with the Archbishop of Canterbury and a member of Lambeth Palace
staff. In addition, the Duchy of Cornwall purchased a property specifically to rent to Peter
Ball and his brother. The actions of the Prince of Wales were misguided. His actions, and
those of his staff, could have been interpreted as expressions of support for Peter Ball and,
given the Prince of Wales’ future role within the Church of England, had the potential to
influence the actions of the Church.
The response by the Church
The question remains why the Church’s responses to sexual abuse in Chichester, including
the Peter Ball case, were so inadequate. They had devastating consequences for the children
and young people who were affected.
There are some reasons already well known to this Inquiry from other investigations,
principally concerning the prioritisation of reputation over the protection of children. There
was a deep-seated arrogance amongst some senior clergy, including Bishop Wallace Benn.
They believed that they were right in their indulgent attitude towards some perpetrators,
even when they had been convicted. In Bishop Benn’s case, his failings were compounded by
his litigious approach to perceived criticism.
4 ACE000437_001
5 ACE003298_058
vii
Executive Summary
What marks out faith organisations such as the Anglican Church in this context is their
explicit moral purpose, in teaching right from wrong. In Chichester, its neglect of the physical
and spiritual well-being of children and young people was in conflict with the Church’s
mission of love and care.
Another failing in the Church was its ‘clericalism’ and ‘tribalism’, which made the present
Archbishop of Canterbury so deeply ashamed. Both contributed to an approach to ministry
in the Diocese which led to an abuse of power.
In this context, we use clericalism to describe Church structures in which control is largely or
entirely vested in the clergy. The consequence of this is the absence of accountability, and
the creation of a climate in which clergy may consider themselves superior to laity.
Tribalism is based on the impulse to protect a particular group, belief or way of thinking,
regardless of individual responsibility or culpability. In Chichester, this manifested itself in
opposing factions. Rivalry between the two groups was in itself destructive, and within each
group there was misplaced loyalty to its adherents. In the public hearings, this was acted out
by several senior clergy squabbling about responsibility for failing to deal with past sexual
abuse. The damaging consequence of this overriding allegiance to one’s own ‘tribe’ was that
child protection was compromised.
The Church has issued an unconditional apology to victims and survivors for their suffering.
For many people, however, that apology was unconvincing. One female victim, who was
abused by Gordon Rideout from the age of 10, received an apology from the Bishop of
Chichester in 2013. This was some 40 years after she had been abused. Victims who have
been in touch with the Inquiry have described the lifelong consequences of their abuse, as
well as their loss of religious faith. Others were unable to cope with their experiences and
ended their lives.
The Archbishops’ Council has characterised the Church’s treatment of complainants, victims
and survivors as “shocking, even callous”.
6 The Church has now acknowledged its errors and
recognised that it must take responsibility for the pain suffered by victims and survivors.
We noted the improvements which have occurred in Chichester since 2012, and the
commitment of resources by the Church to facilitate these changes. The Diocese has
also benefited from the firm leadership of Bishop Martin Warner. We will use the wider
Anglican Church public hearings to explore the further steps that should be taken, as
well as examining specific issues such as Church structures, disciplinary processes and
cultural change.
We make several recommendations which arise directly from the case studies of the Diocese
of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball. These include improving
child protection in religious communities affiliated to the Church, criminalising sexual activity
between clergy and a person of 16–18 over whom they have spiritual authority, and stronger
compliance with the requirement of volunteers and ordained clergy to undergo disclosure
and barring checks.
We will make further recommendations directly related to the findings of this report
following the hearing in July 2019, which will focus upon the wider Anglican Church.
6 ACE026392

1
Part A
Introduction

2
Introduction
1. In 2015 the Inquiry announced an investigation into the nature and extent of, and the
institutional response to, allegations of child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church…..

 

B.1. Introduction to the Diocese of Chichester case study

Background
1. The Diocese of Chichester stretches over East and West Sussex, from Hastings in the
east to Chichester in the west. It was founded in 681 by St Wilfred and is one of the oldest
dioceses in England. During the Anglo Saxon and medieval period, this part of the United
Kingdom was of considerable economic and strategic importance.
2. The Diocese is mostly rural, its major urban centres being Crawley, Redhill and the city of
Brighton and Hove. It has a larger than average population of retirees in comparison to the
rest of the country. This includes a significant number of retired clergy, which was over 400
at the last count.
3. The Diocese has areas of wealth. It also has pockets of significant deprivation, most
significantly in East Sussex around Hastings and Brighton. There are 506 churches in the
Diocese, 365 parishes grouped into 286 benefices, 450 clergy and employed lay workers,
and 265 readers.38
ARCHDEACONRIES IN THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER
MIDHURST
CUCKFIELD
UCKFIELD
ROTHERFIELD
DALLINGTON RYE
HURST
LEWES AND
SEAFORD
HORSHAM
WESTBOURNE STORRINGTON
ARUNDEL
AND BOGNOR
PETWORTH
EAST GRINSTEAD
CHICHESTER
CATHEDRAL
WORTHING
BRIGHTON
EASTBOURNE
HASTINGS
BATTLE
AND
BEXHILL
HOVE
Diocese of Chichester, showing archdeaconries
4. The Bishop of Chichester is a diocesan bishop. He is assisted by the Bishop of Lewes and
the Bishop of Horsham, who are known as suffragan bishops.
5. Some of those who gave evidence told us that Chichester was more limited in its
approach to the ordination and ministry of women than other dioceses. Since 2012, the
role of ordained women in the Diocese has been enhanced. Following the appointment of
Richard Jackson as the Suffragan Bishop of Lewes in 2014, it has been possible to ordain
38 See http://www.chichester.anglican.org/history
18
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
men and women together. Fiona Windsor was made Archdeacon of Horsham in 2014 and
from 2016 the Bishop of Horsham has also ordained women to the priesthood.39
6. From 1984, an area scheme operated under which suffragan bishops were responsible
for appointments within their area and for granting permission to officiate. They generally
administered to their own areas of the Diocese with limited oversight from the Bishop of
Chichester. The area scheme was revoked in 2013, at which time these responsibilities
reverted to the diocesan bishop.
7. The area scheme had a deleterious impact on the oversight of safeguarding, particularly
in the eastern part of the Diocese. It led to an absence of adequate governance during the
lifetime of the scheme. A lack of effective leadership, or alternatively a failure of effective
oversight, is an issue which the Inquiry has examined in both case studies.
8. The Diocese of Chichester was selected as a case study because a number of its
clergy and volunteers have been convicted of sexual offending over the past 10 years.
Moreover, internal Church reviews have evidenced patterns of difficulty with governance
and leadership, which led to failures in child protection. All of these issues required further
examination. However, as the Archbishops’ Council has recognised,40 the problems found
in Chichester were not unique to it. They are reflective of difficulties which existed in the
Church as a whole at the time in question.
Child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Chichester
9. Over the last 50 years, the Diocese of Chichester has been home to a substantial number
of child sexual abusers. Using the Archbishops’ Council’s own figures, 18 individuals with
connections to the Diocese of Chichester have been convicted or pleaded guilty to sexual
offending against children and young people before 2018. This can be compared to seven
individuals in the Diocese of York, five in the Diocese of Birmingham, and three in the
Diocese of London.41 We cannot know if the increased focus on Chichester has brought to
light more offenders than may otherwise be the case in other dioceses, but in any event it
provides the Inquiry with a chance to examine widespread offending.
10. The allegations of abuse perpetrated by those working in the Diocese of Chichester
spanned several decades, from the 1950s until the 21st century. A series of allegations came
to light within the last 20 years, and were followed by a multitude of further complaints.
11. A full list of convicted perpetrators from the Diocese of Chichester can be found at
Annex 6. For the purposes of this case study, the Inquiry has focussed its examination upon
the following abusers:
a. Terence Banks: A volunteer steward at Chichester Cathedral. In 2001, he was
convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys. The abuse had taken place over a
period of 29 years, from the 1970s to the 1990s.
b. David Bowring: He was a teacher at The Prebendal School in the 1970s. This was an
independent residential school which had strong links to Chichester Cathedral and
provided many of its choristers. In 2003, he was convicted of six charges of indecent
assault against four boys. All of the offences were committed in the 1970s, when the
victims were pupils at The Prebendal School.
39 ACE026143_037 40 ACE026327_003 41 ACE021306
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
19
c. Michael Walsh: He was a teacher at Bishop Luffa School in the 1980s. He was also
Head of Music within a parish at an Anglican church. In 1990, he was convicted of
five counts of unlawful sexual intercourse involving pupils.
d. Roy Cotton: He was a vicar in the Diocese of Chichester, serving in three different
parishes between 1971 and 1999. In 1954, whilst training to be ordained and acting
as a Scout leader, he was convicted of indecently exposing himself to a child. He was
subsequently ordained as a priest in the late 1960s, despite the Church knowing of
his conviction. Allegations were made that he abused boys and young men in the
1970s and 1980s. He was also the subject of two police investigations in the 1990s,
neither of which resulted in any charges. He died in 2006 before the police could
investigate new allegations and reopen the earlier investigations, which the police
now accept were inadequate.
e. Colin Pritchard: He attended theological college with Roy Cotton and was ordained
in 1970. Having served in several parishes in the Midlands, he moved to the Diocese
of Chichester in 1989. In 2008, he was convicted of three counts of indecent assault
of a male and three counts of gross indecency with a child. The offences took place
during the 1970s and 1980s, whilst he was a priest in Northamptonshire. In 2018,
he was convicted of a further seven offences of child sexual abuse committed in
the late 1980s. This offending involved a boy aged between 10 and 14 years, again
whilst working in Northamptonshire.
f. Gordon Rideout: He was ordained in the Diocese of Chichester in 1963. Between
1963 and his retirement in 2003, he worked in several parishes in Sussex and was
an Army chaplain from 1967 to 1973.42 In 2013, he was convicted of 36 offences
of child sexual abuse against 16 victims. In 2016, he was convicted of a further
charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years. These offences were
committed between 1962 and 1973 in the Diocese of Chichester.
g. Robert Coles: He was ordained as a priest in 1969, and went on to work as a priest
in Northampton. Between 1978 and 1997, he was a vicar in Eastbourne. He was
convicted in 2012 of 11 offences of child sexual abuse. This included seven counts
of indecent assault and one count of buggery, all of which took place between 1979
and 1984.43 He was a friend of Jonathan Graves.
h. Jonathan Graves: He was a teacher who became a curate in the East Sussex area in
1984. He remained in this position until 2004, when he moved to Devon as chaplain
at a boarding school.44 In 2017, he was convicted of seven counts of indecent
assault, two counts of indecency with a child and four counts of cruelty to a child.
The offending occurred between 1987 and 1992 in the Diocese of Chichester.
i. Peter Ball: He was the Bishop of Lewes from 1977 to 1992. His offending is set out
in detail in this report, but in short he was convicted of multiple offences in 2015,
including misconduct in public office and indecent assault.
12. During the course of the public hearing, the Inquiry heard and read evidence from
several victims. They told us not only of their harrowing experiences at the hands of their
abusers, but of the unacceptable treatment they received from the Church after coming
42 ACE022300_0044-5 43 ANG000214 44 ACE024211_001
20
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
forward. When individuals found the courage to disclose their abuse to members of the
Church, they were often dismissed as liars and troublemakers. On other occasions, they were
merely ignored and allegations of serious offending were not reported to the police.
13. Little or no pastoral support was offered by way of counselling or contact. Senior clergy
steadfastly refused to apologise to victims, even after their perpetrators had been convicted
and imprisoned. The Church displayed a flagrant disregard for their suffering, its primary
concern being for its own reputation. The Archbishops’ Council has acknowledged that the
Church’s performance fell “far short of what was to be expected … the Church could and should
have done better at the time”.45
14. The Inquiry thanks each of the victims, survivors and complainants for their help
and for their bravery in telling their individual stories. We could not have conducted this
investigation without their contributions.
Issues covered by the Chichester case study
15. The Chichester case study has considered the following themes:
15.1. The nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with
the Diocese.
15.2. The nature and extent of any failures of the Church of England, the Diocese, law
enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities and other public authorities or statutory
agencies to protect children from such abuse, and to report abuse promptly and in line
with relevant standards in force at the time.
15.3. The adequacy of the response of the Church of England and any other relevant
institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the
Diocese, including the response to adult survivors.
15.4. The extent to which the Church of England (including the Diocese of Chichester)
sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes and provide support and
reparations to victims and survivors, in response to:
15.4.1. allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;
15.4.2. criminal investigations and prosecutions or civil litigation relating to child
sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;
15.4.3. investigations, reviews or inquiries into child sexual abuse within the
Diocese including, but not limited to, the Carmi report, the Meekings report, the
Butler-Sloss report, and the Archepiscopal Visitation;
15.4.4. complaints made under the Clergy Discipline Measure; and
15.4.5. other internal or external reviews or guidance.
16. These themes have been distilled from the definition of scope set by the Inquiry for
the Anglican Church investigation and by the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry set by the
Home Secretary. The terms of the definition of scope for this case study are:
“3.1. the Diocese of Chichester and, in particular, consider:
45 ACE026327_001
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
21
a) the nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the
Diocese;
b) the nature and extent of any failures of the Church of England, the Diocese, law
enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and/or other public authorities or
statutory agencies to protect children from such abuse;
c) the adequacy of the response of the Church of England, including through the
Diocese of Chichester, and the response of any other relevant institutions to
allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;
d) the extent to which the Church of England, including through the Diocese of
Chichester, sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes and provide
support and reparations to victims and survivors, in response to:
i) allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;
ii) criminal investigations and prosecutions and/or civil litigation relating to child
sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;
iii) investigations, reviews or inquiries into child sexual abuse within the Diocese,
including, but not limited to, the Carmi report; the Meekings report; the ButlerSloss report; and the Arch Episcopal visitation;
iv) complaints made under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure; and/or
v) other internal or external reviews or guidance.”
Chronology of internal reports
17. Over the past 20 years, a number of investigations into child sexual abuse have been
carried out within the Diocese of Chichester. The Inquiry examined these investigations
along with their findings, the recommendations they sought to implement, and whether or
not changes were in fact made.
18. The process and conclusions of each investigation are explored in more detail within this
report. A brief chronology of those investigations is set out below.
Year Name of report Description
2001 The Carmi review Following the conviction of Terence Banks, Mrs Edina Carmi
(independent safeguarding consultant) was commissioned
to conduct a case review of the Diocese between the 1970s
and 2000. The report was not published until 2014.
2007–2009 National Past Cases
Review
The Anglican Church conducted a national review of
historic child sexual abuse cases. Independent reviewers
were appointed in each of the Church’s 44 dioceses. The
full results of the review have never been published. In
July 2018, the Church of England published a report which
identified that this review was a “curate’s egg”.46 The Church
described it as a well-intentioned piece of work, but one
which had shortcomings in terms of its scope and execution.
The Church has therefore concluded that it cannot be
regarded as a comprehensive review of all past cases.47
46 ACE026359_003 47 ACE026359_003
22
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
Year Name of report Description
2009 The Meekings
report
Mr Roger Meekings (independent social work consultant)
was commissioned to carry out the Past Cases Review in
the Diocese of Chichester. He also produced an addendum
and further report into the cases of Reverends Roy Cotton
and Colin Pritchard. The Diocese did not accept all of his
findings and the Cotton/Pritchard report was not published
until 2012.
2011–2012 The Butler-Sloss
report
Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (former chairperson of the
Cleveland Child Abuse Inquiry and President of the Family
Division) conducted a review of the Meekings report. She
produced her report in May 2011, but was obliged to issue
an addendum in January 2012 after the BBC revealed
inaccuracies in some of the factual information.
2012–2013 The Archepiscopal
Visitation reports
The Archbishop of Canterbury ordered an Archepiscopal
Visitation to the Diocese, which investigated the handling
of child abuse allegations. It was carried out by Bishop John
Gladwin and Canon Rupert Bursell QC. An interim report
was produced in August 2012, followed by a final report in
April 2013.
2017 The Carlile review The Bishop of Chichester commissioned an independent
review by Lord Carlile of Berriew (senior criminal barrister
and peer), the purpose of which was to examine the Church’s
response to the George Bell case. The report was published
in December 2017.
B.2: Chichester Cathedral
19. This case study will adopt a chronological approach, dealing with each perpetrator
according to the date of their conviction. Therefore the report begins with the case of
Terence Banks, although Chichester Cathedral is not within the jurisdiction of the Diocese.
The Terence Banks case
Convictions for child sexual abuse
20. On 2 May 2001, Terence Banks was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys.
The offences were committed over a period of nearly 30 years. All of his victims were under
the age of 16 at the time they were abused.48 He was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment.
21. Banks met all but one of the victims through his activities with Chichester Cathedral,
where he had been a volunteer steward until his arrest in 2000. He also played a part in the
organisation of the Southern Cathedrals Festival. This was a music festival which rotated
on a yearly basis between the cathedrals of Salisbury, Chichester and Winchester. It was
attended by various children’s choirs from across the south of England.49
48 OHY000184_008 49 https://www.southerncathedralsfestival.org.uk
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
23
22. Of the 12 victims, seven were pupils at The Prebendal School. This is an independent
preparatory school for children aged between three and 13 years. It educates both day
and boarding pupils, some of whom are choristers at Chichester Cathedral. The Chair of
Governors is the Dean of the Cathedral. Members of the Dean and Chapter play a significant
role in the governance and management of the school.
Evidence of AN‑A11
23. One of the children whom Terence Banks was convicted of abusing was AN‑A11, who
gave evidence at the public hearing. In 1978, AN‑A11 joined a choral school in Winchester
at the age of 10. He met Banks through their mutual involvement in the Chichester music
festival.50
24. During one of the festivals, Banks invited AN‑A11 to stay overnight in his house. They
attended a function that evening at a nearby hotel, during the course of which Banks
bought him alcoholic drinks. He recalled the older boys jokingly advising him to “watch out,
stick a bun up your arse, here comes Terence”.51 Whilst this remark could be characterised
as the crude humour of a teenager, it does suggest that choristers were aware of Banks’
preference for boys.
25. The alcohol caused AN‑A11 to feel queasy and he returned to the house alone.52 He
described waking up later that night to find Banks sitting on his bed. Banks pulled back the
covers, took hold of AN‑A11’s penis and began to masturbate him. Banks was masturbating
himself simultaneously. AN‑A11 told us that he “froze and didn’t know what to do”. He was 12
or 13 years old at this time.53
26. AN‑A11 recalled a second occasion when Banks invited him to visit the BBC studios
in London, where he worked as a floor manager. They watched the recording of a popular
television programme. Later that day, they returned to Banks’ flat where he again plied
AN‑A11 with alcoholic drinks and persuaded him to take a bath. He joined AN‑A11 in the
bathtub. Both were naked. Afterwards, Banks got into bed with him and began touching
AN‑A11’s penis. He also placed AN‑A11’s hand on his own penis. AN‑A11 was 13 years old
when this incident occurred.54
27. In April 2000, AN‑A11 reported his abuse to the police. He was subsequently involved
in the prosecution that led to the conviction of Banks. He received a letter from the Dean
and Chapter at the conclusion of the court case, sympathising with “all those who have been
through this long period of acute stress and strain” but failing to offer any apology on behalf of
the Cathedral.55
28. At the time of Banks’ arrest in 2000, Mrs Janet Hind was the Diocesan Child Protection
Adviser in Chichester. She held this role between 1997 and 2002. Following his conviction,
she arranged a meeting “to look at what had happened and learn lessons for the future”.
56 This
meeting was to take place in the early summer of 2001, attended by various members of the
Cathedral, social services, the police and representatives of Banks’ victims.
50 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 59/1-6 51 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 62/1-2 52 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 64/2-4 53 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 64/13-20 54 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 66-67 55 INQ000984_012 56 Hind 9 March 2018 81/17-19
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
29. Mrs Hind’s husband, John Hind, became the Bishop of Chichester in 2001. Concerns
were raised by a parent that she might not be sufficiently independent to conduct the
planned meeting. Mrs Hind withdrew from her role as Child Protection Adviser because of
the potential conflict and was replaced by Mr Tony Sellwood. By the time of her departure
in 2002, however, Mrs Hind had set the wheels in motion for what would eventually become
known as the Carmi review.
30. The review was to be led by Mrs Edina Carmi, a social work consultant. She was
supported by a multi-agency steering group chaired by Mr Peter Collier QC. The group
included representatives from the police, Victim Support, West Sussex Social and Caring
Services and the Education Department, along with a member of the clergy and the Bishop’s
Adviser for Child Protection. Mrs Carmi drafted the review’s terms of reference, which set
out that “the starting point for direct contributions to the review will be the victims”.
57
31. The Carmi review was designed to imitate the serious cases reviews that were
conducted by local authorities in cases of death or serious harm to young people. It was
commissioned by Bishop Hind shortly after his appointment. His intention was to understand
how Banks “could have been able to perpetrate offences against so many boys over such a
long period”.
58
The Carmi review
Commissioning of the review
32. In September 2001, a letter from Bishop Hind was sent to each of the victims who had
been identified during the police investigation.59 This letter explained that a review would
be taking place. AN‑A11 agreed to participate in the review. Along with another victim of
Banks, he met with Mrs Carmi to discuss his experiences of abuse. The victims’ views would
form part of the completed report, which was eventually finalised in January 2004.
Problems encountered during the Carmi review
The leadership of Dean John Treadgold
33. Between 1997 and 2007, Canon Peter Atkinson (currently the Dean of Worcester60) was
a residentiary canon and chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. In his view, there was a “failure
of leadership” at Chichester Cathedral at the time of Banks’ arrest.61
34. Dean John Treadgold62 was the then Dean of Chichester Cathedral. Under his direction,
safeguarding matters were handled as pastoral concerns and nothing more. Canon Atkinson
described him as a “rugged individualist” with traditional views, who found it difficult to relate
to members of the Diocese and to external agencies.63
57 ACE022573_123 58 WWS000138_031 59 INQ000984_014-15 60 WWS000140_002 61 WWS000140_020 62 This is not the correct nomenclature, but is used in this report for ease of reference. 63 Atkinson 20 March 2018 147/22
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
25
35. Dean Treadgold appears to have experienced a particularly strained relationship
with Mrs Carmi, Mrs Hind and the police. For instance, at the debrief meeting chaired
by Mrs Carmi on 12 June 2001, the police raised concerns regarding his response to the
criminal investigation of Banks. It was specifically noted that the Dean “appeared defensive
and seemed to take the side of the Defendant”.
64
36. Shortly after his retirement in autumn 2001, Dean Treadgold returned to Chichester
Cathedral. He instructed the gardeners to burn a number of files held in the basement of
the Deanery. This incident was reported to the police by members of the Cathedral. A police
investigation was subsequently conducted, during the course of which the Carmi review was
suspended.65 Ultimately, the police took no further action and the Carmi review continued
from early December 2002. Canon Atkinson recalled that no internal investigation took
place regarding the burning of these potentially important files.66 Nobody in the Cathedral
appears to have questioned Dean Treadgold about this, nor did the Cathedral carry out any
enquiries of its own.
Opposition to the review
37. In a letter to Mrs Carmi dated 3 November 2003, Bishop Hind acknowledged receipt
of her completed report. He expressed his apologies for the extent to which her review
had been hindered by “members and officials of the Church”.
67 Indeed, Mrs Carmi told us the
Dean and Chapter were reluctant both to engage with the investigation and to assist in
encouraging further victims to come forward.68
38. When the review began two years earlier, Bishop Hind wrote to the Dean and to all
members of the Chapter requesting their full co-operation with Mrs Carmi in the completion
of her task.69 The responses to his letter expressed an unreserved willingness to assist, with
Dean Treadgold declaring that “I shall be quite happy to assist Mrs Carmi in any way I can”.
70
After he resigned from his post in October 2001, he was succeeded by Dean Nicholas
Frayling, who echoed these assurances of support for the investigation.
39. Despite this ostensible show of compliance by the Dean and Chapter, Mrs Carmi said
“there was a gap between what we were asking of them and what they were prepared to do”.
71 For
example, in addition to proactively contacting those victims whose identities were known
to the police, Mrs Carmi planned to offer a chance to contribute to all other individuals who
had not previously come forward. She intended to achieve this aim by writing to the wider
Cathedral and school communities.
40. Unfortunately, Mrs Carmi faced opposition from the Dean and Chapter when she sought
to initiate such communication. Dean Frayling was said to have described her request for
information as a “fishing expedition” which was likely to cause distress to many people in its
revival of historic events.72 As chair of The Prebendal School’s governing body, he expressed
similar concerns when Mrs Carmi attempted to contact current and former parents of
its pupils.
64 ACE022454_007 65 Carmi 20 March 2018 150/14-24 66 Atkinson 20 March 2018 152/7-8 67 ACE022504_001 68 Carmi 20 March 2018 8/7-20 69 ACE022478_27 70 ACE022478_17 71 Carmi 20 March 2018 33/15-16 72 ACE025935_009
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
41. The reasons for these concerns were articulated in the minutes of various Chapter
meetings. In May 2003, Mrs Carmi and her review team met with the Dean and Chair of
Governors. Also present were the headmaster of The Prebendal School, a school governor
and the Communar.73 The minutes recorded an unwillingness to be seen to link the Terence
Banks and David Bowring74 cases by including both in the same letter to parents. It was
felt the two-year delay caused by the police investigation had altered things; “what seemed
appropriate in June 2001 when the bishop ordered the review might no longer be justified”.
75
42. At another Chapter meeting, some members protested that the review was adopting
the characteristics of an inquiry. The minutes reported that “considerable disagreement had
arisen between Mrs Carmi and her governors on the appropriate way to conduct the case review
… governors had become alarmed at the risk posed to the school’s reputation by the review”.
76
Mrs Carmi’s view was that both organisations feared the potential legal and financial
implications of her enquiries.
43. In July 2003, Dean Frayling agreed to include a short notice in the Cathedral newsletter.
The notice introduced the review and invited anyone with information to contact Mrs Carmi.
As Mrs Carmi recalled, the notice “did not mention Terence Banks. It did not give any assurance
of confidentiality. It did not use the wording that we had suggested”.
77 The newsletter was also
published during the summer holiday period. This unhelpful timing no doubt limited the size
of the audience that would have seen the notice.
44. In his evidence, Canon Atkinson denied knowledge of any opposition within the Chapter
to Mrs Carmi’s proposals. He insisted that Dean Frayling “was wanting to help as much as
he could”.
78
45. However, we have seen a letter sent to Bishop Hind by Dean Frayling on 30 June 2003.
The Dean claimed that he was writing on behalf of the Chapter, and set out in some detail
“the Chapter’s misgivings” about the case review, which included concerns regarding “the
wisdom of raising the public profile of the Banks case again so long after the event”.
79 The letter
also referred to the Chapter’s agreement to publish a pew note,80 which would advertise the
review and provide contact details for Mrs Carmi. It stated:
“We do not wish to be seen to be dragging our feet but Chapter felt it inappropriate to
circulate this pew note around Eastertide and then in the lead-up to the royal visit … in
effect we are seeking to be released from our obligation to publish a pew note.”81
73 The Communar is the senior lay administrator of staff at Chichester Cathedral, and means ‘keeper of the Common Fund’.
He is responsible for financial planning, personnel manager for all lay staff, managing the property portfolio and the general
administration of the Cathedral. http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/about-us/whos-who/page_6.shtml 74 David Bowring was a maths teacher at The Prebendal School. In 2003, he was jailed for sexually assaulting four boys in
the early 1970s. The case came to light whilst the police were investigating the case of Terence Banks. See paragraph 92 for
further details.
75 ANG000134_002 76 ANG000133_001 77 Carmi 20 March 2018 8/23-25 78 Atkinson 20 March 2018 154/15-16 79 ACE023433_012 80 A note available to those who attended services at the Cathedral. 81 ACE023433_013
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
27
46. The contents of this letter are consistent with the evidence of Mrs Carmi. There was a
sharp difference between the promised support for the review and the practical support she
actually received. It was entirely appropriate for Mrs Carmi to seek to contact members of
the Cathedral community during the course of her investigation. Her efforts to do so were
hindered by members of Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.
47. According to Mrs Carmi, the internal opposition from both bodies resulted in the
premature termination of her review in 2003. A number of planned interviews did not take
place and the decision was made by Bishop Hind that Mrs Carmi “should just write up where
we’d got to”.
82 If the same review process was undertaken now, Mrs Carmi would “expect to
receive more cooperation from the various organisations involved in contacting those who wished
to participate in the review”.
83
48. Canon Atkinson complained the Carmi review was not sufficiently thorough. He
highlighted the “embarrassing and inexplicable omission of Dean John Treadgold from any part
of the case review”.
84 It is correct that the Dean was not interviewed until after completion of
the report, and his evidence was included as an addendum in December 2003. According to
Mrs Carmi, her initial failure to interview the Dean was due wholly to the fact that “we, as a
group, were being told that we had to end the serious case review”.
85
Lack of diocesan authority
49. Behind the scenes, members of the Cathedral were voicing protestations to the bishop
about the review process. Bishop Hind confirmed “there was a certain amount of resistance
on the part of the Dean and Chapter to what they felt was some interference by the bishop”.
86
Although he tried proactively to obtain support from both the school and Cathedral on
Mrs Carmi’s behalf, Bishop Hind lacked the power to compel their full co-operation.
50. As Mrs Carmi said, “there was no command and control management style. The bishop had
no power to do anything and seems to have just stepped back”.
87 This observation was endorsed
by Mrs Hind, who remarked “the diocesan bishop could not order the cathedral to do anything
but had to rely on working in cooperation with them and exerting moral authority”.
88
51. When asked to describe his own powers within the Cathedral, Bishop Hind conceded
“the diocesan bishop is responsible for everything, but without any resources or power to effect
that”.
89 Recalling his initial commission of the Carmi review, he said:
“I was rather pushing the boat out. It was one of those issues where you exercise the
authority you wish you had got, rather than the one you have actually got.”90
52. The absence of diocesan authority over the Cathedral presented a barrier to the
improvement of safeguarding at that time. It exposed what Mrs Carmi identified as the
central challenge to her investigation, namely the fragmented organisational structure of
the Church. This made it difficult to attribute accountability for failures and to introduce
solutions to the problems identified.
82 Carmi 20 March 2018 11/7-8 83 ACE025935_009 84 ACE022520_013 85 Carmi 20 March 2018 17/18-19 86 Hind 7 March 2018 78/13-15 87 Carmi 20 March 2018 34/1-5 88 WWS000051_005 89 Hind 7 March 2018 74-75 90 Hind 7 March 2018 77-78
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
The structure and governance of cathedrals
Relationship between cathedrals and dioceses
53. Since 1999, cathedrals have been governed by the Cathedrals Measure.91 This created
three bodies which together form the body corporate of a cathedral: the Chapter, the
Council and the College of Canons.
54. The Chapter runs the cathedral, and is formed of both clergy and lay people. It is chaired
by the Dean.92
55. The Council supports the work of the cathedral and advises the Chapter. It is chaired by
a lay person who is appointed by the diocesan bishop. The diocesan bishop does not have
the right to vote at the Council, although he is permitted to attend and speak at meetings.93
56. The College of Canons consists of the Dean and residentiary canons,94 suffragan
bishops, archdeacons and honorary and lay canons. It assists the Council with cathedral
affairs, and is responsible for electing a new bishop in accordance with the Appointment of
Bishops Act 1533.95
57. The Chapter has a high degree of independence. The diocesan bishop has no executive
role and is not involved on a day-to-day basis in the administration of a cathedral’s affairs.
Bishop Martin Warner explained that “cathedral clergy, although licensed by the diocesan
bishop, are officeholders, subject to the constitution and statutes of the cathedral which the
bishop is required to respect”.96
58. Bishop Hind summarised the situation neatly:
“Cathedrals are in a very anomalous position in relation to the diocese in which they are
set. The dean has his own ordinary jurisdiction within the cathedral and the bishop has no
direct responsibility for the life of the cathedral.”97
59. He described the relationship between Chichester Cathedral and the Chichester Diocese
as “opaque”, as the connection between the two bodies is blurred.98
60. In our view, this structure directly resulted in the inability of Bishop Hind to secure full
co-operation from Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.
61. If safeguarding reviews are commissioned, then there must be a clear line of
oversight. The Church may consider that clerics or other office holders subject to internal
Church discipline could be subject to disciplinary penalties for failing to co-operate with
such reviews.
91 INQ001068 92 The Dean is the chief resident clergyman of the Cathedral and head of the chapter of canons (the other clergy who have
posts within the Cathedral). See https://www.churchofenglandglossary.co.uk/dictionary/definition/dean 93 ACE025930_031 94 Residentiary canons are canons (i.e. clerics) who are members of cathedrals and the word derives from the fact that they are
bound by the rules, i.e. the canons of the cathedral. Some canons have specific roles within the life of the cathedral, e.g. the
treasurer, and so are known as residentiary canons. http://www.churchofenglandglossary.co.uk/dictionary/definition/canon 95 ACE025931_018-19 96 ACE026143_054 97 Hind 7 March 2018 75/9-10 98 Hind 7 March 2018 76/16
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
29
62. We consider it is essential that such reviews have the widest possible reach. They should
be advertised not just within the parish and cathedral communities, but in the local press and
on social media so that individuals can come forward. Appropriate support services must be
in place for such individuals if they wish to access them.
Relationship between cathedrals and diocesan safeguarding advisers
63. At the time of Terence Banks’ arrest, the diocesan arrangements for safeguarding
did not apply in the Cathedral. Child protection in the Cathedral was run by the Dean
and Chapter, advised by the Council.99 The Cathedral had no direct obligation to report
allegations or concerns to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Indeed, Bishop Hind described
the role of the safeguarding adviser as “very much a grace and favour matter in relation to the
Cathedral, which ran its own affairs as far as safeguarding was concerned”.
100
64. Canon Atkinson stated that, prior to the arrest of Banks, he did not recall any existing
relationship at all between the Chapter and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. He added
the relationship changed profoundly after Banks’ conviction and the subsequent Carmi
review. In his words, “there was no going back on a close working relationship between the
Cathedral and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser”.
101
65. Until 2016, there was no national guidance within the Church advising that cathedrals
should liaise with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Some dioceses have an agreement
with cathedrals to provide joint safeguarding arrangements, but it is not necessarily written
into a service level agreement and it is certainly not consistent across every diocese.102
66. Mr Colin Perkins has carried out annual reviews of safeguarding arrangements at
Chichester Cathedral since his appointment in 2011. He also decided to include the
Cathedral as part of the overall safeguarding picture within the Diocese. He negotiated a
service level agreement between the Diocese and the Chapter, which enabled the Cathedral
to be monitored in the same way as any parish. Under the terms of the agreement, the
Chichester Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Officer has also recently become the Cathedral
Safeguarding Officer. Her role contributes to the provision of direct oversight and close
co‑operation.103
67. Cathedrals should be included in the formal safeguarding systems of all dioceses.
Despite the failures exposed by the high-profile case of Terence Banks, the Church did not
take immediate action to ensure close communication between cathedrals and Diocesan
Safeguarding Advisers.
68. Documentation published from 2016 onwards made it clear to cathedrals that they
must have a formal safeguarding arrangement with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. It
was only as a result of the Cathedral Working Group Report in June 2018, and the changes
it proposed, that a substantive system of safeguarding process was put in place. This system
recognises the requirement for cathedrals to be put on the same canon law footing as other
parts of the Church in respect of their safeguarding responsibilities.
99 WWS000051_005 100 Hind 7 March 2018 77/5-10 101 WWS000140_005 102 Tilby 19 March 2018 203/4-7 103 ACE026181_016-17
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
Relationship between Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School
69. The Carmi review identified strong links between Chichester Cathedral and The
Prebendal School. It highlighted the dangers presented by this close relationship, including
the consequent inability to ensure the existence of “a system of independent checks and
balances, with constituent parts able to act independently to challenge worrying behaviour within
their own and each other’s domain”.
104
70. This danger became a reality insofar as child protection was concerned. In 1991, two
young men separately alleged they had been abused by a member of clergy whilst pupils
at the school. The matter was referred to the Dean of Ch
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
31
77. This pressure is evident from a letter to the diocesan bishop dated 30 March 2004,
in which members of the Cathedral expressed their dissatisfaction with the report.111 In
particular, the letter raised concerns about the recommendation that an apology should be
provided to victims. The Dean and Chapter claimed this recommendation had been fulfilled
three years earlier, through the letter circulated to victims by Dean Treadgold. Bishop Hind
was asked to “consider removing recommendation 10.13 from the list when the recommendations
are made public”.
