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Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby


Archbishop of Canterbury apologises ‘unreservedly’ for CoE’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations

Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) apologises 'unreservedly' for CoE's 'mistakes' in handling Bishop Bell allegations
Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) apologises ‘unreservedly’ for CoE’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations

24 JANUARY 2019 • 2:51PMFollow 

The Archbishop of Canterbury was accused yesterday of persisting with a “malign” attack on Bishop George Bell after he refused to exonerate him following a “copycat” allegation of historic child sex abuse.

An official report published yesterday concluded that a 70-year-old allegation against Bishop Bell was unfounded. It found that the evidence of the complainant – a woman named only as “Alison” – was “unreliable” and “inconsistent”.

Alison had written to the Church of England, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the bishop in 1949 when she was aged nine.

The letter was sent a week after the Church of England was found to have wrongly besmirched Bishop Bell in its handling of a previous complaint brought by a woman known only as “Carol”.

The latest report suggested that Carol’s allegation had “prompted a false recollection in Alison’s mind”.

Yesterday, the Most Rev Justin Welby “apologised unreservedly for the mistakes” in the handling of the complaint made by Carol. But he declined to publicly clear the former Bishop of Chichester of any wrongdoing or retract a statement that he had a “significant cloud … over his name” and that he had been accused of “great wickedness”.

In a private letter, however, sent to Bishop Bell’s closest surviving relative, his niece Barbara Whitley, he wrote: “Once again I offer my sincerest apologies both personally and on behalf of the Church. We did wrong to you and before God.”

Bishop Bell, one of the towering figures of the Church in the 20th century, has been unable to defend himself, having died in 1958. But his supporters urged the Church to restore his reputation after two reports exonerated him.

Ms Whitley, 94, said yesterday: “I would like to see my uncle’s name cleared before I die.”

Desmond Browne QC, a leading barrister who acted for the bishop’s family and who was christened by him in 1949, said: “What is now clear is that the investigations by two experienced lawyers [have established] George Bell’s innocence. But not once [has] the Archbishop of Canterbury offered Bell the presumption of innocence.”

Alison had alleged that Bell, the former bishop of Chichester, had sat her on his lap and “fondled her”.

But the report by Timothy Briden, an ecclesiastical lawyer and vicar general of Canterbury, concluded that in her oral evidence “her attempts to repeat what had been written in the letter displayed, however, a disturbing degree of inconsistency”.

Alison had alleged in the letter the abuse had taken place indoors in front of her mother but in oral testimony thought she had been assaulted outdoors. He concluded that her claim was “unfounded”.

The existence of Alison’s complaint made in December 2017 was made public by the Church of England at a time when it was facing increasing criticism for its handling of the earlier allegation by Carol. Alison’s claim was passed in January 2018 to police, who then dropped the case.

Bishop George Bell pictured at home in 1943
Bishop George Bell pictured at home in 1943 CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE/TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY

Mr Briden also investigated a separate complaint made by an 80-year-old witness – known only as K in the report – that his mother had told him that she had seen Bishop Bell “carrying out a sexual act with a man over his Rolls-Royce” in 1967. 

Bishop Bell died in 1958 and did not have a Rolls-Royce. The report said: “The longer that the statement from K’s mother is analysed, the more implausible it appears.”

Lord Carlile, the QC who carried out the damning inquiry into the handling of Carol’s claim, was scathing of the Church of England’s decision to make public the police inquiry into Alison’s complaint.

Lord Carlile said: “I am astonished that the Church [made] public the further complaint against Bishop Bell and the error has been proved by the conclusion of this latest inquiry.”

Prof Andrew Chandler, Bishop Bell’s biographer and spokesman for the George Bell Group, said “the claim by Alison appeared a copycat of Carol’s complaint”. Carol was paid £15,000 compensation in a legal settlement in October 2015.

In his statement yesterday, Archbishop Welby described Bishop Bell as a “remarkable role model”, adding: “I apologise unreservedly for the mistakes made in the process surrounding the handling of the original allegation against Bishop George Bell.” 

But he went on: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation … and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet.”

The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, also declined yesterday to exonerate his predecessor. But he accepted that a public statement he made signifying Bishop Bell’s guilt and released in 2015 after Carol’s claim was settled was probably now an error. 

“Knowing what we now do [we] would want to re-examine that and I don’t think we would [make that statement].”

Jan 24 2019 – “Archbishop of Canterbury apologises ‘unreservedly’ for Church of England’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations” – Daily Telegraph – Robert Mendick


Archbishop of Canterbury apologises ‘unreservedly’ for CoE’s ‘mistakes’ in handling Bishop Bell allegations

Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured) apologises 'unreservedly' for CoE's 'mistakes' in handling Bishop Bell allegations

The Archbishop of Canterbury was accused yesterday of persisting with a “malign” attack on Bishop George Bell after he refused to exonerate him following a “copycat” allegation of historic child sex abuse.

An official report published yesterday concluded that a 70-year-old allegation against Bishop Bell was unfounded. It found that the evidence of the complainant – a woman named only as “Alison” – was “unreliable” and “inconsistent”.

Alison had written to the Church of England, claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the bishop in 1949 when she was aged nine.

The letter was sent a week after the Church of England was found to have wrongly besmirched Bishop Bell in its handling of a previous complaint brought by a woman known only as “Carol”.

The latest report suggested that Carol’s allegation had “prompted a false recollection in Alison’s mind”.

Yesterday, the Most Rev Justin Welby “apologised unreservedly for the mistakes” in the handling of the complaint made by Carol. But he declined to publicly clear the former Bishop of Chichester of any wrongdoing or retract a statement that he had a “significant cloud … over his name” and that he had been accused of “great wickedness”.

In a private letter, however, sent to Bishop Bell’s closest surviving relative, his niece Barbara Whitley, he wrote: “Once again I offer my sincerest apologies both personally and on behalf of the Church. We did wrong to you and before God.”

Bishop Bell, one of the towering figures of the Church in the 20th century, has been unable to defend himself, having died in 1958. But his supporters urged the Church to restore his reputation after two reports exonerated him.

