Tag Archives: Diocese of Chichester

June 30 2019 – “Bishop of Burnley calls for Mandatory Reporting” – BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

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Bishop of Burnley calls for Mandatory Reporting

Bishop of Burnley calls for Mandatory Reporting

Thinking Anglicans

See our earlier article Senior Blackburn clergy reflect on IICSA reports on Chichester Diocese and Peter Ball.

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme carried an interview by Donna Birrell with the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North (starts at 32 minutes, 45 seconds).

BBC Radio Cornwall has a longer version of this interview, listen over here.

A transcript of this (longer) interview is copied below the fold.

Transcript of full interview with Bishop of Burnley, Philip North. (Shorter interview broadcast on BBC Radio 4, longer version on BBC Radio Cornwall.)
Jesus puts a child in front of the disciples as a model of discipleship, Jesus cared for children, put them at the centre of His community….and yet ….. as a church we’ve been complicit in appalling acts of abuse and of cover-up of children and I think we need a spirit of repentance now and to change the language and think through the structural changes this might entail.
DB : It’s very interesting you say that because you also make the point that this is about the whole Church and it’s about today…..
I do not doubt that things are infinitely better than they were 10/20 years ago in terms of training of clergy and parishes and safeguarding policies and procedures and good structures and systems in place, BUT to try and think that everything is historical and there are no longer vulnerabilities is just the kind of complacency which allows manipulative people to abuse children. We MUST look very honestly at the Church today a see what further steps we need to take and I think there’s a whole series of structural changes that we still need to consider, which is what we’re pointing to in this letter.
DB : Well you certainly have, in fact, in the letter, and I quote the letter, you say ” Does a de-centralised structure with independent parishes, diocese and cathedrals, create gaps that manipulative people can hide in? So therefore, Bishop Philip, would you be in favour of an independent safeguarding structure and mandatory reporting?
I think in terms of an independent safeguarding structure, that is where we need to have a very serious debate and personally, I would, because separate structures in each diocese don’t allow checks and balances that are needed and it means that safeguarding teams can always be prey to budgeting cuts. There is no evidence of that, but it is going to be a temptation in straightened financial times. It seems to me that an independent national safeguarding team with locally deployed safeguarding officers working in dioceses but answerable to the national team, is going to provide the kind of checks and balances that we need.
I think in some churches there is excellent practice, in others, safeguarding is still a matter of ticking boxes and we need to be very clear that every single local church is absolutely safe for children and families. And I think also we need to look at the way we engage our clergy, so does common tenure allow the level of accountability that is required now?
Is the Clergy Discipline Measure efficient and speedy and fit for purpose? These are big areas that we need to look at.
Evasive talk of culture change just won’t do, because culture is determined by appointments and by structures and by decisions and that is what we’ve got to look at.
DB : Well indeed, in fact the letter refers to “vague and evasive talk of culture change.” So you’re also suggesting that there is an inappropriate culture of deference to clergy, especially senior clergy, which has resulted in “cover-up” and I’m quoting your letter again, and the voices of the vulnerable being silenced?
That’s a significant concern. I think clergy are often unaware of the power they hold, but actually especially senior clergy, occupy extremely influential powerful positions. Abuse is all about the abuse of power and I think we need to be very aware of the power we hold. And I think we need to be much more serious about the checks and balances on power – an unhealthy clericalism, an unhealthy deference to clergy, especially in senior positions, undermines that.
DB : Very interesting. that you as a diocese have chosen to write this letter, it’s been signed and put together by all the senior clergy  within the diocese…and a few weeks back, other Bishops, including the Bishop of Bristol, Vivienne Faull, also came out and was scathing in response to the Independent Inquiry report into the Diocese of Chichester and in her words, she said that that culture of tribalism and clericalism still exists today. So it’s quite something that senior figures such as yourself are beginning now to speak out against the culture within the Church, but do you think you will be listened to?
Yes, I think we are. What I’d love to see is that people are beginning to see survivors not as a nuisance that needs to be managed, but people speaking with a prophetic voice to the Church. And I think they need to listen to the voices of survivors and hear very clearly what they’re saying to us. It’s absolutely essential. It’s one thing I’ve learned in 25 years of priestly ministry, it’s the voices that are most worth hearing are the ones that are the most difficult and the most grating. Those important voices, I think if we can hear those who have been abused multipley, because survivors have been abused by a priest or a church leader initially, but then the slowness of the church response, a culture of cover-up, all these things re-abuse and re-abuse and those are the people that I think we now need to hold in the centre of the Church, just as Jesus held that child at the centre of His community.