112
78. Similarly, whilst the letter expressed sorrow for past events, it failed to offer any apology
on behalf of Chichester Cathedral. There is no evidence to justify the suggestion that “the
action recommended has in fact been carried out to the best of our ability”.
113
79. Even before the report was finalised, attempts were being made to avoid its future
publication. In Dean Frayling’s letter to Bishop Hind dated 30 June 2003, he said that
to publish the report “would be more likely to damage our efforts to restore the cathedral’s
reputation just as these efforts are bearing fruit”.
114 Restoration of the Cathedral’s reputation
seemed to be the main concern for the Dean and Chapter at this time. As the Archbishops’
Council noted in its submissions to this Inquiry, “the needs of victims repeatedly came a poor
second to the Church’s wish to protect its reputation and the reputation of abusers”.115
80. The terms of reference provided that a summary report would be made available to
all those who participated in the review process, and that the recommendations of the
review would be made public. Moreover, the statutory guidance at that time upon which
the methods and processes of the Carmi review were based, Working Together to Safeguard
Children, made clear that:
“In all cases, the ACPC overview report should contain an executive summary that will
be made public, which includes as a minimum, information about the review process, key
issues arising from the case and the recommendations which have been made.”116
81. However, “nothing was published” in 2004.117 Indeed, the report would not be published
for another 10 years.
82. The report was not sent to The Prebendal School but the recommendations were sent
to the governing body. In a meeting during March 2004, the Governors noted:
“Although the bishop intended for the recommendations … to be made public, the full
report would remain confidential and the school would not be given the opportunity to
view a copy.”118
83. The report concerned offending against pupils of the school and those involved in choral
activities on Cathedral premises. It was evident that changes to safeguarding practice were
required and on that basis, the full report should have been made available to the school.
111 ACE023433_007-8 112 ACE023433_008 113 ACE023433_008 114 ACE023433_014 115 ACE026327_022 116 WWS000104_102 117 Carmi 20 March 2018 12/1 118 ANG000136_003
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
84. Ofsted would have been responsible for inspecting the school in respect of its welfare
provision for residential pupils from 2004 onwards. Helen Humphreys, an inspector
of education and children’s services, made a statement to the Inquiry on behalf of Her
Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) and Ofsted. She confirmed that “neither the 2004 report of,
nor recommendations made by, Mrs Carmi were passed by the Prebendal to Ofsted … it appears
that the reports and its recommendations were never drawn to Ofsted’s attention”.
119
85. Shortly after his appointment as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in May 2011, Mr Perkins
met with senior diocesan and Cathedral staff. At the meeting, he argued that the Carmi
review should be published. He was informed that the review could not be published for
legal reasons, which had supposedly been agreed at the time it was completed in 2004.120
86. In 2013, however, it came to light that no legal reasons existed to prevent publication of
the Carmi review. Graham Tilby, the current National Safeguarding Adviser, confirmed that
he too was “not aware of any specifically documented reasons for non-publication on receipt of
the full report in 2004”.
121 Bishop Warner instructed Mr Perkins to prepare the report for
publication. It was finally published in July 2014.
87. At the time of publication, there was in place a national panel of independent experts on
serious case reviews. The relevant guidance – Working Together to Safeguard Children – stated
that final serious case reviews should be published (contrary to the guidance in force in
2004) and sent to the national panel for further consideration by them.122 The Department
for Education confirmed the panel was not sent a copy of the Carmi review, despite the fact
that it contained recommendations about the organisation and governance of The Prebendal
School.123 Those recommendations had been shared with the forerunner to the Local
Safeguarding Children’s Board (the Area Child Protection Committee) in 2004.
88. The Department was unaware that such a report had even been commissioned until it
received the Inquiry’s request for information. Whilst not a regulatory requirement, it was
nonetheless essential for the governing body, the Dean and Chapter or the Diocese to have
informed those responsible for regulating the school. This would have enabled them to check
that recommendations had been implemented.
89. Neither the report nor any extracts from it were sent to the victims of Terence Banks.
AN‑A11 described this as “absolutely astonishing”.
124 Furthermore, the Church did not alert
the victims to the report’s publication. It was only by chance that AN-11 learned it had been
published, on seeing a national news report online.125 This was highly insensitive, particularly
in light of the assurance given to Mrs Carmi and to victims during the course of the review.
119 ANG000165_020 120 ACE026181_072 121 ACE025940_044 122 ACE025439_099-102 123 DFE000589_029 124 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 77/1-2 125 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 77/4-8
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
33
Findings of the Carmi review
90. The Carmi review considered events that occurred over a period of 30 years, over
which time “the perceptions and recognition of child abuse have dramatically changed”.
126
The Cathedral gradually fell out of step with society in its approach to child protection. It
failed to put in place adequate policies or procedures that would have enabled the swifter
identification of Terence Banks as a child sexual abuser.
The 1970s
91. In 1974, the public inquiry into the death of seven-year-old Maria Colwell exposed
a serious lack of communication within child protection agencies. It also highlighted a
persistent failure to provide sufficient training for social workers.127
92. During this period, The Prebendal School was aware of concerns relating both to
Terence Banks and David Bowring, a teacher at the school. The head teacher responded to
the allegations by banning Banks from school premises in 1973.128
93. In 1976, the head teacher advised the Department of Education that Bowring had been
dismissed because of misconduct with a 12-year-old boy. He confirmed that Bowring had
“admitted the offence and gave me his assurance that this incident was the only one of its kind
in which he had ever been involved”. It went on to describe him as a “talented and dedicated
teacher, who has served the school with unswerving loyalty and devotion”.
129
94. The head teacher appears to have accepted too readily Bowring’s claim that this was an
isolated incident. He chose not to pursue any independent investigation into the veracity of
that claim and neither perpetrator was reported to the police. Bowring would plead guilty
30 years later to no fewer than six charges of indecent assault against four boys, all of which
were committed in the 1970s when the victims were pupils at The Prebendal School.130
95. We have seen no evidence to confirm whether or not the Governing body were told
about Bowring’s dismissal, nor whether they were advised of the relevant reasons. However,
it is likely that the Chair of Governors was informed but no investigation took place either
within the school or Diocese.
96. Mrs Carmi concluded the behaviour of both organisations was consistent with existing
societal norms of the day.131 However, regardless of the era in which the abuse occurred,
The Prebendal School should have informed the police.
The 1980s
97. In 1987, Lady Butler-Sloss chaired a public inquiry into child abuse in Cleveland. Work
undertaken by the Law Commission led to the passing of the Children Act 1989, which
placed a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. A 1988
Home Office circular specified the appropriate approaches for investigating child sexual
abuse, and created a clear direction for specialist child protection units within the police.132
126 OHY000184_029 127 OHY000184_029 128 OHY000184_030 129 OHY000316_002 130 OHY000184_028 131 OHY000184_023 132 OHY000184_029
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
98. These developing societal attitudes were not mirrored by the Dean and Chapter of
the Cathedral. There was an absence of effective record-keeping, which led to confusion
about why Banks had been banned from school premises. According to Mrs Carmi, the
new headmaster of The Prebendal School believed that the ban was due to his disruptive
influence on pupils’ behaviour. Such misunderstandings resulted in the ban being only
partially enforced, with Banks continuing to enter the school and engage with its pupils.133
99. Mrs Carmi noted that, in the meantime, rumours continued to circulate that Banks was
sexually attracted to children. For example, a report was made to the vicar that he had been
seen embracing a young boy on Cathedral grounds. No action was taken by the Cathedral.134
100. Michael Walsh was a teacher at Bishop Luffa School in the 1980s. He was also head of
music at an Anglican church in Chichester, and was heavily involved with musical activities in
Chichester Cathedral. In 1986 and 1987, several members of clergy received allegations that
Walsh had raped a child. These allegations were not reported to the police. It was not until
1990, after a fourth victim contacted the police, that Walsh was convicted of five offences
of unlawful sexual intercourse involving pupils at the school. He was sentenced to five years’
imprisonment.135
The 1990s
101. The 1993 Home Office document Safe From Harm contained 13 good practice
guidelines for all voluntary organisations about their safeguarding of children.136 In 1995, the
Church of England’s response was to publish the House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse.
This was the Church’s first national child protection policy.137 It recommended that each
diocesan bishop should appoint a representative to advise on matters of child protection.
102. As part of the implementation of this policy, the Diocese of Chichester appointed
Mrs Hind in 1997 as its first Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. She drafted a set of diocesan
guidelines entitled The Protection of Children, which were accepted at a diocesan staff
meeting later that year.138 The Dean of Chichester Cathedral attended this meeting, as did
the Archdeacon of Chichester who was a member of the Cathedral Chapter.
103. The diocesan guidelines produced by Mrs Hind were more comprehensive and detailed
than national policies of the Church of England at the time. As she explained in her evidence,
the House of Bishops’ policies of 1995 and 1999 were produced by the legal department of
Church House in Westminster; neither had any input from child protection professionals.139
In contrast, Mrs Hind had a professional background in child protection and remarked that
“reading my 1997 policy, it is obvious to me it is written by a social worker”.
140 The national policy
focussed heavily on abuse by clergy. The diocesan guidelines were of wider application,
covering both clergy and volunteers.141 It is unclear why the Church, given its lack of relevant
expertise, did not seek assistance from external professionals when drafting the policies of
1995 and 1999.
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
35
104. Mrs Hind emphasised to us that the guidelines were intended to apply equally to
Chichester Cathedral and to other congregations in the Diocese. Her understanding was
that cathedrals were firmly within her professional domain. She therefore sent copies of the
document to all clergy for implementation, operating in the expectation that the Cathedral
would follow diocesan policy. Each congregation was asked to appoint a child protection
representative to implement the policy in parishes and to receive training.142
105. There appears to have been some confusion about whether Church policies applied
equally to the Cathedral. Canon Atkinson accepted that the Cathedral was “very slow”
in implementing the 1997 guidelines. However, he added that “it was not a time at which
cathedrals automatically, spontaneously assumed that what bishops were putting out to apply to
parishes was to be implemented in cathedrals in exactly the same way”.
143
106. Meanwhile, Walsh was released from prison in the late 1990s and returned to the
Diocese of Chichester. He applied to sing in the mixed-age Cathedral choir. As Canon
Atkinson explained, this application “was resisted by the Chapter on more than one occasion,
out of consideration for the continuing feelings of the families involved in the case; though
eventually it was agreed that Mr Walsh could be allowed to sing on a very occasional basis”.
144 It is
difficult to see how it would ever be appropriate for someone convicted of these offences to
sing in this choir, at least without a very specific safeguarding contract in place.
107. Shortly after the diocesan policy was introduced in September 1997, Mrs Hind was
informed by a parish priest that Walsh conducted the choir only occasionally during church
services. She later discovered that this was incorrect. Walsh was in fact regularly rehearsing
the Cathedral choir, which included child members. He was also providing private music
tuition to some of those children.145
108. Canon Atkinson conceded that allowing Walsh’s application to sing in the choir “was a
complete mistake. We shouldn’t have done that”.
146 He confirmed that no formal agreement,
or indeed any safeguarding procedure at all, was put in place to protect against the risk that
Walsh may have posed.
109. The House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse and the updated 1999 Policy on Child
Protection both set out the presumption that a convicted child sex offender would not
be allowed to return to active ministry. However, as Mrs Carmi identified, neither policy
provided guidance on such an individual’s wider involvement in the Church.147 It is likely that
this failure led to some confusion within the Church regarding the management of convicted
individuals and may well have contributed to the Cathedral’s inadequate response in the case
of Michael Walsh.
110. This case occurred before the arrest of Banks and, according to Canon Atkinson,
“before Chapter had been fully sensitised to the subtlety and insidiousness of abuse”.
148 Indeed,
Mrs Carmi observed that the gap between the safeguarding approaches of the Cathedral
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
and the rest of society had “widened to an unacceptable level”.
149 However, lessons should
have been learned from the Walsh case. This might have enabled the Dean and Chapter to
avoid some of the mistakes made with Terence Banks.
Events leading to Terence Banks’ arrest
111. During the 1990s, further concerns were voiced within the Cathedral about the
behaviour of Terence Banks. In 1991, the Canon of Chichester Cathedral received an
allegation that Banks had shown pornographic videos to a 12-year-old boy. According to the
boy’s parents, they were spoken to by the Canon who made them feel “they were making
too much of a minor incident”.
150 No adult should show pornographic images to a child. It is
reprehensible that no steps were taken at this time.
112. On 29 March 2000, a victim visited Dean Treadgold and reported that he and another
boy had been sexually abused by Banks. Dean Treadgold did not report these allegations
to the police, the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser or social services. Instead, he said he
would discuss the matter with the victim on his return from a trip abroad. He advised the
victim to “act on his conscience as the Dean could not act on mere allegations”.
151
113. It was not until the father of another victim reported abuse to police that Banks was
finally arrested in April 2000.152 This delay followed a series of concerns spanning nearly
three decades, during which time both the Cathedral and The Prebendal School failed to act
on the emerging worrying pattern of abuse. They did not recognise that such matters should
be reported to the local authority or to the police, or indeed that children in their care were
being exposed to risk.
Aftermath of Terence Banks’ arrest
114. Mrs Hind was unaware of the Terence Banks case until the day of his arrest in April
2000, when she was contacted by the Communar of Chichester Cathedral. At the time
of his arrest, the Cathedral was yet to implement the diocesan child protection policy,
appoint a child protection representative, or request training for its volunteers.153 Canon
Atkinson openly acknowledged that “child protection was not an issue high on the agenda of the
Chapter … we were not implementing or articulating explicitly a child protection policy”.
154
115. By 2000, clear child protection procedures existed both in West Sussex and in the
Diocese of Chichester. The Protection of Children stated unambiguously that, on the making
of an allegation, “the parish priest will discuss the concerns with the Diocesan Child Protection
Adviser who will decide … what action to take”.
155 Dean Treadgold’s failure to take any
appropriate action was therefore inconsistent with existing parish guidance.
116. Canon Atkinson described the arrest of Banks as “the watershed. It was the wakeup … things began to move very quickly at that point”.
156 Mrs Hind worked in collaboration
with Chichester Cathedral, reviewing its draft child protection policy and encouraging the
appointment of an independent child protection representative.
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
37
117. She offered similar assistance to The Prebendal School, advising about the inclusion
of independent people on its governing body who had no association with the Cathedral.
A note was added to Protecting All God’s Children, clarifying that the responsibilities of
parishes apply equally to cathedrals.157 This guidance was introduced by the House of
Bishops in 2004. It made a number of changes to the 1995 policy, including setting out
the professional skills required of Diocesan Child Protection Advisers. It also clarified that
the Diocese was responsible for appointing a suitably qualified Diocesan Child Protection
Adviser and for providing appropriate support.
118. In October 2000, the Chapter explicitly adopted its own safeguarding policy titled
Cathedral Child Protection Policy and Guidelines.158 This policy was amended and revised in
May 2003. Its provisions included regular child protection training, vetting of all staff and
volunteers, and arrangements for reporting child protection concerns. Convicted child sex
offenders were prohibited from holding any position that would bring them into contact
with children.
119. However, as Mrs Carmi correctly observed, this policy was deficient in several respects.
Although it provided for regular training, it failed to specify which staff and volunteers must
receive the training and the frequency at which it should be provided. It also omitted the
nature of the training required.159
120. The policy also stated that staff and volunteers should be provided with copies of the
document only “where appropriate”.
160 There was a failure to recognise the need for a general
awareness of its contents amongst all individuals involved in the life of the Cathedral,
regardless of whether or not they had unsupervised access to children.
121. Before resigning as Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind drafted a further child
protection policy entitled The Care and Protection of Children, which was published in 2002.161
It made plain that “any suspicion, allegation or disclosure that a child is suffering or is likely to
suffer significant harm, must be referred to the local Social Services Department”.
162
122. In contrast, the Cathedral’s policy provided merely for the reporting of “allegations”.
163
This was a significant omission by the Cathedral. Many of the concerns regarding Banks
involved matters such as his provision of alcohol to under-age children and overnight trips.
Neither of these would fall into the category of specific allegations, but they were obviously
inappropriate and of clear contextual importance. The Cathedral should have widened its
guidelines to allow for the referral of suspicions and concerns, in accordance with diocesan
procedures at the time.
123. In addition, Cathedral guidelines required the reporting of allegations to the Cathedral’s
child protection officer.164 Many individuals would prefer to make disclosures to a person
who is independent of the Church, an option that was set out in Mrs Hind’s updated
diocesan guidelines. In our view, it is important that all safeguarding guidelines should
include the option of alternative reporting routes.
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
124. The Care and Protection of Children also contained a significantly higher level of detail
than the 1997 diocesan guidelines. Unlike its predecessor, for example, the 2002 policy
introduced guidance about the reporting of historical allegations.165 It specified that all such
allegations must be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, although it did not
include a requirement to inform the police. As Mrs Carmi pointed out, neither diocesan nor
Cathedral procedures addressed the issue of anonymous allegations.166
The provision of pastoral support to victims
125. One of the key findings of the Carmi review was the provision of pastoral support
to victims. There is no dispute that during the course of his trial, Terence Banks was
accompanied at court each day by a member of clergy. In contrast, neither the Diocese nor
the Dean and Chapter offered pastoral support to the complainants who had attended to
give evidence against their perpetrator. AN‑A11 described this situation as “just astonishing, a
slap in the face. There was no support offered to us whatsoever”.
167
126. As Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind had no role in providing or arranging
support for the complainants at court. She had mistakenly believed that assistance was
being offered by Victim Support, although it does not appear that any efforts were made to
verify this.168
127. Canon Atkinson claimed that the Chapter relied on advice from Dean Treadgold, that
it could not provide pastoral support to complainants whilst the allegations were being
investigated.169 He also noted that the Chapter could not provide pastoral support to a
number of complainants as their identities were unknown to the Dean and Chapter.170 We do
not consider this to be an adequate justification. Their identities would certainly have been
known to the police and the prosecutorial authorities, via whom pastoral contact could have
been offered.
128. It was acknowledged by the Diocesan Child Protection Advisers in post, both prior
to and at the time of the Carmi review, that a letter offering diocesan support could have
been forwarded by the police. Other than the letter circulated by Dean Treadgold at the
conclusion of the trial, Canon Atkinson was not aware of any support having even been
offered to the complainants during or after the criminal case.171
129. The Dean and Chapter and the Diocese failed to respond effectively to victims’ needs,
and demonstrated a lack of concern for their welfare. In its submissions to this Inquiry, the
Archbishops’ Council described the shortfall in support as “appalling” and “extraordinary …
it is critical to recognise the harm that this caused to survivors”.172 It also recognised that the
absence of an appropriate pastoral response, as identified by Mrs Carmi, was not remedied
for far too long.
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
39
130. The public display of clerical support undoubtedly fuelled the perception that the
Cathedral Chapter rallied around Terence Banks rather than his victims. It is not surprising
that the victims were left with the impression this was a system which favoured the abuser
rather than the abused.
The Chichester Cathedral community
131. The Carmi review went further. It concluded that victims and their families were often
ostracised by the Church after coming forward with their allegations. When the father of
one victim told his local village vicar about what had happened, the vicar did not respond
and subsequently appeared to avoid contact with him.173
132. The mother of another victim reported she was rejected by the Cathedral community
after disclosing an incident of abuse. She was forced to deal not only with the fact that her
child had been sexually abused, but with the social isolation she suffered as a consequence
of her disclosure.174
133. Mrs Carmi characterised Chichester Cathedral as a “closed community” which
encouraged the occurrence of incidents such as these and, in turn, posed a serious risk to
safeguarding.175 The culture she described was a hostile one, in which individuals who chose
to criticise the Cathedral community were shunned. Mrs Carmi remarked that “although
it was acceptable to disclose issues to individuals within the community so that they could be
dealt with internally, disclosing the issues to external parties was discouraged as this brought the
institution into potential disrepute and was perceived as a betrayal”.
176
134. On 7 June 2005, Canon Atkinson drafted an internal response to the Carmi review on
behalf of the Dean and Chapter. His view was that it represented a “fundamentally flawed
judgement on what went on at the cathedral”.
177 He specifically denied that the Cathedral
was a closed community. Rather, he described it as being “a series of different organisations,
involving different groups of people, with some overlap but much discontinuity”.
178 In his view,
Mrs Carmi had insufficient evidence to conclude that the families of victims were ostracised
by the Church.
135. By contrast, as Mrs Carmi observed, the accuracy of her characterisation depends on
the perspective of the viewer. As a matter of common sense, a person who is inside a closed
community is able to see and appreciate the various factions contained within it. A person
who is outside a closed community does not have that benefit. His or her perception may
simply be of a group that puts forward a solidly united front, through which it is seemingly
impossible to break.179
136. For example, one congregation member explained to Mrs Carmi that a select group of
individuals existed in Chichester Cathedral who would socialise with the senior clergy and
the Dean. From her and others’ viewpoints, Terence Banks was a member of that elite inner
circle. Regardless of whether or not this was factually correct, it was the perception that
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
created the problems with which we are concerned. His victims found it difficult to report
their abuse, in the knowledge that others who had done so felt rejected by the Cathedral
community.180
137. The status enjoyed by Banks has been the subject of some debate. There is no dispute
that, following the death of his parents, he was provided with Church-owned property in
1994. The Carmi review described his role as Head Steward of Chichester Cathedral, a title
which previously attributed to his father. According to Mrs Carmi, it was perceived to be a
powerful position, through which, for example, Banks was able to control the provision of
privileged seating.181
138. In Canon Atkinson’s internal memorandum, he dismissed this title as “entirely incorrect
… even as a description of the role of Head Steward, this is ludicrously overstated”.
182
139. In Canon Atkinson’s evidence to the Inquiry, he reasserted that Banks “was not this
immensely important figure, this personage of high importance. I’m quite convinced about that.”183
Yet he did acknowledge that Banks’ victims perceived him as a person of great influence.184
However, Bishop Hind referred to Banks as a steward “with a very, very small ‘s’ … it simply
meant he was somebody who stewarded people to their pews”.
185
140. As Mrs Carmi commented, perhaps from Canon Atkinson’s “position on the pyramid
it wasn’t all that high, but certainly for victims Terence Banks had a high status”.
186 Banks’
ability to provide preferential seating within the Cathedral to those families with whom
he was friendly, for instance, only served to reinforce his position of perceived power
and prominence.
141. In reality, the precise nature of his job does not matter. The widely held perception
of Banks was as a distinguished member of the Cathedral. This enabled him successfully to
influence, groom and abuse his victims. Indeed AN‑A11 recalled that at his young age, he
would have had “no concept of who was a volunteer in that kind of environment. He was part of
the religious establishment to me”.
187 His parents allowed him to visit Banks with naivety about
what his intentions may have been, purely because “they hung on every word of anybody
within that establishment. They were incredibly proud of me being part of it.”188
142. In declining AN‑A11’s request for a contribution towards his counselling costs, Dean
Frayling advised “Terence Banks was not at any time an employee of the Dean and Chapter.
He was, on occasions, a volunteer steward who assisted in showing people to their seats
before services.”189
143. This attitude was problematic for effective safeguarding. It shows a belief existed
within the Cathedral that the title of ‘volunteer’ minimised both the person’s role in the
Church and the Church’s responsibility for their actions. That is fundamentally flawed. It
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
41
suggests volunteers do not represent a key pillar of the Church’s structure, yet the reality
is the Church would collapse without their contribution. As Bishop Hind pointed out, “the
church is primarily a voluntary body”.
190
The implementation of Mrs Carmi’s recommendations
144. Bishop Hind said the recommendations of the Carmi review “made a significant
difference to our practice”. He added that, despite the reservations expressed by the Dean
and Chapter, they did accept the recommendations which led to a “marked change of culture
within the cathedral”.
191
145. Shortly after completion of the Carmi review in 2004, the Chichester Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser produced an implementation plan. This plan identified the tasks to
be undertaken and the resources required for the achievement of each objective set by
Mrs Carmi.192 According to Mr Tilby, all recommendations were accepted except one; namely,
the recommendation that the position of Cathedral Dean as Chair of Governors of The
Prebendal School be reconsidered.193
B.3: The cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard
Reverend Roy Cotton’s conviction for child sexual abuse
146. In March 1954, just six weeks before the date of his intended ordination, Reverend Roy
Cotton was found guilty of indecently exposing himself to a child in an organ loft. He was
acting as a Scoutmaster at the time. The court sentenced him to probation for one year and
he withdrew from theological training.194 He was also banned from the Scout Movement.
147. Over the following decade, however, Cotton set up a preparatory school and continued
to work closely with children. In 1966, a number of pupils reported that he had sexually
abused them and he was dismissed from the school. These allegations do not appear to have
been reported to the police by the pupils, their families or those in positions of responsibility
at the school.195
148. In 1967, Cotton was ordained. The Bishop of Portsmouth, John Phillips, believed he
should be exempted from the usual recruitment process, saying he “should not be subjected to
a further raking-up of all that has gone before”.196 In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury
dated 13 May 1966, Bishop Phillips praised Cotton as “a man of considerable ability … free of
any trouble for twelve years”.197
149. As a result of this persistence on his behalf, Cotton’s conviction was successfully
withheld from the Selection Committee.198 This enabled him to avoid the objective scrutiny
and risk evaluations that prospective ordinands typically received. In our view, any concerns
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
regarding Cotton’s criminality were overshadowed by the belief that his offending was “in the
past”. Even at that time, we consider this to have been a gross error of judgement given the
potential risk to children.
150. In subsequent correspondence, Bishop Phillips continued to minimise the severity of
Cotton’s offending. Lambeth Palace indicated its intention to place him on the caution list.199
Upon learning of this, Bishop Phillips said:
“Perhaps because there has been a court case this is inevitable, but it was over 12 years
ago, and I just wonder how long a man has to be in the clear before his name has to go on
a list.”200
151. Bishop Phillips also exerted heavy pressure on the Scout Association to accept Cotton
as a leader. He failed to acknowledge the risk that Cotton could still pose to children and
the fact that time would not necessarily diminish the propensity to offend. He went so far
as to question the validity of the conviction, declaring in one letter that “I went very carefully
indeed into the past, and I discovered that all who then had any dealings with him had grave
doubts of his guilt in the matter for which he was accused”.
201 In a separate effort to secure
Cotton’s appointment as the Vicar of Harting, he claimed that the offence “has, I believe, been
proved a false one. He pleaded guilty at the time to spare the boys concerned having to appear
in court.”202
152. The Scout Association soon succumbed. Despite the terms of its recruitment policy,
which excluded convicted offenders from employment, Cotton was granted a Leader Permit
in 1969.203 This provided him with authorised and unsupervised access to young boys, but
also established him as a trusted authority figure in the eyes of their parents.
Further allegations of abuse
153. In 1974, Cotton was appointed as parish priest at St Andrew’s Church in Eastbourne.
He took charge of the choir and organised various activities for young people, including
overnight trips away.204 One of the children involved in these activities was 10-year-old
Philip Johnson.
154. Mr Johnson told us “Roy Cotton groomed me pretty much from the first time that I ever
met him”.
205 Cotton singled him out for special attention, including picking him up from home
in his car and inviting him to assist with extra tasks. Before long, Mr Johnson was expected
to take showers in Cotton’s presence which made him feel “very uncomfortable”.
206
155. Mr Johnson’s parents regarded Cotton as a wealthy and powerful man who could
offer their son opportunities in life. He used his status to gain their trust by, for example,
purchasing academic books for Mr Johnson and educating him on their contents. He began
to spend more unsupervised time with his victim, which led to physical acts such as kissing
and cuddling.207
199 This list is circulated privately to bishops by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff. It has various categories but is designed
to identify individuals towards whom caution should be exercised.
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
43
156. Mr Johnson recalled his attendance on a group camping trip to France, when he was
11 years old. One night, he felt homesick and unwell. Cotton invited him into his sleeping bag
and sexually assaulted him.208
157. Cotton took Mr Johnson on numerous trips abroad during his teenage years, both alone
and with others. On these trips, Mr Johnson says, Cotton gave him alcohol “to try and wear
down my resistance”.
209 Although parishioners were aware of these trips, nobody appears
to have raised concerns about a middle-aged man holidaying for extended periods with a
teenage boy.
158. Mr Johnson also stayed regularly at Cotton’s vicarage, during which time “the sexual
activity increased and became more serious”. Cotton would come to his bedroom and remove
Mr Johnson’s clothing, before masturbating him until he ejaculated. Mr Johnson told us that
on occasion this was “quite rough and forceful, causing pain and discomfort”. Cotton attempted
anal penetration on several occasions.210
159. This serious and sustained abuse continued until Mr Johnson went to university at
the age of 19. As a result, he suffered negative consequences on his physical and mental
health “which continue to the present day”.
211 His experiences meant he was unable to build
sexual relationships with others. He suffered from flashbacks and struggled to perform
academically. He felt “worthless and inadequate and this infected every aspect of my life”.
212
160. When he was 15 years old, Cotton took Mr Johnson to stay with Reverend Colin
Pritchard. He described this as “the most frightening evening of my life”.
213 Having been plied
with alcohol by both men, he awoke the next morning to find himself naked in Pritchard’s
bed with no memory of the previous night. Pritchard then sexually assaulted him in the
kitchen, “grabbing at my genitals under my dressing gown to such an extent that he cut my penis
with his fingernail”.
214 Pritchard would later plead guilty to this assault.
The arrests of Reverends Cotton and Pritchard
161. In September 1996, Mr Johnson learned that his younger brother had also been
sexually abused by Cotton. This prompted him to visit Sussex Police Station, where he
reported the offences committed by Cotton and Pritchard. Mr Johnson said he was made
to feel uncomfortable by the officers, who appeared to view him “as a threat to children …
I felt that I was being investigated more than Cotton or Pritchard”.
215 He was not directed to
counselling services or any form of victim support.
162. Sussex Police arrested both Cotton and Pritchard in December 1997, 15 months after
the initial complaint was made.216 During this delay, there is no evidence that Sussex Police
took any steps to prevent the suspects from having contact with children.217
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
163. Detective Sergeant Hick suggested that at this time, child protection was not a widely
understood topic within policing.218 Nevertheless, there was a plethora of guidance in place
by the mid-1990s. This included nine Home Office circulars around child sexual abuse, two
editions of Working Together to Safeguard Children and two thematic investigations by Her
Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), along with the establishment of area child
protection committees.
164. The police relied on their computer system to check the details of Cotton’s past.
DS Hick told us it was “inconceivable” that these checks would not have been conducted at
the time of his arrest. Accordingly, Sussex Police “would have been aware” of his conviction
and “the officer would have been aware when he did his interview”.219
165. In early 1999, however, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded there was
insufficient evidence to prosecute either Cotton or Pritchard. DS Hick said the decision
was “presumably due to a lack of corroborative evidence”.
220 The requirement of formal
corroboration was abolished by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The very
nature of sexual offending often means there is no ‘corroboration’ by way of any witness
to the offence other than the complainant. We assume that DS Hick meant ‘supporting
evidence’, namely material that makes a complainant’s account more likely to be true. The
police did not visit the diocesan office to seek out relevant material for their enquiries.221
Relationship between the Church and police
166. During the investigation, Mr Johnson was advised by Sussex Police that he should
refrain from making a complaint to the Church, as “all contact with the Church would be via the
police”.
222 However, DS Hick told us the force “did not share any sensitive information” relating
to this case with the Diocese of Chichester.223
167. In December 1997, Mrs Hind was the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. Upon learning
of the arrests, she contacted the investigating officer at Sussex Police. He declined to share
the victims’ names or any description of the allegations, including their nature and severity.
The police did not request access to the blue files224 of Cotton and Pritchard, nor was
Mrs Hind invited to provide any assistance to the investigation.225
168. During the 1990s, no information-sharing protocol existed between the Diocese of
Chichester and the police.226 The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) herself could not
have viewed the blue file at that time, as access was confined to the Bishop of Chichester
and his senior team. The fact that she was denied access to this file, coupled with an absence
of inter-agency co-operation, contributed to the investigation’s overall lack of progress.
169. When the case was discontinued, Sussex Police should have disclosed their written
findings to the Diocese. As Mrs Hind observed, failure to do so meant that the Diocese had
no evidence on which to base any disciplinary action. The Church was also unable to initiate
218 Hick 9 March 2018 147/14-16 219 Hick 9 March 2018 156/7-12 220 ANG000212_002 221 Hick 9 March 2018 152/20-25 222 Johnson 6 March 2018 49/24-25 223 ANG000212_002 224 These are personnel files kept by the Diocese which should be a thorough record of someone’s appointments as an office
holder. They also contain internal material as to their character, conduct and any complaints made against them.
225 WWS000051_021 226 Hick 9 March 2018 137/14-24
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
45
contact with the victims, due to the non-disclosure of their identities. This general failure to
share information led to a flawed police investigation, and a situation in which the effective
safeguarding of children was compromised.227
170. Equally, the Diocese did not offer Church files to the police. It did not conduct its own
enquiries into the two priests. It appears to have adopted a largely passive approach to the
investigation, with Mrs Hind admitting that “we probably would have waited” for the police to
ask for relevant material.228
171. At this time, Bishop Wallace Benn was the Area Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of
Chichester. He was keen to emphasise that all responsibility for contacting the police lay
with Mrs Hind. He accepted her advice that Cotton should have no contact with children
during the investigation, and told Cotton the same. He also claimed to have relied on her
view that it was unnecessary to suspend Cotton from public ministry. This is despite, on his
own account, being oblivious to the nature of the allegations at this stage.229
172. This raises two important issues. First, a condition of non-contact with children is
difficult to enforce on a practical basis, even with the inclusion of relevant safeguards.
Bishop Benn was in any case unable to explain how this condition was monitored, or point
to any safeguarding agreement signed by Cotton which prevented him from undertaking
services with children.230 Although Bishop Benn verbally instructed him to avoid contact
with children, he was effectively free to behave as he wished.
173. Bishop Benn repeatedly insisted that the issue of disciplinary action was “not my
role … the DSA’s responsibility was to initiate any monitoring and I would have acted on this
advice”.
231 Nicholas Reade, Archdeacon of Lewes, 1997–2004, in contrast, told the Inquiry
that “discipline is a matter for the bishop”.
232 In failing to suspend Cotton from ministry during
the police investigation, the Diocese neglected to manage the risks he posed. Bishop Benn’s
stated reliance on Mrs Hind allowed him to sidestep his own responsibilities.
174. The efforts by the Church were constrained by its inability to correspond with the
victim and the lack of multi-agency co-operation. The House of Bishops’ policy guidance at
that time stated that the Church would not conduct its own investigations.
Reverend Roy Cotton’s retirement
175. During the police investigation, Cotton notified Bishop Benn of his intention to retire,
saying “I trust that I shall be granted a licence to officiate generally in the Diocese when needs
demand”.
233 In his response, Bishop Benn assured Cotton that “I shall be very happy to grant
you this”.
234 This does not sit comfortably with his evidence to the Inquiry, in which he
claimed that “I would have preferred not to grant Roy Cotton PTO”.
235
227 WWS000051_021 228 Hind 9 March 2018 110/19 229 WPB000047_023 230 Benn 12 March 2018 55/4-11 231 WPB000047_023 232 WWS000072_024 233 WPB000009_001 234 WPB000008_001 235 WPB000047_026
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
176. However he did grant permission to officiate (PTO) to Cotton on 17 May 1999, by
which time the police investigation had ceased. Bishop Benn concluded that there were,
accordingly, no grounds for refusing it, “especially in the face of the direct instruction from
Bishop Eric Kemp, who had expressly told me to do so”.
236 He told the Inquiry this was a verbal
instruction, although he was unable to specify when it was received or produce any written
record of the exchange in which it was given.237 Bishop Benn insisted he knew nothing of
Cotton’s earlier conviction until 2001. Whether or not the police investigation had been
completed, there should not have been an automatic assumption that there was nothing to
concern Church authorities.
177. It does not appear that Bishop Benn sought any advice on this issue from Mrs Hind.
Her clear understanding was that “Cotton was ill and was withdrawing from all ministry. I had no
expectation that he would be granted PTO”.