Ms Whitley, 94, said yesterday: “I would like to see my uncle’s name cleared before I die.”

Desmond Browne QC, a leading barrister who acted for the bishop’s family and who was christened by him in 1949, said: “What is now clear is that the investigations by two experienced lawyers [have established] George Bell’s innocence. But not once [has] the Archbishop of Canterbury offered Bell the presumption of innocence.”

Alison had alleged that Bell, the former bishop of Chichester, had sat her on his lap and “fondled her”.

But the report by Timothy Briden, an ecclesiastical lawyer and vicar general of Canterbury, concluded that in her oral evidence “her attempts to repeat what had been written in the letter displayed, however, a disturbing degree of inconsistency”.

Alison had alleged in the letter the abuse had taken place indoors in front of her mother but in oral testimony thought she had been assaulted outdoors. He concluded that her claim was “unfounded”.

The existence of Alison’s complaint made in December 2017 was made public by the Church of England at a time when it was facing increasing criticism for its handling of the earlier allegation by Carol. Alison’s claim was passed in January 2018 to police, who then dropped the case.


Bishop George Bell

Mr Briden also investigated a separate complaint made by an 80-year-old witness – known only as K in the report – that his mother had told him that she had seen Bishop Bell “carrying out a sexual act with a man over his Rolls-Royce” in 1967. 

Bishop Bell died in 1958 and did not have a Rolls-Royce. The report said: “The longer that the statement from K’s mother is analysed, the more implausible it appears.”

Lord Carlile, the QC who carried out the damning inquiry into the handling of Carol’s claim, was scathing of the Church of England’s decision to make public the police inquiry into Alison’s complaint.

Lord Carlile said: “I am astonished that the Church [made] public the further complaint against Bishop Bell and the error has been proved by the conclusion of this latest inquiry.”

Prof Andrew Chandler, Bishop Bell’s biographer and spokesman for the George Bell Group, said “the claim by Alison appeared a copycat of Carol’s complaint”. Carol was paid £15,000 compensation in a legal settlement in October 2015.

In his statement yesterday, Archbishop Welby described Bishop Bell as a “remarkable role model”, adding: “I apologise unreservedly for the mistakes made in the process surrounding the handling of the original allegation against Bishop George Bell.” 

But he went on: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation … and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet.”

The current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, also declined yesterday to exonerate his predecessor. But he accepted that a public statement he made signifying Bishop Bell’s guilt and released in 2015 after Carol’s claim was settled was probably now an error. 

“Knowing what we now do [we] would want to re-examine that and I don’t think we would [make that statement].”

“The Case for Mistaken Identity” – The Bell Society ‘Mistaken Identity’ Report to be released on or before October 3 2019


An earlier allegation of child abuse [‘Carol’] could not be “swept under the carpet” [Archbishop Justin Welby – January 25 2019]


“The Case for Mistaken Identity” – The Bell Society ‘Mistaken Identity’ Report will be released on or before Oct 3 2019.

Considerable research has already been undertaken which will be included in the 30-page report – for example:

1. The Bell Society – Richard W. Symonds


Identity of abuser in Bishop Bell case questioned


22 JULY 2016

A LOBBY group formed to save the reputation of the late George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, from the accusation of child sex abuse in the 1940s has suggested that the victim, “Carol”, may have wrongly identified her abuser.

The Bell Society met on Monday in St Margaret’s Parish Rooms, Crawley, to “celebrate” the more than 2000 supporters to have signed its petition to investigate claims against the late Bishop Bell further.

Richard Symonds, who created the petition, told a small gathering: “There is little doubt Carol was sexually abused by a man of the cloth in Chichester, but was it Bishop Bell?” His presentation also considered whether the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, newly appointed to safeguarding, “can ensure justice is done”.

The Bell Society is informally connected to the George Bell Group, formed in March by clergy, lawyers, MPs, and historians (News, 24 March 2016). The George Bell Group website openly questions the consistency and validity of Carol’s account of her ordeal (News, 5 February), and states: “It confirmed nothing, neither provided any proof of the allegations.”

But the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, has rebuffed the demands of the group for a re-examination of the evidence. He wrote last week: “It is singularly unattractive to suggest that, because there might be no legal consequences to breaching Carol’s confidence, the Church should simply provide sensitive material to a group of individuals with a keen interest in, but no connection with, the case. The Church has a wider duty to Carol than that.”

The diocese of Chichester settled a claim for sexual abuse, said by Carol to have taken place when she was a young child in the late 1940s and early ’50s (News, 22 October 2015).

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the victims of Peter Ball, who was imprisoned last year for sex offences in the 1980s and ’90s, have called for the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey to be investigated over a possible perversion of the course of justice, The Times reported.

Ball resigned as Bishop of Gloucester in 1993, after being cautioned for gross indecency with a teenage boy, but was later given permission to continue some ministerial duties. Senior church leaders, including Lord Carey, then Archbishop, are accused of failing to pass on to the police six letters from victims, and verbal correspondence, which could have been used as evidence.


2. ‘Mistaken identity?’ – Rebuilding Bridges Conference – Feb 2019

06 Geoffrey Boys: ‘Mistaken identity?’

3. The George Bell Group


Is Carol’s account consistent with the facts?


  1. The Diocese of Chichester claims that the state of the law prevents them from making public details of Carol’s complaint such that the credibility of her story may be judged. (The Support Group believes that view of the law to be mistaken for reasons set out in the analysis by HH Alan Pardoe QC and Desmond Browne QC on this site). It is only the fact that Carol herself chose to describe aspects of her alleged abuse in an interview given to the Brighton Argus published on 3 February 2016 that allows outsiders to judge any part of the truth of her account.
  1. In her account given to the Argus Carol claimed that “under the pretence of reading her a story, [Bishop Bell] would take her to a private room”, where the assaults would take place. In contrast, in an interview broadcast on BBC TV South on 9 February 2016 the allegation was that the Bishop “molested her in the cathedral [emphasis added] as she sat listening to stories”. That account contained little detail, and this analysis will concentrate on the detail contained in the Argus.
  1. The account published in the Argus headlined Carol’s words: “My strongest memory is seeing this figure all in black standing on a stair, waiting.” Her account explained:

“If you go into the Bishop’s kitchen there’s a wooden stair that comes down and he used to wait on there, half way down it.