DB : Why do you think its taken so long to reach this point then, when senior figures such as yourself will actually speak out about it?
I think we’ve been ashamed of our past, I think we’ve blamed and scapegoated perpetrators, rather than thinking about our own structures and about our own culpability and responsibility. I think this is an issue the Church of England has not wanted to face up to and it’s high time we did.
DB : Right, well Bishop Philip, let’s go back to the culture and the structure of the Church, because survivors do indeed say that the process of bringing a case against the Church for sexual abuse is so damaging that it is almost a type of re-abuse. They talk about the process of going through the insurers, of going through the forensic psychiatric reporting which many survivors, I’ve spoken to, have said it is so damaging that effectively it has caused mental health problems, in some cases, it has also caused them to consider taking their own lives, how can the Church try to look again at the way it deals with survivors and their claims?|
I am embarrassed by some of the stories that I’ve heard from survivors – people being told they have a pre-disposition to mental health problems, people being told that the priest who abused them was not acting in his capacity as a priest at that time. People being told they are simply chasing the money – all of this is re-abusive. And I’m embarrassed to be honest, to be part of a Church which has said those things to people. And I think one thing that IICSA, I hope, will look at clearly is the relationship between the Church and its professional advisers – its lawyers and its insurers- to ensure that what comes first is the pastoral response, so survivors are treated properly as victims, so that their voices are heard and they have much easier access to the compensation that is their due.
DB : But there’s a lot of money involved isn’t there? the whole structure and the whole insurance culture s worth millions and millions of pounds. Do you really think that in reality, the Church will go some way to reforming this system?
Compensation needs to be moderated to the level of what happened to somebody, but if church leaders have been responsible for ruining someone’s life, then there needs to be financial compensation and that needs to be generous and appropriate and if that has financial implications for us as a Church, then that’s something we have to swallow, I’m afraid.
DB : And will you be asking the Church as well and in the light of IICSA indeed, to perhaps look again at the way it responds to survivors, particularly with regard to the insurers?
What I’ve read from some survivors is alarming and I do hope that those in those positions will look seriously at those relationships.
DB : OK and we touched upon a little earlier the Clergy Discipline Measure. You suggest that it needs reforming, what would you like to see done to that?
I think it needs to be sped up hugely and I think we need to be much more aware of voices of survivors who are involved in often very long processes. From the point of view of a Bishop, it’s a very, very difficult process to implement, it’s very slow and it’s particularly difficult where there is ambiguity, where the level of evidence is uncertain, where you’re sure in your heart that things aren’t quite right.
DB : And as you mentioned, the Independent Inquiry is about to hear another two weeks of evidence into the way the Anglican Church handles allegations of child sexual abuse. How hopeful are you that its findings and recommendations will lead to a safer Church?
I’m sure there will be critical engagement with whatever they find, I’m sure there’ll be proper debate, but I think the mood is changing. I think in the Blackburn Diocese, it’s interesting that it was not difficult to get the six senior clergy to sign up to a letter which said some quite far-reaching things and I’m hearing other Bishops and other senior leaders speak similarly, so I think the culture is changing . I think we’ll be very receptive to what IICSA has to say.
DB : How much notice will the powers that be..for example, Church House and Lambeth Palace, how much notice do they take of something like this do you think?
I think they listen very, very seriously and we look to see what happens. It would be good to see perhaps other dioceses writing similarly and responding similarly to keep the debate going, but the response we’ve had so far, has been a positive

June 4 2019 – Revd Nick Flint – Rector of Rusper

Witness Name:  The Reverend Nick Flint

Statement No.:  1

Exhibits:   ​​

Dated:​​   24 May 2018​​

INDEPENDENT INQUIRY CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

___________________________________________________________________

Witness Statement of The Reverend Nick Flint

___________________________________________________________________

I, Nicholas Angus Flint, will say as follows:-

1. I make this statement in connection with the Inquiry’s Anglican Church investigation and in particular the Peter Ball case study.