238
178. In light of the recent police investigation, it was unwise of the Diocese to grant Cotton
permission to officiate. The inability of either the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or Area
Bishop to see the blue files impeded any risk assessment being carried out or an adequate
analysis of risk being properly considered.
179. This incident demonstrates that permission to officiate was regarded as something
‘usual’ to be granted. Few, if any, steps were taken to prevent those who had resigned from
ministry from continuing to minister. The Diocese failed to appreciate that because retired
clergy often carried out significant functions within the Diocese, they would be viewed by
those outside the Church as people of integrity and influence. Consequently, they required
the same levels of scrutiny as practising clergy for safeguarding reasons. The Archbishops’
Council has expressed its “sense of shame” for “the seemingly casual grant of permission
to officiate to a convicted abuser without proper investigation or monitoring of his current
circumstances or how the PTO was being used”.239
Disclosure of Reverend Roy Cotton’s conviction
180. On 9 May 2001, Cotton submitted a confidential declaration form to the Diocese as
part of a routine check. This document disclosed his conviction for indecent exposure. In an
accompanying letter, he wrote that the offence “was said to have taken place in the organ loft
of a village church. I was rehearsing and the boy was hand pumping the organ”.
240
181. Bishop Benn told us that, on receipt of this documentation, he was minded to withdraw
Cotton’s permission to officiate. He claimed Archdeacon Reade persuaded him not to do so,
by protesting that Cotton was a very sick man who lived in a nursing home and posed no risk
to children. Bishop Benn agreed to restrict his licence so that he could celebrate Mass only
in his own home or the nursing home, with no other form of public ministry.241 This was not
supervised or monitored and could not be practically enforced.
236 WPB000047_026 237 Benn 12 March 2018 82/17-20 238 WWS000051_022 239 ACE026327_002 240 ANG000168_003 241 WPB000047_018-19
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
47
182. As Cotton came from an Anglo-Catholic background, Archdeacon Reade said
he “would have felt bereft if not allowed to celebrate Mass … Bishop Wallace wanted to facilitate
that”.
242 Mrs Hind informed us that Bishop Benn did not make her aware of the confidential
declaration. As a result, she was not in a position to consider any risk assessment.243
183. In his witness statement, Bishop Benn said he was confident that both Mrs Hind and
Mr Tony Sellwood were told about Cotton’s disclosure.244 The Meekings report recorded that
Bishop Benn had confirmed that he did not discuss Cotton’s conviction with Mr Sellwood
at any time.
184. This was a clear example of the Diocese failing to prioritise its responsibilities for
children and young people. Its approach seems to have been led by pastoral concerns for
Cotton, rather than the potential danger he posed to children.
185. It is not at all clear why Bishop Benn did not consider it appropriate to pass this
information to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. The significance of her role was
apparently not appreciated by senior members of clergy. If such an appreciation did exist, it
was overridden by less important concerns for a fellow member of clergy.
186. Moreover, no written record of the restrictions was made. Instead, they were
communicated to Cotton during a visit to his house by Archdeacon Reade. Archdeacon
Philip Jones was appointed Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings in 2005. As he pointed out,
“nothing was formalised” and it is likely that neither Bishop Benn nor Archdeacon Reade “knew
the extent of his activities on a day-to-day basis”.
245
187. When questioned about how he intended to enforce these restrictions, Bishop Benn
responded, “You hope a clergyman will take the command of a bishop seriously”.
246 Cotton’s
sexual offending demonstrates a blatant disregard for the moral codes of society and of the
Church. A verbal rebuke from a bishop was unlikely to alter his mindset.
188. Following Cotton’s retirement, Reverend Duncan Lloyd-James succeeded him as the
Rector of Brede with Udimore. Reverend Lloyd-James confirmed that both before and after
his appointment, no member of senior clergy alerted him to the allegations against Cotton.
Cotton continued to officiate publicly on numerous occasions, including in the presence
of children. This was at times with Reverend Lloyd-James’ permission, which he says he
“most certainly would not have given”247 had he known of the allegations. This reinforces the
deficiencies that were in place on the ground for the granting of permission to officiate.
Victims’ correspondence with the Diocese
189. On 13 March 1999, Sussex Police sent a letter to Mr Johnson. They informed him
that no further action would be taken against Cotton and Pritchard, due to a lack of
corroborating evidence. He was “devastated” to receive this news some two and a half years
242 WWS000072_026 243 WWS000051_022 244 WPB000047_016 245 WWS000133_039 246 Benn 12 March 2018 94/1-2 247 ANG000111_003
48
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
after making his complaint.248 The letter assured Mr Johnson that the statements of both
brothers would be “kept on file … this information will be invaluable to us should either of these
men try to involve themselves with children in the future”.249
190. On 6 June 2002, Mr Johnson sent an email to Bishop Benn.250 He detailed the abuse he
had suffered at the hands of Cotton and Pritchard. He explained that he had met with a local
man, known as AN-A37, who had also been abused by Cotton. In his response to the email,
Bishop Benn stated, “When you next see this young man, please tell him to go to the police and
tell them of his experience. He has made a very serious allegation of a criminal nature.”251
191. In 2003, AN-37 approached the Diocese himself. At separate meetings with Bishop
Benn and Mr Sellwood (then Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser) he disclosed that he had been
sexually abused by Cotton.
192. By this stage, a clear picture was emerging of the systematic and sustained abuse,
which Cotton had inflicted on more than one young person.252 Clearly, AN-A37’s account
provided the supporting evidence that had been absent during the earlier investigation. His
allegation would certainly have lent credence to the concerns that had already been raised
about Cotton. In a letter to Bishop Benn, Mr Sellwood recognised this link when he noted
that Mr Johnson “and AN-A37 had very similar narratives concerning Reverend Cotton”.
253
193. Bishop Benn told us that he did not inform the police himself about the allegations as
“it was the responsibility of the DSA to decide what information should be shared with the police
and to share all relevant information with the police”. Given the serious allegations raised, he
should have at least followed up to ensure that Mr Sellwood did inform the police and to find
out what had happened.
The Northamptonshire Police investigation
194. On 1 September 2006, a young man attended Northamptonshire Police Station. He
alleged that he had been repeatedly abused by Pritchard during his early teenage years. The
abuse included mutual masturbation, oral sex and attempted anal penetration.254
195. On 27 September 2006, a warrant was executed at Pritchard’s home address and
items of his property were seized. He was subsequently interviewed under caution by
Northamptonshire Police, at which time he denied all allegations. Pritchard was released on
bail whilst further enquiries took place.
196. In June 2007, Detective Constable David Charman of Northamptonshire Police met
with Mrs Hind at the Bishop of Chichester’s Palace. He reviewed the blue files of both
Pritchard and Cotton. As a result of this review, he identified that Mr Johnson and his
brother, Mr Gary Johnson, may have been further victims of both men. Accordingly, he
contacted Sussex Police and requested the file from their original investigation. However,
the police advised him that they “were unable to locate it”, with the officer adding that “he was
unable to remember anything of the Pritchard case he had investigated previously”.
255
248 Johnson 6 March 2018 52/2 249 OHY003521_004 250 ACE021705_033 and 040-45 251 ACE021705_034 252 WPB000047_031 253 ACE021705_030 254 NNP000026_002 255 NNP000026_004
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
49
197. Sussex Police confirmed that all records from its investigation had been destroyed
in 2004. At that time, its policy was to dispose of files relating to child sexual offences
after five years.256 The damaging consequence was that by the time the Northamptonshire
investigation commenced, valuable information on Pritchard and Cotton could no longer
be accessed. Furthermore, the promise given by Sussex Police to Mr Johnson that matters
would be kept on file was simply not true.
198. During the course of the Northamptonshire investigation, Cotton died. His victims
were denied the opportunity to see him brought to justice. Pritchard, however, was arrested
and charged with sexual offending against children. On 28 July 2008, he pleaded guilty to
seven counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, relating in part to Mr Johnson. He was
sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.257
199. Mr Johnson praised the efforts of Northamptonshire Police, who aided his
understanding of the court process and provided him with regular updates throughout the
investigation. He described Northamptonshire and Sussex police forces as “like night and day”
in terms of the quality of their support for victims and survivors.258
The response of the Diocese
200. Bishop Benn, former Bishop of Lewes, was aware of the Northamptonshire Police
investigation in 2006. He said he “took no further steps at that time, because the matter was
being dealt with by Tony Sellwood, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser”.259 He did not raise the
question of whether Pritchard should be suspended from ministry, nor did Mr Sellwood
advise that Pritchard be suspended after his arrest.
201. Pritchard announced his retirement in January 2007. The granting of permission to
officiate (PTO) was at that time the responsibility of Bishop Benn as area bishop. Pritchard
requested permission to officiate from Bishop Benn. It was granted immediately with no
conditions attached.260 This should not have happened. Pritchard was still being investigated
by Northamptonshire Police for offences of child sexual abuse, after having been arrested
previously by Sussex Police for similar allegations.
202. Bishop Benn told the Inquiry that, without any instruction from him, his personal
assistant had “issued the PTO believing that she was supposed to do so and using a signature
stamp … it was an error on her part”.
261 If this was the case, it reflects poorly on the quality of
the process and of record-keeping at that time.
203. In July 2007, Bishop Benn’s assistant informed him that Pritchard had been granted
permission to officiate. Bishop Benn discussed this with Mrs Hind and Bishop Hind, who
was his diocesan bishop at the time. They advised that Pritchard should not be allowed to
work with children. They did not suggest his permission to officiate should be suspended
or withdrawn, and Bishop Benn did not raise this issue.262 Bishop Hind, however, recalled
Bishop Benn stating that Pritchard was not “involved in active ministry”.
263
256 Hick 9 March 2018 140/9-11 257 NNP000026_006 258 Johnson 6 March 2018 58/17 259 WPB000047_035 260 WPB000012_001 261 WPB000047_035-36 262 WPB000047_035-36 263 WWS000138_040
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
204. In any event, it was not until September 2007 that Pritchard’s permission to officiate
was suspended on the advice of Mrs Shirley Hosgood, the newly appointed Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser.264 Some years later, Bishop Hind discovered that Pritchard had in fact
been taking public services prior to his suspension. This was contrary to the statements of
Bishop Benn, who told us that “Pritchard was off sick anyway and was not ministering at all”.
265
There was a presumption that clergymen would obey the instructions of more senior clerics,
who failed to check or monitor those with permission to officiate.
205. During the Northamptonshire Police investigation in December 2007, Mr Johnson
alerted Bishop Benn to an online blog authored by another victim of Cotton, known to this
Inquiry as AN-A31.266 His account of abuse was relevant to the case against Pritchard, who
was accused of conspiring with Cotton to abuse children. Bishop Benn did not inform the
police or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser of this information. He “assumed” they had
already been made aware of the issue by Mr Johnson, and failed in his own responsibilities
as a recipient of this complaint.267 Two months later, AN-A31 directly disclosed his abuse to
Mrs Hosgood. She immediately advised Northamptonshire Police of the allegations.268
206. Bishop Benn told us that he passed the blog to Bishop Hind.269 However, Bishop
Hind said that he heard about it from Mrs Hosgood and not from Bishop Benn.270 This was
supported by the evidence of Mrs Hosgood, who gave it to him in February 2008.271
207. As Mrs Hosgood observed, Bishop Benn should have ensured that this information
was passed to either her or the police in December 2007. His failure to notify her was also
contrary to diocesan safeguarding procedures, which required that the safeguarding adviser
must be informed of all allegations of abuse as soon as possible.
208. Shortly after Pritchard was imprisoned, Bishop Hind wrote an open letter to his
victims. He expressed his “compassion for all who have suffered” but said “the Church of
England cannot accept responsibility for the personal actions of abusers”.272 The latter expression
was insensitive and hurtful to victims. It was also wrong in law. Bishop Hind told us that he
regretted this wording, but that it had been based on legal advice received.
The Past Cases Review
Establishment of the review
209. During the mid to late-2000s, a number of individuals in the Church of England were
reported for sexual abuse. In 2007, for example, a choirmaster named Peter Halliday was
convicted of 10 counts of sexual abuse of boys between 1986 and 1990. Despite being
aware of this abuse before his arrest, the Bishop of Dorking failed to notify the police. In
1990, he allowed Mr Halliday to “leave quietly as long as he had no more contact with children”.
Mr Halliday went on to act as a governor at a secondary school and work with children
in a choir.273
264 ANG000213_021 265 WPB000047_035 266 ACE023504_002 267 WPB000047_033 268 ANG000213_017 269 WPB000047_033 270 WWS000138_para 123 271 ANG000213_20.5 272 OHY000111_001 273 ACE025937_003
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
51
210. In May 2007, the House of Bishops sought assistance from the Church’s Central
Safeguarding Liaison Group (CSLG) on how to manage a review of past cases. The CSLG
was designed to provide such advice, with its membership including various independent
safeguarding experts. Concerns were being expressed within the Church as to the number
and nature of child abuse cases that had come to light. As Lord Rowan Williams told the
Inquiry, these cases showed “that the present effects of poor practice in the past were still an
acute problem for those who had suffered abuse, and that practice across the Church of England
remained uneven in its effectiveness”. He added that the Church “could not credibly claim to
be putting the interests of children first if we were not willing to review our past and present
performance more rigorously”.
274
211. This led to the establishment of a Past Cases Review Working Group. On 5 December
2007, a protocol for the review was approved by the House of Bishops.275 The key purpose
of the review was to “ensure that in every case, the current risk, if any, is identified, and
appropriate plans are made to manage the identified risk to children and young people and take
any action necessary in the light of current statutory and other best practice guidance”.276
212. Dioceses were invited to adopt the protocol in a letter circulated by the Bishop of
Hereford, Anthony Priddis. He was the lead bishop for safeguarding at this time.277 All
dioceses were required to compile a ‘Known Cases List’ covering all cases “involving any
clergy, employees, readers and licensed lay workers or volunteers in the Church about whom
information of concern exists”. An independent reviewer was to be appointed by each diocese,
who would review the list and consider all relevant safeguarding files.278
213. The Church recently commissioned an independent team to scrutinise the adequacy
of the Past Cases Review. A report, published in June 2018, identified various shortcomings
in the review process. For example, there was a lack of clarity about which roles were in
the scope of the review. Categories ranged from “clergy, employees, readers and licensed lay
workers or volunteers in the Church” to “all cases in which it is alleged that a person who holds
office in the church, ordained or lay, paid or voluntary”. There was little involvement of Church
bodies and institutions outside episcopal oversight.279
The Meekings report
214. Roger Meekings was the independent reviewer appointed by the Diocese of
Chichester. Mrs Hosgood identified him as a suitable candidate for this work, having been
supervised by him in previous safeguarding roles. Mr Meekings was a qualified social worker
and a specialist in child protection issues.280
215. Bishop Hind appointed Mr Meekings on 7 February 2008.281 He was given authority
to access all relevant files held by the Diocese. Bishop Hind also wrote to a number of key
office holders. He asked them to identify any potential cases of concern relating to child
sexual abuse, and to provide details of those cases to Mr Meekings.282
274 ACE026001_005 275 ACE025937_004-5 276 ACE024730_003 277 ACE004958_009 278 ACE025937_006-7 279 ACE026359_16 280 ANG000210_001-2 281 ANG000145 282 ACE022267_097-98
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
216. Mr Meekings examined approximately 1,500 diocesan files and documents. He
also viewed separate case records of individuals about whom there had been previous
safeguarding concerns. These records were held by the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.283
Mr Meekings finalised his review of past cases on 12 February 2009.284
217. In light of Pritchard’s recent conviction, Mr Meekings also produced a confidential
addendum addressing the cases of Pritchard and Cotton.285 This document suggested
that the Diocese should review the actions of staff in relation to both cases. Bishop Hind
subsequently requested that Mr Meekings conduct this review himself and make
appropriate recommendations.286
The Cotton and Pritchard report
218. During his review of the Cotton and Pritchard cases, Mr Meekings interviewed
Bishop Benn on two occasions. He concluded that Bishop Benn “had found out about
Roy Cotton’s 1954 conviction during the time that the police were undertaking their 1998/9
enquiries. He had not shared this information with Janet Hind, the Child Protection Adviser at the
time.”287 According to Mr Meekings, Bishop Benn had learned of Cotton’s conviction from
Archdeacon Reade, who was Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings at the time. He then met
with Cotton during the late 1990s, who disclosed his conviction but claimed to have been
falsely accused. Bishop Benn did not recall ever seeing the 2001 confidential declaration,
and suggested it may have been misfiled.288
219. Based on this information, Mr Meekings drafted a chronology of events concerning
Cotton. This chronology included recording the date that Bishop Benn found out about
Cotton’s “conviction”. In May 2009 he sent this to Bishop Benn, who confirmed that th
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
53
222. According to Mr Meekings’ handwritten notes of their discussions about Cotton on
20 April 2009, Bishop Benn remarked, “You can’t write off a good guy, just because of a bad
day.”294 This comment was disturbingly reminiscent of those made 40 years earlier by the
Bishop of Portsmouth, when he casually dismissed concerns about Cotton as being “in the
past”. It appeared to privilege the needs and interests of the abuser over the abused.
223. Bishop Benn suggested that this comment was made in relation to a separate matter,
namely a trivial dispute between the wives of two vicars. He was unable to explain why
this would arise during a safeguarding conversation about a sexual offender, other than to
comment that “a lot of these notes are actually not very clear and a bit muddled”.
295 As a matter
of common sense, it is unlikely that Mr Meekings would have recorded this information if it
was irrelevant to the context of their meeting. Bishop Benn’s evidence lacked credibility, as
such remarks were clearly inconsistent with the intention of the meeting.
224. Having spoken with Cotton in the late 1990s, Bishop Benn said that he considered
him to be “a villain … I did not believe him and his protestations”.
296 If he truly doubted Cotton’s
honesty, then the obvious course of action was to make enquiries as to whether his
version of events was correct. Bishop Benn failed to do so and, at best, displayed a lack of
appropriate curiosity. He should have either requested access to Cotton’s blue file or asked
Bishop Hind to check it himself. Had either of them examined the blue file, it would have
shown that Cotton was a convicted offender.
225. Bishop Benn told us that having received the confidential declaration form, he
instructed his personal assistant to send it to Chichester Palace for inclusion in Cotton’s
blue file. When Mr Meekings reviewed the blue file, this document was missing. Bishop
Benn took no responsibility for its absence, saying it could only be due to “a specific failing
of my PA”.
297
226. Bishop Benn should have shared Cotton’s disclosure with the Diocesan Child
Protection Adviser in the 1990s, regardless of whether he believed it to be an allegation
or a conviction. This might have prompted a review of his blue file, which may in turn have
shown that he was a convicted offender. The consequence of Bishop Benn’s failure to share
information was that Cotton’s past was not made subject to wider or professional scrutiny.
Findings of the Past Cases Review
227. Mr Meekings recommended that the delegation of authority for permission to officiate
should be reviewed, having found that crucial information on individuals was not always
recorded on their blue file. He specified that area bishops should not make decisions without
formally accessing the contents of those files.298
228. He also noted that the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser held a separate set of case
records, which were stored separately from the blue files. He recommended that all of these
documents be integrated, having observed that the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser was not
routinely given access to the blue files.299
294 ANG000179_003 295 Benn 12 March 2018 68/24-25 296 WPB000047_014 297 WPB000047_017 298 ANG000167_002 299 ANG000167_003
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
229. Mr Meekings said there should be a clear protocol for resolving disagreements
between the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and senior clergy. This would ensure that
safeguarding matters were addressed professionally and transparently.300
Response of the Diocese
230. In February 2009, Bishop Hind informed senior diocesan staff that permission to
officiate should not be granted to any person unless written confirmation was received from
the Bishop’s Palace that all necessary cross-checks had been made.301
231. Following submission of the draft addendum report into Cotton and Pritchard,
however, the Diocese did not respond for almost four months. On 18 September 2009,
Bishop Hind sent an email to Mr Meekings expressing his desire to discuss its contents, but
adding that he would not be available for another month.302 Mr Meekings was “surprised at
the apparent lack of urgency and importance given to the findings of the Cotton/Pritchard report
by the Diocese”.
303
232. The email included a document entitled ‘Points of Action’ composed by the Diocese
in response to the Past Cases Review generally.304 Bishop Hind explained that he had
appointed Archdeacon Jones to address the findings of the Cotton and Pritchard report.
233. In his response, Mr Meekings raised the concern that locating the role at Archdeacon
level would “reduce the perceived importance placed on safeguarding by the Diocese … there
could be an issue as to whether an Archdeacon would have sufficient authority to ensure
compliance”.
305 He also noted that Archdeacon Jones worked in the same geographic area as
Bishop Benn, with whom he shared a close working relationship. The Cotton and Pritchard
report questioned the integrity of Bishop Benn’s conduct, but Mr Meekings believed that it
may not “receive the degree of objective introspection and forensic scrutiny it required”.
306
234. Archdeacon Jones denied the validity of these concerns, telling the Inquiry that he was
answerable to the Bishop of Chichester and therefore “worked with, but not for, the Bishop of
Lewes”.
307 Bishop Hind agreed that Mr Meekings’ fears were “based on a misunderstanding …
archdeacons are not the officers of area bishops but of the diocesan bishop”.
308
Publication of the Cotton and Pritchard report
235. Upon receipt of the Cotton and Pritchard report, Archdeacon Jones wrote to Bishop
Hind. He suggested the report was “based in part on speculation and assumptions … certain
imputations, even accusations, are made against Wallace himself … what is said may amount to
actionable defamation and I have accordingly suggested to Wallace that he seek legal advice as
soon as possible”.
309 Bishop Benn vehemently opposed its publication, describing its contents
as “selective and not comprehensive … it contained statements of opinion which did not have any
evidential status”.310
300 ANG000167_003 301 WWS000058_2 302 ACE023511 303 ANG000210_015 304 ACE023629 305 ANG000210_010 306 ANG000210_016 307 WWS000133_033 308 WWS000138_045 309 ACE021705_087 310 WPB000047_053
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
55
236. Both Archdeacon Jones and Bishop Benn doubted the independence of the report,
given Mr Meekings’ professional relationship with Mrs Hosgood. Archdeacon Jones told us
that, in his view, Mr Meekings drafted the report “specifically with the aim of showing Bishop
Benn up”.
311
237. On 5 November 2009, Mr Meekings met with Archdeacon Jones and Mr John
Stapleton, the then diocesan registrar. According to Archdeacon Jones, the aim of this
meeting was to “take the sting out of some of the allegations and suggestions in the report, which
Roger Meekings ultimately acceded to”.
312 He insisted that it was a “professional meeting” in
which “we made our views clear … it was certainly not hostile”.
313
238. Mr Meekings’ recollection of this meeting was markedly different. He said it was
“extremely one-sided and in no way a constructive discussion … there was a threatening undertone
to everything they said to me”. He was asked to amend the Cotton and Pritchard report by
removing his criticisms of Bishop Benn, failing which he could be sued for libel. Mr Meekings
believed that he was “being attacked for what I felt was a fair report”.
314 It was not appropriate
to ask Mr Meekings to change the content of the report in order to assuage the concerns of
Bishop Benn.
239. As a result of this meeting, a final version of the report was submitted by Mr Meekings
on 17 December 2009. The final report set out a series of revised recommendations. Bishop
Benn, however, remained displeased. Archdeacon Jones understood that he “would take
action, either by way of an injunction to prevent publication or by way of proceedings for libel”.
315
240. Bishop Benn told us he merely sought legal advice from Mr Stapleton. He denied that
he ever threatened or intended to take legal action if the report was published.316 However,
there was undoubtedly a widespread perception in the Diocese that he would do so. Bishop
Hind was “very, very clearly given to understand that Wallace Benn was threatening to take legal
action against me or the Diocese, were that report to be shared more widely”.
317
241. Accordingly, Bishop Hind decided not to publish the Cotton and Pritchard report.
He judged that publication “would be likely to embroil the Diocese in litigation with one of its
bishops … this would have been wasteful of time and financial resources”.
318 We are unable to
say whether it was purely the threat of libel that prevented the report from being disclosed,
or whether there were also concerns about embarrassment to the Diocese given the various
criticisms of its safeguarding procedures.
Disclosure of the report to victims and survivors
242. Some discussion appears to have taken place as to whether the report should be
shared with victims and survivors. In an email to his chaplain on 3 June 2010, Bishop Hind
acknowledged that a failure to publish the report would “leave a serious gap as far as helping
victims come to terms not only with their abuse, but also how their cases were handled”.
319
311 Jones 7 March 2018 155/5-6 312 Jones 7 March 2018 160/3-5 313 Jones 7 March 2018 161/10-11 314 ANG000210_016-17 315 Jones 7 March 2018 162/19-21 316 Benn 12 March 2018 119/22-25 317 Hind 7 March 2018 94/20-23 318 WWS000138_046 319 WWS000117_001
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
243. Mr Johnson repeatedly sought to obtain a copy of the report from the Diocese. He
was keen to ensure that all relevant information was shared with the victims of Cotton and
Pritchard, who believed that its publication would assist with their healing process. Bishop
Benn flatly disagreed with this sentiment. He argued, “How does it help people’s healing if
unsubstantiated, ill-founded, defamatory material is there that doesn’t appear to be true?”320
Mr Johnson’s letters went unanswered.321
244. Furthermore, although it appears that Mrs Hosgood was aware of the original,
unamended version of the report, the report itself was not disclosed to any member
of the newly-established Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group. The opinions of the
numerous safeguarding professionals in this group would clearly be of value, considering the
complexity and importance of the report. However, according to Mrs Hosgood, Archdeacon
Jones was “quite firm in his refusal to share the Meekings report with others, including anyone
from the police”.
322
245. Bishop Hind even declined to share the Cotton and Pritchard report with Mrs Hosgood
herself. He told us this decision was based on “the criticisms of the evidential basis and
accuracy of some of its findings in relation to Bishop Benn”.
323 His reluctance was also due to her
rapidly deteriorating relationship with Bishop Benn. Archdeacon Jones noted that “the main
focus was on getting them to work together effectively, which would have been out of the question
if the report had been shown to Shirley Hosgood in defiance of Wallace Benn’s wishes”.
324
246. We heard of Mrs Hosgood’s determined efforts to ensure that the Diocese engaged
appropriately with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. In meetings with senior clergy
and staff, she flagged her concerns that these individuals were not receiving the level of
support they deserved. Her words appear to have fallen on deaf ears. It is not surprising that
she gradually “lost confidence that the Diocese was willing or able to address historic and current
safeguarding concerns”.325
247. The Archbishops’ Council has recognised that a lack of communication and
transparency was “a major historic failing on the part of the Church”. The refusal to publish or
disclose reports allowed victims to form the “understandable conclusion that the Church was
engaged in a cover-up”.326
The resignation of Shirley Hosgood
248. In an email attached to his final report on 17 December 2009, Mr Meekings informed
Bishop Hind that although he had tried to “be as reasonable and helpful to the Diocese as
possible in dealing with difficult and sensitive issues … my intentions have not been understood”.
He notified the Bishop of his intention to cease all involvement with the Diocese, including
withdrawing his professional support to Mrs Hosgood.327
249. Following Mr Meekings’ departure, the Diocese did not put arrangements in place
to ensure that Mrs Hosgood had continued access to supervision. She wrote a letter to
Bishop Hind on 14 January 2010, in which she raised concerns about her role as Diocesan
320 Benn 12 March 2018 123/18-20 321 ANG000213_024 322 ANG000213_023-24 323 WWS000138_044 324 WWS000133_028 325 ANG000213_039 326 ACE026327_024 327 ACE022267_132
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
57
Safeguarding Adviser. In her view, the “lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities” meant
that serious matters were not being dealt with promptly. She further observed that
safeguarding issues were “not being shared with me or not being shared in a timely way”.
328
250. Extensive discussions were also taking place between clergy and staff about the
Cotton and Pritchard report. Mrs Hosgood was excluded from those discussions. She was
not invited to provide her view as to whether the report should be published. Mrs Hosgood
described her isolation from the decision-making process as “an example of Bishop John not
wanting to support me in addressing key safeguarding initiatives”.
329
251. Mrs Hosgood was also frustrated by the struggle to agree suitable terms of reference
for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (as discussed in Part B.4). She said that “the
Diocese’s failure to cooperate or support me in my efforts to carry out my duties as DSA betrayed
at best, a misunderstanding and at worst, an indifference to safeguarding work”.
330 In these
circumstances, Mrs Hosgood could no longer function effectively as Diocesan Safeguarding
Adviser. She resigned on 9 September 2010.
B.4: Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group
Establishment of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group
252. The House of Bishops’ 2004 policy Protecting All God’s Children recommended that
each diocese should form a child protection management group, chaired by an independent
lay person. In addition to meeting formally at least once a year to review diocesan policy, it
would advise the bishop on safeguarding cases and report annually to the Bishop’s Council
or Diocesan Synod.331
253. Shortly after this policy was issued, the Diocese of Chichester set up the Child
Abuse Advisory Group (CAAG). Archdeacon Philip Jones described it as an “ad hoc body
that met only when the need arose”. It had no oversight function or involvement in policy
implementation, and simply “dealt with safeguarding on a case by case basis”.
332 Following
Mr Tony Sellwood’s death in early 2007, Mrs Shirley Hosgood was appointed Diocesan Child
Protection Adviser. She was concerned the group was “very informal … it didn’t have any clear
terms of reference”.
333
254. In November 2007, a meeting was held at which it was decided that the CAAG should
be disbanded. It was to be replaced by a new diocesan safeguarding group with fresh terms
of reference, so as to ensure its structure and management was consistent with Protecting All
God’s Children. The new group would be formally organised and take “collective responsibility
for the implementation of child protection strategies”.334
Terms of Reference
255. A working group was tasked with drafting new terms of reference. Its members were
Archdeacon Jones, Archdeacon Roger Coombes, Mrs Hosgood, two former members
of the CAAG, and the diocesan secretary. However, the terms were not agreed until
328 ACE023543_001 329 ANG000213_011 330 ANG000213_038 331 ACE024892_030 332 WWS000133_052-53 333 Hosgood 6 March 2018 155/11-15 334 ANG000213_034
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
February 2010, more than two years after the CAAG had been discontinued.335 This
was because the working group was unable to agree on appropriate and effective terms.
Although the group reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, it appears that he did
not take any steps to resolve this dispute.
256. A period of time time taken to debate matters can, on occasion, be helpful for
reflective and thoughtful decision-making. In this situation, however, it should not have taken
so long for the terms of reference to be agreed. Either Bishop John Hind or the Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser, or both, should have sought to resolve the disputes.
257. According to Mrs Hosgood, “the professionals and representatives from the Church both
wanted a very different safeguarding group”.
336 In her view, the group required an independent
chair with specialist safeguarding experience. Both archdeacons objected, as this would
“weigh things heavily on the side of the statutory agencies in terms of their influence over the
group”.
337 Senior diocesan personnel had featured heavily in the CAAG’s processes and
decision-making.
258. In Archdeacon Jones’ view, the new group should have retained clergy involvement
as it “needed some input as to the state of the diocese, its structure, its work, its life”.
338 We
recognise that the Church has particularities which require input from those with knowledge
about its workings and structure. However, the primary purpose of any such group is to
provide expertise in safeguarding.
259. In any event, the failure to agree terms of reference in a timely manner meant
that, for a significant period, the Diocese was without an effective and transparent
safeguarding structure.
Function of the group
260. The formation of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) was completed in
May 2010 and it met for the first time in July 2010. Mr Keith Akerman, a former Detective
Chief Inspector of Hampshire Constabulary, was appointed as independent chair. Along
with Mrs Hosgood and three archdeacons, the DSAG’s members included representatives of
Local Authority Children’s Services, the Probation Service, Sussex Police, as well as a legal
adviser and abuse survivors.339 DS Hick represented Sussex Police in the group. His role was
to provide a link to police investigations involving the Diocese. He also provided information,
guidance and advice in connection with safeguarding concerns.340
261. Membership of the DSAG included three clergy members. Mr Akerman “did not consider
that this presented a significant problem” because “the role of Archdeacon was the one post
within the Church which had appropriate power and authority to get things done”.
341
335 ANG000213_035 336 Hosgood 6 March 2018 156/19-21 337 Hosgood 6 March 2018 157/12-14 338 Jones 7 March 2018 188/18-19 339 WWS000133_027 340 ANG000212_007 341 ANG000211_003
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
59
262. The DSAG’s aim was essentially to assist the Diocese. It was tasked with ensuring that
“the Diocese understood what safeguarding meant, and that as a culture it was embedded in their
everyday business, and that everyone in the Diocese, in whatever role – employed or voluntary,
was committed to it”.
342
263. Mrs Hosgood explained that the group’s objectives included monitoring the
implementation of both national and diocesan safeguarding policies. The DSAG supported
her work as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, including the provision of training and
professional consultation. It also dealt with the support needs of individuals affected
by abuse.343 Whilst the DSAG was to meet at least four times a year, a designated risk
assessment sub-group was also formed to consider specific safeguarding concerns presented
by Mrs Hosgood. According to Mr Akerman, the role of the DSAG was “both strategic and
operational”. For example, it advised the bishop on issues relating to priests with blemished
disclosure records, and also formulated a policy regarding the granting and removal of
permission to officiate.344
264. Even after the formation of the DSAG, tensions continued to exist between its clergy
and professional representatives. DS Hick recalled a meeting with Archdeacons Jones and
Coombes in or around 2010–2011. In this meeting, they suggested all safeguarding concerns
should be passed to them for consideration before any referral was made to the statutory
agencies. DS Hick “had to be very clear with them that this was an unacceptable position to
adopt, clearly raising the prospect that matters could be suppressed”.
345
265. In Mrs Hosgood’s view, senior clergy members did not trust external experts to make
the correct decisions about safeguarding matters.346 DS Hick agreed “there was resentment
towards police involvement in their business, and a perception that the Church was losing
control of its information”.
347 It must be remembered that Mrs Hosgood left the Diocese in
December 2010.
266. DS Hick did note that as time progressed, there was a “sea-change in the levels of
cooperation from the Church”. He observed a “genuine acceptance” by the clergy members that
“action was needed” to confront a “culture of abuse” in parts of the Diocese.348
B.5: The Butler-Sloss report
The appointment of Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
267. In January 2011, Bishop John Hind appointed Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss to undertake
a review of Mr Roger Meekings’ report into Reverends Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard. In
the four months since Mrs Shirley Hosgood had resigned, safeguarding issues continued to
dominate the time of senior figures within the Diocese of Chichester. Bishop Hind sought
to resolve these issues by way of an “expert independent evaluation of the conflict over the
accusations made against Bishop Wallace in the Roger Meekings’ report, accusations which closely
echoed Shirley Hosgood’s view”.
349
342 ANG000211_003 343 ANG000213_036 344 ANG000211_002 345 ANG000212_005 346 ANG000213_037 347 ANG000212_005 348 ANG000212_006 349 WWS000138_053
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
268. Bishop Hind decided Lady Butler-Sloss was “the ideal person” to conduct an
investigation. As a senior judicial figure who had previously chaired the Cleveland Child
Abuse Inquiry and had been the President of the Family Division, he believed she could be
trusted to assess matters both forensically and independently. Bishop Hind said his choice
of reviewer was motivated by his own inadequacy and “sense of helplessness in taking the
Diocese forward”.
350
269. However, these views were not shared by all members of the Diocese. Prior to
her appointment, an email was received by Mr Chris Smith (the Chief of Staff to the
Archbishop of Canterbury at the time) from Mr Andrew Nunn, who was the Correspondence
Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Mr Nunn remarked that Bishop Hind knew
Lady Butler‑Sloss personally. In his opinion, the bishop appointed her because “he and Benn
will be safe in her hands”.
351
270. Mr Meekings was also doubtful as to her suitability. In 2002, she had chaired the
Appointments Commission charged with the selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury. She
also chaired the Advisory Council of St Paul’s Cathedral from 2000 to 2009. Mr Meekings
questioned whether she could be truly independent. He suspected that her appointment
represented “an attempt to dismiss what I had written and to salvage Bishop Wallace’s reputation
and the reputation of the Diocese”.
352
271. On behalf of victims and survivors at this Inquiry, Mr Scorer compared this to “the
church marking its own homework” by selecting its own choice of reviewer. He said the Church
of England procured a form of oversight that might be sympathetic to its practices, and so
the review could not be regarded as genuinely and wholly independent.353
272. Bishop Hind rejected these suggestions, insisting that his “own position was utterly
irrelevant”.