                        And then he’d go, ‘Oh, Elsie, I’ll take Carol and read her a story.’

He used to take me off down this long corridor and there was a big room at the end and he used to take me in there.

                        There were books all around the room. And then he’d shut the door.

  1. It is clear that the “Bishop’s kitchen” to which Carol was referring is not the domestic kitchen used by the Bishop but the medieval Bishop’s Kitchen on the west side of the Palace complex. The reason this is clear is that the article states that the counselling of Carol (for which the Diocese paid) “included a return to the scene of her abuse, which she hated.” According to the article the counsellor had taken Carol back to the scene two years before. The journalist described Carol as “visibly upset” as she explained:

“The lady who was giving me counselling, actually took me to the Bishop’s kitchen.

The Cathedral had some sort of pottery exhibition on there, and she said ‘we’ll go, and see how you feel’.

                        Well I got in there, and I said ‘Can we leave now ?’. We had to leave.”

  1. The author of the article stated that “Carol’s voice only broke once in the course of a three hour interview, when she recalled how it felt to stand back in that room, at the foot of those stairs.” It might be thought open to question what good was served by the counsellor taking Carol to the alleged scene of the abuse. It confirmed nothing, neither provided any proof of the allegations. It also gave rise to a risk that what she was shown of the lay-out of the Palace may have served to confirm Carol’s self-belief that she had been assaulted there having been led out of the Bishop’s Kitchen.
  1. The two-storey mediaeval Bishop’s Kitchen has been the site of annual pottery exhibitions since 2007: see the photographs on:


  1. The short point relied upon by the Support Group is that the Bishop’s Kitchen does not have a staircase leading out of it. There is no stair case on which Carol from the Bishop’s Kitchen could have seen Bishop Bell standing. In the Support Group’s Review of 17th March 2016 we pointed out that:

“The Bishop’s Kitchen (and for that matter the staircase outside it) was not part of the Bishop’s domestic residence or where he worked. Away from the door to the domestic quarter, it was a quite separate complex, at that time in regular use by the Theological College, its staff and students.”

  1. Canon Adrian Carey (now in his nineties) was a student at the Theological College between August 1947 and August 1948, and he confirms that many of the students’ lectures were held in the Bishop’s Kitchen.
  1. Further recent research by Dr Andrew Chandler, Bishop Bell’s biographer, in the Church Commissioners’ archives at Bermondsey has shown that at the relevant time only 11,000 square feet of the Bishop’s Palace building was occupied and used by the Bishop and his household. The remaining 5,300 square feet (including the Bishop’s Kitchen) was on a 14-year lease to the Theological College. From April 1947, when the students moved in, the two parts of the building were (to use the Church Commissioners’ word) “severed”. A door between the two parts was replaced with an oak partition wall. The other door between them remained so that the students could worship in the chapel. This door was on the ground floor and led straight into the passage where the chaplain’s office was situated so that he could monitor the main door.
  1. Dr Chandler points out there are a number of reasons why Bishop Bell would not have been in the area of the Bishop’s Kitchen:

(i) He was only able to use the Bishop’s Kitchen for particular events by applying to the Theological College Council.

(ii) He had neither need nor reason to be there. The area held by the College was private and obscure from the rest of the Palace. Living and working at the far end of the Palace, Bishop Bell would not have known when Carol was in the Bishop’s Kitchen.

(iii) At that time if the Bishop was regularly in the College part of the premises, he laid himself open to liability for a share of the costs. This is far from fanciful; each side watched the other closely – indeed there was even a wrangle over a meter for the organ in the chapel.

(iv) Finally, the nearest staircase outside the Bishop’s Kitchen led only to students’ rooms, one of them along a long corridor. Following the replacement of the old door with the oak partition, there was no entry into the domestic part of the Palace from this staircase.

  1. In its statement of 22 October 2015 the Diocese stated that none of the “expert independent reports” it had commissioned had found any reason to doubt the veracity of the claim. It is a matter of regret that the Diocese has said so little about its investigation of the alleged abuse that outsiders cannot know whether its experts considered any of the highly relevant matters set out in this analysis.


4. Kaya Burgess – The Times Religious Affairs Correspondent

He [Archbishop Welby] added, however, that an earlier allegation of child abuse could not be “swept under the carpet”.

5. 2001 – The Terence Banks Court case


Mr Katz said that it was one of Banks’s most recent victims, now aged 18, who had triggered the police investigation. “This victim told his girlfriend what had happened to him and then approached police out of concern for other young boys,” Mr Katz said.

“He told police that the abuse had ruined his life and led him to drink heavily and said he was an emotional wreck and the abuse had confused him about everything, including his sexuality.”

“His courageous declaration was the start of this inquiry and it well and truly opened the floodgates.”

Sonia Woodley, QC, for the defence, said that Banks had been abused as a child by a teacher and other adults. She said: “Because of a lack of love from his father [Eric Banks – Ed] he enjoyed the attention from his abusers.”

After the case one of the abused boys, now aged 32, issued a statement of behalf of all Banks’s victims. He said: “It has been noted that Mr Banks received support from the Church since his detainment, but at no time during this difficult period has the clergy offered any support to the victims.


Clergy burnt church files after being accused of covering up abuse, inquiry hears


A senior clergyman burnt church files, an inquiry heard today, after he failed to report the systematic abuse of children by a priest to the police.

John Treadgold, the former dean of Chichester Cathedral, returned to the empty deanery after he retired in 2001, took files from the basement and burnt them in the garden, his former colleague Peter Atkinson said.

Peter Atkinson
IICSA – Peter Atkinson was Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral under John Treadgold and is now Dean of Worcester.

It happened as Terence Banks, the head steward of the cathedral, was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys over a period of 29 years. He was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2001 after an investigation by Sussex police.

However it later emerged through a report conducted by Edina Carmi in 2004 that Treadgold had been told of Banks’ abuse by a victim in 2000 but had not reported it to the police, the child protection adviser or social services.