 

Background

2. I am currently the Rector of Rusper, which is a village in West Sussex. I have been in this role for 21 years.

3. I attended Chichester Theological College from 1984-1987. Then, from 1987-1991, I was in training in Aldwick, in Sussex. In the early 1990s, I was the Bishop of London’s assistant chaplain for homeless people. Immediately prior to my current role as Rector, I held a position as Team Vicar of Bewbush, in Crawley, for 5 years. I have been ordained for 31 years.

Statement given to Brian Tyler

4. I have been shown a copy of the statement that I gave to Brian Tyler, dated 29 December 1992, which is referred to as CPS000796. Brian Tyler was a retired police officer conducting an investigation relating to Peter Ball. I confirm that the statement is a true and accurate record of what I said to Brian Tyler at that time and in that particular context. However re reading it in May 2018 for the first time in more than 25 years it strikes me that my comments are a response to a series of closed questions and that overall the document reflects at best a lack of understanding and experience of homosexuality, at worst a borderline homophobia, from which I would now distance myself and wholly and utterly refute. Historically, homosexuality has had to be closeted in secrecy and that very secrecy has been a cloak for unacceptable behaviour.  Part of the remedy for this must be for the church to be open and accepting of homosexuality, rather than continue to scapegoat homosexuals as being the problem. 

Statement given to the Independent Peter Ball Review 

5. On 9 June 2016, I spoke to Kevin Harrington, a member of the Independent Peter Ball Review team (the ‘Review’). I have been shown a copy of the note of the meeting, which is referred to as INQ000633. I confirm that this is an accurate summary of the meeting.

6. At the meeting, I read aloud a statement which I had prepared in advance. I have been shown a copy of this statement, which is referred to as INQ000632. I confirm that the statement was true and accurate at that time. However, since the publication of Dame Moira Gibb’s report in June 2017, I have become aware of additional information about Peter Ball and can no longer hold all of the views I expressed in my statement at INQ000632. 

7. I read Dame Moira’s report shortly after it was published. I broadly accept her findings. However I did contact the Review team with deep concern when I realised that it drew substantially on the comments [unreliable in my view] of James Francis AKA Mr A. [see below at 9]

8. In 1993, Peter Ball accepted a caution and in 2015, he pleaded guilty prior to a trial. Although I had accepted at that point that Peter Ball was guilty, I was not fully aware of the extent of his offending behaviour. Dame Moira’s report revealed to me for the first time the extent and serious nature of Peter Ball’s offending, but also crucially how much was known by many other people and how early on they had become aware of this information. 

Additional information

James Francis

9. At the outset of Sussex Police’s investigation in 2012, I made myself known to them. I was brushed off by the Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Carwyn Hughes. I had information about sexual and other offending by James Francis, but the police did not want to speak to me about him. At the time of Peter Ball’s resignation from Gloucester [1993 – Ed], the Archbishop as well as the Bishops of Chichester, London and Southwark were all aware of his [James Francis or Peter Ball? – Ed] immoral and illegal activity. I had forensic knowledge of the layout and occupancy of the house where Peter Ball’s offences were alleged to have taken place but this offer of help was peremptorily dismissed.

10. Shortly after [2012? – Ed], I wrote to the Bishop of Chichester [became Bishop in 2012 – Ed], Martin Warner. I provided him with information about James Francis. The response that I received was disappointing . [Letters attached.] It seems that Bishop Warner did not pass on the information to the police. I have made enquiries of the Diocese and Lambeth Palace to find out whether Bishop Warner did pass on the information to the police, but I have not received any clear answers. I gave this information face to face to Bishop Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham who subsequently told me had been personally ‘warned off’ investigating Francis.