354 In his view, a competent reviewer would be capable of separating her personal
and professional judgement. He concluded that “if you are going to require total cordons
sanitaires around people, they would have to be Martians”.
355
Conduct of the review
273. At the outset of the review, terms of reference were drafted by Archdeacon Philip
Jones. These were then amended by Bishop Hind and agreed by Lady Butler-Sloss, and are
set out in an appendix to her report.356 She was to assess the reasonableness of the findings
and recommendations made by Mr Meekings, along with the quality of support offered by
the Diocese to victims of abuse.
274. Lady Butler-Sloss conducted her review between January and March 2011. She was
supplied with the Past Cases Review and all documentation relating to the Cotton and
Pritchard addendum, along with copies of the national and diocesan policies on safeguarding.
She was also granted access to individual clergy blue files,357 held at the Bishop’s Palace
in Chichester.358
350 WWS000138_053 351 ACE023606_001 352 ANG000210_020 353 Scorer 23 March 2018 35/4-11 354 WWS000138_053 355 Hind 7 March 2018 103/11-13 356 ACE022296_046-47 357 The blue files provided details about an individual’s career in the clergy, and should log any safeguarding concerns about
that person.
358 WWS000133_036
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
61
275. Lady Butler-Sloss conducted interviews with a number of senior clergy and diocesan
staff. She also interviewed officers from Northamptonshire and Sussex Police. Mr Meekings
declined to contribute to the process, stating that he had by this point “lost all faith in the
diocesan processes”.359
276. According to her report, Lady Butler-Sloss only spoke with one victim as part of her
enquiries.360 This was Mr Philip Johnson, who told us he initiated contact on a number of
occasions in an effort to give his account.
277. Lady Butler-Sloss also met with Ms Lawrence, who was Chair of Minister and Clergy
Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) at that time. Ms Lawrence advised her of the serious
safeguarding concerns unearthed by MACSAS, which were of potential relevance to her
review. At Lady Butler-Sloss’ invitation, MACSAS and Mr Johnson subsequently drafted
recommendations for the improvement of safeguarding procedures and response to
victims.361 The vast majority of recommendations proposed by MACSAS and Mr Johnson
were adopted by Lady Butler-Sloss and set out in her review.
278. Lady Butler-Sloss attached an addendum to her report in May 2011. This was due to
concerns raised about other individuals during her original review. The addendum reviewed
the cases of several priests in the Diocese about whom there had been safeguarding issues.
Those priests were Jonathan Graves, Gordon Rideout, Robert Coles, Ronald Glazebrook and
two alleged perpetrators known as AN-F2 and AN-F3.
Findings of the Butler-Sloss report
279. The full report of Lady Butler-Sloss was dated 19 May 2011. It was critical of both the
Church and the police in their handling of non-recent abuse cases.
Lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse
280. The review found senior clergy were slow to act on the information available to
them and to assess potential risk to children in the Diocese. They failed to adequately
communicate with Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers regarding allegations of non-recent child
abuse, and to recognise the importance of this role insofar as safeguarding was concerned.362
281. In his evidence to the Inquiry, Bishop Hind accepted “this was a reasonable conclusion
for her to reach” although he added he was married to a child protection professional and
did personally appreciate the importance of safeguarding.363 He said these issues had been
greatly improved upon during the last decade. Similarly, Archdeacon Jones told us that the
attitude of the Diocese towards victims of abuse had “changed immeasurably” since 2010,
with all claims now being treated “openly and fairly, however historical”.
364
282. The review also found that Sussex Police failed to take seriously disclosures of nonrecent abuse.365 It relied on, for example, the decision not to prosecute Cotton, despite
similar accounts of abuse having been given by a number of his victims. DS Hick rejected
this, arguing that although “mistakes or errors of judgement may have taken place in particular
cases … both the force and the CPT officers took all allegations of child abuse seriously and
359 ANG000210_020 360 ACE022296_048 361 ANG000223_015 362 ACE022296_039 363 Hind 7 March 2018 114/2-3 364 WWS000133_046 365 ACE022296_040
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
understood the impact that such offences can have on the victims and others”.
366 It is impossible
for us to reach a conclusion about this, given the absence of records from Sussex Police
at the time.
Inadequate record-keeping and victim support
283. Lady Butler-Sloss found there was “seriously inadequate record-keeping of important
events affecting clergy ministering in the Diocese, and existing records were not checked”.
367
She also identified a failure to respond appropriately to disclosures of abuse and to provide
victims with adequate, timely support.
284. Bishop Hind explained that blue files were kept at the Palace, whilst area bishops
had their own clergy files. This meant that information on clergy was stored in a number of
different places, and there were no dedicated safeguarding files.368 The report recommended
there should be meticulous record-keeping both of issues of safeguarding and general
personnel matters. We agree that relevant documentation should be held in the blue file at
the Palace and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser’s safeguarding file, with cross-referencing
of important information.
285. As identified by Mrs Edina Carmi in the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
report,369 recent improvements have been made by Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers.
However, there are continuing deficiencies in record-keeping. She emphasised that
“each diocese needs to ensure the systems in place are adequate and consistent with national
expectations for all recording systems, including case records and clergy files”.370
286. The review undertaken by members of the National Safeguarding Panel into the Past
Cases Review also identified significant problems with record-keeping.371 Mr Graham Tilby
stated that a national central database is currently being set up to address deficiencies in
record-keeping and to provide an accessible record to safeguarding professionals.
287. In addition, training must be put in place to ensure a Church-wide understanding of the
system, along with regular auditing to verify that there is a consistency of approach across
dioceses. The consequence of this approach, as Mr Tilby observed, is that “the Church as
a whole will be in a much better place in terms of oversight of those who may pose a risk … and
obviously much better information sharing across the diocese and with the national Church”.
372
Reverend Roy Cotton’s permission to officiate
288. One area of consideration was Cotton’s permission to officiate (PTO), which was
granted upon his retirement in 1999. In her report, Lady Butler-Sloss commented:
“A further reason relied upon by WB not to be concerned about the granting of the PTO
was the continued ill health of RC and his lack of contact with children. The purpose
of the PTO was, according to WB and supported by NR, to permit him to celebrate
communion in the nursing home where he was then living.”373
366 ANG000212_004 367 ACE022296_039 368 WWS000138_18-19 369 ACE025845 370 ACE025845_042 371 ACE026359_019 372 Tilby 19 March 2018 141/9-15 373 ACE022296_009
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
63
289. In June 2011, however, Lady Butler-Sloss received a letter from a BBC journalist named
Colin Campbell. Following Mr Campbell’s investigations, it transpired that Cotton did not
in fact reside in a nursing home at this time and had taken a number of public services.
Enquiries conducted by Archdeacon Jones confirmed that Cotton was not transferred to
a nursing home until September 2003, some four years after the grant of his permission
to officiate.374
290. As a result, Lady Butler-Sloss produced an addendum to her report in January 2012.
She conceded that she had been given incorrect information by Bishop Wallace Benn and
Archdeacon Nicholas Reade about Cotton’s permission to officiate. She noted “I very much
regret that I accepted the information I was given and did not make further inquiries”.
375 This
incident highlighted a significant difficulty faced by bishops and archdeacons, namely the
practical impossibility of monitoring any clergy member with permission to officiate. Lady
Butler-Sloss was misled, but it is unclear whether or not this was inadvertent.
Publication of the report
291. Bishop Hind initially expected the report would be confidential to him, the Archbishop
of Canterbury and the National Safeguarding Adviser. However, Lady Butler-Sloss made it
clear from the outset that she expected her report to be published. She also strongly advised
that the Meekings report should be published, so as to enable a proper understanding of
her review. At that time, it had not been published because Bishop Benn had threatened
legal action.
Implementation of the recommendations
292. The Butler-Sloss review, coupled with the findings of the Meekings report, highlighted
numerous shortcomings and failures. Lady Butler-Sloss told us that the combination of
both reports “sent a real shock throughout the Diocese”.
376 Archdeacon Jones described her
conclusions as “a welcome prompt to move to a point where the Diocese operated to the highest
possible standard in safeguarding terms”.
377
293. Shortly after completion of the review, Mr Colin Perkins was appointed as Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser. Bishop Hind said he “very quickly established an extremely collaborative
style” and had “every confidence” that the recommendations would be fully implemented
under Mr Perkins’ oversight.378
294. We have seen a schedule prepared by Mr Perkins, in which he helpfully detailed the
acceptance and implementation of all recommendations made by Lady Butler-Sloss.379 For
example, he noted that since 2011 there had been a substantial increase in the financial
budget for the safeguarding team. The team had therefore significantly expanded its
membership, with the addition of a victim-support specialist and three full-time caseworkers.
Since 2012, training on allegations management has been provided to approximately
1,200 key parish personnel across the Diocese. According to Mr Perkins, the value of the
recommendations was in “providing a public endorsement for good practice from a source
accepted as authoritative by those outside the professional safeguarding sphere”.
380
374 Jones 8 March 2018 6/15-20 375 ACE022296_054 376 ANG000156_007 377 WWS000133_038 378 Hind 7 March 2018 116/18-19 379 ACE026013_10-14 380 ACE026181_067
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B.6: Complaints under the Clergy Discipline Measure
Decision to issue a complaint against Bishop Wallace Benn
295. By late 2010, the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) was aware of a series
of concerns about Bishop Wallace Benn’s safeguarding practice. His actions in the cases
of Reverends Robert Coles, Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard had raised questions about his
approach to allegations of child sexual abuse. According to Mr Colin Perkins, his subsequent
attempt to conceal Reverend Gordon Rideout’s blemished CRB disclosure evidenced “an
ongoing approach to safeguarding casework that had not learnt from previous experience”.
381
296. Bishop Benn refused to accept the validity of these concerns. Moreover, the DSAG
considered that the inaccuracies in his evidence to Lady Butler-Sloss cast doubt not only on
his appreciation of safeguarding, “but also his propriety”.382 The group unanimously agreed
that it must not react passively, but instead take proactive steps to address the situation.
297. As a result, the DSAG conducted a formal review of all relevant material held at the
Bishop’s Palace. Mrs Kate Wood, independent safeguarding consultant and former Sussex
Police officer, was instructed to investigate the key safeguarding cases in which Bishop Benn
had been involved.
298. In September 2011, Mr Keith Akerman wrote to the then Archbishop of Canterbury,
Rowan Williams. He announced the group’s intention to issue a complaint against Bishop
Benn under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (CDM).
299. Archdeacon Philip Jones told us there were no other “courses of action that could
reasonably be taken, the Church authorities having concluded that there were no grounds
upon which to order that Bishop Wallace be suspended from office”.383 Mr Perkins explained
the decision was not “a pejorative action … it was an attempt at risk management”.384 On
9 November 2011, the CDM papers were submitted to Lambeth Palace.385 Mr Akerman
described the effect of the submission “as like having dropped a bomb”.
386
Outcome of the complaint
300. The objective of the CDM complaint was to establish a course of conduct by Bishop
Benn over a period of time. However, for discipline to be imposed by way of determination
pursuant to the CDM at that time, the subject matter must have occurred within the
12 months prior to the making of the complaint. On the facts of this complaint, the
evidence about Bishop Benn related to more than 12 months previously. The President of
Tribunals, the Right Honourable Lord Justice Mummery, accordingly dismissed the complaint
as time-barred.
381 ACE026181_081 382 ACE026181_083 383 WWS000133_055 384 Perkins 15 March 2018 122/5-6 385 ACE025514_001 386 ANG000211_008
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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301. In March 2012, the DSAG submitted a second CDM complaint that was “more limited
and more focused”.
387 It specifically concerned three allegations: that Bishop Benn had not
shared information about Coles with Sussex Police; that he sought to suppress Rideout’s
blemished CRB disclosure; and that he failed to advise Mr Meekings that Rideout was the
subject of a police investigation in 2002.
302. At the same time, a CDM complaint was issued against Archdeacon Reade concerning
his actions during the Coles case in 1997.388 As Mr Perkins stated, Bishop Benn “was not the
only one to blame for what happened”.
389
303. Ultimately, all complaints against both Archdeacon Reade and Bishop Benn were
dismissed by the Clergy Discipline Tribunal, on the basis that either they were out of time or
they lacked merit. In October 2012, Bishop Benn retired. He issued a statement claiming the
complaints against him were without foundation and that he had been exonerated.
304. This process raised several concerns about the effectiveness of the CDM process.
Archdeacon Jones observed that its narrow, fact-based requirements and timescales worked
against a satisfactory outcome.390 We question whether issuing a CDM was an appropriate
course of action. It is not a suitable tool to deal with ongoing issues of risk management.
B.7: The Archepiscopal Visitation
Establishment of the Visitation
305. On 6 December 2011, in his capacity as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Mr Colin
Perkins wrote to Archbishop Rowan Williams. He expressed his concern that the behaviour
of Bishop Wallace Benn posed a risk to good safeguarding practice. Despite the concerns
identified by Lady Butler-Sloss, no formal steps had been taken by the Diocese to address
the issue. Mr Perkins urged the Archbishop to organise “decisive and forthright action” to
manage safeguarding risks and implement the necessary changes.391
306. Relationships between senior clergy and staff had seriously deteriorated. Bishop John
Hind recalled the bitterness between Mrs Shirley Hosgood and Bishop Benn, noting that “on
one occasion Bishop Benn said of Shirley Hosgood, ‘I hate her,’ and she said of him, ‘I’m going to
get him’”.
392 Bishop Hind found himself in a state of paralysis, unable to support either party
in this “irreconcilable dispute” without damaging his own relationships with them.
307. The Archbishops’ Council has acknowledged that amongst this mutual recrimination,
the urgent need to support survivors seemed “almost to have been lost from view”.393
A breakdown in effective communication, coupled with mounting unease about the
operation of safeguarding arrangements, led Archbishop Williams to determine that
“intervention of a drastic kind” was required.394 The Butler-Sloss report pointed to a negative
culture in the Diocese, along with an unwillingness to effectively communicate concerns to
the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in respect of non-recent abuse.
387 ACE026181_089 388 ACE025697 389 ACE026181_087 390 WWS000133_056 391 ACE025525_002 392 WWS000138_048 393 ACE026327_003 394 ACE026001_010
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308. On 21 December 2011, the Archbishop directed that an Archepiscopal Visitation
should take place in the Diocese of Chichester.395 This would suspend “the functioning of a
subsidiary authority so as to take direct responsibility for what is going on”.
396 It was the first
time a Visitation had occurred in the Church of England for more than a century.
309. However, the use of a Visitation highlights the limits to Archepiscopal authority. It
is currently the only legal course available to an archbishop who seeks to intervene in a
diocese. It can transfer authority to the archbishop, who can then decide who is to exercise
that power. However, it may not be possible to do this quickly or effectively. The Inquiry
wishes to consider further if other interventions need to be available.
310. Whilst a Visitation may be valuable in some circumstances, it did not have the power
to resolve safeguarding problems. At that time there was no mechanism to suspend a
bishop who had not been arrested for sexual offences. There was similarly no mechanism
to ensure compliance with safeguarding, other than the full panoply of a Clergy Discipline
Measure complaint.
311. The Archbishop appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Canon Dr Rupert Bursell QC as
his Commissaries for the Visitation. At that time, Bishop Gladwin was a retired Assistant
Bishop in the Diocese of St Albans. He had also recently been appointed Chair of the
National Board of the Citizens Advice Bureau, and was responsible for ensuring compliance
with relevant safeguarding laws and practice across that organisation.397 Canon Dr Bursell
QC was a retired senior circuit judge. He was also the Diocesan Chancellor and Vicar
General of the Diocese of Durham, who provided legal advice to that Diocese.398
312. The Commissaries’ main task was to consider the progress made in the implementation
of the diocesan and national safeguarding guidelines by the Diocese of Chichester.
They would also explore the action taken in response to the recommendations made by
Lady Butler-Sloss, before making “such further recommendations as may appear necessary
and expedient”.399
Conduct of the Visitation
313. Although the Archbishop was formally responsible for safeguarding during the course
of the Visitation, he delegated its day-to-day operation in the Diocese to Bishop Hind.
When the bishop retired from post in February 2012, the role was temporarily transferred
to Bishop Mark Sowerby, the Bishop of Horsham. He became acting Bishop of Chichester
pending the appointment of a new diocesan bishop. He was required to inform the Provincial
Registrar (legal adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury) of all proposed appointments, along
with all decisions to withdraw permission to officiate from those clergy who did not hold a
current CRB check.400
395 ACE026001_010 396 Williams 14 March 2018 156/1-3 397 ACE025942_001 398 ACE025279_002 399 ACE025279_003 400 Sowerby 13 March 2018 146/7-16
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
67
314. The Commissaries interviewed a variety of individuals. These included senior diocesan
clergy, representatives of MACSAS and several victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.401
They attended the office of the diocesan bishop and examined the blue files, along with
relevant policy documents and previous safeguarding reviews.
315. On 30 August 2012, the Commissaries published an interim report of their findings.
The Commissaries considered that an interim report was necessary as a new diocesan bishop
was soon to be appointed, who “should not be wrong-footed in any way”.
402 The interim report
contained 32 recommendations for the Diocese and 12 recommendations for the Church of
England as a whole. A final report was published on 26 April 2013 which clarified some of
the recommendations.
Difficulties encountered during the Visitation
Correspondence between East Sussex County Council and Lambeth Palace
316. On 30 January 2012, the Director of Children’s Services and Chair of the Children’s
Safeguarding Board at East Sussex County Council403 wrote to the Archbishop. They sought
to clarify several issues regarding the Visitation process including its scope, timescale and
the means by which they should communicate their views to the Commissaries. In light of
the safeguarding concerns raised about Bishop Benn, they also queried whether action had
been taken to ensure that the welfare of children was being adequately protected.
317. In a brief response on behalf of the Archbishop, Mr Chris Smith, his then Chief of
Staff, declined to answer the queries but offered the Council an opportunity to meet with
the Commissaries.404 Three months passed before this meeting took place, after which the
Council again wrote to the Archbishop. The letter expressed the belief that “insufficient
attention is being paid to the ongoing and immediate safeguarding of children in Sussex”.
405
It also stated that Bishop Benn continued his involvement with local schools and clergy
appointment panels, despite “widespread misgivings” about his professional judgement. The
Diocese of Chichester and the Church of England had clearly lost the confidence of social
services by this stage.
The Clergy Discipline Measure
318. The Archbishop conceded that the Council’s letter “deserved a fuller response than it
had”. At that time, he was attempting to persuade Bishop Benn to retire voluntarily. He
explained the circumstances in which a bishop could be suspended were “very, very, very
tightly circumscribed and not quite as simple as the correspondence thought”.
406
319. He acknowledged that he could have initiated a complaint under the Clergy Discipline
Measure (CDM), which may have resulted in the suspension of Bishop Benn. However, the
Archbishop chose not to pursue this route because “the procedures are quite lengthy … I wasn’t
convinced that initiating something from Lambeth along the lines of a CDM would be the most
effective and rapid way of dealing with this”.407
401 ACE025146_001 402 ACE025279_004-5 403 ACE024518_001-2 404 ACE024518_003 405 ACE024518_008-9 406 Williams 14 March 2018 166/12-16 407 Williams 14 March 2018 167/2-12 Our view of this is set out in Part B.6.
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
320. The Clergy Discipline Measure was a long-winded process, involving two stages of
internal assessment before being passed to a Disciplinary Tribunal. It was not capable of
managing safeguarding risks where decisions needed to be made promptly. At the time of
the Visitation, an individual could not be suspended from office by the archbishop or bishop
if allegations were made against them under the Clergy Discipline Measure, unless they had
been arrested or a formal complaint had been laid which was not dismissed.408 This provision
failed to deal with situations where the issue was not one of discipline, but of competence
and ability to understand the realities of safeguarding practice.
321. In addition, at that time,409 disciplinary proceedings could not be instituted more than
12 months after the date of misconduct without permission from the President of the Clergy
Discipline Tribunal.410 It is regrettable that the Church did not take steps to abolish this rule
prior to the Visitation in respect of safeguarding allegations. The imposition of a time limit,
particularly a short one, displayed a serious lack of understanding of the psychology of
trauma. It failed to acknowledge that most people would not report child sexual abuse until
they were much older.
322. The Archbishop had no power to force Bishop Benn’s resignation. The bishop
eventually retired in October 2012, but this was “not because the Archbishop’s Commissaries
had made any pronouncement on the subject of his conduct”.411 Although archbishops are
influential figures within the Church, they do not have any legal power to direct their
bishops. Archbishop Justin Welby confirmed “diocesan bishops have a largely autonomous
role … the Archbishop is not in direct control of the diocesan bishops in a management sense”.412
Bishop Wallace Benn’s correspondence with the Commissaries
323. In a meeting with the Commissaries on 7 June 2012, Bishop Benn and his lawyers
sought to obtain a copy of the draft interim report. They relied on the Commissaries’ “duty
to act fairly, since your role is formal and your report is capable of affecting the rights and public
reputation of those to whom it might refer, including the Bishop of Lewes”.
413
324. The Commissaries subsequently provided the bishop with an extract from their report,
on which he was invited to make comments. He submitted a number of amendments before
the report was sent to the archbishop, which focussed on factual accuracy and “the respects
in which the extract continues to be written in a manner designed to reflect and protect Bishop
John Hind’s position in the matter”.
414 The Commissaries agreed his amendments. There was
an inference that without those amendments, legal action may have followed.415
325. Bishop Hind was not aware that Bishop Benn and his lawyers had seen a draft of
the interim report, nor that they had been able to influence its eventual form. He was not
afforded the same opportunity.
408 ACE002231_021 409 This was changed by the Clergy Discipline Measure 2015. 410 WWS000133_056 411 WWS000070_021 412 ACE026137_004 413 WPB000049_003 414 ACE025158_001 415 Bursell 13 March 2018 63/22-24
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
69
Findings of the Commissaries’ reports
326. In their interim report, the Commissaries concluded that safeguarding in the Diocese
of Chichester had “fallen woefully short of what should be expected of any institution with a
ministry and care for children and young people”.416 They identified three central themes of
concern which contributed to these failings.
Dysfunctional leadership
327. In 1984, Bishop Eric Kemp, the diosecan bishop of Chichester, established the
area scheme417 for the ministry of bishops. Under this scheme, Bishop Kemp delegated
responsibilities for appointments and for permission to officiate to the two suffragan
bishops of Horsham and Lewes. One of these, Bishop Sowerby explained the extent of these
responsibilities as follows:418
“I had responsibility for clergy recruitment to parishes in the Horsham Episcopal Area …
whilst I consulted with Bishop John Hind before making appointments … I did exercise the
bishop’s patronage. I was generally responsible for ensuring that incoming clergy had the
necessary CRB or DBS checks, and that they were suitable for appointment. I was also
responsible for seeking the necessary references.”
419
328. Each area therefore had significant autonomy, with the suffragan bishops largely
running their own parts of the Diocese. Canon Ian Gibson went so far as to describe Bishop
Benn as a “mini diocesan bishop”, as the number of parishes in his area almost equalled those
in the whole of the Diocese of Leicester.420
329. The area scheme weakened the capacity of the diocesan bishop to ensure that a
consistent and robust central policy was followed by all in respect of appointments and
permission to officiate. It was an unusual scheme within the Church of England, and its
structure made it vulnerable to misuse.
330. When Bishop Hind inherited the scheme, he discovered he had little or no powers
over the areas in respect of appointments and permission to officiate. This made it almost
impossible to maintain oversight of the Diocese and to impose authority where it was
required. The Diocese was also geographically large. This meant that an area bishop may well
have had more autonomy than in other, smaller areas.
331. By the early 1990s, Bishop Kemp had been the diocesan bishop for nearly 20 years.
He was an elderly man whose views about leadership and safeguarding (on the basis of the
evidence we heard from those who served under him) had fallen out of step with current
practice. We recognise that the Diocese of Chichester is geographically diverse, and that
spreading leadership responsibilities may relieve the burden on a diocesan bishop. However,
this idea was taken too far during the tenure of Bishop Kemp.
416 OHY000185_005 417 The area scheme was a legal mechanism by which a diocesan bishop could delegate his own powers to the suffragan
bishops.
418 Bishop Wallace Benn said the same at WPB000047_003, as did Bishop John Hind at WWS000138_006 419 ACE025934_003 420 Gibson 8 March 2018 179/8-11
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332. The diocesan bishop should have kept adequate oversight of appointments, to ensure
that safer recruitment practices were in place. This was part of his ultimate responsibility as
the pastor of the Diocese. The area bishops enjoyed such a level of independence that by
the time Bishop Hind was appointed, he found it “difficult to rein them in”.
421
333. Bishop Lindsay Urwin was the Area Bishop of Horsham from 1993 to 2009. He said
Bishop Hind had struggled with the “theological anomalies” within the Diocese. He was also
critical of the frequency with which the three bishops met alone, without other senior staff
present, and complained that this hindered communication and unity of purpose.
334. Bishop Hind accepted he failed to engage with the area of East Sussex as much as he
should, recalling his own “sense of powerlessness in being unable to relate effectively with Bishop
Benn”.
422 By the time of his appointment, Bishop Benn had already been the Area Bishop
of Lewes for 10 years. The distinct clash of personalities between these two individuals
exacerbated the problem.
335. As a result, there was no central oversight of the appointment of clergy within the
Diocese of Chichester. No policies existed to ensure the central retention of files. Decisions
were not made and leadership in respect of safeguarding was not effective because
relationships were poor. As the Archbishops’ Council itself conceded:
“The lack of definition of roles and responsibilities, and uncertainties about accountability
brought about by the Area Scheme, contributed to a chaotic and unsatisfactory
safeguarding environment.”
423
336. For a significant period of time in 2010 and 2011, the focus and energy of the senior
diocesan team was on the lengthy internal dispute with Bishop Benn regarding the Meekings
report. In the meantime, the need to implement the recommendations of the report was
deferred. As Bishop Benn himself admitted, “it was a rabbit in the headlights moment for about
two years”.
424
337. In their interim report, the Commissaries stated they had “no doubt that this
dysfunctionality continues to impinge upon the adequacy of safeguarding within the Diocese”.
425
Canon Gibson disagreed with the suggestion that the senior team was dysfunctional; it
“worked very efficiently … the only dysfunctional element was the relationship between Bishop
Hind and Bishop Benn”.
426 Bishop Sowerby concurred that “notwithstanding the real problems
that did exist, the senior staff were working collaboratively and in a healthy fashion in much of
their day-to-day work”.
427
338. There is no evidence pointing to a breakdown of confidence between the wider senior
team. However, the dysfunctional relationship between some members led to a focus upon
polarisation. It also created an excessive emphasis on trying to manage the dysfunction,
rather than addressing critical safeguarding issues. An organisation cannot function
effectively if its leaders’ relationships are characterised by mistrust. The Clergy Discipline
421 Sowerby 13 March 2018 167/17 422 WWS000138_027 423 ACE026327_044 424 Benn 12 March 2018 191/1-2 425 OHY000185_007 426 WWS000070_021 427 Sowerby 13 March 2018 167/12-14
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
71
Measure complaint against Bishop Benn was understandable, but ultimately caused more
problems than it solved. It led to unnecessary time being spent on internal wrangling rather
than action.
339. The interim report emphasised that the dysfunctionality within the senior team
must be urgently addressed. It specifically recommended that “the area scheme should be
reconsidered and the senior team must function as a team throughout the diocese. The diocesan
bishop should not have a discrete area of his own”.428 The area scheme was indeed revised
shortly after this point.
Disorder in safeguarding
340. The Commissaries found that the Diocese was very slow to address allegations
of sexual abuse. It failed to react to reports of misbehaviour by individuals who were
subsequently convicted of child sexual abuse.429 Although some clergy files contained details
of past allegations, those clergy continued to minister in the Diocese and hold senior roles.
The Commissaries found that Rideout, for example, was permitted to remain as Chair of
Governors at the Bishop Bell School despite having been investigated previously for child
sexual abuse.430
341. The finding in the interim report that the Diocese failed to react with “rigour and
expedition” was based on the fact that neither the recommendations of the Past Cases
Review nor the Butler-Sloss report had been implemented.431 The Butler-Sloss report
recommended that all letters to victims and survivors should be personally addressed and
signed by the diocesan bishop. However, the Commissaries concluded that the letters of
apology sent to victims and survivors of Roy Cotton were “insufficient in their actual content
and crass in their presentation”.432 The Archbishops’ Council has accepted that letters to
victims were “unduly defensive, and dominated by the approach and language of litigation”.433
They were signed not by Bishop Hind but by Bishop Sowerby on his behalf. Had the focus
been more on acting upon the recommendations and less on internal squabbles, this might
not have happened.
342. The importance of an appropriate response to victims and survivors cannot be
underestimated. It was vital the Church sought to provide adequate redress in circumstances
where it had manifestly failed to protect individuals from a predatory paedophile.
Mr Johnson had already been let down by the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
and the Church. The very least that could be done was to face responsibility for the mistakes
of the past.
343. The Butler-Sloss report also recommended that clergy should have regular
safeguarding training. The Commissaries found that the very idea of such training was not
clearly understood within the Diocese and that a number of clergy were resistant to it.434
The Social Care Institute for Excellence’s independent safeguarding audits indicate that this
428 OHY000185_041 429 OHY000185_002 430 ACE025942_005 431 OHY000185_002 432 OHY000185_013 433 ACE026327_023 434 OHY000185_030
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
was a common problem across many dioceses even in 2016 and 2017.435 Canon Dr Bursell
QC said such training “was only then in its infancy and was not being followed through with any
apparent urgency”.
436
344. A radical change of culture was needed in which safeguarding was placed at the top of
the diocesan agenda. The infighting prevented the presentation of a united front to all clergy
which identified that safeguarding was of central importance. It is imperative that such a
culture of safeguarding is embedded throughout the Church of England.
345. The Commissaries also considered the wider context of the national Church. In one
diocese, the safeguarding adviser was the diocesan secretary who had no experience in
safeguarding. In another, the diocesan bishop had expressed a view that the safeguarding
of vulnerable adults was too politically correct.437 The Commissaries recognised that this
damaging mindset could only be remedied by regular safeguarding training.
346. Sir Roger Singleton is a safeguarding consultant and member of the Church of
England’s National Safeguarding Panel. Some five years after the final report of the
Commissaries, he also identified the need for cultural change. Positive affirmations of the
importance of safeguarding are “insufficient … the concept of leadership should extend more
widely to all clergy because it is in parishes and local church activities where children require most
protection”. Clergy should be the leaders of safeguarding. As Sir Roger identified, this change
can be achieved through improved training and effective monitoring by diocesan bishops to
ensure compliance with all safeguarding requirements. Archdeacons may contribute to this
monitoring process through their annual Visitation to the parishes.438 We discuss the issue of
cultural change further below.
Lack of national safeguarding resources
347. According to the interim report of the Commissaries, the failure of the Diocese
to implement all the recommendations of the Butler-Sloss report was, in part, due to
the absence of human and financial resources. Mr Perkins was under-resourced and
overburdened as the sole safeguarding officer. The Commissaries referred to the “overworked
part-time office” of the Church of England. It had been unable to update protocols or create
safeguarding policies due to a lack of time.439 As National Safeguarding Adviser at this time,
Mrs Elizabeth Hall said “the resources and support available to me were not sufficient … although
I was contracted to work 35 hours a week, I regularly worked 60 hours a week”.
440
348. The report recommended that clear policies be introduced at a national level.
It specified that “more resources, both in personnel and monies, must be provided for
safeguarding”.441 The Diocese of Chichester, like all other dioceses at that time, operated
without consistent support from any national body. In recent years, the Church has
acted sensibly in devoting significantly more resources to the development of a National
Safeguarding Team. This provides central resources, guidance and a set of standardised
training for all.
435 ACE002250 436 ACE025279_008 437 ACE025279_012 438 ACE025937_037 439 ACE025942_006 440 ANG000216_010 441 OHY000185_042
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
73
Response of the Diocese and National Church Institutions to the
Visitation reports
349. As Mr Graham Tilby observed, the publication of the final Visitation report was a
watershed moment for safeguarding in the Church of England. Lord Williams described
it as a “wake-up call”, with the Church being forced to acknowledge its continued failures
to protect children and young people.442 Since 2012, there has been an acceleration of
safeguarding initiatives at both a diocesan and national level, galvanised by the findings of
the Archepiscopal Visitation.
350. In 2013, the Diocese of Chichester produced a Safeguarding Strategy Plan.
443 This
incorporated responses to all the recommendations made by the Visitation reports. In May
2013, final approval for the revocation of the Area Scheme was given by the Diocesan
Synod. The diocesan bishop is now able to exercise authority over the whole geographic
area of the Diocese. The revocation of this scheme was undoubtedly required to improve the
quality of governance and leadership.
351. In the same year, the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 was amended in direct response
to concerns raised during the Visitation. A bishop’s powers to remove a cleric from office
were extended.444 Previously, the Measure permitted a bishop to impose a penalty only
where the court had passed a sentence of imprisonment. This meant that individuals
convicted of serious criminal misconduct, such as downloading child pornography, were able
to avoid automatic removal from office if they were not sentenced to custody. Following the
amendment, a bishop is now able to impose a penalty following conviction for all serious
offences, including those resulting in non-custodial sentences.
352. The 2013 Measure also enables a bishop to remove from office a priest or deacon
who has been included in a ‘barred list’ operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Automatic removal was not permitted under the 2003 Measure. Both of these amendments
were overdue. The Church failed to recognise and respond speedily to relevant changes
in law, including those introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Vulnerable
Safeguarding Groups Act 2006.
353. In 2016, further amendments to the Clergy Discipline Measure enhanced the Church’s
ability to deal with complaints of abuse. The one-year limitation period for disciplinary
proceedings against clergy accused of sexual misconduct with children was removed, so
that permission to make a complaint out of time is no longer required.445 This is welcome
and necessary.
354. The interim report recommended that bishops be given the power to suspend any
cleric who was the subject of a credible safeguarding allegation, until all investigations and
proceedings had run their course.446 This was implemented by the 2016 Measure. A bishop
can now suspend a cleric where he is satisfied that the cleric presents a significant risk of
harm. It can be imposed before an arrest is made or before any formal complaint has been
started under the Clergy Discipline Measure.447 This is another welcome development,
although its necessity should have been obvious well before the Visitation report.
442 Williams 14 March 2018 161/10-14 443 ACE026038 444 ACE002230_020 445 ACE002233_014-15 446 OHY000185_020 447 ACE002233_005
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
355. We have serious concerns about whether the Clergy Discipline Measure, even as
amended, provides effective disciplinary action in safeguarding cases. Archbishop Welby
criticised the length of the process, along with the absence of any intermediate procedural
step to enable earlier resolution of complaints. He suggested that a more independent
process would enable the bishop to maintain a pastoral role and to “serve truth and justice
more properly”.
448
356. There needs to be a more appropriate range of interventions with which to address
concerns about capability, risk, and past and present failures. The early steps being taken
by the Church to build a capability procedure for clergy must ensure that safeguarding is
included. In late 2017, Archbishop Welby commissioned a review of the Clergy Discipline
Measure process. The review included the approach to safeguarding complaints. The
National Safeguarding Team undertook a consultation to obtain views on safeguarding
changes that could be made. The outcome of the consultation was presented to the
April 2018 National Safeguarding Steering Group meeting.449 At the hearings in July 2019,
we intend to hear more about the common tenure regime and the ministerial development
review system.
357. There are other limitations. Mrs Elizabeth Hall was the Joint Safeguarding Adviser for
the Church of England and the Methodist Church between 2010 and 2014. She agreed that
the current Clergy Discipline Measure should be revised “so that it can respond to risk, and
not only to proven past misbehaviour”.450 Mr Perkins also pointed out that a cleric cannot be
disciplined under the Measure in relation to conduct that occurred pre-ordination, even if a
risk assessment concludes that the cleric poses a risk to children.
358. The absence of any relevant provision creates challenges for those involved in
managing responses to such allegations. The Church should consider making amendments
so that suspension and discipline can take place in both these circumstances, as it seeks to
improve its safeguarding practices.451 We wish to hear further in July 2019 about whether
amendments are needed to the Clergy Discipline Measure to address the issue.