Of Banks’ 12 victims, all were under 16 years of ago and some were as young as 11. He was eventually convicted in 2001 of 23 charges of indecent assault, five of buggery, one of indecency with a child under 14 years, and  two of attempting to procure acts of gross indecency.

The current dean of Worcester, Peter Atkinson, was chancellor of Chichester Cathedral at the time, and told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse that Treadgold came back to the deanery after he had retired and burnt files that were in the basement.

‘What I remember of the episode is that he returned to the deanery, which was then empty, removed a number of files from the deanery basement and had a fire in the garden,’ Atkinson told the inquiry today.

‘I don’t know what the files were,’ he added.

‘It is a bit odd that he moved away and then came back to do this. It was sufficiently troubling for us to mention this to the police.’

He said the police ‘took it very seriously’ but ‘ultimately no future action was taken’.

He described Treadgold’s dealings with the police as ‘defensive’ and said he blurred homosexuality with paedophilia in his attitude.

‘The conflict over homosexuality and abuse was, like many men of his background and his generation, there was an unease about her whole idea of homosexuality and a sort of presumption that homosexual men where unsafe in relation to other men, particularly younger men or boys.’


Q. Before we move on, we should deal briefly with one other matter touching on Dean Treadgold. Is it right that at the time of his retirement, or thereabouts, there came a time when he burnt a number of files held within the cathedral?
A. Yes. He had retired in the autumn of 2001 and moved a short distance away. What I remember of the episode is that he returned to the deanery, which then was empty, this was long before Dean Frayling arrived, removed a number of files from the deanery basement and had a fire in the garden. I don’t know what the files were. I think there is some indication that they might have been old chapter files, but they may well have been his own. It’s a bit odd that he’d moved away and then came back to do this, and it was sufficiently troubling for us to mention this to the police, which happened.
Q. And the police subsequently investigated it, including interviewing, I understand, Dean Treadgold under caution?
A. They took it very seriously, yes.
Q. But no further action was ultimately taken?
A. Ultimately, no further action was taken.
Q. Did anybody within the cathedral or the chapter think to get him back in, have a word with him and say, “What were you burning and why were you burning it?”, because, in theory, there’s a potential hole in your record keeping now?
A. I don’t remember that happening. I think the person who spoke to the police, as far as I can remember, was Canon John Ford, who by then was the acting dean between the two deans, and I can’t remember that we took further action ourselves, knowing that the police were involved. I think we took the view that that was police business.
Q. Once they’d taken no further action, why not then? Why not then say, “Hang on a minute, somebody who has moved away from the cathedral, who has retired, has come back, potentially taken chapter files and burnt them. We need to find out why and what they have burnt, if for no other reason than to find out where we have now got record gaps, or even take disciplinary action”?
A. I’m not sure what disciplinary action might have been taken against a retired dean. The answer to your question is that I don’t remember that kind of internal investigation happening.
Q. If we can move forward to the Carmi Report…

7. From The Chronology

April 5 2019 – From The Archives [May 2001 – Terence Banks – Head Steward at Chichester Cathedral – jailed for 16 years for sexual abuse of children]

April 5 2019 – From The Archives [May 2001 – “Church Steward Who Groomed Boys For Abuse Is Jailed – Terence Banks – Chichester/Hammersmith” – Article written in 2014]

April 5 2019 – From The Archives [May 3 2001 – “Dean denies cover-up” (page 2) – Chichester Observer – mentioned by Carmi Report 2004 – along with the Saturn Centre Crawley Hospital) – Recommendations only in 2004 – Terence Banks et al not mentioned until 2014]

April 5 2019 – From The Archives [June 2001 – Edi Carmi is asked to review the Chichester case. The CARMI Report is completed in 2004, but only its Recommendations are published. In 2014 – 10 years later – the CARMI Report is published in full]

8. Joanna Bogle – Rebuilding Bridges Conference – Church House Westminster – February 2018


Joanna:That is very helpful and I entirely agree.I would like to pick up the point about it not being a complex case.In one sense it is complex, years have elapsed, but I would like to add to this because this was my initial interest – I am an historian and most of my historical work has been the nineteenth and twentieth century and one of the interesting things is that with any major public figure of the 20th century, there is an enormous amount of, quite fantastic amount of paperwork available, because although a great deal was being done by telephone in the 1940s and 50s, a great deal more was done by letter.

The point I felt when all this story began to emerge was it is extremely easy, no, it is difficult but possible and very interesting to find out when Dr. Bell was in England and when he was in Germany, for example.When he was in Chichester and when he was out doing confirmations in some Sussex village, when he was in Chichester or London, because letters were written and train tickets were bought, and so on.And although a certain amount was done on my telephone this would tend to be annotated.I am speaking as one who has written up complex things about the Second World War but you can find out from a Royal Air Force squadron log which pilot crashed and you can find out from the Bishop’s diary whether he was at the Palace that day or somewhere else, so it is possible to discover what years and dates and even – up to a point – days thingswere happening.It is fiddly work and it is to that extent complex.It is quite satisfying, it is the work of an historian.

It is also very possible to discover about false memories also about good things actually, people surprisingly will be there hauling people out from the rubble of the blitz when in fact they were not, it was a later bombing, not the blitz itself, I am giving silly, not poignant examples I recall.1940 is a more emotive word than 1944, for example and it seems no effort was made at all to contact the Bishop’s papers which would be substantial and interesting and to some extent full of domestic, in the general sense of that word, and relevant material.

And although it is unfair to tax a very elderly person who might be rather confused about dates and times, it is awfully important, it really is.So it seems to me you are right, in one sense it was not a complex case.Above all you have to keep, when writing about it, the facts clear.Something is alleged or it did happen.Bishop Bell did champion the German opposition of Hitler, he did not, for example, no one is alleging he did, for example, go on 20 July 1944 to Germany and help Colonel Stauffenburg plant a bomb.

After the Second World War he spent a great deal of time in Germany building bridges and indeed we owe something of our modern strong relationship with west Germany and so on to his noble work, so it seems to me a lot of work wasn’t done.It was complex in one sense, fiddly perhaps, but in another way rather interesting since we have had a couple of sound bites, one extremely good of Bell, one realised the possibilities that exist.