11. In or around June 2016I was contacted by the Metropolitan Police Service (‘MPS’) and interviewed in connection with James Francis. The MPS had only contacted me by chance and because I was still in contact with one of his victims, not through the agency of Bishop Warner despite his knowing I had ‘useful’ information. James Francis had been arrested and the police wanted to gather information from my knowledge and experience of him. I relied to some extent on the information that I had learned from Bishop Eric Kemp, [I can provide two very brief letters he wrote at the time, if this is helpful] and I shared everything that I knew or thought I knew in my interview with the MPS. The puzzling question remained as to why despite the knowledge of several bishops of his activities which led to a significant delay in his ordination, did he yet go on to be ordained. [granted lesser sentence if he gave evidence against Ball reward for ‘shopping’ Peter Ball? – Ed]

 

General

12 In October 2015, I attended a meeting with Bishop Warner. I had arranged to see him so that I could discuss with him my frustration about not being able to move post within the Diocese. He advised me that he did not have anything for me in his diocese and that I should look in the Church Times as this was where other dioceses advertised their vacancies. The meeting took place shortly after Peter Ball had been sentenced and Vickery House was still on trial. It was  therefore an additionally difficult time for me since Fr House was an old friend who had preached at my First Mass and at my wedding. After his arrest he had attended my church until this had been unilaterally halted by the intervention of Archdeacon Douglas McKittrick without reference either to me or the Police. In an email the Police stated they were happy for Fr House to continue attending my church. I sought to query this and my concern that a man at the time presumed innocent had been scared off by the Archdeacon but he ignored my messages and Bishop Warner did not offer a satisfactory explanation for that decision or lack of communication. I was struck at this meeting by the Bishop’s total absence of any regard for my well being. Indeed as far as I was concerned it was at this point he crossed the line from previous neglect to actual bullying. If he had read his notes before this meeting he would have known how vulnerable I was. Either he couldn’t be bothered to inform himself or he took advantage of my vulnerability. As well as my parish posts I have since 2002 been part of the Deliverance Ministry Team in Chichester Diocese. Members of this team are advisers to the bishops in the field of the paranormal. From this specialist background and experience I would identify what I see in the diocese as ‘occult activity’.  By this I do not of course think that senior clergy are dabbling in arcane pagan rituals, but that they have been known to abuse power through knowledge, rather than modeling transparent holiness.

12. Before and since the Review [which Review? 2016 Harrington?], I have experienced little to no engagement from the Diocese of Chichester and Lambeth Palace. I contacted the latter in 2016 [James Francis arrested in 2016 but no publicity – protected by Church & Police because he ‘shopped’ Ball?]] as I was getting nowhere with my own diocese. The diocese did not encourage me to share my experience with Gibb [Gibb Report 2017]. Although I am not a direct victim in this case, I consider myself to be ‘collateral damage.’ By this I mean that since 2012 I have suffered undue anxiety, marked loss of confidence, even doubts about my priestly vocation and life purpose. I have experienced bizarre sleep walking behaviour and fears that as a key person in the Litlington community I might even be wrongfully arrested by the Police. I have found myself supporting others who identify as supporters of Peter Ball as well as those who consider themselves his victims. I have found myself supporting victims of Francis one of whom took his own life. In most cases neither of these groups have felt the way the church dealt with Peter Ball then and now has helped them. I have respected all their stories but holding such apparent opposites in tension has caused immense strain on me personally. I have felt silenced as I have had to listen to people who weren’t even there tell someone like me who was, what was going on at Litlington. My formative religious experience has been reduced to ‘ a cloak of fraudulent Christianity’, and if such is really the case I have been surprised that no bishop has required me to give account of my involvement in such a scenario. As recently as 2018 a senior member of Lambeth Safeguarding told me she ‘didn’t have time to talk with [me] or answer [my] difficult questions.’ I interpreted this as implying that as an employee of the church, an insider I should make allowances and hold back from criticism. As far as I am concerned this repeated and sustained attitude amounts to me being spiritually abused. I have been reduced to a condition where I do not believe I would now be fit to undergo interview for a new post. Why should Lambeth treat me as a second class complainant?
13. Essentially, I have felt senior churchmen would prefer it if I did not exist, as metaphorically I am neither black or white in my response to safeguarding failures and so challenge their panicked desire for a tidy response to the complex and unsettling reality. Their default position seems to be to sideline and talk loudly over my experience.

14. I was for over twenty years a public supporter of Peter Ball, but I now feel that I was set up as such by the Diocese of Chichester. There were opportunities where I think the Diocese should have spoken to me about Peter Ball but chose not to. I was not given the full truth. I feel betrayed by both the Church of England and the Diocese of Chichester. Recently Colin Perkins finally explained that he had not been at liberty to meet and talk with me because potentially both of us might have been witnesses in the case involving James Francis, yet he or someone else in the department could have told me this far earlier and pointed me in the direction of help. My decades of loyalty to Chichester, even if partially misguided, should have been reciprocated. In fact I feel I have been punished for trying to do the right thing and following my conscience.