359. We have a number of other concerns as to how the Clergy Discipline Measure
currently operates in relation to allegations of child sexual abuse. Once a complaint is made,
a preliminary enquiry takes place. The complaint will proceed only if the issues raised are
“not trivial but justify further serious consideration”.
452
B.8: The allegations against Gordon Rideout, Robert Coles and
Jonathan Graves
Reverend Gordon Rideout
Conviction
360. Gordon Rideout was ordained as a priest in 1962. He was then appointed as an
assistant curate at a church in Sussex, where he remained until 1967. He often attended
a nearby Barnado’s Children’s Home and, in his role as chaplain and mentor to its young
people, indecently assaulted a number of boys and girls.
448 ACE026137_034 449 ACE025940_013-14 450 ANG000216_048 451 ACE026181_031 452 ACE025221_020
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
75
361. Rideout moved to an English army base in 1967, where he took up the post of chaplain
in the church associated with the barracks. He was accused of sexual abuse by children
during his time there but was acquitted after a court martial. Following his resignation in
1973, he returned to the Diocese of Chichester as a clergyman. He was later appointed as
Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings. This was a senior role in which the archdeacon acted
as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the bishop. He performed many duties and responsibilities on the
bishop’s behalf, including Visitations to various parishes.453
362. In May 2013, Rideout was convicted of 36 offences of child sexual abuse involving
16 victims. These offences had taken place between 1962 and 1973. He was sentenced
to 10 years’ imprisonment. In December 2016, Rideout pleaded guilty to a further charge
of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years, for which he received an additional
custodial sentence of nine months.
The evidence of AN‑A15
363. The Inquiry heard evidence from one of Rideout’s victims, AN‑A15. She shared a
detailed account of her abuse, which began when she was 10 years old.
364. AN‑15 lived with her parents on the army base where Rideout was a chaplain. She
became acquainted with him through her attendance at Sunday school, choir practice and
confirmation lessons. AN‑A15 described Rideout as “very touchy feely … he was always putting
his arm around me or hand on my arm or my back or my bottom”.454 This physical contact soon
progressed to the touching of her breasts and genitals. He would also force AN‑A15 to touch
his penis.455
365. AN‑A15 learned that two other girls in the choir had also been sexually abused by
Rideout. The parents of one of these girls reported the abuse to the Royal Military Police.
In 1972, Rideout was tried for these offences before a court martial. AN‑A15 told us that
she found this a very intimidating experience. She was required to give her evidence at a
“big D‑shape of tables with everyone in uniform and with their hats and everything”.456 Rideout
was in her direct line of vision throughout, which made her feel “absolutely terrified”.
457 At the
conclusion of the court martial hearing, Rideout was acquitted of all charges.
366. In the years that followed, AN‑A15 suffered an emotional breakdown. She struggled to
form trusting relationships and was unable to fulfil her academic potential. In 2013, AN‑A15
received a letter of apology from the Bishop of Chichester. She described the contents
of this letter as “too little, too late”.458 The Archbishops’ Council recognises that “for some
survivors, apologies may sound or feel hollow”.459
Sussex Police investigation
367. The court martial proceedings, even in the context of the 1970s, attracted considerable
media attention. Shortly afterwards, four victims reported to the Royal Military Police
that they had been abused by Rideout at the Barnado’s home. They provided handwritten
statements, yet for unknown reasons, no further action was taken. It is unclear whether
453 WWS000133_009‑10 454 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 4/13‑16 455 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 5/5‑7 456 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 8/24‑25 457 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 9/3‑8 458 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 16/4 459 ACE026327_020
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these allegations were ever investigated by the military.460 One of these victims complained
again to Sussex Police in 2001, but the matter was marked as ‘no crime’ on the grounds that
it had already been investigated by the Royal Military Police.461 An allegation of child sexual
abuse should not be dismissed solely on these grounds. The previous enquiries of the Royal
Military Police should not prevent investigation of abuse in a children’s home, over which
they have no jurisdiction.
368. In 2002, Sussex Police received yet another allegation that Rideout had indecently
assaulted a teenage girl at the Barnado’s home in 1965. He was arrested and released on
police bail. On 25 March 2002, Sussex Police concluded there was insufficient evidence to
proceed with a criminal prosecution.462 Rideout’s fiancee had provided him with an alibi for
the time of the alleged incident.
369. In a letter to Bishop John Hind on this topic eight years later, Bishop Wallace Benn
remarked, “It is not surprising that the police took no further action”. He went on to make the
irrelevant observation that “the children in the home were all from problem backgrounds”.463
370. Whilst police enquiries were still ongoing, Bishop Hind wrote a supportive letter to
Rideout. He said “I think it goes without saying that you have my full confidence and I hope so
much that everything will be soon resolved”.464 In her report, Lady Butler‑Sloss criticised him
for writing this letter. Bishop Hind acknowledged in evidence that he was unwise to make
such remarks during the course of a live police investigation.465
Rideout’s permission to officiate
371. Despite his knowledge of allegations against Rideout, Bishop Hind appointed him as
acting Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings in 2004. This was a senior role within the Diocese
and one that involved considerable responsibility. As the ‘eyes and ears’ of the bishop, he
played an important role in child protection matters and in assessing whether parishes were
following safeguarding advice.
372. Following his retirement two years later, Rideout was granted permission to officiate by
Bishop Benn.466 The diocesan bishop, area bishop and diocesan safeguarding adviser all knew
of Rideout’s arrest and the court martial. Bishop Benn had even accompanied him to the
police station in 2002.
373. Despite his knowledge, Bishop Hind chose not to conduct any risk assessment or
internal review. No restrictions were attached to his permission to officiate, nor was a
safeguarding file created. In addition, Mr Roger Meekings found “nothing of concern” in
Rideout’s blue file during the 2008 Past Cases Review.467 Bishop Hind insisted that he acted
“according to the advice I was receiving from the safeguarding adviser”.468
460 ACE022140_010 461 CPS002854_012 462 ACE022301_219 463 ACE022301_217 464 ACE022301_222 465 Hind 7 March 2018 118/4 466 WPB000047_084 467 ANG000210_006 468 Hind 7 March 2018 119/8‑9
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77
374. Although the CRB scheme had been introduced in 2002, many retired clergy were still
not being subjected to checks. In 2009, a new CRB clearance procedure was implemented in
the Diocese. The area offices were required to inform Canon Ian Gibson of any blemishes on
a CRB.469 In September 2010, the full history of allegations against Rideout was exposed.
375. The senior management team, which included bishops, archdeacons and the diocesan
secretary, was informed of the CRB result at a meeting in September 2010. A file note made
by Canon Gibson shows that Bishop Benn approached Bishop Hind after this meeting. He
asked Bishop Hind “if he could not disclose the information to the safeguarding adviser for the
Diocese as ‘he is a friend and a much respected person’”.470
376. Bishop Hind said he was “shocked beyond measure” to receive this request.471
To his credit, he refused to oblige and instead informed the Diocesan Safeguarding
Adviser. She referred the case to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group, which
unanimously recommended that Rideout’s permission to officiate (PTO) be suspended with
immediate effect.472
377. Bishop Hind’s response was to ask the Group to reconsider its advice, stating “I do not
consider that suspension or withdrawal of PTO would be justified at this stage”. He relied on the
historic nature of the allegations and the decision of the police to take no further action.473
When the Group maintained its position, Bishop Hind finally accepted he had “no alternative
but to suspend Gordon’s PTO pending a formal risk assessment”.474 Following a risk assessment
and further advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser,475 Rideout’s permission to
officiate was permanently withdrawn in August 2011.476
378. In her addendum report, Lady Butler‑Sloss criticised Bishop Hind for his handling of the
Rideout case. She specifically referred to his initial refusal to suspend Rideout’s permission
to officiate, in accordance with the DSAG’s advice. Lady Butler‑Sloss found that this refusal
was “likely to undermine the effectiveness of the Safeguarding Group” and would indicate
“historic abuse allegations which had not been the subject of a criminal prosecution need not be
treated seriously”.477
379. Bishop Hind recognised the validity of this criticism, along with the recommendation
that the advice of the Safeguarding Advisory Group should always be taken seriously.478 Lady
Butler‑Sloss recommended that if senior clergy did not accept advice relating to allegations
of abuse, written reasons should be recorded in the blue file. Regular training should also be
provided for all clergy in the management of historic abuse allegations.479
380. This episode shows that both Bishop Benn and Bishop Hind were reluctant to take
appropriate action against Rideout. Neither Bishop Benn nor Bishop Hind appear to
have put his name forward during the Past Cases Review process, even though all senior
office holders had been asked to identify those against whom allegations had previously
been made.480
469 WWS000070_006 470 WWS000060_001 471 Hind 7 March 2018 124/4 472 ACE022267_228‑229 473 ACE022267_228 474 ACE022267_233 475 ACE025928_004 476 ACE022300_042 477 ACE023696_017 478 WWS000138_054 479 ACE022296_043 480 ACE022267_097‑100
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381. When Mrs Shirley Hosgood reviewed Rideout’s file in 2010, she located a 1998
Confidential Declaration Form. In this form, he had disclosed details of the court martial
hearing and related allegations. Mrs Hosgood did not “think that Roger Meekings would
have missed this information during his review of Blue Files for the Past Cases Review, if these
documents were on the Blue File at the time of the review”.481 She clearly implied that somebody
had removed this form to prevent its discovery by Mr Meekings.
382. Although it is impossible for us to resolve this issue, we cannot exclude the possibility
that the file was tampered with during 2008. However, it seems more likely to be due to
error rather than deliberate concealment. There was a general failure to keep up‑to‑date
records, particularly in respect of retired clergy.
Response of Bishop Bell School
383. In May 1997, Rideout became a governor of the Bishop Bell School in the Diocese of
Chichester.482 At the time of his appointment, the CRB check system did not exist. It came
into force in March 2002.483 Even after this date, it was not always considered that governors
would require such checks.484 It was not until late 2009 that the school began to obtain
enhanced disclosures for its governors from the Criminal Records Bureau.
384. The head teacher, Mr Terry Boatwright, consequently discovered Rideout’s full
history in May 2010. Six months passed before he disclosed this information to the Diocese,
following Bishop Hind’s request for details of the school’s knowledge.485 Mr Boatwright also
believed that Rideout should remain Chair of Governors at the school. He said that he had
discussed this issue with the local authority and the Diocesan Director of Education. His
reasoning was that the court martial had resulted in an honourable acquittal and he did not
know that the 2002 allegation had resulted in an arrest, simply that investigations occurred
with no further action being taken. A member of the local authority governing services staff
also informed the school that they did not need to take any further action.
385. Mr Boatwright’s position seemed to contradict the relevant safeguarding policy in place
at the time, Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education 2007. As the Department
for Education confirmed to the Inquiry, this CRB disclosure should have indicated a cause for
concern. The correct course of action was to immediately remove Rideout from the school,
pending further enquiries into the various allegations.486 Instead, Rideout continued to act as
a governor until his resignation in November 2011.
386. Rideout’s resignation followed the agreement of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser,
East Sussex County Council local authority designated officer (LADO) and the Diocesan
Director of Education that he should cease to be a governor of Bishop Bell School. However,
because Rideout was not appointed by the Diocese, neither the Diocesan Board of
Education nor the Bishop of Chichester had the authority to terminate his appointment. It
was only possible to request that he resign.487 The local authority alone had the power to
terminate his appointment as governor. When Rideout finally tendered his resignation, some
18 months had passed since the full history of allegations came to light.
481 ANG000213_026 482 ANG000155_001 483 DBS000024_002 484 ANG000155_001 485 ACE025165_001‑2 486 DFE000589_036 487 ACE026133_009
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
79
387. Rideout should have told the school about the 2002 police investigation under the
general principles of safeguarding outlined in the Working Together guidance. His failure to
do so was inexcusable.488 The Diocesan Board of Education confirmed that neither Bishop
Hind nor Bishop Benn advised them that a criminal investigation had taken place.489 They
should have done so, regardless of the non‑recent nature of the allegations and the fact that
they had not led to a conviction. The board is part of the Diocese. The bishop is head of the
Diocese. It was imperative that the information was passed to the school so that steps could
have been taken, at the very least, to suspend Rideout during the 2002 investigation.
Reverend Robert Coles
Convictions for child sexual abuse
388. On 14 December 2012, Robert Coles pleaded guilty to 11 offences of child sexual
abuse. This included seven counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery, all of which
had taken place during the 1970s and 1980s. During this time, Coles was a parish priest
in the Eastbourne area of the Diocese of Chichester.490 The court sentenced him to eight
years’ imprisonment.
389. In June 2015, Coles was convicted of two further counts of sexual assault on a male
aged under 13 years. A consecutive term of 16 months’ imprisonment was added to his
sentence.491 During the hearing, the Crown Court Judge observed that there had been a
number of diocesan failures in the handling of this case.492
The 1997 arrest of Robert Coles
390. In May 1997, Sussex Police received a complaint that Coles had sexually abused an
altar server during the 1980s. At this time, Archdeacon Nicholas Reade was Coles’ rural
dean. Coles told him that the alleged victim had stayed overnight at his house when he was
15 or 16 years old. Before going to bed, Coles “noticed the boy had thrown the sheets off
and that his penis was erect”. According to Archdeacon Reade, Coles admitted he then “sat
down on the boy’s penis” before retreating to his own bedroom. He also claimed “the boy had
buggered him” but then insisted that no penetrative sex had taken place.493
391. Bishop Benn recalled meeting with Coles at the time of the police investigation. Coles
“admitted sexual activity with a young man … Coles described the sexual act as ‘inappropriate
fondling’ and said that it was a one‑off event and had not happened again”.494 Archdeacon Reade
arranged legal representation for Coles, and Bishop Benn accompanied him to the police
station. He was interviewed under caution, during which time he made no comment to all
questions. Coles was not prosecuted for the offence and no further action was taken by
the police.
392. According to Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor, this was because “there was
no independent evidence and nothing to corroborate the victim’s account”.495 Yet Coles had
disclosed to both Archdeacon Reade and Bishop Benn that he was guilty of serious sexual
488 ACE025439_048‑49 489 ACE026133_008 490 ACE023972_001 491 ACE022255_001 492 ACE022158_001 493 WWS000072_030‑31 494 WPB000047_067 495 OHY003521_008
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
offending against a child. Despite the severity of the admission, neither chose to inform the
police. When questioned during this Inquiry, Archdeacon Reade declared that it “simply did
not occur to me” that the police would not establish the full facts during their investigation.496
393. Having learned that Coles remained silent in interview and would not be charged with
any offence, Archdeacon Reade should have informed the police of his disclosure. He had
in his possession highly relevant evidence of guilt, which if known by the police would in all
likelihood have altered the outcome of their investigation.
394. Archdeacon Reade attempted to justify his failure to alert the police by pointing out
that Coles “never admitted rape”.497 He also said that the Church was unable to take action
under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963 because it required a “very, very high
standard of proof”.498 When asked to explain why this would act as a barrier, given Coles had
admitted criminal conduct, Archdeacon Reade’s response was, “What did he admit? … he
admitted that there was no penetrative sex”.499
395. Archdeacon Reade failed to appreciate the gravity of what Coles disclosed, regardless
of whether or not penetration occurred. Coles had admitted to the indecent assault of a
child, yet it was not perceived to be criminal conduct. Archdeacon Reade was unapologetic,
insisting he “told everybody that I should have told, including the diocesan bishop”.500 Even
20 years later, he flatly refused to acknowledge or apologise for his gross error of judgement.
396. Archdeacon Reade claimed to have immediately informed the Diocesan Safeguarding
Adviser (DSA), although Mrs Hind’s daybook indicates this conversation did not take place
until September 1997.501 When she received the information, Mrs Hind did not inform the
police. She “assumed that, since the bishop and archdeacon were in touch with the police, they
would have done so”.502 Bishop Benn excused himself from blame on the basis that “it was the
responsibility of the DSA to make disclosures to the police … it was not for me to do Mrs Hind’s job
for her”.503
397. Archbishop Justin Welby told us he was horrified by what he described as an
“extraordinary and atrocious willingness to turn a blind eye to things going very, very seriously
wrong, and entirely damaging human beings for their whole lifetimes”.504 He said that “it was
someone else’s job to report it” was no excuse for an outright failure to report known abuse:
“That is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response. If you know a
child is being abused, not to report it is simply wrong.”505
398. It is indisputable that there was an absence of communication in the Diocese at
this time. Discussions should have taken place between diocesan staff and the Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser so as to be clear about (a) what had been said, (b) to whom, and (c) the
further information that should have been passed to the police.
496 WWS000072_032 497 Reade 15 March 2018 53/13 498 Reade 15 March 2018 54/25 499 Reade 15 March 2018 57/15‑18 500 Reade 15 March 2018 53/19‑20 501 WWS000034_005 502 WWS000051_019 503 WPB000047_070‑71 and OHY003521_008 504 Welby 21 March 2018 87/6‑9 505 Welby 21 March 2018 81/23‑82/4
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
81
399. Of the three individuals, only Mrs Hind was prepared to accept some responsibility for
her actions. She acknowledged she should have clarified the position with Bishop Benn and
Archdeacon Reade, or alternatively made the police referral herself.506
400. Following the police investigation, Coles was not subjected to any risk assessment
or disciplinary action by the Diocese.507 He continued in ministry until August 1997, when
he retired on the grounds of ill health.508 He then joined a new parish in East Sussex. The
Diocese did not inform the parish churchwarden or parish council that he had recently been
investigated for child sexual abuse.
401. During his time in the parish, Coles was permitted to behave in ways that should have
given rise to concern. He was recognised as someone who specifically befriended families
with teenage boys. He regularly took those boys out for meals alone.509 Despite being
without permission to officiate, he took over 100 services at that parish between 1998
and 2002.510
402. Reverend Jonathan Graves was the priest in charge of the parish. Archdeacon Reade
told him, “I have heard (and obviously the bishop has too) from other sources that he is from
time to time operating”.511 Given that exercising ministry without permission to officiate is a
canonical offence, it is unclear why no steps were taken to investigate these rumours.
403. Instead, Archdeacon Reade wrote to Bishop Benn in April 1999. He suggested that
Coles should have his permission to officiate reinstated, commenting “I believe the exercise
of his priestly ministry is fundamental to Robert and I would hate him to grow into a bitter person
because he was not able to do what he believed he was called to do”.512 This was a telling remark.
It suggested that his priestly ministry was viewed as more important than the safeguarding
of children.
404. In 2001, Bishop Benn received reports from parishioners that Coles was exercising
ministry without permission to officiate.513 Graves had allowed him to take services. Bishop
Benn telephoned him and stated that Coles must not be given any public ministry. Bishop
Benn recalled that “strong words were exchanged”514 during this conversation, after which he
was “satisfied … that I had sufficient promises to make sure it didn’t happen anymore”.515
405. The actions of Coles represented a flagrant breach of canonical law, as did the conduct
of Graves. Neither individual was subjected to disciplinary action, nor were any further steps
taken to ensure that such “promises” were being honoured. Graves’ behaviour was addressed
by no more than a stern rebuke over the telephone.
406. In March 1999, Coles attended a school trip to Salzburg along with pupils from Bishop
Bell school. This is extraordinary, given that disclosures of sexual activity with young
men had been made to senior clerics. Archdeacon Reade reminded him that he must not
celebrate the Eucharist during the trip. He said that the school was aware of a significant
506 Hind 9 March 2018 95/19‑20 507 WWS000051_019 508 ACE022138_013 509 ACE022265_005 510 ACE022265_003 511 WWS000010_001 512 ACE022138_078 513 WPB000047_070 514 WPB000047_073 515 Benn 12 March 2018 159/7‑9
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cloud over Coles, but he failed to notify the school of the earlier arrest. He should have
done so, given that Coles would be engaging in unsupervised contact with its pupils over an
extended period of time.
407. In 2002, Bishop Benn received a letter from a priest in another diocese. This detailed
allegations by two men that they had been sexually abused by Coles as children.516 Bishop
Benn passed the letter to Mr Tony Sellwood, who was the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser at
this time. Although faced with an emerging pattern of alleged abusive conduct, Mr Sellwood
did not alert the police and no further action was taken. His failure to refer the matter to the
relevant authorities was inexcusable.
408. Mr Colin Perkins opined that Robert Coles represented “the worst case for the diocese,
the most serious case … a diocesan bishop, an area bishop, an archdeacon and two safeguarding
advisers knew that he had admitted some of the matters about which he had been questioned …
and none of them told the police”.517 As the evidence demonstrates, the Diocese of Chichester
put the interests of its clergy above the needs of children and young people.
Reverend Jonathan Graves
409. Before it transpired that Reverend Jonathan Graves was permitting Robert Coles to
minister in his parish without a licence, Mrs Hind received an anonymous telephone call
from a mother in the Lewes area. She said that Graves had engaged her 17‑year‑old son in
inappropriate sexual conversations.
410. Mrs Hind contacted Archdeacon Reade. He told her that Graves had “a very fruitful
ministry with the young, having boys in the house and giving them a lot of time”.518 She asked
Archdeacon Reade to speak to him, and to ensure that he did not have unsupervised contact
with children in his house.
411. Mrs Hind told us that “with no allegation or named victim, it was impossible to do more
than encourage Graves to follow good practice”.519 It may have been preferable for Mrs Hind to
speak to Graves herself, given that the comments of Archdeacon Reade hinted all may not be
well, yet these obvious indicators of concern were not followed up. Although there was no
evidence of a criminal offence, it was clearly worrying behaviour.
412. In 2005, a complainant reported to Sussex Police that he had been sexually abused
by Graves during the 1980s. He was 11 years old at the time of the abuse. The complainant
alleged that Graves had subjected him to masochistic sexual abuse, which included being
tied up and whipped.
413. Graves was arrested and interviewed, yet the CPS declined to charge him.520 The
decision was based on a lack of corroborating evidence and the fact that the complainant
suffered from mental health issues. A prosecution can properly proceed without
corroborating evidence and in circumstances where a witness is mentally unwell. Without
the underlying evidence and documentation, however, we cannot reach a conclusion about
the correctness of this decision.
516 ACE022138_008 517 Perkins 15 March 2018 131/10‑17 518 WWS000051_020 519 WWS000051_020 520 CPS002854_040
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
83
414. During the police investigation, Graves was granted permission to officiate in the
Diocese of Chichester by Bishop Benn. According to the Butler‑Sloss report, Mr Sellwood
knew of the complaint made to the police but did not pass the information to the bishop.
This is reprehensible, given the nature and seriousness of the complaint. The Butler‑Sloss
report determined that was a failure of communication between the Diocese, police and CPS
regarding the 2005 investigation and decision not to prosecute.521
415. In 2008, an enhanced CRB disclosure revealed that Graves had been arrested.
Mrs Hosgood arranged for him to undergo a risk assessment, during the course of which
he disclosed that he was sexually aroused by humiliating acts with boys. He had asked an
11‑year‑old boy to urinate on his head for his sexual gratification.522
416. Graves was referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). At the time,
this operated the process for barring individuals from working with children. His permission
to officiate was withdrawn and, in October 2011, the ISA barred him from working with
children or vulnerable adults. Had a risk assessment been undertaken in 2002 or 2003, it is
probable that his offending would have been disclosed at an earlier time. In all likelihood, he
would then have been removed from office or barred from working with children.
417. After a renewed investigation by Sussex Police, a number of other victims came
forward. In September 2017, Graves was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault, two
counts of indecency with a child and four counts of cruelty to a child. He was sentenced to
12 years’ imprisonment.523
418. The renewed police investigation became known as Operation Perry. To date, it was
the largest criminal case involving non‑recent abuse within the Church of England. Operation
Perry secured the convictions and imprisonment of all three perpetrators.
B.9: Operation Perry
Establishment of Operation Perry
419. The completed report of Lady Butler‑Sloss, along with the letter she sent to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, was given to Sussex Police. Both documents were critical of the
force and its handling of child abuse allegations. In response, Sussex Police commissioned
two of its own officers to review the police actions in all cases mentioned within the report.
420. In August 2011, Mr Colin Perkins allowed the police to attend the diocesan offices and
examine all case records. These included the blue files and safeguarding files that were held
in respect of each alleged perpetrator.524 It is important to note that the available records
were limited to those kept in the Diocese. Files were stored in different places rather than in
a single, comprehensive central record.
421. The officers recommended that a team of officers be assigned to reinvestigate the
allegations made against Rideout, Coles and Graves. This investigation commenced in
October 2011 and was given the title of Operation Perry. We commend Sussex Police for
its proactive response to the criticisms of Lady Butler‑Sloss. Given its errors during earlier
investigations, the force acted correctly in reopening these cases.
521 OHY003060_007 522 ACE024211_002 523 CPS002854_042 524 ACE026181_120
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The investigative process
422. Sussex Police set up an Investigative Management Group, which met at regular
intervals and was chaired by the Senior Investigating Officer. The group comprised
representatives from East and West Sussex local authorities and Barnardo’s. It also included
Mr Keith Akerman as Chair of the Safeguarding Advisory Group, and Mr Perkins on behalf of
the Diocese of Chichester.
423. During Operation Perry, the police reinterviewed a number of individuals and made
efforts to trace other potential witnesses. A further 16 complainants were identified in
the Rideout case, leading to his arrest in March 2012.525 Robert Coles was also arrested
in March 2012, after statements were taken from three complainants. These included the
victims who had reported their abuse to the Church in 1997 and 2002.526 In 2015, charges
were authorised against Jonathan Graves in respect of four victims.527
Provision of victim support
424. AN‑A15 described the support provided during Operation Perry as “worlds apart” from
her experience in 1972. Sussex Police officers were “much more enlightened and they made it
very easy and they were very good”.528 The Diocese of Chichester agreed to fund 12 sessions
of counselling for each victim of Rideout and Coles.529 Mr Perkins clarified this offer was “not
a limit … in many cases, we provided far more than twelve sessions of support”.530
425. Operation Perry also set up a dedicated NSPCC hotline for any victims who required
support during the investigative process. In addition, Ms Gemma Wordsworth was recruited
to join the Diocese of Chichester Safeguarding Team as a specialist Independent Domestic
and Sexual Violence Adviser (IDSVA). During Operation Perry, she worked closely with the
police to provide ongoing support during investigations and criminal trials. She also guided
senior clergy in preparing for their meetings with victims and writing letters of apology.
426. Ms Wordsworth described her position as one which achieved “a balance of
independence and connection”, as it was based within the Church but she was seconded
from the local authority. She therefore retained a degree of independence.531 There was
no time limit on the assistance provided to victims and survivors. All support was tailored
to the needs of the individual, and “the door was always left open should they have needed to
re‑engage at a later date”. Ms Wordsworth recalled that victims viewed this treatment as a
“luxury”, given that many other agencies enforced a set number of counselling sessions or
limiting criteria.532
427. The work of Ms Wordsworth has been universally praised by victims and survivors, the
Diocese and the police. It continues to provide a practical mechanism for victims to receive
support with a degree of independence from the Diocese.
525 OHY003521_010 526 OHY003521_008 527 CPS002854_042 528 AN‑A15 6 March 2018 13/11‑12 529 ACE023859_002 530 Perkins 15 March 2018 139/12‑21 531 ACE026145_010 532 ACE026145_012
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
85
428. As Mr Perkins suggested, “dioceses should explore with local ISVA service providers
various working arrangements, to incorporate the ISVA role into their response to victims of sexual
abuse”.533 We consider that the availability of an IDSVA would be beneficial in all dioceses.
His or her expertise, combined with the knowledge of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team,
would allow for holistic care of victims and survivors. The Church may wish to employ
IDSVAs to run a central service for victims and survivors who are dealt with on a national
level. They could also be used to plug gaps in local services.
Relationship between Sussex Police and the Diocese of Chichester
429. Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor remarked that “good information sharing
between Sussex Police and the Diocese has been a feature throughout this investigation”.534 All
Church records were proactively made available by Mr Perkins, and he liaised closely with
the police for the duration of Operation Perry. In an email from the Senior Investigating
Officer, Mr Perkins was credited with being “such a good ally” who represented the “calm,
collaborative face of the Diocese”.535
430. In return, Sussex Police engaged well with both the Diocese and Lambeth Palace. For
example, the Archbishop of Canterbury was supplied with a detailed briefing note during
the course of Operation Perry. This note included the nature of the investigation, its current
status and other planned investigative activity.536
431. It is evident that a strong and effective relationship was built between the police and
the Church. The high level of co‑operation from both contributed to a significant level of
progress within a short period of time. Ultimately, it allowed for the successful convictions of
a number of perpetrators. This is in marked contrast to what had come before, which was a
continuing lack of mutual engagement and information sharing. It is a model of good practice
which should be practised elsewhere. A set of relevant protocols should be devised and
disseminated to every diocese and Church institution.
B.10: George Bell
Career
432. In 1929, George Bell was appointed as the Bishop of Chichester. He held this post for
nearly 30 years, retiring shortly before he died in 1958. During his career, Bishop George
Bell enjoyed an exceptional reputation. He was celebrated for his ecumenical work, for his
patronage of the arts whilst Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, and for his solidarity with the
unemployed during the Great Depression.
433. Bishop Bell is also remembered for his work during the Second World War. He
opposed National Socialism as false teaching and helped Jewish individuals to escape
Germany. In the House of Lords, he repeatedly condemned the bombing of civilian
areas of Germany. But for his known opposition to this, it is possible that he would have
become Archbishop of Canterbury. After the war, he publicly opposed the atomic arms
533 ACE026181_040 534 OHY003521_011 535 ACE026018_001 536 ACE023822
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race and the expulsion of German minorities from Eastern Europe and Russia. Bishop Bell
was seen as a titanic figure within the Church of England, much revered for his courage
and compassion.
Allegations of abuse
434. In 1995, some 37 years after Bishop Bell’s death, a letter was sent to his successor
as Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp. The author of the letter is known by the pseudonym
‘Carol’.537 Carol alleged that when she was aged between five and eight years, she was
sexually abused by Bishop Bell. The abuse occurred every few months during visits to
the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester. It included digital penetration, forced masturbation
and attempted rape.538 The Inquiry cannot determine the truth or otherwise of these
allegations. We will focus solely on the Church’s response to posthumous allegations of
child sexual abuse.
The Church’s response to ‘Carol’
435. In August 1995, Bishop Kemp responded to Carol’s letter. He expressed sorrow for
her “distressing memories”, offered to suggest the names of counsellors539 and advised her to
contact her parish priest. He wrote to her local priest in the same month, informing him of
the allegations and stating that “nothing has been heard of her since, so we may find the whole
matter dropped entirely”.540 His remark implied that inaction was the preferred response and,
indeed, no further steps were taken by the Diocese or the bishop to explore the allegations.
436. At this time, sexual misconduct was a live and significant issue in the Diocese of
Chichester. Bishop Peter Ball had recently been cautioned after admitting gross indecency
with a young man. As evidenced by the handwritten notes of Bishop Kemp’s chaplain,
however, the Diocese’s primary concern was to prevent Carol from speaking to the media by
way of an injunction.541 Even in 1995, this was not the correct approach to take.
437. Bishop Kemp should have actively explored Carol’s complaint. He should have met
with her personally and alerted the National Church Institutions. The Church’s approach
at that time to non‑current abuse was unclear, but it did possess written guidance on child
protection. At the very least, therefore, Bishop Kemp should have sought advice from the
national Church as to how to manage this process. A serious allegation against a high‑profile
figure warranted attention and consideration at the highest level of the Church.
Further contact with the Diocese
438. In April 2013, Carol reiterated her complaint in an email to Lambeth Palace. This email
was forwarded to Mr Colin Perkins, who arranged for Carol to meet with the Independent
Domestic and Sexual Violence Adviser. Her complaint was also referred to Sussex Police.
Carol subsequently received counselling from a local specialist provider, which was funded
by the Diocese of Chichester.542 Mr Perkins explained the aim was to “provide a supportive
and listening voice for the complainant, and to take the complaint seriously … our response was
537 ANG000152_003 538 OHY000212_001‑4 539 OHY000212_005 540 ANG000152_020‑21 541 ACE026290_001 542 ACE026290_002
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safeguarding driven”.543 Mr Perkins “made key staff in Chichester, Church House and Lambeth
Palace aware of the complaint”.544 He also reviewed a selection of Bishop Bell’s file notes,
during which time he discovered Carol’s original letter to the Diocese.
439. In 2014, Carol issued a civil claim for damages against the Diocese of Chichester. As
George Bell had been a diocesan bishop, insurance cover would not have been provided for
this claim. This meant that the Church had to decide internally how to address the matter.
A core group was convened to respond to the claim, attended by key diocesan and national
personnel. Having received legal advice that the claim was likely to succeed, a financial
settlement was reached and Carol received monetary compensation from the Church for
her abuse.545
440. The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, sent a letter of apology to Carol
from the Diocese of Chichester. He stated that the Church’s response in 1995 “fell a long way
short, not just of what is expected now, but of what we now appreciate you should have had a
right to expect then”.546 A public statement from the Church of England followed in October
2015, confirming “the Bishop of Chichester has issued a formal apology following the settlement
of a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell”.547
441. On 22 June 2016, a meeting took place at Lambeth Palace.548 This involved the
Secretary General of the General Synod, the National Safeguarding Team and Bishop
Warner. The meeting addressed growing public criticism of the Church’s actions in the
George Bell case. Shortly after the meeting, Bishop Warner commissioned an independent
review. It was intended to examine the handling of Carol’s complaint and all decision‑making
processes.
442. The review was conducted by Lord Carlile of Berriew. He is a senior criminal barrister,
peer and former independent reviewer of terrorist legislation. Its terms of reference included
ensuring that survivors were responded to appropriately in future and that “good practice is
identified and disseminated”, as well as making recommendations to assist the Church in its
safeguarding duties.549 Bishop Warner met personally with Carol to explain the purpose and
intended process of the review.550
The Carlile review
443. The Carlile review was published in December 2017.551 It contained criticisms
of the Church’s actions, both at a diocesan and national level, in its response to
posthumous allegations.
Decision to issue a public apology
444. Lord Carlile opined that any settlement of Carol’s claim should have included a
“confidentiality clause … providing for repayment of damages and costs in the event of breach”.552
This would purportedly serve to protect the unblemished reputation of Bishop Bell. In
543 ACE026181_124 544 ACE026181_124 545 ACE026297_017 546 ACE021411_001 547 ACE019274_001 548 ACE026298_001 549 ACE026287_001 550 ACE026143_061 551 ANG000152 552 ANG000152_067
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our view, the imposition of a confidentiality provision may not always be appropriate in
the context of a child sexual abuse claim. Mr Bonehill, UK claims director for Ecclesiastical
Insurance Office plc, noted “It is difficult to imagine a situation where it would be considered
ethically proper for an organisation to seek to claw back a damages and costs payment from
an individual who, potentially, has been a victim of abuse”.553 To this end, the Ecclesiastical
Insurance Office sets out in its Guiding Principles that a confidentiality clause will not be
included in a settlement unless specifically requested by the claimant.554
445. The most important factor for the Church was the maintenance of public trust and
confidence. This would include acting with transparency and openness. The imposition of
a confidentiality undertaking could potentially impede the process of reconciliation and
healing.555 As Archbishop Justin Welby concluded, “justice is better served by transparency”
within this context.556
Inadequate regard for good character
446. In his consideration of Bishop Bell’s good character, Lord Carlile said “the high esteem
in which he was held, taken together with the lack of any other allegations, should have been
given considerable weight”.557 Although the character of any accused person may be relevant,
it is not of any more relevance for an individual who is also held in “high esteem”. This is
supported by research in respect of teaching staff which has found that “those who sexually
abuse students are often among the most competent and popular staff”.558
447. People are often reluctant to think ill of individuals who are perceived to be good,
or who have behaved in a morally courageous manner. They refuse to believe that such
individuals could simultaneously be child sexual abusers, even when faced with damning
evidence of their guilt. Lord Carlile’s recommendation runs the risk of exacerbating
this tendency.
448. When allegations are made against a person, the Church has to act with utmost care.
On the one hand, it must guard against the assumed view that someone is not capable of
guilt. As Carol said, “I know George Bell was a man of peace, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t
do those things to me”.559 On the other, it must guard against thinking that simply because
someone is prominent or esteemed, their denials lack weight or substance.