As I know only too well and perhaps others in the room do too, ploughing your way through detailed archives can be dazzling, you get eye glaze, but if what is at stake is true, it really is important.This is particularly important, in the case of Bell, who was in Bishop’s House at any time with reasonable accuracy.It is not difficult.It is tricky, but not difficult in the sense of translating a very ancient document or, for example, finding out who was in the Bishop’s palace in 1459.

Modern life, it is incidentally for what it is worth, going to be much harder for those who come after us because of wretched emails! It is really annoying.The handwritten letter is helpful, the carbon copy filed and annotated, tickets bought, Bishops despatched to Stuttgart, well, you are right, to that extent it is not a complex case.I am also concerned that people who knew quite a lot about Bell were clearly not consulted and it includes his niece.That seems to me relevant.

[From the floor]: And his chaplain…

Joanna: …and his chaplain.

[From the floor]: Who was effectively the Pretorian Guard and knew every movement.

Joanna:This is what I was saying.As I said, my own experience from writing biographies is that you can place precisely this.And it is tricky, fiddly work but not difficult in the marathon sense, it is actually the stuff of the research you are doing and in its own way very satisfying when you produce something readable and interesting and relevant.I’m particularly interested in the comment that it was not to that extent a complex case.I am concerned about the new allegations for the same reason and your point about openness, how long it will take, seems to me very relevant to ask, and the case you mentioned the same, justice delayed is justice denied, isn’t that another tenet.And I think openness is very important.And I am absolutely unconvinced of any need to refer to Bishop Bell if new allegations to refer to him.I would have thought it important that his name is not mentioned, precisely in order that things can be looked appropriately.It would be better if people said further investigation about some historic cases would allow research to be done without prejudice in the first instance.

9. IICSA Investigation Report – The Anglican Church – Diocese of Chichester – Peter Ball [and Terence Banks and Bishop Bell] – B2



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
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
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 wi
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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
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
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”.
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”.
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
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
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”.
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 Chichester Cathedral and the head
teacher of The Prebendal School. However, both failed to inform police or social services of
either allegation.105
71. Mrs Carmi suggested the efficacy of the school’s response was limited by its deference
to the Cathedral, to which it surrendered responsibility for addressing child protection
concerns. One victim told Mrs Carmi of his feeling that “the two organisations were one and
the same … when he wanted someone with whom to discuss his concerns, there was no one that
he felt was sufficiently independent of Terence Banks”.
72. When Mrs Hind visited The Prebendal School after Banks’ arrest, she was concerned
to find many of its governors were also members of the Cathedral Chapter. She advised the
headmaster that the school’s governing body should include people who were independent
of Chichester Cathedral.107
73. Indeed, one of the criticisms in the Carmi review was that the Dean of Chichester
Cathedral was also the chair of governors of The Prebendal School.108 In addition, there were
two clergy members of the Cathedral who acted as school governors.
74. Mrs Carmi was right to emphasise the school required freedom to respond effectively
to child protection issues, notwithstanding its relationship with the Cathedral. At present,
the Very Reverend Stephen Waine is both the current Dean of Chichester and the Chair of
Governors of The Prebendal School.109
75. When there are any safeguarding concerns which require oversight or intervention by
the governing body, such oversight must be independent and be seen to be independent.
For example, the Dean as Chair of Governors should not investigate safeguarding concerns
raised by the school regarding the Cathedral, clergy and staff as this lacks independence.
Publication of the Carmi review
76. Mrs Carmi delivered her completed report to Bishop Hind in January 2004. She recalled
she was “put under a certain amount of pressure by the Dean and Chapter to modify some of the
104 OHY000184_046 105 OHY000184_032 106 OHY000184_046 107 WWS000051_007 108 OHY000184_054 109 ANG000136_001 110 WWS000138_032
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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
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’
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
122. In contrast, the Cathedral’s policy provided merely for the reporting of “allegations”.
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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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
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
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
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
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”.
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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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”.
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
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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
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”.
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
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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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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
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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 the
narrative was correct.289
220. Five months later, Bishop Benn submitted written comments on the draft report. He
denied that Cotton had disclosed his conviction and claimed he had only made reference
to an “allegation”.
290 Mr Meekings accepted his objection and amended the chronology
accordingly. The final version of the Cotton and Pritchard report was submitted to Bishop
Hind on 17 December 2009.291
221. It is notable that, in 2008, Bishop Benn and Mrs Hosgood met with Mr Johnson to
discuss his experiences of abuse. Mr Johnson covertly recorded their conversation, in which
Bishop Benn admitted to his knowledge of Cotton’s conviction in 1998.292 In his evidence
to the Inquiry, Bishop Benn stated that he had used the word ‘conviction’ in error. He
reiterated that Cotton had spoken only of an “allegation” and that he had been unaware of
the conviction until the formal disclosure was made in 2001.293
283 ANG000210_005 284 ANG000167 285 ANG000138 286 ANG000146 287 ANG000210_014 288 ANG000210_013-14 289 ANG000210_015 290 ACE023515_002 291 ACE022267_58-95 292 ACE023718_003 293 WPB000047_040
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
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”.
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
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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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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
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”.
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”.
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”.
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
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
337 Senior diocesan personnel had featured heavily in the CAAG’s processes and
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

10. “IICSA on Chichester – Some comments” – Stephen Parsons – ‘Surviving Church’

IICSA on Chichester – some comments

The IICSA report on Chichester Diocese and the case of Bishop Peter Ball finally appeared today (Thursday).  file:///C:/Users/Owner/Desktop/inquiry-publishes-report-diocese-chichester-and-peter-ball.htm The rehearsal of events in and around the diocese was a damning and sad indictment of a dysfunctional culture in both the Cathedral and in the upper echelons of the Diocese and the national Church….