15. I believe it is possible that I have been and continue to be discriminated against due to my previous association with and support of Peter Ball. I have put this suggestion to Archdeacon Philip Jones,  a few times and he categorically denies it. However, I think it is the most likely explanation for the poor treatment that I have received, and I have often expressed myself open to a more plausible reason, but none has ever been offered. I would have been far happier and satisfied with an admission of incompetence than with the guilty silence that screams conspiracy. All I have sought is an open conversation on the matter, which might address that fear and if I am mistaken lay it to rest. Firmly in the Catholic tradition I work happily across the broad churchmanship spectrum and support the ordination of women and same sex marriage. Many of my tradition are allied to ‘The Society’ which according to its website requires the ‘submission’ of its members to the bishop. I find the language of submission deeply troubling and out of place. Modern bishops claim to themselves a management rather than pastoral model to their role. In what other organisation would someone have a line manager who hasn’t spoken to them since 2016? Archdeacon Jones did after some years apologise for not standing up for me when he witnessed Bishop Wallace Benn humiliate and bully me. His inability to do so at the time indicates the underlying culture of bullying of which even he was a victim. I can provide a document ‘I am Rev B’ which details much of the discrimination of which I am a victim and which I have shared with Lambeth Safeguarding.
15 In 2017 I sought legal advice from a solicitor’s firm. My concern related to appointments. Positions within the Diocese of Chichester are rarely openly advertised, and sometimes roles are handed out without the appropriate processes being followed. In October 2015 I did challenge Bishop Warner face to face on the lack of transparency I was witnessing specifically in relation to clergy appointments, but he made clear he did not accept this insight and would not discuss the matter.
I also sought to raise the same matter with Lambeth Safeguarding staff and a number of bishops on the basis that such transparency was a requirement of the Archbishops Visitation to Chichester. My offer of evidence to back this up was ignored and I have been passed from pillar to post with no one showing the slightest interest in taking any action. I was criticised by Lambeth Safeguarding for ‘talking to too many people’  but this was precisely because no one would offer consistent advice or take responsibility for my concerns.
On a personal note my CV is such that those outside Chichester diocese have had no hesitation in offering me interviews for posts in which I have shown an interest, while according to Warner my name had not even ever been considered for a single one within Chichester, where I have always made clear I wish to stay in Sussex for family reasons.

16 I witnessed the closing statement made on behalf of the Archbishops’ Council at the Inquiry’s Chichester hearing. They seemed to be saying that although they had got it wrong in the past they will do better in the future. I felt this was false. I do not think that they are doing better now, and I do not think that there is sufficient will to change the cultural attitude. The recent George Bell case shows the church not only doing things by its own rules but even trying to police the Police! Despite the abusive pressure I am still experiencing, I believe I have for the most part responded with graciousness yet firmness. I may have had occasional lapses into anger under the constant strain, but I would be happy for any independent body to have full access to all correspondence I have had in these matters in order to judge whether my words have in the circumstances been inappropriate. The church has had to face some painful truths. It now needs to be unflinching in proclaiming its core message of reconciliation and finding ways of putting that that into practice, otherwise it has no reason for continuing to even exist.

Statement of Truth

I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.

Signed: _________Nicholas Flint SMMS ________________________________

Dated: ____________24 May 2018___________

 

TIMELINE

1992/3 – Ball resigns from Gloucester – “The Jimmy Savile of the Church of England – Ball conned and duped everyone – including Bishop Bell” – RWS

2012 – Flint provides Warner [and Police] with info about James Francis. Neither are interested, it seems.

2015 – James Francis alerts Police to the extent of Ball’s abuse. Ball pleads guilty. Flint was unaware of extent of Ball’s abuse. Flint close friend with Vickery House. Flint’s meeting with Warner.

2016 – Pre-Gibb Harrington police investigation. Flint approached by Police for information about James Francis. Francis arrested.