Absence of corroborating evidence
449. Lord Carlile criticised the core group for relying on the evidence of a “single
complainant”.560 However, the majority of victims of child sexual abuse will be unable to
produce any corroborating evidence. As Mr Perkins stated:
“The typical account is a sole complainant who can offer nothing but their own account.
If we are to disbelieve that person, then we are to disbelieve the typical complainant.”561
553 EIO000143_008 554 EIO000132_006 555 ACE026283_004 556 ACE026137_038 557 ANG000152_014 558 Towards safer organisations: Adults who pose a risk to children in the workplace and implications for recruitment and selection,
NSPCC, London (2009) INQ003773 559 Perkins 16 March 2018 26/9‑10 560 ANG000152_032‑33 561 Perkins 16 March 2018 12/11‑15
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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450. Researchers in the ‘John Jay’ report, which was conducted in response to revelations
of clerical abuse in the American Catholic Church, found that 55 percent of allegations
of child sexual abuse against 4,392 clergy between 1950 and 2002 were made by a sole
complainant.562
Flaws in the core group process
451. Lord Carlile considered the core group was “set up in an unmethodical and unplanned
way” with a “confused and unstructured process” and members who “had no coherent notion
of their roles or what was expected of them”.563 Bishop Warner accepted the validity of these
criticisms, although he added “We were in a situation here of breaking new ground … the
formation of a core group was something which we were unfamiliar with”.564
452. In 2014, core groups were not well established in the Church of England’s safeguarding
practices. The House of Bishops published practice guidance in 2017 called Responding to,
Assessing and Managing Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations against Church Officers.
565 This
clearly defined the purpose of a core group as being “to oversee and manage the response to a
safeguarding concern or allegation”.
453. It is not the function of a core group to assess the merits of a civil claim. This is usually
managed by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office, but claims against bishops are not covered
by an insurance policy. Therefore in this case, responding to the civil claim fell to the core
group by default. Clearly, the conflation of a safeguarding process with a legally‑informed
response to a civil claim does not assist either process.566
454. It seems to be acknowledged by all that the process was significantly flawed,
particularly in its failure to establish at the outset who should be responsible for managing
the civil claim. In its response to the Carlile review, the Diocese suggested this should be
a separate “litigation group” which would consider whether the claim was proven on the
balance of probabilities.567 We agree that this would be a sensible course of action.
455. In his report, Lord Carlile also observed that the core group did not include a
representative for Bishop Bell. We agree that the group should always have the benefit of
an advocate for the accused. As Canon Dr Rupert Bursell remarked in his evidence about
the difficulty of managing posthumous allegations, “there is a duty of fairness in relation to the
person who is deceased and is accused … one almost needs a devil’s advocate to act on behalf of
the deceased person”.568 This view was endorsed by Bishop Warner.569
562 ACE026284_010 563 ANG000152_065 564 Warner 14 March 2018 20/7‑9 565 ACE025256_017 566 ACE026284_011‑12 567 ACE026299_002 568 Bursell 13 March 2018 93/15‑19 569 Warner 14 March 2018 21/15‑18
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The Church’s response to posthumous allegations
456. Since his appointment as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Mr Perkins estimated that
15 individuals have made complaints of abuse against seven deceased clergy.570 There is
no published or unpublished guidance for dioceses about the management of posthumous
allegations, nor is there any guidance on how to set about exploring the credibility of
a complaint.
457. Senior clergy are usually told that it is for statutory agencies to investigate an allegation
of abuse. It should not be treated as an internal matter. Bishop John Hind said “the Church
is not supposed to investigate. These are matters for the public authorities to do”.571 However,
this means that on occasions there will be a gap. This is particularly the case in situations
involving deceased persons.
458. On occasion, the police will investigate complaints of child sexual abuse where the
accused is deceased. However, this is typically confined to high-profile cases such as that of
Bishop Bell. The local authority will also usually decline to involve itself, as that person no
longer presents a risk to children and young people.572
459. The case of Bishop Bell is not an isolated one. Given the time lag between the event
and report, this may well continue to be the case. The Church needs to have a coherent and
consistent model to respond to such allegations, which are often controversial. They may
provoke raised emotions both in those defending the deceased, and those who allege they
have been the subject of abuse. Undoubtedly, allegations of abuse in these circumstances
must be fully addressed with the appropriate support being provided to victims. However, as
Canon Dr Bursell QC remarked, “the Church does not seem to handle such situations well”.573
460. In a document produced to the Synod by the National Safeguarding Steering Group
in June 2018,574 the Church itself recognised that there may need to be independent
investigation of complaints against senior clergy. This would include posthumous allegations.
The Church is to undertake a scoping exercise, during which it will consider the appointment
of an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints about safeguarding management.
Both of these issues require serious consideration. They may present a practical solution to
the concerns raised in the Carlile review.
B.11: Culture of the Church
Approaches to sexual orientation and influence on responses to allegations of
sexual abuse
461. A recurring theme of the Carmi review in 2004 was Chichester Cathedral’s failure to
respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns. In her examination of the possible reasons
for this failure, Mrs Edina Carmi considered the complex views held within the Church at
that time in relation to homosexuality. She concluded that “there is a need to address the
570 ACE026284_012 571 Hind 7 March 2018 120/13‑14 572 ACE026284_013 573 ACE025279_017 574 ACE026363_018
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confusion between homosexuality and child abuse that arises partly from the lack of openness
about sexuality within the Church. This is part of a wider national issue that the Church has to
address about sexuality”.
575
462. Dame Moira Gibb also emphasised this in her review of the Peter Ball case
13 years later:
“The Church must promote an open and accepting culture in which everyone, regardless
of their sexuality or their views about homosexuality, is clear about their responsibilities
towards those who might be abused or who might want to raise concerns about abuse.”576
463. Attitudes to sexuality seem to have played a role in the Church’s deficient response
to incidents of child sexual abuse. For example, Mrs Hind recalled being asked by Bishop
Wallace Benn at their first meeting in 1997 to explain her views on homosexuality. She was
“extremely surprised” by this question. She sought to explain that she was “concerned with the
abuse of children and not the sexuality of the abuser”.
577
464. Sexuality is a difficult subject for the Church. The Inquiry heard evidence to this effect
from a number of senior figures including Bishop Martin Warner, who described a culture of
fear amongst clergy insofar as discussions about sex were concerned. He acknowledged this
fear may have prevented those in authority from challenging sexual abusers.578
465. As observed by Canon Peter Atkinson, such unease may also have resulted in the
decision to respond pastorally without seeking help from external sources.579 Lord Rowan
Williams said:
“Where sexuality is not discussed or dealt with openly and honestly, there is always a risk
of displacement of emotions, denial and evasion of emotions, and thus a lack of any way
of dealing effectively with troubling, transgressive feelings and sometimes a dangerous
spiritualising of sexual attraction under the guise of pastoral concern, with inadequate
self‑understanding.”580
466. Being gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual581 was historically regarded as sinful by
the Church of England. Prior to its decriminalisation in 1967, gay clergy were liable to
prosecution and social exclusion.582 As Reverend Dr Rosalind Hunt explained, it is no surprise
that clergy who came of age prior to decriminalisation were often fearful and unable to come
to terms with their sexuality.583
467. Sexuality is an issue which has been debated at great length within the Church over
the last two decades. Archbishop Justin Welby remarked that “it feels as though we have
spent twenty years talking about almost nothing else”.
584 According to Archbishop Welby, the
Anglican Communion has for many years been opposed to the criminalisation of gay men
and women. However, the Church’s view remains that sexual relations should take place only
575 OHY000184_054 576 INQ000560_061 577 WWS000051_011 578 ACE026143_073 579 Atkinson 20 March 2018 149/17‑20 580 ACE026001_007 581 As well as intersex, non‑binary or queer. 582 See for example Queer City by Peter Ackroyd. 583 ANG000335_019 584 Welby 21 March 2018 90/23‑25
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in marriage between a man and a woman. Bishop Benn stated that “God loves all sorts and
conditions of people, whatever their sexual orientation, but the traditional Christian view is that
God’s best for us is sexual relationships within heterosexual marriage”.
585
468. It is no surprise that a culture of secrecy and denial was present amongst clergy who
were LGBTQIA.586 Bishop Warner told us that the late 19th century saw the development
of an Anglo‑Catholic subculture, which offered a safe space for homosexual clergy and
laity alike.587 Mr Colin Perkins helpfully set out the hypothetical example of a gay priest,
keen to follow his calling but reluctant to endure a life of celibacy. In the cultural context of
Anglo‑Catholicism, this resulted in what Mr Perkins described as an “overt conservatism and a
covert liberalism, which will generate a lot of secrecy”.
588
469. However, homosexuals in the Church were not alone in this need for secrecy. It was
shared by a minority of individuals with sinister intentions. We consider there to be merit in
Mr Perkins’ suggestion that gay clergy may have inadvertently found themselves “under the
same cloak” as child sexual abusers, who sought to mask their behaviour by seeking refuge
“in the same cultural hiding place”.
589 Reverend Hunt asserted that “the need to be discreet
about one’s sexuality has enabled those who wish to abuse to do so with some impunity”.
590
Confusion between homosexuality and child sexual abuse
470. It seems that within the Church of England, some people did conflate homosexuality
with a tendency to abuse children. Although plainly wrong, this was a view shared widely in
society until recent times. Bishop Warner recalled the “shocking” comments of the Bishop of
Portsmouth in 1966, who sought permission for Roy Cotton to officiate in Chichester. In an
effort to justify his request, the Bishop of Portsmouth made the irrelevant observation that
Cotton was not homosexual and was engaged to be married.591
471. Archbishop Welby said he was familiar with the “concomitant assumption if someone is
straight and pro women, then they aren’t a risk”. He correctly described such an assumption
as “nonsense”.
592 As Bishop Warner pointed out, child sexual abuse has been committed by
married men as well as unmarried men, and against girls as well as boys. Consequently, an
allegation should never be discounted “on the basis of a pre‑determined view of the alleged
perpetrator being of a particular sexual orientation or marital status and therefore unlikely to
commit this crime”.593
472. This issue was also highlighted by Mrs Hind’s account of her conversation with Robert
Coles on 11 March 1998. He had retired early from ministry after allegations of sexual abuse
were made by a former altar boy. According to Mrs Hind’s record of their interview, Coles
“agreed that he had had sexual activity with a boy of 15/16 … he saw the boy as an equal partner
and didn’t think he had harmed him … Robert was concerned that he was being condemned
585 Benn 12 March 2018 10/6‑10 586 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. 587 ACE026143_072 588 Perkins 15 March 2018 114/8‑9 589 Perkins 15 March 2018 114/16‑19 590 ANG000335_019 591 Warner 14 March 2018 83/9‑24 592 Welby 21 March 2018 86/23‑25 593 ACE026143_074
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93
for homosexual behaviour”.
594 In making these remarks, he conflated two discrete issues.
Mrs Hind explained to him that the concerns related not to his homosexuality, but to his
abuse of a child.595
473. In her report, Mrs Carmi found that Terence Banks’ abuse of boys was generally
perceived by those in the Cathedral to be homosexual conduct rather than child abuse. She
referred to Dean John Treadgold’s conversation with a parent at the time of Banks’ arrest,
in which he is alleged to have stated that “the entire subject was made the more difficult by
the House of Lords and Commons voting to bring down the age of consent for homosexual acts
to sixteen”.
596
474. Dean Treadgold apparently failed to appreciate that child abuse, rather than
homosexuality, was the relevant concern in this case. Indeed, Canon Atkinson described
him as “an old‑fashioned parish priest” who experienced “conflictedness over homosexuality and
a tendency to abuse … I think he regarded homosexual men as not safe in relation to other men
or boys”.
597
475. Moreover, one contributor to the Carmi review:
“did not suspect that abuse was occurring at the time, just that the boys’ sexuality was
being converted for the future. This view, stemming from an intolerance of homosexuality,
could not be expressed, but may have made the individual blind to the grooming process
for abuse and any visible inappropriate behaviour”.598
476. The notion of calculated blindness was explored in some detail by Mrs Carmi in her
report. She recounted her interview with an unnamed contributor, who recognised that his
personal disapproval of homosexuality did not sit comfortably with modern societal norms.
This unearthed an internal conflict which he had no desire to confront. He therefore reacted
to the tension by refusing to acknowledge that homosexual activity existed. He avoided
the issue altogether by erecting a mental barrier or, to use the common phrase, by turning a
blind eye.599
477. When presented with the fact that Banks was having sex with boys, this contributor
locked his knowledge away in what Mrs Carmi characterised as the “homosexual box”.
600 By
fusing these two distinct behaviours, he failed to detect the serious abuse taking place.
478. The Carmi review summarised this process as “selective blindness towards behaviour
caused by intolerance of homosexuality, but awareness that this was not acceptable and a
consequent suspension of judgement to the behaviour of those perceived to be homosexuals”.
601
Canon Atkinson objected to this criticism, claiming it was not well‑evidenced. He denied that
the Cathedral community was guilty of selective blindness.
594 WWS000034_007 595 Hind 9 March 2018 108/20‑23 596 OHY000184_042 597 WWS000140_005‑6 598 OHY000184_042 599 Carmi 20 March 2018 29/5‑25 600 Carmi 20 March 2018 30/1 601 OHY000184_042
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479. However, we disagree. Mrs Carmi’s conclusion was a valid one. Clearly, the assumption
that a gay man is likely to abuse a child is not only incorrect but dangerous. It ignores the
reality, which is that sexual abuse can occur in a wide variety of contexts. As Bishop Warner
said, “Any confusion between homosexual orientation and the abuse of children must be clearly
identified, clarified and resisted”.
602
480. This assumption creates a culture of fear and secrecy. Bishop Warner explained that it
can also “deflect attention from other traditions in the belief that they are ‘safe’ when in fact we
need to be uniformly vigilant about the care and protection of people who are vulnerable”.
603 For
these reasons, it is important not to conflate same‑sex orientation and child sexual abuse.
Selective blindness is a problem that can arise in any community, religious or otherwise,
which is intolerant of homosexual acts and does not openly debate such matters.
481. A number of witnesses indicated there has been a striking change in climate over
the last two decades. For instance, Lord Williams noted that “an environment in which,
perhaps, thirty or forty years ago, clergy would have been afraid to talk openly about their
sexuality if it was minority sexuality … that’s largely disappeared”.
604 The topic of clergy
sexuality has been openly debated in Synod. It is also the subject of a proposed teaching
document on sexuality and learning resources about human identity and sexuality. However,
as Lord Williams commented, the Church’s growing discomfort with traditional closeted
attitudes may have contributed to the reluctance of some individuals to deal appropriately
with abuse.605
482. For example, Mrs Hind explained the anti‑homosexual views of Bishop Benn “made
him bend over backwards to be fair, or perhaps even more than fair on occasion, to homosexual
abusers”.606 There is evidence to suggest that an embarrassment about homosexuality can on
occasion be coupled with a desire to avoid taking a publicly severe approach. Lord Williams
summarised this as “a rather paradoxical consequence of the traditional view of homosexuality
within the Church; you want to overcompensate a bit for it”.
607 When AN‑A8 was asked whether
the Church displayed a positive approach to sexuality, he replied “Neither at that time nor at
the present time”.
608
483. A common theme on cultural attitudes emerged from a number of witnesses, that
the Church must focus on encouraging clear, open and transparent conversation regarding
human sexuality.
The dynamics of communities
484. The Carmi review effectively illustrated the difficulties with safeguarding that can be
created when institutions act defensively, by perceiving external influence as interference.
This reflects a deeper cultural issue which, as Mrs Carmi identified, can be remedied by
exercising “openness with others outside the community rather than a defensive barrier against
all external interference”.609 The Terence Banks case exemplifies this tendency.
602 ACE026143_073 603 ACE026143_072‑73 604 Williams 14 March 2018 143/11‑15 605 Williams 14 March 2018 144/3‑12 606 WWS000051_011 607 Williams 14 March 2018 144/14‑16 608 AN‑A8 19 March 2018 29/17 609 OHY000184_041
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485. In a community, there can be a tendency for members to be predisposed to think
well of each other. Those equipped with a high status are most likely to be regarded as
entirely trustworthy and incapable of committing an act of abuse. This perception requires
deep‑seated cultural change. It must be recognised that the most common barrier to
reporting is a failure to acknowledge that such individuals are capable of criminal behaviour.
486. In her report of the Peter Ball case, Dame Moira Gibb found that this confusion and
denial “promoted the view that a person of Ball’s religious stature was incapable of truly abusive
behaviour, so that the accusations against him must be misguided or malicious”.610 Bishop Warner
expressed a similar view in his evidence to this Inquiry:
“There had been an historic bias within the Diocese in favour of adults in positions of
power and authority. This had led to an unwillingness to take allegations of sexual abuse
made by children or by adults who had been abused as children sufficiently seriously.”611
487. A person’s social or professional status should play no part in determining their guilt or
innocence. As Archbishop Welby observed:
“The fact that someone is a titanic figure doesn’t tell you anything at all, except that
they have done remarkable things in one area … it’s not something that we can take into
account. Because otherwise, what are you saying? Well, you’re just a survivor of abuse, so
you’re just a midget and this is a titan, so it doesn’t matter.”612
488. We agree that victims must be treated as being of equal value to the person who is
accused of perpetrating their abuse.
‘Anti-woman’ culture
489. In a letter to Mr Chris Smith on 25 May 2011, Lady Butler‑Sloss drew the Archbishop’s
attention to an “anti‑woman culture” in the Diocese of Chichester.613 She told us that she
did not investigate this further, as it was outside her terms of reference, but she was made
aware by several clergy and laymen that they considered that such a culture existed.614
490. Lord Williams agreed that misogyny may have impacted negatively upon the
effectiveness of safeguarding. He viewed it as part of a wider mindset in which the authority
of the ordained ministry was thought of as “beyond criticism, and in which a close‑knit male
body of clergy tended to be protective of each other’s dignity and authority. Abusive behaviour is
one extreme symptom of this mind‑set”.615
491. Bishop John Hind said that the opposition to the ordination of women cannot be
equated with an ‘anti‑woman’ culture. However, he stated that he took steps during
his tenure to ensure both genders were treated equally. For example, he proactively
appointed the first two female diocesan secretaries so as to involve women in the senior
leadership of the Diocese.616 Nevertheless, Archdeacon Philip Jones acknowledged the
610 INQ000560_060‑61 611 ACE026143_005 612 Welby 21 March 2018 124/4‑11 613 ACE005501_001 614 ANG000156_005 615 ACE026001_006 616 WWS000138_057
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Diocese was known as one “in which women clergy were not welcome”. He noted this culture
has since changed, citing as an example the appointment of a female Archdeacon of
Horsham in 2014.617
B.12: Mandatory reporting
492. Many safeguarding concerns in Chichester should have been reported to the
statutory authorities at an earlier date. For example, Bishop Wallace Benn failed to share his
knowledge of abuse perpetrated by Roy Cotton. Both he and Archdeacon Nicholas Reade
were aware that Robert Coles had admitted sexually assaulting a child, yet neither told
the police.
493. The consequences of these failures were grave. Victims were denied justice.
Prosecutions were delayed or, in the case of Cotton, did not take place at all. The Church
must take action to ensure that this catalogue of errors does not occur again, and that all
allegations of child sexual abuse are reported swiftly to statutory bodies.
494. One suggestion made by several victims and survivors within these cases studies,
along with the groups representing them, is the introduction of a criminal offence for those
who fail to report allegations of abuse to public authorities. This is known as a ‘mandatory
reporting’ duty. Other jurisdictions, including some states and territories in Canada and all
states in Australia, have already introduced such offences.618
The current position
495. The House of Bishops’ guidance Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding
Concerns or Allegations against Church Officers was published in October 2017. It states that a
safeguarding concern or allegation should be passed to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser,
who will refer the matter to the statutory agencies where appropriate.619
496. There is currently no absolute duty in canon law for clergy to follow the safeguarding
guidance issued by the House of Bishops. In 2016, the Clergy Discipline Measure was
amended to identify that “due regard” must be had to this guidance by all clergy on the
safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.620 Failure to have due regard represents
a breach of canon law and is therefore a disciplinary offence.621 The evidence given to us
showed that this term was not understood and there is a need for greater clarity regarding
the sense of the obligation.
Support for mandatory reporting
497. We heard widespread support for compulsory reporting to statutory authorities in
some form, although there was no agreement as to what should be reported, to whom
and when. Bishop Peter Hancock, the current lead bishop on safeguarding, considered
that criminal sanctions should apply where “knowledge or significant suspicion of abuse” is
617 WWS000133_044‑45 618 Further and detailed discussion about the reporting duty in other jurisdictions took place during the Inquiry’s seminar on
mandatory reporting:
https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/8725/view/mandatory-reporting-seminar-one-summary-report.pdf
https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/7065/view/seminar-transcript-27-september-2018.pdf 619 ACE025256_026 620 ACE002233_013 621 Canon C30 https://www.churchofengland.org/more/policy-and-thinking/canons-church-england/section-c
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
97
not reported.622 Mr Johnson also strongly supported mandatory reporting. He compared
the introduction of mandatory safeguarding measures to the use of seat belts in cars, the
enforcement of which encouraged positive cultural change.623 Without a legal onus to report,
“there is nothing to stop institutions from protecting their image and their reputation ahead
of children”.
624
498. Ms Lawrence of MACSAS observed that, even with the benefit of education and
training, there is often a reluctance to report child sexual abuse.625 This can stem from
a refusal to believe that a respected authority figure could abuse a child. Ms Lawrence
suggested that a mandatory obligation to report is the only way to address the issue. It
would ensure that all relevant information is considered by independently minded people
from outside the institution, who are properly equipped to assess its significance.
499. Support from other senior clerics was more ambivalent. Bishop Martin Warner
questioned whether mandatory reporting is “the way that we are going to achieve best
protection for children”. In his view, the current requirements of clergy are “right and proper”.
626
Bishop Mark Sowerby remarked that “the clergy are already under an obligation to inform where
child sexual abuse is there”.627 Both considered that the Church’s safeguarding policies and
guidance effectively impose a mandatory reporting duty upon clergy and those undertaking
offices within the Church (such as churchwardens). It does not, however, place a mandatory
duty upon volunteers within the Church unless they are also office holders. Volunteers
make up the vast majority of people who may have suspicions or to whom disclosures
may be made.
Practical considerations
500. Before determining if a mandatory reporting duty should be put in place, we note
that there are different views as to what the threshold for making such a report ought
to be. Mr Colin Perkins, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for Chichester, distinguished
between three levels of awareness: allegation, suspicion and admission. His view was that
“if people know of abuse occurring or if people receive an allegation, they should be mandated
to report that”.628 Suspicion, by contrast, is a much more uncertain concept. Sir Roger
Singleton recognised similarly that “setting a threshold … might be more challenging than
saying a threshold needs to be set”, although he agreed that reporting requirements need
greater clarity.629
501. Witnesses also suggested that a mandatory reporting duty might lead to
over‑reporting,630 which could overwhelm safeguarding resources and distract from serious
cases of abuse. As Mr Graham Tilby stated, there could be “a very real risk of actually missing
the proper risk because you couldn’t see the wood for the trees”.
631 However, Ms Lawrence
pointed out that, according to recent studies, mandatory reporting does not in fact increase
the proportion of unsubstantiated allegations.632
622 Hancock 21 March 2018 220/23‑24 623 Johnson 6 March 2018 108/12‑13 624 Johnson 6 March 2018 109/12‑14 625 Lawrence 8 March 2018 74/5‑17 626 Warner 14 March 2018 91/4‑9 627 Sowerby 13 March 2018 192/22‑24 628 Perkins 16 March 2018 67/8‑13 629 Singleton 16 March 2018 160/10‑11 630 A report from the Department for Education, published 8 March 2018, raised this as a substantive concern of many
consultees following a large‑scale consultation in 2015/2016.
631 Tilby 20 March 2018 116/16‑18 632 Lawrence 8 March 2018 68/14
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502. There were also differing views as to who should be obliged to report. Ms Lawrence
suggested that the duty could apply to the general public, although she conceded that
this would be practically impossible to enforce. She then suggested the duty be restricted
to office holders and volunteers within the Church, including clergy and Diocesan
Safeguarding Advisers.633
503. In terms of the body to whom the report should be made, Mr Tilby distinguished
between reporting to the statutory authorities and informing the National Safeguarding
Team. In his view, “the important thing is they have reported it to the statutory authorities. That’s
where the ‘must’ must really lie”.
634 He told us that the National Safeguarding Team will deal
with only the most complex cases.
504. Lastly, no witness had a clear plan for how the Church of England would effect
mandatory reporting without larger statutory change (which, in the document published
by the Department for Education in March 2018, has not been envisaged). Bishop Hancock
said it may be possible to “tighten” the existing policy by changing “should” to “must”. He
cautioned that the current guidance may be “as near to mandatory reporting as the Church
can get”.
635
Seal of the confessional
505. The seal of the confessional protects the confidentiality of words spoken during
confession. It refers specifically to the private confession of sins by an individual in the
presence of a priest. Confession is not practised by all communicant members of the Church
of England and is not a compulsory element of religious ritual or practice imposed by the
canons of the Church.
506. As Bishop Warner noted, it can be a source of “immense spiritual release and
encouragement and comfort” for survivors of abuse. They are able to speak openly about their
experiences, free from any fear that a member of the clergy will report such to the police or
social services.636
507. Some within the Church of England have called for the seal of the confessional to be
broken in the case of reports of child sexual abuse. This would compel clergy to inform the
statutory authorities if an individual admits to child sexual abuse whilst under the seal of the
confessional.
Application of the seal
508. Sacramental confession is a specific act most often practised by those who are on the
Anglo‑Catholic wing of the Church. Bishop John Hind described it as a “minority practice”.
637
He explained that it traditionally takes place “at an advertised time, in church, with a priest
robed and wearing a purple stole”.
638
633 Lawrence 8 March 2018 67/10‑22 634 Tilby 20 March 2018 126/1‑3 635 Hancock 21 March 2018 221/15‑22 636 Warner 14 March 2018 92/21‑25 637 Hind 7 March 2018 10/19 638 Hind 7 March 2018 12/11‑13
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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509. Pursuant to canon law, a confessor can and should refuse to grant absolution unless
satisfied that a penitent is sincerely repentant. Thus, if a disclosure of criminal activity is
made, a confessor should withhold absolution until the penitent has admitted their crime to
the statutory authorities.639
510. Under the 2015 Professional Conduct of the Clergy guidelines, the duty of confidentiality
under canon law does not apply outside the context of a formal confession. Therefore, a
priest would be able to report anything uttered during a confidential discussion.640
511. However, the understanding of what constitutes a ‘formal confession’ can give rise to
some confusion. Lord Rowan Williams was clear that the seal applied only to sacramental
confessions heard “under the purple stole”, in church at an advertised time, in a confession box
with the inclusion of linguistic and liturgical formalities.641
512. According to Bishop Hind, some confessors mistakenly believe the seal also attaches
to an “unregulated confession … people get that confused with sacramental confession
and sometimes imagine that the same degrees of confidentiality apply”. The solemn act of
sacramental confession must be distinguished from an informal pastoral conversation.642
513. In contrast, Ms Lawrence told us that the seal can also attach to confession outside
of a box “if someone truly believes they are telling someone, who can absolve them of sin in
God’s name, that they have committed an offence”.643 The principle would apply whether
the penitent was in a confession box or “talking over the kitchen table … it depends on the
interpretation of the people in that room”.
644
514. Bishop Hancock informed us that the Church of England has put in place a working
party to discuss the issue.645 It has reported that there is confusion about this topic and that
the training given to clergy is inadequate.
The seal of the confessional in child sexual abuse
515. We heard a range of opinions as to whether the seal of the confessional should apply
to prevent disclosures of child sexual abuse. Canon Dr Rupert Bursell QC argued strongly
that it should not apply; no such seal exists in relation to terrorism. Change could be effected
by way of primary legislation or by amending canon law.646
516. Bishop Hancock concurred, on the basis that “the safeguarding and the welfare of children
and young people is paramount”.647 Ms Lawrence thought that the Church should move away
from the inviolability of the confessional through the introduction of a mandatory reporting
regime, which would apply even to disclosures made in the confessional.648
639 Hind 7 March 2018 54/13‑17 640 Iles 16 March 2018 78/19‑24 641 Williams 14 March 2018 148/1‑5 642 Hind 7 March 2018 12/10‑16 643 Lawrence 8 March 2018 84/23‑25 644 Lawrence 8 March 2018 83/11‑19 645 Hancock 21 March 2018 214/9‑18 646 Bursell 13 March 2018 80/23‑25. Also see the Terrorism Act 2006, which is binding on the Church of England. 647 Hancock 21 March 2018 214/1‑2 648 ANG000223_023
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517. Others considered that the seal should remain in place. Bishop Warner characterised
the confessional as “a vital and important forum” that cannot be compromised “just a little bit
… it is all or nothing”.
649 Lord Williams expressed “real qualms” about removing the seal, as it
allows vulnerable people to “make use of an absolutely guaranteed confidential space”.
650
B.13: Current situation in Chichester
Changes within the national Church
518. In recent years, the Church of England has altered a significant number of its policies
and practices in respect of safeguarding. Many of these changes were prompted by the
findings of the Archepiscopal Visitation, which served to expose the serious failures and
injustices of the Church’s existing systems. As Archbishop Justin Welby summarised:
“The increased activity in relation to safeguarding has come out of a deep sense of
conviction that there needed to be repentance for our past failures, and a consistency and
quality of practice of safeguarding at all levels.”651
519. The Visitation provided the impetus for the creation of the National Safeguarding
Panel (NSP) in 2014. This is an advisory panel of external experts and survivors of sexual
abuse, which meets four times each year. It provides the Archbishops’ Council and House
of Bishops with high‑level strategic advice and direction on safeguarding. It also performs
a key role in the development of national policy and guidance, in partnership with the
Methodist Church.
520. In 2014, the House of Bishops approved the development of an independent
programme of diocesan safeguarding audits. The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
was commissioned to deliver this programme, and all dioceses had been audited by the end
of that year. The audits are currently being extended to cathedrals, Lambeth Palace and
Bishopthorpe Palace. In its overview report to July 2016, SCIE identified that “there has in
recent years been, and continues to be, progress towards embedding a safe culture”.
652
521. The National Safeguarding Team (NST) was established in 2015. It led to the
appointment of the Church’s first full‑time National Safeguarding Adviser which, in
Archbishop Welby’s view, represented “a critical moment in the evolution of safeguarding
practice within the Church of England”.
653 The NST provides advice and support to dioceses,
cathedrals and National Church Institutions in respect of policies and training. It is described
by Mr Graham Tilby as a “developing resource” which aims to provide the Church with
coherent leadership in respect of safeguarding issues.654
522. In May 2016, the House of Bishops approved the creation of the National Safeguarding
Steering Group (NSSG). Its primary role is to offer strategic oversight of national
safeguarding activity. It has a much more extensive remit than the NSP, which is an advisory
body. Bishop Peter Hancock referred to the NSSG as “the main body in the Church of England
for overseeing national safeguarding policy and activities at national level”.
655
649 Warner 14 March 2018 93/8‑10 650 Williams 14 March 2018 146/9‑10 651 ACE026137_016 652 ACE002250_007 653 ACE026137_016 654 ACE025940_008 655 ACE025930_051
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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523. In 2018, the budget for the NST was £1.6 million. This included the appointment of a
part‑time Human Resources Adviser, who provides specialist recruitment advice to dioceses
and other Church bodies. The expansion of the NST has considerably improved the quality
of training, policy and practice guidance within the Church.
524. In addition, the NST is currently in the process of developing the Safe Spaces project
in collaboration with the Roman Catholic Church. This project represents a single national
resource that can be accessed easily and swiftly. It provides pastoral support for victims of
abuse, and allows for personal contact via a telephone helpline or email.
525. The NST recently supplied all dioceses with a copy of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook,
which contains a range of tools to support day‑to‑day practice in the parishes. The
handbook, along with all safeguarding policies and resources, is within an electronic manual,
as part of the development of the national Safeguarding Hub. The Hub is designed to present
safeguarding information in a user‑friendly way, and is referred to by Bishop Hancock as a
“one‑stop shop for parishes and dioceses to access safeguarding resources”.
656
526. On 1 January 2017, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser Regulations came into force.
These were issued by the House of Bishops under Canon C30, which was created in
response to the findings of the Chichester Commissaries. The Regulations require all 42
dioceses to appoint a Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA). They allow the DSA to act
independently of the bishop and diocese.
527. Regulation 4(1)(a) makes it clear that the DSA may make a referral to the police where
he or she considers that to be desirable. The regulations present a specific example of the
DSA’s power to override decisions made by clergy or others within a diocese.
528. Canon C30.2(1) gives an archbishop the power to direct a bishop who holds office
in his or her province, or has authority to officiate in it or in a diocese, to undergo a risk
assessment. It also enables each archbishop to direct the other archbishop to undergo a risk
assessment. Canon C30(2) confers a corresponding power on a diocesan bishop, in relation
to priests or deacons who have authority to officiate in the diocese.
529. In 2017, the national Church issued a further policy document entitled Responding to
Serious Safeguarding Situations.657 This clarified the role and boundaries of a support person
to victims once a disclosure of abuse has been made. It reiterates that all victims must be
allocated a supporter, who may be an authorised listener specifically trained to hold this role.
In October 2017, the NSSG also agreed further guidance called Key Roles and Responsibilities
of Church Officers. This document provides further detail on the duties of key personnel,
including the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
530. The NST has issued a series of mandatory core safeguarding training modules. The ‘C4’
training module relates to the handling of disclosures of abuse. This material was piloted with
the archbishops in June 2016, and its delivery to each diocese began in September 2017.
656 ACE025930_059 657 ACE002226
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Changes in the Diocese of Chichester
Relationship with victims and survivors
531. In their Visitation of the Chichester Diocese, the Commissaries called for a “radical
change of culture”.
658 Since the publication of their reports, a number of initiatives have
sought to contribute to the achievement of this aim. Importantly, the Diocese has chosen
to confront its historic safeguarding failures. It has engaged openly with the media and
with survivors’ groups, expressing a frank recognition of its culpability in child sexual abuse
cases. Bishop Martin Warner met personally with several victims and wrote personal letters
of apology.
532. The introduction of an Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Adviser (IDSVA)
has led to a shift in the Diocese’s engagement with victims. Until Ms Gemma Wordsworth’s
arrival in January 2013, clergy and staff did not routinely have direct contact with survivors
of abuse. Most referrals for counselling were made through either the police or the NSPCC.
Since 2013, the IDSVA has made referrals to specialist counselling agencies local to where
the survivor lives.
533. Mr Colin Perkins described the recruitment of Ms Wordsworth as “the single best
decision I have made during my tenure”.
659 Bishop Warner categorised her work as “the most
important contribution to the Diocese’s attempts to assist survivors and other parties affected
by abuse”.
660 These sentiments were echoed by Dame Moira Gibb in her review of the Peter
Ball case, when she commented upon the “remarkable” level of support currently offered
to victims in the Diocese. The Carlile review described Ms Wordsworth as “an outstanding
professional” and praised her care of the complainant in the Bishop Bell case. Bishop Warner
told us that “our offer to provide support and to meet survivors, their families or others affected
by child sex abuse is an open‑ended and continuing one”.661
534. There has also been an increased willingness of statutory bodies to engage with the
Diocese and contribute to its work. The November 2016 SCIE safeguarding audit referred to
“strong engagement from the Diocese’s safeguarding partners, with good attendance at the SAP
by people at a senior level in the police, probation and adult and children’s social services”.
662
535. Moreover, the appointment of a Diocesan Director of Education in 2014 has helped
to build up good relationships of trust across the education sector. East Sussex County
Council is of the view that “safeguarding practice in the Diocese has significantly improved since
2012”.
663 DS Hick of Sussex Police commented on the “excellent relationships” that now exist
between the Diocese and statutory agencies.664
536. Bishop Warner said that “I and my colleagues in the Diocese do not consider this work
complete. Our understanding of the causes and consequences of sexual abuse demands continued
attention, as does the task of ensuring a culture that protects the vulnerable and confronts
abuse effectively.”