Two words…struck me fairly early on in reading the document.  They sum up many of the issues around the use and abuse of power that operates in the church.  It is the problem of a church and its difficulties with managing power that is at the heart…

In the introduction the report spoke of ‘clericalism’ and ‘tribalism’.  Both words speak to us of ways of avoiding fear and vulnerability.  Clericalism operates as a system to benefit one particular group; it will always seek to protect the clergy and promote their interests as much as it can.  It operates like a masonic network and it will naturally always privilege the special rights of the clergy over the laity.  In some settings, clergy will use a coded language to shut others out from their ‘in’ conversations.  The use of these techniques to cement the clerical caste together, is no doubt to make the clergy feel secure.  To be important as part of this group, is to rise more easily above anxiety.

The tribalism that the report referred to is a variant of the clericalism.  The ‘tribes’ that were identified in the Chichester diocese context were to do with churchmanship interests.  Fellow clergy were seen not as colleagues, but as members of a friendly tribe or a hostile one.  The other side, the ‘them’, might be either lay people or members of a type of churchmanship disapproved of by your group.  The Chichester Diocese for a long period has attracted to itself clergy practising a fairly thorough-going version of Anglo-Catholicism.  This has its own set of cultural and theological idiosyncrasies.  Ranged against this Anglo-Catholic group are a considerable number of members of the other Anglican grouping, those identifying with the conservative group REFORM.  The close juxtaposition of these two versions of Anglicanism, made sometimes for a fractious diocesan culture.  It was all too easy for an incumbent with a loyalty to one or other of these groups to put that loyalty above the needs of a survivor.  A victim of abuse might well not find a sympathetic pastoral response if he/she named a perpetrator who was part of the same tribe to which the would-be helper owed allegiance.   In some cases, such rejection by a priest could lead to the abused individual taking his or her life.

The description of this culture of clericalism and tribalism in the Chichester Diocese is chilling to read about.  No doubt there are tonight many individual consciences that are being stirred to consider whether they could have done anything more to make a difference. An episode recorded in the report describes the atmosphere at one stage in part of the Cathedral congregation.  This also appears to have been fed by similar tribal elitist assumptions.  During the 90s, and early years of this century, there was some confusion about the precise boundaries in safeguarding responsibilities at the Cathedral.  One notorious abuser [Terence Banks – Ed], who acted as a steward in the Cathedral, succeeded in avoiding challenge or confrontation over decades.  This was, in part, due to a failure of communication between Diocese and Cathedral.  No doubt, the similar dynamics of tribalism and rivalry between the two were playing their part in this situation of poor communication.  The Diocesan Safeguarding Officer was denied easy access to Cathedral records and other information.  When she finally spoke to parents of boys who had been abused, these same parents found themselves shunned and ostracised by members of the cathedral congregation.  In a comment the report notes that some of the shunners were those who associated socially with the senior clergy at the Cathedral.  Again, we appear to be observing a pattern endemic in the story of church abuse.  The victims often become the enemy because they are upsetting the status quo.  The forces of clericalism and tribalism seem to rally round to support a perpetrator rather than the victims.  It is hard to see how this collusion to defend a guilty party (including Peter Ball) can be broken unless the responsibility for investigation is taken right out of the hands of people thinking tribally.

There are many other points in the report that I am not of course able to cover in a thousand words.  But the criticisms, whether of Archbishop Carey, the central Church authorities or the various officers in the Diocese of Chichester, all seem to come back to the fundamental issue of self-protection and fear.  For Archbishop Carey, there seems, as I have suggested before, to have been a large dose of naivety spiced with a strong instinct to protect and preserve ‘his’ Church.  The same mistakes which allowed so many offenders to roam the Diocese of Chichester unchallenged for so long, hang on this desire to protect the institution and especially those who served it as clergy.  As I suggested in my previous blog, the instinct to do anything and everything to protect an institution will be particularly strong when the same organisation is the one that which gives you self-esteem and identity.  This ‘institutional narcissism’, as we described it, will be especially strong among the top officials of an organisation.  From America we have been hearing a lot about ‘no collusion and no obstruction’ on the part of the White House when faced with the facts of the interference by the Russian state in the American elections.  Any admitting of Russian interference in the elections would have the effect of undermining the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, quite apart from uncovering criminal behaviour on his part. In the narrative of the IICSA account we catch glimpses of another organisation – the Church- that is overwhelmed with fear rather than confidence.  This observation could be made about the entire Church of England at present rather than just the Diocese of Chichester.  The narrative of secrecy, cover-ups, failures of communication is a language of fear and even the collapse of confidence.  Once again, we beg the Church to come out of such behaving as though it is scared of the truth.  We implore it to face openly the traumas of the past and work with men and women of goodwill to build a new future of honesty, truth and openness.


  1. There was extensive coverage of this Report on national BBC news last night (9 May 19) including interviews and analysis.

    Fear takes the path of least resistance. Omertà has been the path taken for the most.

    But the strategy of silence and cover up will be changing as news of all this begins to seep into the mainstream.

    Human decisions are seldom based on objective facts. We trust people we believe in. We follow their lead, often blindly, until we don’t. That turning point comes when we are brutally let down by their behaviour coming to light.

    We turn against people we once trusted and we turn right against them. And we do it en masse.

    Looking back at a skilled and charming manipulator like Peter Ball, with friends in high places, the turning against them can be delayed by decades. But when it comes, it comes. No one looking for a career in high society, be it clerical or otherwise, would be standing within a thousand miles of PB now.

    I thank God that I’m not a person of influence in a high place. Because they’re just like us, but their mistakes and naivety are magnified a hundred times and exposed repeatedly and mercilessly to the public gaze. Like now.

    Silence is now ineffective. The appalling facts are weekly being exposed on national TV.

    If fear is the driver, any Diocese NOT disclosing and dealing effectively and honestly with its abuse skeletons is now in for serious public exposure. Leaders will be anxious to ensure they are the first to get their houses in order, not the last.

    The turning point is like a tide. It’s unstoppable.