2017 – Gibb Report. Flint now fully aware of extent of Ball’s abuse. Gibb very reliant on the testimony of James Francis (who felt Francis was “unreliable” and said so]

 

 

Nick, I note with concern your comment: “In my evidence I also record my repeated concern that as recently as 2016 Martin Warner had not passed on to the Police information I gave him about a suspect.”

Nobody has picked up on this. Not surprisingly the discussion has focussed on the finer details of patronage, as this was the subject of the article.

It’s troubling if any bishop is not acting on information reliably given by a member of clergy or officer within the diocese. And astonishing really that after many layers of failure and cover-up in this diocese have been brought into daylight – this lack of response might still be happening under a current bishop.

I hope the situation has now moved forward a considerable pace since the time of your statement. I’d be surprised if it hasn’t. I imagine you have had help from the IICSA lawyers to ensure a definite response. To my mind the bishop’s inaction would be grounds for a CDM. But that piece of structure has been brought into considerable disrepute with dismissals within the purple circle, time limits, ‘floods’, etc.

Two CDMs brought against Bishop Wallace Benn by the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) were dismissed on the basis of 12 month time limits. It is worth reading the IICSA summary to be reminded just how dysfunctional Bishop Benn’s approach was. And startling to see how easily the time-bar protects bad practice.

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/reports/anglican-chichester-peter-ball/case-study-1-diocese-chichester/b6-complaints-under-clergy-discipline-measure

IICSA says the CDM “is not a suitable tool to deal with ongoing issues of risk management.” That seems a right assessment. But in the absence of anything else that might hold bishops to account, it’s all there is. Sir Roger Singleton brought a recent CDM against the Bishop of Chester for failing to respond to a letter ten years ago. If there’s any consistency, that will be dismissed by the Clergy Discipline Tribunal. And the Measure descend into more of a farce than it already is. One can only assume that Sir Roger’s reason for bringing this CDM was to highlight the farce and demonstrate the total collapse of the CDM. And force the church to address glaring unaccountability.

At the very least, Bishop Martin Warner should be asked to explain his reasons for the inaction. I’m not surprised the media did not pick up on this at the time, as there are so many documents on the IICSA website. Unless a witness lands in front of Counsel in a hearing, much goes past the media who tend to report the ‘big stuff’. The material on IICSA might be source for historians and theologians in the future….

It charts a church in breakage, a gospel in collapse.

Gilo

June 1 2019 – “Patronage and Power Abuse in the Church” – ‘Surviving Church’ – Stephen Parsons

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Patronage and Power Abuse in the Church