665
658 OHY000185_003 659 ACE026181_040 660 ACE026143_057 661 ACE026143_027 662 OHY003073_008 663 ESC000110_012 664 ANG000212_006 665 ACE026143_006
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
103
Current safeguarding procedures
537. The Diocese has invested increased financial resources in safeguarding. In 2010, its
total spend on safeguarding was £59,000. In 2018, the safeguarding budget increased to
£226,000. The Diocese retained its own safeguarding policy and procedure documents
until November 2016. At this time, the Diocesan Synod voted to adopt the national
Church of England safeguarding documents and incorporate them as Diocesan policy and
practice guidance.
538. The current safeguarding arrangements allocate responsibility between dioceses and
the national Church. The investigation of alleged sexual abuse by Church officers is now
governed by Responding to, Assessing and Managing Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations
Against Church Officers, 2017. This sets out in detail what should be done at a diocesan level
when an allegation of current or past abuse is made, and when it should be referred to the
NST for their involvement.
539. In accordance with the Key Roles Guidance 2017, the incumbent of each parish is
now responsible for appointing a designated Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO). The PSO
should be a lay person who has undergone safeguarding training. It is their role to receive
allegations or concerns about children in the parish and report them to the Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser within 24 hours.
540. If the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser considers that a referral to any statutory agency
is necessary, he or she must also make that referral within 24 hours.666 The Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser will then work with the parish and statutory agency to ensure that a
risk assessment is conducted and a safeguarding agreement is formulated where required.
541. In May 2016, the Diocese launched an online tool called Simple Quality Projects. This
comprises a checklist of key safeguarding practices required in each parish. It enables the
safeguarding team to monitor progress remotely and is the primary tool for oversight of
safeguarding quality in the Diocese. As Mr Perkins recognised, “in a diocese of 375 parishes
and 500 churches, oversight cannot rely on the physical presence of a small safeguarding team
in each parish”.
667 By January 2018, 72 percent of parishes had commenced Simple Quality
Projects. This indicates a willingness amongst parish personnel to take safeguarding seriously.
Training
542. The Diocese now places a much greater emphasis on the training of clergy and laity.
Records are maintained on a diocesan database to ensure that all clergy are receiving
the necessary training. In 2014, a children’s social worker called Morag Keane joined the
Diocese. She worked with Mr Perkins to improve safeguarding training in the Diocese. They
formulated an advanced training module to be delivered to leaders at parish level. This
covered topics such as parish culture, safer recruitment and the identification of grooming
behaviours. The training was offered to each Deanery throughout 2014 and 2015.
543. From 2015 onwards, the Diocese adopted the ‘C1’ and ‘C2’ national training modules,
which are delivered by a volunteer safeguarding training team. During 2017, just over
2,700 people were trained on either C1 or C2 throughout the Diocese.668
666 ACE025256_024 667 ACE026181_016 668 ACE026181_033
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Permission to officiate
544. There are currently around 400 clergy in the Diocese with permission to officiate. The
Bishop of Chichester is directly responsible for all clerical appointments. All requests for
permission to officiate are referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, even when the
applicant has previous convictions and should not be granted permission to officiate. This
is to ensure firstly that the person is known to the safeguarding team, and secondly that a
suitable agreement is in place to monitor his or her attendance at church.
545. Bishop Warner made it plain that the Diocese would be “extremely cautious” about
granting permission to officiate to a person against whom allegations of abuse had been
made.669 In this situation, the advice of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser would invariably
be sought and a risk assessment commissioned if appropriate. A diocesan database logs the
details of all individuals with permission to officiate or a licence.
546. Churchwardens are required to consult this database to ensure that retired clergy
and others officiating have permission to officiate. Clergy are instructed that the signatures
on church registers, required from every minister who takes a service, must be legible so
that the relevant minister can be clearly identified. Archdeacons carry out checks of these
registers during their Visitations.
547. Furthermore, the printed diocesan directory no longer contains details of clergy
who have permission to officiate. This change ensures that all up‑to‑date information is
accessed online, and removes the risk of reliance on potentially out‑of‑date information in a
printed directory.
548. Anyone active in public ministry must have appropriate DBS checks. Since 2015, the
Diocese has also asked for a note from an incumbent or the rural dean before permission to
officiate (PTO) can be granted or renewed, to confirm that the person’s ministry would be
welcomed and deployed in the local context. Bishop Warner described this as an “additional
safeguard” that is intended to “ensure some degree of accountability in respect of where clergy
with PTO are ministering and who is overseeing their deployment”.
670 Appropriate engagement
with safeguarding training is also a requirement.
Record-keeping
549. All blue files are now held centrally and securely at the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser has unlimited access to the files, and is the only person
permitted to remove them from the system. Files can be consulted by senior diocesan
clergy and staff during office hours, for the purpose of writing references or handling
disciplinary matters.
Role of women in the Diocese
550. Since 2012, the role of ordained women in the Diocese has been greatly enhanced.
Following the appointment of Richard Jackson as the Suffragan Bishop of Lewes in 2014, it
has been possible to ordain men and women together. Fiona Windsor was made Archdeacon
669 ACE026143_034 670 ACE026143_034
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
105
of Horsham in 2014, and from 2016 the Bishop of Horsham has also ordained women to the
priesthood.671 However, it remains the case that Chichester has fewer women in incumbency
posts than almost any other diocese.
551. Bishop Warner said that “I and my colleagues in the Diocese do not consider this work
complete. Our understanding of the causes and consequences of sexual abuse demands continued
attention, as does the task of ensuring a culture that protects the vulnerable and confronts
abuse effectively.”
672
Current position on safeguarding in cathedrals
552. Bishop Peter Hancock, the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the lead bishop on
safeguarding, explained that the Dean of Gloucester currently represents cathedrals in the
NSSG. He is the lead dean on safeguarding and provides a link to the two main cathedral
forums, namely the Association of English Cathedrals and the Deans’ Conference.673
553. In February 2015, the Deans’ Conference approved the development of a safeguarding
checklist. This checklist was to be completed by each cathedral and returned to the Dean
of Gloucester. According to Bishop Hancock, “the results received have been analysed and are
informing the ongoing work with cathedrals”.674
554. These results did, however, highlight a number of concerns in relation to
safeguarding. As Mr Tilby outlined, a significant number of cathedrals had failed to adopt
guidance for responding to sexual or domestic abuse. Very few cathedrals had made any
specific arrangements regarding support to survivors, relying instead on the diocese to
provide this.675
555. Moreover, some cathedrals acknowledged that their own safeguarding advisers were
not sufficiently qualified to provide professional advice. In Mr Tilby’s opinion, a number of
cathedrals had failed to recognise potential deficiencies in the expertise of these advisers.
In addition, many cathedrals had only a low level of safeguarding agreements in place with
offenders who posed a known risk to the community.
556. In an effort to address these difficulties, “the Church has nominated leads for
safeguarding and safeguarding awareness training at appropriate levels for those within the
cathedral, so that they know what to look out for. Further, cathedral staff are encouraged to build
links with Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers and other statutory services so that they know who to
contact if a safeguarding situation does arise.”
676
557. The Inquiry was keen to understand whether cathedrals have adopted specific
guidance given their role in educating young people through the choral traditions. It is
accepted that the majority of these young people will be in the care of the cathedral whilst
undertaking their role as choristers, or live on or around the premises. We were concerned
to learn from Bishop Hancock that, according to the Cathedral safeguarding checklist, a
number of cathedrals have not yet developed specific policies to safeguard choristers.677
671 ACE026143_037 672 ACE026143_006 673 ACE025930_030 674 ACE025930_030 675 ACE025940_107‑108 676 ACE025940_109 677 ACE025930_032
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Safeguarding audits
558. In 2014, the House of Bishops received a paper entitled Developing a Quality Assurance
Safeguarding Process for Dioceses and Parishes. One of the recommendations in this paper
was that each diocese should be made subject to a safeguarding audit. In May 2015,
this culminated in the appointment of the SCIE as an independent auditor. The diocesan
safeguarding audits were piloted in the same year and implemented nationally from
February 2016.678
559. It is our view that cathedrals should have been included in these audits from the outset.
We do not agree that the audits should have focussed only on the work of the Diocese. It is
difficult to reconcile this decision with the clear recommendations made by Mrs Edina Carmi
over a decade earlier.
560. Indeed, it was not until spring 2017 that the Deans’ Conference and the House
of Bishops agreed to extend the independent safeguarding audits to cathedrals. This
methodology was extended to all cathedrals from late 2018.679
Cathedrals Working Group
561. In April 2017, the Church announced that the archbishops had established a Cathedrals
Working Group. The creation of the group formed part of the Church’s response to the Gibb
Review, which recommended:
“The Church should review its organisational arrangements so that, for safeguarding
purposes, all Church bodies come within the relevant diocesan arrangements
where safeguarding capacity and expertise can be both concentrated and deployed
most efficiently.”680
562. According to Mr Tilby, the group’s purpose was to consider the sufficiency of the
Cathedrals Measure in relation to the governance structure in cathedrals, including
safeguarding.681
563. The report of the Cathedrals Working Group was presented to the Archbishops’
Council in December 2017. The report made a number of recommendations in respect
of safeguarding. For example, it specified that all cathedrals should work jointly with
their diocese and that all Chapter role descriptions should include a list of safeguarding
responsibilities.682
564. The Working Group published its final report in June 2018.683 A draft measure is
to be considered at General Synod in July 2019, which will implement a large number of
recommendations. This will include a model partnership arrangement with a diocese, along
with ensuring that cathedrals are on the same footing as Parochial Church Councils and
other Church bodies in respect of safeguarding requirements.
678 ACE025935_021‑22 679 ACE025930_031 680 INQ000560_075 681 The full terms of reference, membership and scope of the Working Group are set out on the Church of England website at
https://www.churchofengland.org/about/our-cathedrals/cathedrals-working-group 682 ACE025940_110 683 https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2018-06/Cathedrals%20Working%20Group%20-%20Final%20
Report_0.pdf
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
107
565. At the moment, there is no requirement for all cathedrals to have a formal
arrangement with the diocese. The Key Roles and Responsibilities 2017 guidance requires
that every cathedral should have access to a paid, professional and appropriately qualified
safeguarding adviser.684
566. Bishop Hancock noted that in some cathedrals this is already in place, either through
the employment of its own adviser or through the role being formally commissioned
from the diocese. Data from the 2016 diocesan self‑assessments shows that, out of 42
cathedrals, there are 20 which have formal agreements with a diocese and a further 15
with joint working arrangements.685 In 2004, the Carmi review recommended that specialist
safeguarding advice and support should be provided to all cathedrals during the investigation
of abuse claims. It was specifically recommended that all concerns and allegations should be
reported to the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser.686
567. Despite the 2004 recommendations, the safeguarding responsibilities of the Dean
and Chapter were not defined until October 2017 with the publication of the Key Roles
and Responsibilities guidance. Section 5.1 of the guidance provides that a cathedral dean
will “inform and work in cooperation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in the event of
allegations, suspicions or disclosures of abuse and ensure that those who may present a risk
to children, young people and vulnerable adults are effectively managed”.
687 The guidance
also introduced the expectation of an annual safeguarding report to the diocesan bishop.
However, the Cathedral’s constitution and statutes remain silent on the question of
safeguarding at present.
Cathedral Visitation
568. Although the diocesan bishop is unable to exercise control over the cathedral on a
daily basis, he is also the Visitor of the cathedral by virtue of section 6(3) of the Cathedrals
Measure 1999. The bishop may hold a Visitation of the cathedral “when he considers it
desirable or necessary to do so or when requested by the Council or the Chapter”.
688 Following
the Visitation, he may give such direction to the Chapter, to the holder of any office in the
cathedral or to any person employed by the cathedral “as will, in the opinion of the Bishop,
better serve the due observance of the Constitution and Statutes”.
689
569. Bishop Warner conducted a “one‑off” Visitation to Chichester Cathedral in November
2016. During the Visitation, he was responsible for “meeting with cathedral staff, exploring
cathedral policies, its constitution and statutes, and making directions on the basis of areas where
the bishop has concerns and where requirements can be made for a response that meets the
bishop’s concerns”.
690
570. In his report following the Visitation, Bishop Warner recorded that the Cathedral’s
safeguarding policy is now updated annually.691 One year after completion of the report, it
was reviewed to consider the implementation of its recommendations. A further review took
place in November 2018.692
684 ACE025247_025 685 ACE025930_030 686 OHY000184_053 687 ACE025247_025 688 WWS000083_001 689 WWS000083_001 690 Warner 14 March 2018 59‑60 691 ACE026044 692 ACE026143_055
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571. However, Bishop Warner confirmed that the Chapter retains to this day a high level
of autonomy. As the current Bishop of Chichester, his powers to supervise safeguarding
within the Cathedral remain “limited, in terms of direct day‑to‑day powers”.
693 It is clear that,
despite the events of the last two decades, cathedrals continue to operate autonomously in
matters of safeguarding. In our view, the national Church should follow through its work to
ensure that cathedrals are brought firmly into diocesan safeguarding structures. Chichester
Cathedral and the Diocese of Chichester provide an example of good practice. This example
should be followed by all dioceses, which should ensure both that safeguarding is effectively
managed and that it is treated as a priority within cathedrals.
693 Warner 14 March 2018 59/12
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Part C
Case study 2: The response
to allegations against
Peter Ball
110
Case study 2: The response to
allegations against Peter Ball
C.1: Introduction to the Peter Ball case study
Background
1. Peter Ball was ordained in 1957. With his brother he founded a monastic order, the
Community of the Glorious Ascension, of which he was a leading member for 20 years. In
1977, he became the Suffragan Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of Chichester. He became
the Diocesan Bishop of Gloucester in 1992, a post he held for less than two years.
2. In 2015 he was convicted of two offences of indecent assault and an offence
of misconduct in a public office, which involved 16 different victims. By his plea he
accepted that he “obtained sexual gratification from the deliberate manipulation of vulnerable
young men”.694
3. The Inquiry received evidence about allegations against Peter Ball from 33 individuals,
including children and young men. There are allegations of sexual misconduct by Peter Ball
as far back as 1969, when he was the Prior of the Community of the Glorious Ascension.
As the Bishop of Lewes, he established an unregulated and unsupervised scheme in which
young men would live with him in his diocesan home. He abused his position as Bishop
of Lewes to groom, exploit and commit offences against teenage boys and young men.
There is evidence that some within the Diocese of Chichester, in particular Bishop Eric
Kemp, knew or suspected Peter Ball might have been involved in sexual misconduct but did
nothing about it.
4. Despite this, in 1991, he was appointed as Diocesan Bishop of Gloucester with a
favourable reference from Bishop Kemp. Peter Ball’s chaplain was informed that Peter Ball
had been warned, upon appointment to Gloucester, that there should be “no more boys”.695 In
1992 a young man named Neil Todd tried to take his own life. He subsequently tried to raise
the alarm within the Church, reporting allegations against Peter Ball to a number of clergy,
including two bishops. After he attempted to take his own life for a second time, Neil Todd’s
parents reported his allegations to the police.
5. An investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary identified a further six complainants.
Lambeth Palace received letters containing accounts of sexual misconduct from seven
teenagers and young men. In 1993, despite there being four potential charges available
relating to offences concerning three young men, Peter Ball received a caution for one
single offence of gross indecency with Neil Todd. As a result, he resigned as the Bishop of
Gloucester on 7 March 1993.
694 CPS003468_001 695 ANG000275_5
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111
6. Peter Ball surrounded himself with powerful and influential friends. He had connections
with members of parliament, headmasters of prominent public schools, Lord Lloyd of
Berwick (who was a judge of the Court of Appeal at the time of Peter Ball’s arrest and was
subsequently a Law Lord) and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. When Peter Ball was
under police investigation, some of these persons of public prominence wrote in support of
him. After he resigned, some of them encouraged his return to ministry and sought to assist
him do so.
7. Following his resignation, Peter Ball was not placed on the list of clergy about whom there
were concerns – known within the Church as the ‘Caution List’ – and no disciplinary action
was taken by the Church. Within two years of his resignation, following a campaign by Peter
Ball, his brother and their supporters, Peter Ball was permitted to carry out services without
a risk assessment or any real restriction upon his access to or work with children and young
men. It took until 2012, and a fresh police investigation, for the extent of his offending to
become known. He was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to 32 months in prison.
8. After this conviction, the Church prohibited him from ministry for life. Peter Ball can,
however, still use the title ‘bishop’ if he wishes. Victims and survivors are concerned that
he can continue to use this clerical address, despite his offending and his prohibition from
ministry. For that reason, we will refer to him as ‘Peter Ball’ throughout this report.
9. The majority of Peter Ball’s convictions relate to sexual misconduct against vulnerable
young men over the age of 18. Peter Ball also pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office in
relation to children under 18.
Reasons for selection of the case study
10. The Inquiry wanted to investigate why an individual with a prominent position within
the Church was able to offend so widely and for so long. When Peter Ball was arrested for
the first time in 1992 he received a caution, despite the number of other witnesses and
complainants who provided evidence capable of supporting the allegations by Neil Todd.
11. Questions have been raised about why Peter Ball was not subject to further criminal or
disciplinary penalties in 1992, and why his offending had not come to light until 1992, when
it appeared that some within the Church had knowledge of inappropriate behaviour between
Peter Ball and young men prior to that. Some suggested Peter Ball’s status and powerful
friends may have caused him to be treated more favourably than another, less prominent,
member of the clergy would have been.
12. This case study enables the Inquiry to examine the approach of the Church, the police
and the prosecution authorities, in particular, to offending by prominent individuals who
were powerful within the institution they served. The following themes emerged during the
course of this investigation:
a. The potential for members of clergy to abuse their position, and the trust placed in
them, to commit offences against teenagers and young men.
b. The extent to which an offender’s presentation of charm, charisma and spiritualism
could be used as a mask for offending behaviour.
c. The understanding of sexual offending within the Church at the time of the
offending, arrests and subsequently.
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d. The role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his senior staff (which we will call
collectively ‘Lambeth Palace’) and the Church’s willingness to respond appropriately
to allegations of sexual offending.
e. The Church’s attitude towards homosexuality and the ways in which that attitude
can impede the disclosure of sexual offending and influence the Church’s response
to sexual offending.
f. The potential for institutions to be influenced by persons of public prominence in
their response to allegations of sexual offences.
g. The extent to which persons of prominence influenced or attempted to influence
institutions in the case of Peter Ball.
h. The extent to which the Church placed concern for its own reputation over concern
for complainants, victims and survivors in its public and private responses to the
allegations against Peter Ball.
i. The suitability of the Church’s disciplinary procedures to deal with cases of this kind,
against bishops in particular.
j. The issue of clericalism and the way in which it affected the Church’s response
to allegations against Peter Ball and its approach to complainants, victims and
survivors. Clericalism was described by Archbishop Justin Welby as “a wider mindset
in which the authority of the ordained ministry was thought of as beyond criticism”.696
k. Whether the old sexual offences regime was able to address such offending, and
whether the new sexual offences regime is able to do so.
13. These issues are extracted from the definition of scope set by the Inquiry for the
Anglican Church investigation, and by the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry set by the
Home Secretary. The terms of the definition of scope for this case study are:
“3.2. the sexual offending by former Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of
Gloucester, Peter Ball, including the extent to which the Church of England, law
enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and/or any other institutions, bodies or
persons of public prominence failed to respond appropriately to allegations of child sexual
abuse by Peter Ball.”
C.2: Peter Ball’s ordination and progression within the Church
of England
Ordination
14. Peter Ball was born in 1932. He attended Lancing College and then Cambridge
University. He was made a deacon in 1956 and ordained as a priest in 1957.
15. In 1951 Peter Ball was interviewed for the first time by the Church Assembly Central
Advisory Council of Training for the Ministry (CACTM), who were responsible for selecting
individuals for ministry. He was not recommended because the board thought that his
religious life was, at that stage, “immature and underdeveloped”.697 He was encouraged to
return after he had completed university.
696 Welby 14 March 2018 139/4-8 697 ANG000209_001
Case study 2: The response to allegations against Peter Ball
113
16. Bishop George Bell, then the Bishop of Chichester, wrote to the CACTM that he
was “not inclined to accept the judgement of the Selectors”. Having interviewed Peter Ball,
he threatened to accept him as a diocesan candidate for ordination regardless of the
recommendation.698 He wrote that Peter Ball was:
“Junior Squash champion for the South of England and Sussex, and is regarded as a
possible Blue at Cambridge. He represented Lancing at soccer, athletics and tennis,
besides being head prefect, and managing the school remarkably well, though
undoubtedly a reserved boy. Surely this says something for character?”
699
17. In 1953, Peter Ball returned to the CACTM and was accepted for ordination. Bishop
Bell sponsored him and placed him within a parish in Chichester for his curacy700 in 1957,
where he visited him.701 Peter Ball told others he was “a sort of blue eyed boy of his”.702 A
curate usually would spend three to four years in a parish but, almost as soon as he was
ordained, Peter Ball sought an exemption to leave within a year to spend time in a school and
in a religious community.703 This was to further his desire to become a monk and establish
his own religious community. Bishop Bell allowed him to reduce his time in the parish to
two years.704
The Community of the Glorious Ascension
18. Religious communities are very much a minority within the Church of England. At
present, there are no more than a few hundred individuals in the UK who are part of a
religious order aligned with the Church. Religious communities vary from those which take
monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to individuals who live together in lay
communities devoted to a common life of prayer and work.
19. Bishop David Walker, Chair of the Advisory Council for Relations between Bishops and
Religious Communities (The Advisory Council), and the Bishop of Manchester, gave detailed
evidence about the workings of a monastic order and how it would have been set up both
now and in the past 60 years.705 To want to become a member of a religious order was
unusual for an Anglican young person, and to want to set up one’s own religious order was
even more unusual.
20. In March 1960 Peter Ball and his brother Michael established a monastic community,
the Community of the Glorious Ascension (CGA). The stated aim was to provide a monastic
community which would provide teachers for state schools and engage in other work with
young people. At the time of starting his order, Peter Ball was 28 years old. He was Prior of
the CGA until 1977.
698 ACE000015 699 ACE000013 700 The first post after ordination as an assistant to a parish priest. 701 ANG000209_002 702 ACE001405 703 ACE000025 704 ACE000026 705 ACE025770
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21. Over time, CGA communities were set up in Stroud, Birmingham, Burton-on-Trent, Old
Cleeve and Sheffield.706 At its peak, the CGA consisted of 18 professed brothers and around
the same number of novices and postulants (those training to become members of the
community).707 There were also six to eight female members who lived separately. Michael
Ball taught in schools whilst Peter Ball focussed on “pastoral work within the community”.708
22. Religious communities are not part of dioceses, and are run as distinct and independent
organisations in accordance with their constitutions. At present they are not subject to
regulation by way of canon law (save that any member of a religious order who is also
ordained will be subject to canon law). They may or may not be formally recognised by the
Advisory Council. This is a body established by the Church of England which ‘recognises’
such communities.709 However, it was not and is not necessary to make an application to the
Advisory Council before establishing a religious order and the Council does not and has not
ever had the power to prevent someone from doing so.710 Nonetheless Peter Ball and his
brother sought support from the Advisory Council as early as 1957 to establish the CGA.
The CGA was not recognised by the Advisory Council until 1974.711
23. The CGA rules permitted 17-year-olds, with their parents’ permission, to become
postulants and live with the CGA. They would be the responsibility of Peter Ball.712
In publicity material, the CGA sought to emphasise the CGA’s involvement with
young people.713
24. Whilst the Church of England has no formal oversight or supervision of religious orders,
it is expected that recognised communities will follow the Handbook of the Religious Life
published by the Advisory Council. It is, however, a guide; it is not legally binding nor a
direction to the communities involved. Its purpose is to provide assistance to visitors714 to
such communities as to what standards should be applied.
25. The 1957 edition of the Directory of the Religious Life did not require any religious
community to have guidance about what would now be called safeguarding. The 1976
edition added a prohibition on postulants under 18 and required communities to make
enquiries of postulants’ background and health. Nonetheless the CGA rules were
not changed.
26. There was no supervision or oversight of the CGA as a recognised religious order by
the Church. Nor were there any safeguarding procedures or checks on the suitability of
the monks working with the children and young people who lived with the CGA or were
postulants.
27. Members of a recognised religious community are subject individually to the oversight
of the bishop of the diocese in which they reside, but the diocesan bishop does not have a
direct right to intervene in the affairs of the community.715 The CGA had a formal Visitor,
706 ANG000209_003-004 707 ANG000209_007 708 ANG000209_007 709 ACE025770_002-004 710 ACE025933_003 711 ACE025933_005 & 007 712 ACE025933_005-006 713 ACE025933_005 714 Visitors are individuals who visit and examine the community and look at what the standards are, usually bishops or other
senior clerics.
715 ACE025933_003
Case study 2: The response to allegations against Peter Ball
115
in the same way that a cathedral would,716 but their formal visits only occurred once every
five years.717 Members of the CGA do not remember seeing the Visitor often.718 It was the
expectation at that time that there be a record of the visits kept in reports or minutes.719
Only one set of notes of any Visitation can be found, and Bishop Walker concluded that it
was not thorough and seemed to be more in the way of a ‘chat’ with relevant members.720
28. Peter Ball exploited his position as a member in the CGA for his own sexual gratification.
In 2015 he accepted he had taken advantage of AN-A97, who joined the CGA when he was
19 years old. He considered Peter Ball to be a “charismatic holy leader with authority”. He told
police in 2013 that in 1969 at Peter Ball’s request, he had massaged Peter Ball, beaten him
with a slipper, and been beaten in return. He also said they watched each other masturbate
and masturbated one another. AN-A97 said he “felt very trapped” and that there was “a
huge emotional blackmail inside”.
721 In a document setting out his 2015 guilty plea, Peter Ball
accepted that when he did this, AN-A97 was a vulnerable young man who looked upon Peter
Ball as his spiritual leader.722
29. AN-A110, another member of the CGA, saw Peter Ball’s “obsession” with AN-A97 and
recognised signs of abuse. He reported this to an Anglican priest affiliated with the CGA.
AN-A110 says that the next day he was asked to leave the CGA by Peter Ball and the
Anglican priest, although Peter Ball says this was not the case.723
30. AN-A110 also told the Inquiry that religious communities live their lives on the margins
of ecclesiastical authority. There needs to be, he thought, a dialogue between communities,
their members and leaders, and the authorities of the established denominations to
encourage communities to safeguard the spiritual, psychological and social welfare of
their members.724
31. Bishop Walker confirmed that even in 2018 there was no canon for the regulation of
religious communities.725 The Advisory Council has produced the Handbook on the Religious
Life since the 1940s.726 The last handbook issued was 2004, which had no real mention of
safeguarding or child protection but set the minimum age for postulants as 18.727 In 2015
specific practice guidance Safeguarding in Religious Communities was issued.728 However, this
does not bring together all relevant safeguarding advice and requires religious communities
to look also at the general House of Bishops’ guidance.729 A canon has been drafted on
religious life and was brought to General Synod in February 2019, alongside an updated
handbook on the religious life.
716 ANG000209_005 717 Walker 19 March 2018 92/13 718 ANG000260_003 719 ACE025933_007 720 Walker 19 March 2018 80/4-12 721 INQ001348_010-011 722 CPS003468_001-003 723 ANG000258_004 724 ANG000258_006 725 Walker 19 March 2018 72/16-21 726 Walker 19 March 2018 74/19-75/4 727 Walker 19 March 2018 80/17-81/14 and 88/14-18 728 ACE025136 729 Walker 19 March 2018 87/23-88/5
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32. There is no power for the Advisory Council to close religious communities where there
are problems730 and no power to expel individual members from religious communities.731
The only power it has available is to cease to recognise religious communities, but this would
not prevent the community from operating.732 If a religious community is also a charity
then the Charity Commission could intervene. However, that would not stop individuals
continuing to be a community, it would simply mean they could not run it as a charity. The
Church of England relies upon the influence of the local diocese and encourages religious
communities to integrate with the diocese.733 Whilst the bishop is only required to formally
visit once every five years, he would be expected to attend the community more regularly (at
least yearly) to get a sense of what is going on.734 Communities should have a safeguarding
representative who will then report any matters to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.735
33. The Church of England is in the process of revising its approach to religious
communities, as identified above, and addressing the recommendations made by Dame
Moira Gibb. A canon on the religious life and an updated Handbook on the Religious Life are
being drafted. This is to be welcomed. If religious communities are to be recognised by the
Church, there should be common and enforceable standards and appropriate regulation by
the Church.
C.3: Peter Ball’s time in Lewes
Peter Ball’s appointment as Bishop of Lewes
34. Peter Ball’s ambition to become a bishop was evident from the early 1970s. At least one
bishop, in 1976, commented “it is strange, perhaps, to voice one’s ambitions in this way”.736
35. Following encouragement from Jock Henderson, Bishop of Bath and Wells,737 Bishop
Eric Kemp decided to suggest Peter Ball as the new Bishop of Lewes (at that time a suffragan
bishop). Peter Ball was appointed in February 1977. He remained a member of the CGA but
stepped down as Prior.738 As one of the very few members of a religious community to be
appointed as a bishop since the establishment of the Church of England, Peter Ball was not
a usual choice in many respects. He moved to a cottage near Lewes, and subsequently the
Priory at Litlington, with a number of the CGA brothers.739
36. Peter Ball spent 14 years as the Bishop of Lewes. As diocesan bishop, Bishop Kemp
appeared to exercise minimal supervision over Peter Ball and visited Litlington Priory rarely.
According to Bishop John Hind (principal of the nearby Chichester Theological college for a
significant period during this time), Peter Ball treated the area of Lewes as his “independent
fiefdom”.740
730 Walker 19 March 2018 81/15-82/13 731 Walker 19 March 2018 91/16-92/12 732 Walker 19 March 2018 92/6-12 733 Walker 19 March 2018 83/1-16 734 Walker 19 March 2018 93/1-16 735 Walker 19 March 2018 86/20-87/4 736 ACE000087 737 ACE000076 738 ANG000209_008 739 ANG000260_003 740 Hind 7 March 2018 30/21
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Peter Ball’s offending whilst Bishop of Lewes
37. Peter Ball, when entering his guilty plea in 2015, accepted that he had “abused his
position as a bishop” to “identify, groom and exploit” sensitive teenagers and young men aged
between 17 and 25. He used religion as “a cloak behind which he hid a search to satisfy his
sexual interest”. He induced people to remove their clothes or otherwise engage in activity
for his sexual gratification by telling them that “their social life would be improved by engaging
in the acts he suggested”.741
38. He also suggested to all of his victims that the sexual acts were part and parcel
of religious practice or spiritual observance as he viewed it. For example, Peter Ball
met AN‑A102 in 1977 when AN-A102 was 15 years old and Peter Ball conducted his
confirmation. When he was 16 years old, AN-A102 sought pastoral guidance from Peter Ball.
Peter Ball asked him to remove his clothing and stand naked in front of the vestry mirror
which, he said, was a metaphor for the eyes of God. Peter Ball claimed this would help him
to find humility.742 He likewise asked AN-A102 to remove his clothing under the guise of
providing pastoral support when he was 18 years old.
39. In order to be put forward as a potential cleric, the approval of a bishop was and is
required as a sponsor. Peter Ball therefore had power to recommend or not those who
wished to become ordained. Peter Ball abused the power and influence his role gave him. For
example, when AN-A114 met with Peter Ball to ask for his recommendation for ordination,
he used these meetings to repeatedly ask AN-A114 to remove his clothing.743
40. Mr Graham Sawyer (now Reverend Sawyer) was sponsored by Peter Ball for ordination.
During their meetings, Peter Ball would play “mind games” by emphasising the importance
of commitment to God in the way of St Francis of Assisi. He repeatedly put his arm around
Mr Sawyer in a “groping way” and suggested he should take his clothes off before him.
On one occasion, he started to remove Mr Sawyer’s clothes.744 Peter Ball denied telling
Mr Sawyer that his ordination depended on his response, but Mr Sawyer alleged that
Peter Ball made it very clear that it did. When Mr Sawyer refused, Peter Ball withdrew his
endorsement. As a result, Mr Sawyer withdrew his application for ordination.745 He applied
again for ordination some years later and was rejected, because it was said that by refusing
the first recommendation, he had shown “instability of life”. He was told there was “a big black
mark” against his name in the Church of England.746 He was subsequently ordained. Reverend
Sawyer believes that his disclosures and his vocal criticism of Peter Ball alienated him from
people within the Church and had a very damaging effect upon his clerical career.747
The Give a Year to God scheme
41. In 1980, Peter Ball established his Give a Year to God scheme (the scheme). He said
that its purpose was to evangelise young people and to act as an opportunity for those
who were considering a career in the Church to test their commitment by living with him in
Litlington Priory, a house owned by the Diocese of Chichester and used by Peter Ball as his
741 INQ001348_001 and CPS003468_002 742 INQ01348_011-012 743 INQ01348_010 744 INQ001348_016 745 Sawyer 23 July 2018 167/3-168/13 746 Sawyer 23 July 2018 169/10-20 747 Sawyer 23 July 2018 176/10-24
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home. This was meant to be for a year or so.748 The scheme was set up with the knowledge
and endorsement of Bishop Kemp. There is no evidence that anyone ever came to check on
those enrolled on the scheme, and there seems to have been no formal oversight of it by
the Diocese.749
42. Members of the scheme (commonly referred to as schemers) were predominantly male.
They were accommodated throughout East Sussex but most of the males would stay with
Peter Ball at Litlington Priory.750
43. The scheme was run by Peter Ball with assistance from a friend and cleric who lived
nearby, Reverend Vickery House, and another brother from the CGA. Those on the scheme
learned about monastic life whilst living and working at Litlington or nearby, before being
sent to work in the community and parishes of Lewes.751 There were some religious
discussion groups and religious teaching was carried out, mainly by Vickery House and Peter
Ball who would debate and discuss religious matters over meals or after dinner. There was
no formal or set programme but the theological element of the scheme emphasised humility,
obedience and living a spartan life.
44. The scheme does not seem to have been advertised widely or run on any kind of
systematic basis. From the evidence given both by Peter Ball and by others who participated
in the scheme participants learned about it through word of mouth. Most individuals
approached Peter Ball after hearing about the scheme through a school or university
chaplain. In addition, Peter Ball spoke regularly at public and independent schools, including
about the scheme, and often people would approach him afterwards. There were usually
between two and 10 schemers at any one time752 but there were as many as 24 in 1985.753
45. The scheme seemed to attract some young people who were vulnerable and confused
about the direction of their lives. For example, when AN-A117 joined, he was 17 years old
and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. He said he was filled with self-hatred and,
for him, Christianity was a form of ‘salvation’.754
46. AN-A117 was woken by Peter Ball in the mornings, expected to undress and follow him
downstairs. He was required to take a cold shower for a full minute whilst Peter Ball watched
and timed him. AN-A117 said he was terrified but believed this to be necessary to pursue his
religious calling. Peter Ball also made lewd comments to AN-A117 and suggested repeatedly
that they watch television together naked. Peter Ball told him that such ‘humiliation’
was part of the teaching of St Francis and would provide a more direct route to a closer
relationship to God.755
47. Peter Ball admitted that he used the scheme to commit offences against vulnerable
young men. He told the young people that acts of nudity – which gave Peter Ball sexual
gratification – were part and parcel of monastic life and religious teaching, which they were
not. The acts in which some young people participated on the scheme were not part of the
approved teaching of either the Church of England or of St Francis of Assisi.756 For example,
748 ANG000209_009 749 A117 23 July 2018 121 750 INQ001348_003 751 ANG000260_005 752 ANG000209_009 753 ACE025933_010 754 A117 23 July 2018 111/13-22 755 A117 23 July 2018 114/19-116/6 756 CPS003468_002
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119
he told AN-A117 that if he were to ‘sin’ by masturbating, he and Peter Ball should beat one
another or masturbate one another to humiliate themselves. AN-A117 was encouraged not
to tell people about this activity. Peter Ball has accepted that he often told young people
who participated in such acts not to say anything about what had happened.757
48. Peter Ball knew people were concerned about what was happening at Litlington Priory
and considered it “inappropriate”. He denied that Bishop Kemp had ever tried to ‘shut down’
the scheme. Bishop Kemp did speak to Peter Ball about whether or not his relationships
with the young men were appropriate and advised him to “be careful” (rather than trying to
prevent any risk of harm to young people).758
49. Reverend Malcolm Dodd was the diocesan youth officer for Chichester whilst Peter Ball
was running the scheme. He was told in 1982, by the then Bishop of Horsham, that there
were problems of a sexual nature concerning Peter Ball and young people.759
50. Peter Ball used the scheme as a way to attract young people to be near to him,
and to provide the opportunity to offend when they were in his house. He accepted in
2015 that he:
“whilst having established a genuine course of religious thinking and tuition for young
people to study and follow under the Scheme, then took the opportunity to commit the
acts comprising the misconduct under the guise of those acts being a further part of the
austere regime of devotion and religious teachings, when they were not”.760
51. He did not seek to engage in sexualised behaviours with all those who were on the
scheme, but seemed to recognise or identify those who were more vulnerable or naive in
some way. To that extent, his actions were calculating.