  2. The ‘tribalism’ in Chichester diocese rings true. The only person I knew who did not fall under Peter Ball’s spell when he was Bishop of Lewes, was my vicar Gordon Rideout. Ball was very high Anglo Catholic; Rideout was Church Society (Calvinist conservative evangelical, this was before Reform was founded). He once said to me of Ball, ‘In my experience people who really pray talk about it less.’ Which was quite an astute comment, but deeply ironic considering Rideout’s later conviction of historical child abuse

    I think you had to have known Ball in those days to grasp how powerful was the spell he cast over people (except Rideout). He had the whole area in thrall – it was a bit like the spell cast by the Kennedys in the 1950s and 1960s, when people likened the White House to Camelot.

    Nowadays we are much more cynical, and that’s probably a good thing. But I was thoroughly taken in by Rideout, as I have been by a handful of other really expert con artists. I have some sympathy with those who were deceived – though none for those who, undeceived, still refuse to do the right thing.

    In a way you were fortunate to hear Ball say something unpleasant at an early stage, since it made you distrust him. I never heard him say anything untoward, or saw him do anything out of order. I did hear him speak to an ecumenical evangelical renewal group – and hold the room in the palm of his hand. I have always thought the monk in ‘Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass’ was Ball.

    I never really trusted Ball, but only because in those days I didn’t trust anyone who was Catholic or high church. But I fell hook, line and sinker for Gordon Rideout’s holy man act, because he was eminently ‘sound’. I read the IICSA report on Rideout today, and it made me feel sick.

  3. Chichester still is tribal and secret. Our parish priest is part of a ‘religious’ society which, those of us who know how to read the meaning of SSC, indicates that he is part of a network which does not allow women priests near the altar of his church, MY parish church, whose congregation has never been given the opportunity to declare their objection to his exclusive attitude. I have chorused this in various places, even to the new bishop, when he was new. Nothing has changed in the jobs for the boys set-up, and now the Archdeacon is also a member, so no complaints will get further than his ear.
    The Safeguarding Team are the parish priest and the churchwarden. This says it all, even though outside telephone numbers and contacts are given for those who might need them.

  4. The General Synod has decided, rightly or wrongly, that we are to live with those whose attitudes are less than inclusive. That is a good thing if it means a tolerance to those who have not travelled far enough along the road to realise that the earth is not flat. It becomes problematic when we find ourselves willingly or unwillingly party to the creation of a walled garden, ie a world created and defended by those who want to impose restrictions on others. That phenomenon can manifest itself in a church which pursues a particular narrow line, be it narrowly biblical or narrowly ritualistic or something else insidious. In those circumstances I consider it my calling to take every opportunity to remind those within the garden gently that there is a world outside. I have twice recently written at length to clergymen who have, in my view, either misbehaved or said something stupid from a privileged position. I do not look for agreement only to know that I have thereby rattled the cage. One must not let oneself be bullied, and one must look out for others who may be! I realise, though, that not everyone in a position of vulnerability in such circumstances is able to defend him or herself. That to me is the big challenge we have.

  5. Thank you Rosina. As I had not written my piece before writing my reaction, I had not appreciated that there is less about churchmanship in the report than in the actual hearings which I followed fairly closely. Thus I inserted stuff into my comments which was not really drawn directly out of the report. Having admitted to that, there were revealed in the report a variety of underlying theological tensions, the role of the priest, the access to forgiveness and a dislike of women that reflect theological perspectives of a fairly marked kind. Your stuff about jobs for the boys and the unhealthy prolonged ‘reign’ of Bishop Kemp cannot have created a healthy set-up or atmosphere in the diocese. The theological issues in the diocese will have to be explored another day, but only indirect evidence of the problems is found in this report.

  6. I do hope the currently higher profile bears fruit. My problems have mostly been caused by different things. Indifference, prejudice against women, mistaken loyalty to one in your tribe. But also, a huge lack of training as to how to deal with those who may have been abused. Even recently, where I am treated warmly, as a colleague and one of the team, I have not been offered tea and sympathy, I have had to ask, I have been hived off to see a counsellor, I have been shouted at with the stabby finger by the highly placed man who should have been able to support me. Most clergy, in my experience at least, simply don’t know how to react. More training please, many of these things are counter intuitive.

  7. I would endorse all of the comments made. I read the full report (and all the evidence as it came out). There are a few painful solecisms, that might easily have been removed under the eye of a trained editor. In addition, I found it somewhat meandering.

    Whilst I have no formal connection with the diocese, I attended services in every parish between 2009 and 2013 – in other words at the fag end of the Hind era. I think it would be fair to say that morale was then below rock bottom, especially in the Lewes area, and that several people who had come to Sussex from elsewhere remarked to me that they were astonished by what they had found. Attendance in the east of East Sussex was as bad as anything I have seen in East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, north Bedfordshire or the Brecklands.

    Mention has been made of the toxic tribalism. I think this was also attributable to two structural factors:

    1. There was still a high proportion of two or three parish benefices in rural areas. This contrasted strongly with other south-eastern dioceses, such as Canterbury, Chelmsford and Winchester, where rural benefices were starting to have ten or more parishes for obvious economic reasons (and Chichester was then in some financial distress). The effect of creating such monster benefices is to dilute the influence of the stipendiary minister. The priest/minister perforce has a greater degree of influence where s/he is in a more intimate relationship with his/her flock. Of course, there are significant problems with large benefices, but it has struck me that ‘clericalism’ is less of a problem in dioceses that have followed that course.

    2. Ancient landscape patterns in Sussex have ensured that settlements and lines of communication have evolved on a north-south axis. Absent the A27 there are scarcely any roads running from east-west, and during the Kemp/Hind years little of the A27 was a dual carriageway and travel was very slow. The diocesan bishop is based at one extreme of the county (as is, of course, the case elsewhere) with the diocesan offices at Hove. To some extent Kemp’s 1984 area scheme made sense because of the travel issues, but the formation of cabals and coteries was probably facilitated by geography as much as culture. Scarcely anyone knew of Hind east of Eastbourne; Warner is the first diocesan since Wilson to make the effort to know the whole of his jurisdiction.

    Benn comes out of this affair very badly, but what struck me was that Kemp was, for all his learning, a truly awful diocesan: he was only really fit for one of the ecclesiastical history chairs. I was once rebuked on TA for stating this (on the dubious grounds that my comment might offend his widow, Kenneth Kirk’s daughter, now also deceased). Kemp should be taught in seminaries as a textbook example of how not to do things.