Patronage and Power Abuse in the Church

While studying the life and times of Joan of Arc for a lecture I was giving, I was reminded of one distinctive feature of Western mediaeval society.  The whole of that society was held together through a complicated system of patronage.  Power was not only possessed by those who commanded the most soldiers, it was also exercised by those who possessed the legal and traditional right to put others in positions of power.  To possess the power of patronage was to control others and to be the focus of influence right across society.  Joan of Arc was only able to make headway in her short meteoric career having persuaded individuals possessing the power of patronage to back her. 
Patronage, the right to raise up or cast down another person, is still a power that we find in our society.  The Church of England is one contemporary institution that still openly exercises the power of patronage in its affairs.  Arguably this manifestation of patronage is less salient than it was in the days of Jane Austen when Mr Collins, in Pride and Prejudice,used all his charm to flatter his patron, Lady De Bourgh for the right to occupy a particular vicarage and the substantial income that went with it.  My old parish in Gloucestershire was under the patronage of a Cambridge college and its endowed income of £800 was sufficient in Victorian times to keep a vicar in style.  Other parishes were worth a quarter of this and the vicars who occupied lesser posts scrambled to survive, like Mr Quiverful in the Trollope novels, in a permanent state of genteel poverty.  It was no fun to live in a falling down vicarage with inadequate resources to heat the building or keep out the rain.
The traditional power of patronage that was exercised by bishops and others over the parishes of England was arguably the greatest source of power that they possessed.  Keeping on the right side of this power was perhaps the only way clergy had to escape out of abject poverty into a position of relative affluence.  A black mark against your name could mark your record for ever and prevent you ever finding a post which would keep you in reasonable comfort.  Clergy were rightly in awe of those who had this power to create or destroy a career and a livelihood.
Anthony Trollope’s novels are also, in many ways, an exploration of the way that the exercise of patronage power was exercised and experienced in Victorian times.  Today things have changed for the better.  In the first place, stipends of the full-time clergy below the level of Archdeacons and Deans are largely the same.  When I was ordained fifty years ago, there were vicars in some parishes earning seven times the level of their curates and living in far superior accommodation.   Inflation has destroyed these differentials of income.  A second change today is that posts are now mostly advertised in the church press and the appointments system is far more open.  A transparent interview process takes place for most posts, even for bishops.  But, as a recent letter in the Church Times points out, the exercise of patronage is an issue that is still a live one as we ask questions about how Bishop Peter Ball was elevated to Gloucester in 1991.  It transpires that two other dioceses, Norwich and Portsmouth, had both refused to consider his candidature on the grounds of Ball’s known predilection for the company of young men.  The CT letter from the retired bishop, Colin Buchanan, hints at political interference in this appointment.  Patronage on the part of the ‘great and the good’ was thus apparently allowed to override normal checks and balances.  To become a diocesan bishop in 1991 did require impeccable references.  One of those who provided such a reference had to be his Diocesan bishop, the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp.  Are we to believe that Bishop Kemp had no insight or knowledge of the rumours around Peter Ball?  Kemp’s legacy of having allowed Bishop Ball’s translation to Gloucester and later obstructing the police enquiries into his conduct have left a mark against the bishop’s historical legacy which is unlikely ever to be erased.
The power of patronage in the church may be indeed weakening in the way that democratic processes reach further into the management of the church.  And yet, even as it weakens, we need to have a full awareness of how important a role patronage has played in the church in the very recent past.  In some dioceses all posts are advertised, even for senior clergy such as archdeacons and residentiary canons.   Other dioceses, such as Chichester, appear to advertise relatively few of their posts.  Most appointments seem to be done ‘in-house’.  For one clergyman at least, this near total episcopal control over livings in Chichester has been experienced as an abuse of power.
Among the many documents released by IICSA in the course of its hearings was a witness statement by one Fr. Nicholas Flint, a Chichester incumbent. His testimony strongly criticises the way he felt he had been treated by the diocese.  His complaints directly and indirectly touch on issues of patronage power.  Flint had for a long time felt drawn with others in the diocese to support Peter Ball after he was cautioned in 1992.  The eventual conviction of Ball in 2015 and the revelation of the full extent of his offending left him and other supporters in considerable confusion and dismay.  His self-description was that of being ‘collateral damage’ to the whole sad affair. Eventually he obtained an appointment to see the Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, in October 2015 and he hoped to receive some pastoral care and support.  He needed some understanding for all he had suffered in trying to respond to local perpetrators and victims who were part of the wider abuse scandals in the diocese.  He was also looking for a possible move within the diocese after being in the same post from 21 years. 
The Bishop stated, in Flint’s words, that ‘he did not have anything for me in his diocese’. 
Whatever else was being communicated, this declaration by the Bishop is of interest because it indicates that the Bishop regarded himself at the sole dispenser of patronage in the diocese.  This old-fashioned approach to the filling of appointments also runs counter, according to Fr Flint, to one of the recommendations of the Archbishop’s Visitation to Chichester Diocese a few years earlier.  I have no figures on the dioceses where a bishop could make such a statement about appointments, but I would hope that these dioceses are now firmly in the minority.  Centralised control of the power of patronage may be one of the factors that had helped to create the Chichester ‘scandals’ in the first place.  It is strange as well as regrettable that the current Bishop of the diocese has no apparent insight into the possibility that a secretive structure from which outsiders are excluded is also one where malefactors can most easily hide.   The old-fashioned feudal attitudes which exemplified the ‘reign’ of Bishop Kemp have no place in the 21st century.  The current Bishop of Chichester should be making every effort to transform that culture in every possible way.  The interaction with Fr Flint in 2015 suggests that the old culture of patronage and patriarchal power was then still very much alive in the Chichester Diocese. 
This blog invites the reader to become better sensitised to the existence of a silent power in the Church.  This is present in church patronage.  When used corruptly, patronage power can quickly create situations of abuse, secrecy and rampant bullying.  In the case of the Chichester Diocese, we would claim that any continued exercise of an unlimited patronage by a bishop over a whole diocese is, in 2019, something now totally inappropriate.  The recent IICSA report on the recent history of their diocese, now in the in-tray of the Bishops and senior staff at Chichester, should surely be driving forward a new openness.  Is the Diocese of Chichester to be a place that resists, as the Bishop of Burnley puts it, ‘deep-seated cultural change’? The episode that took place account of the Bishop of Chichester’s study a mere 3 ½ years ago is an example of reactionary attitudes that have no place in a post-IICSA church.  This post-IICSA church is watching and waiting to see evidence of ‘learnt lessons’, transparency and a new penitential atmosphere involving real care by all bishops for their clergy. 