52. Some individuals within the Church thought his behaviour was at the least odd, but no
one took any action about it. There was a significant absence of supervision or oversight;
someone from the Diocese could and should have enquired about what was happening at
the Priory. In the context of the 1980s, it was unusual to have a residential scheme designed
and run for young people with no external pastoral oversight or supervision, if only to check
the accommodation met basic requirements.
Work in schools
53. Peter Ball developed a reputation for his work with children and young people. In
1983, the Scout Association was looking for a ‘religious consultant’. The then Archbishop of
Canterbury, Robert Runcie, consulted Bishop Kemp, who said Peter Ball had “for a good many
years been well into this field of headmasters and chaplains of public schools” and so he should
take the role.761
54. Peter Ball was a member of the governing body of a number of schools, sometimes
because as Bishop of Lewes he was a nominated governor on behalf of the Church of
England, and sometimes because of his personal connection with the school or individuals
who taught there. Peter Ball said he would go to schools on invitation from headmasters
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and other bishops. He was invited regularly to preach, and sometimes stay overnight. He
would also provide counselling to students, often on an individual basis. On such occasions,
according to Peter Ball, no steps were taken to supervise the work he undertook.762
55. James Woodhouse, former headmaster at Rugby School and Lancing College, said
Peter Ball had attended both schools to preach and speak to the pupils. He did on occasion
meet with pupils ‘one-to-one’ by arrangement with the staff. Mr Woodhouse was never
aware, from pupils, parents or staff, of sexual advances at that time.763 He wrote to police
in 1993 in support of Peter Ball. He confirmed he was aware that Peter Ball had been
involved, with young people, in “acts of penitence and contrition” and that “these may have
been open to misunderstanding and mis-representation … The Bishop may have failed to judge the
appropriateness of such exercises”.764
56. Peter Ball met AN-A96 when he was 13 years old and boarding at Lancing College.
He had regular counselling sessions with Peter Ball when he was aged between 13 and
18. Peter Ball admitted suggesting to AN-A96, during one of these sessions when AN-A96
was 13 years old, that he should remove his clothing and kneel naked before him to be ‘rebaptised’. This baptism did not take place until he was over 18. AN-A96 said that, at Peter
Ball’s request and whilst naked, he would massage Peter Ball’s groin area close to his genitals
because Peter Ball claimed he had muscular pain.765
57. Ian Beer, who had been headmaster of Ellesmere College and subsequently Lancing
College, recalled an occasion when a pupil from one of these schools went to stay at the
priory of the CGA for one week. The priory was not inspected by the school but the child’s
parents were consulted. They received no report or complaint upon his return.766
58. AN-A2 was 15 or 16 years old in 1985 when he was suspended from his boarding
school for getting into trouble. He was sent to stay with Peter Ball at Litlington Priory. He
alleged Peter Ball came to his bedroom, got into bed with him, and hugged him and offered
reassurance. AN-A2 also said that sometimes Peter Ball would masturbate whilst in bed with
him.767 Peter Ball entered a not guilty plea to this allegation and maintains that the conduct
did not occur.
59. These examples show that Peter Ball’s home was used as a place of refuge. As he was
considered to be a man of God, his character was viewed as unimpeachable. This was why
no serious thought was given to the child’s welfare and safety.
C.4: Peter Ball’s appointment as Bishop of Gloucester
60. The Crown Appointments Commission768 (the Commission) is responsible for the
nomination of diocesan bishops to the Crown through the Prime Minister. Candidates are
nominated by a variety of sources, including the diocese concerned, bishops or individuals
known to members of the Commission. The nomination of candidates is completely
confidential.769 In the 1980s, the Commission was made up of the two archbishops, six
762 ANG000209_007 and OHY000096_013-14 763 ANG000324_002 764 OHY000096_013-014 765 INQ001348_009 766 ANG000286_001-2 767 ANG000122_005-006 768 Now known as the Crown Nominations Commission. 769 WWS000143
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representatives elected by and from the General Synod and six representatives elected by
the diocese concerned. The appointments secretaries of the Archbishops and the Prime
Minister were non-voting members.770
61. Peter Ball openly expressed his ambition to become a diocesan bishop for some
time.771 In 1985 he was a candidate for the position of Bishop of Norwich. A member
of the Commission said they had been under some pressure from the Prime Minister’s
appointments secretary, Robin Catford (subsequently Sir Robin Catford) to appoint him.
He was a resident of West Sussex and sat on the Chichester Diocesan Synod from 1979 to
1984 and 1980 to 1990.772 It had been hinted that Peter Ball would be especially welcome
at Sandringham.773 His appointment had been opposed by diocesan representatives who
reported that “Norwich could not take a group of young men living with the bishop in the
Bishop’s House”.774
62. In 1990, Peter Ball was considered for the Archbishopric of Melbourne, Australia775
and for the Diocese of Leicester.776 Bishop Eric Kemp provided a reference for the
latter, mentioning Peter Ball’s “particular gift with young people” and his dependence “on
companionship which he has found particularly in the communities of young people who have
gathered around him”.777 Comments made by Bishop Kemp at the time of Peter Ball’s
subsequent arrest778 show that he knew, at least by 1992, that Peter Ball had been involved
in naked prayer with some of those young people. In 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service
(CPS) relied on such behaviour in the prosecution of Peter Ball.
63. In 1991, Peter Ball was nominated for the role of Bishop of Gloucester. The Commission,
chaired at the time by Archbishop George Carey (now Lord Carey of Clifton), did not have
any evidence about inappropriate or abusive behaviour by Peter Ball.779 The Commission met
for two days to discuss candidates.
64. Afterwards, the Archbishop wrote to the Prime Minister, John Major (now Sir John
Major), on behalf of the Commission and put forward two candidates for his selection. Both
carried the full recommendation of the Commission but two-thirds had voted in favour of
the first candidate, with Peter Ball as second choice.780 The Archbishop did not personally
express a view and wrote even-handed references for both candidates. Peter Ball was
described as having a remarkable reputation as an evangelist, and having “particularly winning
ways with the young and unchurched”.
781
65. When the Archbishop’s letter was provided to the Prime Minister, it was accompanied
by a covering note from Mr Catford expressly advising the Prime Minister to select Peter
Ball.782 He included summaries of both candidates. There was one paragraph on the first
candidate, “a creative thinker who communicates well”. By contrast, almost three pages were
devoted to Peter Ball, who was described as:
770 ACE025772_024 771 ACE000087, ACE000088 772 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/2107567/Sir-Robin-Catford.html 773 ACE000545 774 ACE000545 775 ACE000146, ACE000149 776 ACE000152, ACE000154 777 ACE000155 778 INQ000604 779 Carey 24 July 2018 38 780 CAB000010_001 781 CAB000010_002 782 CAB000013
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“A man of humility, holiness and vision combined with a quite extraordinary sparkling
personality, impish humour and an unrivalled ability to communicate to the highest and
the lowest of all ages and background.”
66. Peter Ball’s connections within the establishment were also emphasised. Besides
recording Peter Ball’s friendship and support to the family of Ian Gow MP (who was killed in
1990 by an IRA bomb at his home in East Sussex) and the victims of the 1984 Brighton hotel
bombings (which targeted those staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference),
Mr Catford noted:
“Many people on both the church and state sides have long wanted the two Ball brothers
to become diocesan bishops … This is probably the last chance for Peter.”783
67. There was a convention that the first candidate would be selected; indeed John Major
had done so on his four previous appointments.784 Yet, on this occasion, Mr Catford advised
the Prime Minister to exercise his “limited freedom to act independently” and select Peter Ball.
68. Having seen the note, Archbishop Carey found it “deeply disturbing” and “appalling”;785
in his view, this showed the Prime Minister’s appointments secretary “going beyond his
responsibilities” and clearly influencing the mind of the Prime Minister.786 The appointments
secretary was intended to be a neutral administrator but Mr Catford appears to have gone
beyond that.
69. The Prime Minister appointed Peter Ball as Bishop of Gloucester in March 1992. His
enthronement was attended by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, whose home
was within the Diocese. There were some within the Diocese who were unhappy about a
monk becoming bishop, but this objection was short-lived and largely limited to Peter Ball’s
first six months in office. Although there were many in the Diocese who were impressed
by his work,787 Peter Ball felt that he was unpopular with senior members of diocesan
staff, including the Dean of Gloucester Cathedral, the Archdeacons of Gloucester and
Cheltenham, and the Bishop of Tewkesbury.
70. Peter Ball’s chaplain was Reverend Stephen Eldridge. When Reverend Eldridge assumed
the role, he was assured he would be all right because Peter Ball had “been told ‘no more
boys’”. However, Reverend Eldridge saw young men with Peter Ball at Bishopscourt, the
official residence. He also witnessed what he considered to be Peter Ball’s inappropriate
behaviour with or towards young men more than once.788
C.5: The events leading to Peter Ball’s arrest
The allegations by Neil Todd
71. For a significant part of his adolescence, Mr Neil Todd had wanted to be part of a
religious community or lead a religious life. In 1991 he wrote to Peter Ball expressing his wish
to join the Little Brothers and Sisters of Christ, an offshoot organisation from the Give a Year
to God scheme. Mr Todd learnt about this scheme from his local parish.
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72. Mr Todd first visited Peter Ball in Sussex in 1991, when he was 17 years old. On his first
night at Peter Ball’s home, Mr Todd was told he must be obedient and give his all to God.
Alone with Peter Ball in his chapel, Mr Todd was told to remove his clothes in order to recite
the ‘Penitential Psalms’. Peter Ball preached to him about the life of St Francis and said they
should emulate him by praying whilst nude. Mr Todd said he was required to take a cold
shower whilst Peter Ball watched. When Mr Todd tried to wear his underwear in the shower
Peter Ball called him “silly” and removed it.789
73. After Peter Ball’s appointment to the Diocese of Gloucester, Mr Todd visited him at
Bishopscourt to begin his postulancy (the start of his route to becoming a monk) in July
1992. He was 18 years old at that time.
74. Mr and Mrs Moss, the housekeeper and chauffeur to the Bishop of Gloucester (both
Peter Ball and Bishop John Yates before him) met Mr Todd and considered him a quiet
and naive young man. He acted, more or less, as a servant in the house and went out
very rarely.790
75. When he was interviewed by police in 1992, Mr Todd said that Peter Ball spoke to him
during that time about the pain of Christ and told him that if he was disobedient he would be
beaten with a stick or whip. Mr Todd was frightened of being beaten but Peter Ball pressed
for a date when this would take place. This was set for 5 September 1992.791
76. Mr and Mrs Moss had noticed, as they had become friendly with Mr Todd, that he
seemed very frightened of Peter Ball. He came to them when they were about to go on
holiday, worried about being left alone with Peter Ball. Mr Todd told them that Peter Ball
wanted to whip or beat him, and showed them one of a large bundle of letters in which Peter
Ball spoke of a final act which would be required to show that Mr Todd had given himself
to God. Reluctant to leave him alone, Mr and Mrs Moss took Mr Todd away with them on
their holiday.792
77. When they all returned from holiday on 21 September 1992, Mr Todd told Peter Ball he
intended to go to Crawley Down, a monastery in Sussex, to continue his training. He told
police that the night before he left, Peter Ball said they should “share their love”. Mr Todd
said that Peter Ball came to his bedroom that night. They embraced naked. Mr Todd said he
felt uncomfortable, embarrassed and ashamed but felt that he had to accede to the request.
Obedience, he had been told by Peter Ball, was a fundamental feature of the monastic life.793
78. Mr and Mrs Moss had become concerned about the behaviour of Peter Ball. Firstly, this
was because of what Mr Todd had told them and because of their concern for him. They had
also noted that numbers of young men came and went from the Bishop’s residence, often
staying over and drinking late into the night. They were worried about what was going on,
and resolved to speak to Bishop Yates about it because, as the previous diocesan bishop,
they knew and trusted him….

 

B.10: George Bell
Career
432. In 1929, George Bell was appointed as the Bishop of Chichester. He held this post for
nearly 30 years, retiring shortly before he died in 1958. During his career, Bishop George
Bell enjoyed an exceptional reputation. He was celebrated for his ecumenical work, for his
patronage of the arts whilst Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, and for his solidarity with the
unemployed during the Great Depression.
433. Bishop Bell is also remembered for his work during the Second World War. He
opposed National Socialism as false teaching and helped Jewish individuals to escape
Germany. In the House of Lords, he repeatedly condemned the bombing of civilian
areas of Germany. But for his known opposition to this, it is possible that he would have
become Archbishop of Canterbury. After the war, he publicly opposed the atomic arms
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race and the expulsion of German minorities from Eastern Europe and Russia. Bishop Bell
was seen as a titanic figure within the Church of England, much revered for his courage
and compassion.
Allegations of abuse
434. In 1995, some 37 years after Bishop Bell’s death, a letter was sent to his successor
as Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp. The author of the letter is known by the pseudonym
‘Carol’.537 Carol alleged that when she was aged between five and eight years, she was
sexually abused by Bishop Bell. The abuse occurred every few months during visits to
the Bishop’s Palace in Chichester. It included digital penetration, forced masturbation
and attempted rape.538 The Inquiry cannot determine the truth or otherwise of these
allegations. We will focus solely on the Church’s response to posthumous allegations of
child sexual abuse.
The Church’s response to ‘Carol’
435. In August 1995, Bishop Kemp responded to Carol’s letter. He expressed sorrow for
her “distressing memories”, offered to suggest the names of counsellors539 and advised her to
contact her parish priest. He wrote to her local priest in the same month, informing him of
the allegations and stating that “nothing has been heard of her since, so we may find the whole
matter dropped entirely”.540 His remark implied that inaction was the preferred response and,
indeed, no further steps were taken by the Diocese or the bishop to explore the allegations.
436. At this time, sexual misconduct was a live and significant issue in the Diocese of
Chichester. Bishop Peter Ball had recently been cautioned after admitting gross indecency
with a young man. As evidenced by the handwritten notes of Bishop Kemp’s chaplain,
however, the Diocese’s primary concern was to prevent Carol from speaking to the media by
way of an injunction.541 Even in 1995, this was not the correct approach to take.
437. Bishop Kemp should have actively explored Carol’s complaint. He should have met
with her personally and alerted the National Church Institutions. The Church’s approach
at that time to non‑current abuse was unclear, but it did possess written guidance on child
protection. At the very least, therefore, Bishop Kemp should have sought advice from the
national Church as to how to manage this process. A serious allegation against a high‑profile
figure warranted attention and consideration at the highest level of the Church.
Further contact with the Diocese
438. In April 2013, Carol reiterated her complaint in an email to Lambeth Palace. This email
was forwarded to Mr Colin Perkins, who arranged for Carol to meet with the Independent
Domestic and Sexual Violence Adviser. Her complaint was also referred to Sussex Police.
Carol subsequently received counselling from a local specialist provider, which was funded
by the Diocese of Chichester.542 Mr Perkins explained the aim was to “provide a supportive
and listening voice for the complainant, and to take the complaint seriously … our response was
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safeguarding driven”.543 Mr Perkins “made key staff in Chichester, Church House and Lambeth
Palace aware of the complaint”.544 He also reviewed a selection of Bishop Bell’s file notes,
during which time he discovered Carol’s original letter to the Diocese.
439. In 2014, Carol issued a civil claim for damages against the Diocese of Chichester. As
George Bell had been a diocesan bishop, insurance cover would not have been provided for
this claim. This meant that the Church had to decide internally how to address the matter.
A core group was convened to respond to the claim, attended by key diocesan and national
personnel. Having received legal advice that the claim was likely to succeed, a financial
settlement was reached and Carol received monetary compensation
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our view, the imposition of a confidentiality provision may not always be appropriate in
the context of a child sexual abuse claim. Mr Bonehill, UK claims director for Ecclesiastical
Insurance Office plc, noted “It is difficult to imagine a situation where it would be considered
ethically proper for an organisation to seek to claw back a damages and costs payment from
an individual who, potentially, has been a victim of abuse”.553 To this end, the Ecclesiastical
Insurance Office sets out in its Guiding Principles that a confidentiality clause will not be
included in a settlement unless specifically requested by the claimant.554
445. The most important factor for the Church was the maintenance of public trust and
confidence. This would include acting with transparency and openness. The imposition of
a confidentiality undertaking could potentially impede the process of reconciliation and
healing.555 As Archbishop Justin Welby concluded, “justice is better served by transparency”
within this context.556
Inadequate regard for good character
446. In his consideration of Bishop Bell’s good character, Lord Carlile said “the high esteem
in which he was held, taken together with the lack of any other allegations, should have been
given considerable weight”.557 Although the character of any accused person may be relevant,
it is not of any more relevance for an individual who is also held in “high esteem”. This is
supported by research in respect of teaching staff which has found that “those who sexually
abuse students are often among the most competent and popular staff”.558
447. People are often reluctant to think ill of individuals who are perceived to be good,
or who have behaved in a morally courageous manner. They refuse to believe that such
individuals could simultaneously be child sexual abusers, even when faced with damning
evidence of their guilt. Lord Carlile’s recommendation runs the risk of exacerbating
this tendency.
448. When allegations are made against a person, the Church has to act with utmost care.
On the one hand, it must guard against the assumed view that someone is not capable of
guilt. As Carol said, “I know George Bell was a man of peace, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t
do those things to me”.559 On the other, it must guard against thinking that simply because
someone is prominent or esteemed, their denials lack weight or substance.
Absence of corroborating evidence
449. Lord Carlile criticised the core group for relying on the evidence of a “single
complainant”.560 However, the majority of victims of child sexual abuse will be unable to
produce any corroborating evidence. As Mr Perkins stated:
“The typical account is a sole complainant who can offer nothing but their own account.
If we are to disbelieve that person, then we are to disbelieve the typical complainant.”561
553 EIO000143_008 554 EIO000132_006 555 ACE026283_004 556 ACE026137_038 557 ANG000152_014 558 Towards safer organisations: Adults who pose a risk to children in the workplace and implications for recruitment and selection,
NSPCC, London (2009) INQ003773 559 Perkins 16 March 2018 26/9‑10 560 ANG000152_032‑33 561 Perkins 16 March 2018 12/11‑15
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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450. Researchers in the ‘John Jay’ report, which was conducted in response to revelations
of clerical abuse in the American Catholic Church, found that 55 percent of allegations
of child sexual abuse against 4,392 clergy between 1950 and 2002 were made by a sole
complainant.562
Flaws in the core group process
451. Lord Carlile considered the core group was “set up in an unmethodical and unplanned
way” with a “confused and unstructured process” and members who “had no coherent notion
of their roles or what was expected of them”.563 Bishop Warner accepted the validity of these
criticisms, although he added “We were in a situation here of breaking new ground … the
formation of a core group was something which we were unfamiliar with”.564
452. In 2014, core groups were not well established in the Church of England’s safeguarding
practices. The House of Bishops published practice guidance in 2017 called Responding to,
Assessing and Managing Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations against Church Officers.
565 This
clearly defined the purpose of a core group as being “to oversee and manage the response to a
safeguarding concern or allegation”.
453. It is not the function of a core group to assess the merits of a civil claim. This is usually
managed by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office, but claims against bishops are not covered
by an insurance policy. Therefore in this case, responding to the civil claim fell to the core
group by default. Clearly, the conflation of a safeguarding process with a legally‑informed
response to a civil claim does not assist either process.566
454. It seems to be acknowledged by all that the process was significantly flawed,
particularly in its failure to establish at the outset who should be responsible for managing
the civil claim. In its response to the Carlile review, the Diocese suggested this should be
a separate “litigation group” which would consider whether the claim was proven on the
balance of probabilities.567 We agree that this would be a sensible course of action.
455. In his report, Lord Carlile also observed that the core group did not include a
representative for Bishop Bell. We agree that the group should always have the benefit of
an advocate for the accused. As Canon Dr Rupert Bursell remarked in his evidence about
the difficulty of managing posthumous allegations, “there is a duty of fairness in relation to the
person who is deceased and is accused … one almost needs a devil’s advocate to act on behalf of
the deceased person”.568 This view was endorsed by Bishop Warner.569
562 ACE026284_010 563 ANG000152_065 564 Warner 14 March 2018 20/7‑9 565 ACE025256_017 566 ACE026284_011‑12 567 ACE026299_002 568 Bursell 13 March 2018 93/15‑19 569 Warner 14 March 2018 21/15‑18
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The Church’s response to posthumous allegations
456. Since his appointment as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Mr Perkins estimated that
15 individuals have made complaints of abuse against seven deceased clergy.570 There is
no published or unpublished guidance for dioceses about the management of posthumous
allegations, nor is there any guidance on how to set about exploring the credibility of
a complaint.
457. Senior clergy are usually told that it is for statutory agencies to investigate an allegation
of abuse. It should not be treated as an internal matter. Bishop John Hind said “the Church
is not supposed to investigate. These are matters for the public authorities to do”.571 However,
this means that on occasions there will be a gap. This is particularly the case in situations
involving deceased persons.
458. On occasion, the police will investigate complaints of child sexual abuse where the
accused is deceased. However, this is typically confined to high-profile cases such as that of
Bishop Bell. The local authority will also usually decline to involve itself, as that person no
longer presents a risk to children and young people.572
459. The case of Bishop Bell is not an isolated one. Given the time lag between the event
and report, this may well continue to be the case. The Church needs to have a coherent and
consistent model to respond to such allegations, which are often controversial. They may
provoke raised emotions both in those defending the deceased, and those who allege they
have been the subject of abuse. Undoubtedly, allegations of abuse in these circumstances
must be fully addressed with the appropriate support being provided to victims. However, as
Canon Dr Bursell QC remarked, “the Church does not seem to handle such situations well”.573
460. In a document produced to the Synod by the National Safeguarding Steering Group
in June 2018,574 the Church itself recognised that there may need to be independent
investigation of complaints against senior clergy. This would include posthumous allegations.
The Church is to undertake a scoping exercise, during which it will consider the appointment
of an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints about safeguarding management.
Both of these issues require serious consideration. They may present a practical solution to
the concerns raised in the Carlile review.
B.11: Culture of the Church
Approaches to sexual orientation and influence on responses to allegations of
sexual abuse
461. A recurring theme of the Carmi review in 2004 was Chichester Cathedral’s failure to
respond appropriately to safeguarding concerns. In her examination of the possible reasons
for this failure, Mrs Edina Carmi considered the complex views held within the Church at
that time in relation to homosexuality. She concluded that “there is a need to address the
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confusion between homosexuality and child abuse that arises partly from the lack of openness
about sexuality within the Church. This is part of a wider national issue that the Church has to
address about sexuality”.
575
462. Dame Moira Gibb also emphasised this in her review of the Peter Ball case
13 years later:
“The Church must promote an open and accepting culture in which everyone, regardless
of their sexuality or their views about homosexuality, is clear about their responsibilities
towards those who might be abused or who might want to raise concerns about abuse.”576
463. Attitudes to sexuality seem to have played a role in the Church’s deficient response
to incidents of child sexual abuse. For example, Mrs Hind recalled being asked by Bishop
Wallace Benn at their first meeting in 1997 to explain her views on homosexuality. She was
“extremely surprised” by this question. She sought to explain that she was “concerned with the
abuse of children and not the sexuality of the abuser”.
577
464. Sexuality is a difficult subject for the Church. The Inquiry heard evidence to this effect
from a number of senior figures including Bishop Martin Warner, who described a culture of
fear amongst clergy insofar as discussions about sex were concerned. He acknowledged this
fear may have prevented those in authority from challenging sexual abusers.578
465. As observed by Canon Peter Atkinson, such unease may also have resulted in the
decision to respond pastorally without seeking help from external sources.579 Lord Rowan
Williams said:
“Where sexuality is not discussed or dealt with openly and honestly, there is always a risk
of displacement of emotions, denial and evasion of emotions, and thus a lack of any way
of dealing effectively with troubling, transgressive feelings and sometimes a dangerous
spiritualising of sexual attraction under the guise of pastoral concern, with inadequate
self‑understanding.”580
466. Being gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual581 was historically regarded as sinful by
the Church of England. Prior to its decriminalisation in 1967, gay clergy were liable to
prosecution and social exclusion.582 As Reverend Dr Rosalind Hunt explained, it is no surprise
that clergy who came of age prior to decriminalisation were often fearful and unable to come
to terms with their sexuality.583
467. Sexuality is an issue which has been debated at great length within the Church over
the last two decades. Archbishop Justin Welby remarked that “it feels as though we have
spent twenty years talking about almost nothing else”.
584 According to Archbishop Welby, the
Anglican Communion has for many years been opposed to the criminalisation of gay men
and women. However, the Church’s view remains that sexual relations should take place only
575 OHY000184_054 576 INQ000560_061 577 WWS000051_011 578 ACE026143_073 579 Atkinson 20 March 2018 149/17‑20 580 ACE026001_007 581 As well as intersex, non‑binary or queer. 582 See for example Queer City by Peter Ackroyd. 583 ANG000335_019 584 Welby 21 March 2018 90/23‑25
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in marriage between a man and a woman. Bishop Benn stated that “God loves all sorts and
conditions of people, whatever their sexual orientation, but the traditional Christian view is that
God’s best for us is sexual relationships within heterosexual marriage”.
585
468. It is no surprise that a culture of secrecy and denial was present amongst clergy who
were LGBTQIA.586 Bishop Warner told us that the late 19th century saw the development
of an Anglo‑Catholic subculture, which offered a safe space for homosexual clergy and
laity alike.587 Mr Colin Perkins helpfully set out the hypothetical example of a gay priest,
keen to follow his calling but reluctant to endure a life of celibacy. In the cultural context of
Anglo‑Catholicism, this resulted in what Mr Perkins described as an “overt conservatism and a
covert liberalism, which will generate a lot of secrecy”.
588
469. However, homosexuals in the Church were not alone in this need for secrecy. It was
shared by a minority of individuals with sinister intentions. We consider there to be merit in
Mr Perkins’ suggestion that gay clergy may have inadvertently found themselves “under the
same cloak” as child sexual abusers, who sought to mask their behaviour by seeking refuge
“in the same cultural hiding place”.
589 Reverend Hunt asserted that “the need to be discreet
about one’s sexuality has enabled those who wish to abuse to do so with some impunity”.
590
Confusion between homosexuality and child sexual abuse
470. It seems that within the Church of England, some people did conflate homosexuality
with a tendency to abuse children. Although plainly wrong, this was a view shared widely in
society until recent times. Bishop Warner recalled the “shocking” comments of the Bishop of
Portsmouth in 1966, who sought permission for Roy Cotton to officiate in Chichester. In an
effort to justify his request, the Bishop of Portsmouth made the irrelevant observation that
Cotton was not homosexual and was engaged to be married.591
471. Archbishop Welby said he was familiar with the “concomitant assumption if someone is
straight and pro women, then they aren’t a risk”. He correctly described such an assumption
as “nonsense”.
592 As Bishop Warner pointed out, child sexual abuse has been committed by
married men as well as unmarried men, and against girls as well as boys. Consequently, an
allegation should never be discounted “on the basis of a pre‑determined view of the alleged
perpetrator being of a particular sexual orientation or marital status and therefore unlikely to
commit this crime”.593
472. This issue was also highlighted by Mrs Hind’s account of her conversation with Robert
Coles on 11 March 1998. He had retired early from ministry after allegations of sexual abuse
were made by a former altar boy. According to Mrs Hind’s record of their interview, Coles
“agreed that he had had sexual activity with a boy of 15/16 … he saw the boy as an equal partner
and didn’t think he had harmed him … Robert was concerned that he was being condemned
585 Benn 12 March 2018 10/6‑10 586 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. 587 ACE026143_072 588 Perkins 15 March 2018 114/8‑9 589 Perkins 15 March 2018 114/16‑19 590 ANG000335_019 591 Warner 14 March 2018 83/9‑24 592 Welby 21 March 2018 86/23‑25 593 ACE026143_074
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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for homosexual behaviour”.
594 In making these remarks, he conflated two discrete issues.
Mrs Hind explained to him that the concerns related not to his homosexuality, but to his
abuse of a child.595
473. In her report, Mrs Carmi found that Terence Banks’ abuse of boys was generally
perceived by those in the Cathedral to be homosexual conduct rather than child abuse. She
referred to Dean John Treadgold’s conversation with a parent at the time of Banks’ arrest,
in which he is alleged to have stated that “the entire subject was made the more difficult by
the House of Lords and Commons voting to bring down the age of consent for homosexual acts
to sixteen”.
596
474. Dean Treadgold apparently failed to appreciate that child abuse, rather than
homosexuality, was the relevant concern in this case. Indeed, Canon Atkinson described
him as “an old‑fashioned parish priest” who experienced “conflictedness over homosexuality and
a tendency to abuse … I think he regarded homosexual men as not safe in relation to other men
or boys”.
597
475. Moreover, one contributor to the Carmi review:
“did not suspect that abuse was occurring at the time, just that the boys’ sexuality was
being converted for the future. This view, stemming from an intolerance of homosexuality,
could not be expressed, but may have made the individual blind to the grooming process
for abuse and any visible inappropriate behaviour”.598
476. The notion of calculated blindness was explored in some detail by Mrs Carmi in her
report. She recounted her interview with an unnamed contributor, who recognised that his
personal disapproval of homosexuality did not sit comfortably with modern societal norms.
This unearthed an internal conflict which he had no desire to confront. He therefore reacted
to the tension by refusing to acknowledge that homosexual activity existed. He avoided
the issue altogether by erecting a mental barrier or, to use the common phrase, by turning a
blind eye.599
477. When presented with the fact that Banks was having sex with boys, this contributor
locked his knowledge away in what Mrs Carmi characterised as the “homosexual box”.
600 By
fusing these two distinct behaviours, he failed to detect the serious abuse taking place.
478. The Carmi review summarised this process as “selective blindness towards behaviour
caused by intolerance of homosexuality, but awareness that this was not acceptable and a
consequent suspension of judgement to the behaviour of those perceived to be homosexuals”.
601
Canon Atkinson objected to this criticism, claiming it was not well‑evidenced. He denied that
the Cathedral community was guilty of selective blindness.
594 WWS000034_007 595 Hind 9 March 2018 108/20‑23 596 OHY000184_042 597 WWS000140_005‑6 598 OHY000184_042 599 Carmi 20 March 2018 29/5‑25 600 Carmi 20 March 2018 30/1 601 OHY000184_042
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479. However, we disagree. Mrs Carmi’s conclusion was a valid one. Clearly, the assumption
that a gay man is likely to abuse a child is not only incorrect but dangerous. It ignores the
reality, which is that sexual abuse can occur in a wide variety of contexts. As Bishop Warner
said, “Any confusion between homosexual orientation and the abuse of children must be clearly
identified, clarified and resisted”.
602
480. This assumption creates a culture of fear and secrecy. Bishop Warner explained that it
can also “deflect attention from other traditions in the belief that they are ‘safe’ when in fact we
need to be uniformly vigilant about the care and protection of people who are vulnerable”.
603 For
these reasons, it is important not to conflate same‑sex orientation and child sexual abuse.
Selective blindness is a problem that can arise in any community, religious or otherwise,
which is intolerant of homosexual acts and does not openly debate such matters.
481. A number of witnesses indicated there has been a striking change in climate over
the last two decades. For instance, Lord Williams noted that “an environment in which,
perhaps, thirty or forty years ago, clergy would have been afraid to talk openly about their
sexuality if it was minority sexuality … that’s largely disappeared”.
604 The topic of clergy
sexuality has been openly debated in Synod. It is also the subject of a proposed teaching
document on sexuality and learning resources about human identity and sexuality. However,
as Lord Williams commented, the Church’s growing discomfort with traditional closeted
attitudes may have contributed to the reluctance of some individuals to deal appropriately
with abuse.605
482. For example, Mrs Hind explained the anti‑homosexual views of Bishop Benn “made
him bend over backwards to be fair, or perhaps even more than fair on occasion, to homosexual
abusers”.606 There is evidence to suggest that an embarrassment about homosexuality can on
occasion be coupled with a desire to avoid taking a publicly severe approach. Lord Williams
summarised this as “a rather paradoxical consequence of the traditional view of homosexuality
within the Church; you want to overcompensate a bit for it”.
607 When AN‑A8 was asked whether
the Church displayed a positive approach to sexuality, he replied “Neither at that time nor at
the present time”.
608
483. A common theme on cultural attitudes emerged from a number of witnesses, that
the Church must focus on encouraging clear, open and transparent conversation regarding
human sexuality.
The dynamics of communities
484. The Carmi review effectively illustrated the difficulties with safeguarding that can be
created when institutions act defensively, by perceiving external influence as interference.
This reflects a deeper cultural issue which, as Mrs Carmi identified, can be remedied by
exercising “openness with others outside the community rather than a defensive barrier against
all external interference”.609 The Terence Banks case exemplifies this tendency.
602 ACE026143_073 603 ACE026143_072‑73 604 Williams 14 March 2018 143/11‑15 605 Williams 14 March 2018 144/3‑12 606 WWS000051_011 607 Williams 14 March 2018 144/14‑16 608 AN‑A8 19 March 2018 29/17 609 OHY000184_041
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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485. In a community, there can be a tendency for members to be predisposed to think
well of each other. Those equipped with a high status are most likely to be regarded as
entirely trustworthy and incapable of committing an act of abuse. This perception requires
deep‑seated cultural change. It must be recognised that the most common barrier to
reporting is a failure to acknowledge that such individuals are capable of criminal behaviour.
486. In her report of the Peter Ball case, Dame Moira Gibb found that this confusion and
denial “promoted the view that a person of Ball’s religious stature was incapable of truly abusive
behaviour, so that the accusations against him must be misguided or malicious”.610 Bishop Warner
expressed a similar view in his evidence to this Inquiry:
“There had been an historic bias within the Diocese in favour of adults in positions of
power and authority. This had led to an unwillingness to take allegations of sexual abuse
made by children or by adults who had been abused as children sufficiently seriously.”611
487. A person’s social or professional status should play no part in determining their guilt or
innocence. As Archbishop Welby observed:
“The fact that someone is a titanic figure doesn’t tell you anything at all, except that
they have done remarkable things in one area … it’s not something that we can take into
account. Because otherwise, what are you saying? Well, you’re just a survivor of abuse, so
you’re just a midget and this is a titan, so it doesn’t matter.”612
488. We agree that victims must be treated as being of equal value to the person who is
accused of perpetrating their abuse.
‘Anti-woman’ culture
489. In a letter to Mr Chris Smith on 25 May 2011, Lady Butler‑Sloss drew the Archbishop’s
attention to an “anti‑woman culture” in the Diocese of Chichester.613 She told us that she
did not investigate this further, as it was outside her terms of reference, but she was made
aware by several clergy and laymen that they considered that such a culture existed.614
490. Lord Williams agreed that misogyny may have impacted negatively upon the
effectiveness of safeguarding. He viewed it as part of a wider mindset in which the authority
of the ordained ministry was thought of as “beyond criticism, and in which a close‑knit male
body of clergy tended to be protective of each other’s dignity and authority. Abusive behaviour is
one extreme symptom of this mind‑set”.615
491. Bishop John Hind said that the opposition to the ordination of women cannot be
equated with an ‘anti‑woman’ culture. However, he stated that he took steps during
his tenure to ensure both genders were treated equally. For example, he proactively
appointed the first two female diocesan secretaries so as to involve women in the senior
leadership of the Diocese.616 Nevertheless, Archdeacon Philip Jones acknowledged the
610 INQ000560_060‑61 611 ACE026143_005 612 Welby 21 March 2018 124/4‑11 613 ACE005501_001 614 ANG000156_005 615 ACE026001_006 616 WWS000138_057
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Diocese was known as one “in which women clergy were not welcome”. He noted this culture
has since changed, citing as an example the appointment of a female Archdeacon of
Horsham in 2014.617