    Also, most of the abuse took place in the Lewes area: one of the omissions was whether Ball knew of the abuse occurring under his charge, and what he…

11. May 11 2019 – Peter Ball – Wiki

Bishop of Lewes

Ball was suffragan Bishop of Lewes from 1977 to 1992.[5] [Terence Banks convicted in 1991]

Official inquiries into prolonged failure to prevent child abuse in the Diocese of Chichester, of which Lewes is part, brought up allegations against Ball, of which he was later convicted.[4]

Bishop of Gloucester, police caution and resignation

After having been translated to the see of Gloucester in 1992, Ball resigned from his position as Bishop of Gloucester in 1993 after admitting to an act of gross indecency with a 19-year-old man and accepting a formal police caution for it.[6] In 1993, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers said that “sufficient admissible, substantial and reliable evidence” existed that Ball had committed indecent assault and gross indecency.[4] At the time, the Director of Public ProsecutionsBarbara Mills, decided not to prosecute Ball[7] though the CPS believes today that prosecution in 1993 would have been in the public interest.[8]

At Ball’s trial in 2015 it was stated that a member of the royal family, a lord chief justice, JPs, cabinet ministers and public school headmasters—”many dozens” of people—had campaigned to support him in 1993. There were a further 2,000 letters of support. The Reverend Graham Sawyer, an abuse victim, wants a full investigation and blames corrupt elements in the British establishment. Sawyer believes that the establishment is still too strong and its links with the church should be investigated.[5] Phil Johnson, who claims Ball abused him when he was 13 years old, said it looked like a deal was done between the Church of England, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the CPS, and said, “I think there was great effort made to avoid bad publicity and to avoid the embarrassment of trying a bishop in public.” David Greenwood, a solicitor acting for some victims, said that “With more power comes the ability to work in a culture where you feel that you can get away with it. It seems Peter Ball has been able to do that.”[8][9] Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the NSS, believes this was an orchestrated campaign. Wood wants to find out who was behind the alleged campaign and also wants to see copies of relevant letters examined and a comprehensive list obtained of callers and writers, particularly of high profile and influential campaigners. There has been a call for the Goddard Inquiry to look into why Ball was not prosecuted in 1993.[10][11]

12.  May 7 2019 – “Der Falsche Mann” [“The Wrong Man”] – with Henry Fonda – 1956 Film by Alfred Hitchcock


13. Rev Nick Flint

“Also it may be worth noting that a closer examination of the evidence has highlighted an individual who might have been the actual perpetrator of the abuse and that the identification of Bell by the victim was a genuine mistake”


14. Bishop Martin Warner – Archbishop Justin Welby – Bishop Paul Butler

1. Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

 “In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective, and undertaken by people who command the respect of all parties” – Oct 22 2015
“The legitimate quest for certainty has been defeated by the nature of the case and the passage of time. Bishop Bell cannot be proven guilty, nor can it be safely claimed that the original complainant has been discredited. There is an uncertainty which cannot be resolved. We ask those who hold opposing views on this matter to recognize the strength of each other’s commitment to justice and compassion” (Jan 24 2019 – Chichester Cathedral website)
2. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
“The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has already questioned the Church of England over its response to the Bishop Bell case and the review by Lord Carlile. We expect that their report on our hearings will address further the complex issues that have been raised and will result in a more informed, confident, just and sensitive handling of allegations of abuse by the church in the future. We have apologised, and will continue to do so, for our poor response to those brave enough to come forward, while acknowledging that this will not take away the effects of the abuse. This very difficult issue therefore leaves the church with an impossible dilemma which I hope people with different perspectives on it will try to understand”
The Archbishop of Canterbury apologised yesterday for “mistakes” in the handling of allegations against the late George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 to 1958, after five claims of abuse were ruled to be unfounded. He added, however, that an earlier allegation of child abuse could not be “swept under the carpet”. (Jan 25 2019 – The Times)
3. Bishop of Durham Paul Butler 
“I refer to what I said earlier: this is not to denigrate in any way the amazing work done by Bishop George Bell. He was an astounding man and leader of the church. But we also have to recognise that it is possible for great people to make mistakes. In fact, if noble Lords read very carefully the statements that have been put out, they will see that there has been no declaration that we are convinced that this took place. It is about the balance of probabilities and what might have happened…”

Jan 29 2019 – “Bishop Bell – Complete justice denied after second inquiry” – Lord Lexden OBE


Lord Lexden


Bishop Bell – Complete justice denied after second inquiry

For three years Alistair Lexden has been part of a campaign to establish the truth about allegations of child sex abuse made, long after his  death over sixty years ago, against the great Anglican Bishop, George Bell.

He spoke at length about the Church of England’s deeply unsatisfactory handling of the allegations in a Lords debate on 20 December (see below). The Church was gravely at fault in paying compensation of some £15,000 in 2015 to a complainant on the basis of her uncorroborated  testimony after a deeply flawed internal inquiry, on which Lord Carlile of Berriew QC produced a damning  report, published in December 2017.

A second inquiry by a senior ecclesiastical lawyer, Timothy Briden, was established at the beginning of 2018, after a further allegation had been made. His report, which was published on 24 January, stated that this allegation, and one other which also surfaced in 2018, were “ unfounded”. Here justice has been done.

The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed the Briden report and praised Bishop Bell as “ a remarkable role model”. He also “ apologised unreservedly for the mistakes” made during the investigation of the first allegation, but he nevertheless stood by the decision to accept the wholly uncorroborated complaint despite the damning Carlile report—as a result of which Bishop Bell’s towering reputation has been traduced.

The overall interests of justice required the Archbishop to admit that the first allegation was not proved and Bishop Bell is therefore innocent. He refuses to do this. Desmond Browne QC, a former Chairman of the Bar Council, has  followed everything that has happened since 2015. He said on 24 January: “ What is now clear is that the investigations by two experienced lawyers have established George  Bell’s innocence. But not once has the Archbishop of Canterbury offered Bell the presumption of innocence.” Justin Welby has failed in his clear duty.