Tag Archives: Church of England Media Centre

March 24 2018 – “George Bell was ‘fond’ of paedophile bishop Peter Ball and sponsored him through ordination” – Christian Today – Harry Farley – March 23


George Bell was ‘fond’ of paedophile bishop Peter Ball and sponsored him through ordination

George Bell was ‘fond’ of paeodophile bishop Peter Ball and sponsored him for ordination, an inquiry has heard.

As former bishop of Chichester, Bell is considered one of Anglicanism’s heroes. However, it emerged in 2015 the Church of England paid £16,800 to the woman, known as Carol, in a legal settlement after she accused Bell of sexually abusing her as a child.

Now it can be revealed Peter Ball, who was jailed for a string of sex offences against teenagers and young men in 2015, was close friends with Bell.

Peter Ball
Bishop Ball sentenced to 32 months in prison but served only 16 months.

Ball was initially rejected in his attempt to become a priest in 1951 but Bell wrote to the selection panel in support of Ball’s application.

When Ball applied for ordination a second time it was Bell who sponsored him through the process.

In his witness statement to an inquiry investigating child sex abuse within the Church of England, Ball denied that Bell had ‘overruled’ the selection board allowing him to be ordained.

However he said that after his ordination Bell would visit his parish to take services, adding he was ‘aware that he was “fond” of me’.

In response to a question about Bell’s involvement in his ordination, Ball told the inquiry: ‘It is not right therefore to say that Bishop Bell “overruled” the selection board in order for me to be ordained.

Bishop George Bell
Courtesy of Jimmy James Bishop George Bell is an iconic figure for the Church of England and was bishop of Chichester from 1929 to 1958.

‘Although Bishop Bell had indicated in 1951 in a letter to the first Selection Board who did not recommend me for ministry that he would be “prepared to accept me for ordination” even though the Selection Board had not recommend me for training at that time, that is not how matters proceeded.’

He went on: ‘After theological college, it was Bishop Bell ultimately who did sponsored [sic] me for ordination, but with the approval of the Selection Board. Bishop Bell then placed me in the parish of Rottingdean where I undertook my first curacy.

‘He would visit my curacy on occasion to carry out confirmations and to take services.

‘We had a good working relationship; I was aware that he was “fond” of me. He was someone who I looked up to when I was a young curate starting out in the Church.’

Bell, who died in 1958, was revered by Anglicans before the abuse allegations against him emerged. However a report earlier this year heavily criticised the Church’s handling of the accusations and found it ‘rushed to judgement’ and failed to give proper consideration to Bell’s rights.

But the archbishop of Canterbury refused to back down and said a ‘significant cloud is left over his name’.

Ball went on to become bishop of Lewes in the diocese of Chichester and then bishop of Gloucester. He was accused of gross indecency against a 16-year-old in 1992 but escaped with a police caution after he received backing from a member of the Royal Family and a number of other establishment figures. He was told to step down from his role as a bishop. However he continued to minister in churches and schools until 2010 before he was eventually arrested.

At the age of 83 he was sentenced to 32 months for misconduct in public office and 15 months for indecent assaults in 2015. He was released after serving 16 months.

The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has been investigation how the diocese of Chichester handled allegations of child sexual abuse as a case study for the wider Church of England.

In his concluding remarks today solicitor David Greenwood said the CofE was more ‘malign’ than the Catholic Church in its response to abuse and accused it of ‘a conscious effort to treat survivors badly’.

The archbishop of Canterbury in his evidence said he had ‘learnt to be ashamed again of the Church’ and warned child sexual abuse would ‘destroy the Church’ if not addressed.

You can read more about the past three weeks of hearings here.

November 16 2017 – Church of England launches new-style Website and News Releases [but no new Statement on Bishop Bell or Carlile Review Release Date]



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  1. Statement from Bishop Paul Butler on George Bell


    NEWS / The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, lead bishop on safeguarding has issued a statement today following various media comments on his recent contribution in the House of Lords regarding Bishop George Bell.

  2. Independent review into handling of George Bell case


    NEWS / An independent review of the processes used in the George Bell case has been announced today in accordance with the House of Bishops guidance on all complex cases.

  3. Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case


    NEWS / Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case.

  4. Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958)


    NEWS / Statement on the Rt. Revd George Bell (1883 -1958).

  5. George, Martyr, Patron of England

    George, Martyr, Patron of England from Common Worship: Festivals by The Church of England.

  6. Bishop of Chichester statement following article in Brighton Argus


    NEWS / The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has issued the following statement following an article published in the Brighton Argus Newspaper.

  7. Bishops and other Pastors

    Bishops and other Pastors from Common Worship: Festivals by The Church of England.

November 2 2017 – Justice for Bishop Bell hindered by further delay in Church Statement

Lord Carlile has already concluded the Church of England’s investigation on Bishop Bell was “flawed and unfair”.
The Church, for reasons only known to itself, has delayed the release of its Statement on Bishop Bell until the end of November – maybe even later.
This is likely to create yet another injustice, entirely of the Church’s own making.
Despite this delay, the Bell Society will continue to focus on two local issues:
1. Restoration of 4 Canon Lane back to George Bell House
2. Re-hanging the Portrait of Bishop Bell in the Dresden Room of George Bell House (at present, the Portrait lies in storage within the Cathedral’s private Library.
~ Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society – Nov 2 2017