About Stephen Parsons

Stephen is a retired Anglican priest living at present in Northumberland. He has taken a special interest in the issues around health and healing in the Church but also when the Church is a place of harm and abuse. He has published books on both these issues and is at present particularly interested in understanding the psychological aspects of leadership and follower-ship in the Church. He is always interested in making contact with others who are concerned with these issues.

10 thoughts on “Patronage and Power Abuse in the Church”

  1. Thank you for pointing this out in the case of Chichester Diocese. Patronage by those who wish to exclude women priests is still prevailing and controlling appointments in many rural parishes. I wonder if, when our present incumbent leaves, the parish will be granted a fair and open access to candidates from ALL the Church of England, not just those who belong to ‘The Society’? St Hilda should rise up and crown them with her episcopal staff!

  2. There is unofficial patronage, too. Even a humble vicar can put someone forward for training, and what they say will be believed. I witnessed a situation where someone was put forward for basic training as a lay minister with a whole raft of things they were supposed to have done, working with young people here and there signed off by the incumbent. When in fact it was all completely fictional. And of course, reverse patronage. Someone says you are not suitable, and that’s that. Accuse a cleric, and you are a priori not believed. If you are accused by a cleric, they are.

  3. Thank you for sharing my story. In my evidence I also record my repeated concern that as recently as 2016 Martin Warner had not passed on to the Police information I gave him about a suspect.

    Since giving my evidence he has made one other attempt, fortunately bungled, to remove me from my one remaining supra parochial responsibility in the diocese.

    At my age I have another 7- 13 years in full time ministry, but the experiences have been so traumatic that I cannot now face the thought of moving on in ministry. I am blessed to be in a supportive village and to be affirmed by my parishioners and other priestly colleagues.

    1. Nick, I found your statement to IICSA painful to read. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a rough time. I’m glad your parish is supportive, at least that’s one positive.

      I’m from Chichester Diocese; Gordon Rideout was my vicar and Peter Ball my bishop. I don’t want to go into the story here but I too regard myself as collateral damage.

      And yes, what you say about patronage is absolutely true, and still goes on.

  4. I dont know the facts of the Chichester case that you refer to but I am aware of this sort of ‘patronage’ being operated in other dioceses and across a variety of levels of seniority. This aids and abets the clericalism that is rife in the Church of England much to it’s shame. As a state institution in receipt of state and public funds as well as the infamous seats in the House of Lords that it holds, it is high time that this self serving institution was brought to book and excluded from these ‘perks’ until its house, or houses, are in order in the same way that we would expect from any other national or local government body or associated quango. The fact that the state church, or ‘ministry of religion’ is allowed to be exempt from the equality act is laughable, but very scary at the same time.

    1. I’d agree about the exemptions from the equality legislation! But isn’t a government or state organisation, nor does it get government money. Only the tax breaks any charity gets. The seats in the House of Lords are because some church legislation has to go to the House. So the Bishops have to have a say. The Chief Rabbi and various other religious Heads also have seats. It’s all very odd, I grant you.

      1. I think what I mean by state/public funding is the historical financial endowments that make up the basis of the CofE’s financial wealth including things such as Queen Anne’s Bounty, the land that it owns, and schemes like the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme, as well as its large receipt of lottery money.

        It is the established church of the state and is therefore intrinsically linked to state bodies and it is through this that it has 26 Lords Spiritual, this is not offered to any other faith or Christian body although as you say the current chief rabbi is a Lord Temporal.

        I think any other body that received these advantages would be expected to comply with all employment, equality, bullying, pay and other legislation that somehow the CofE manages to navigate around.

        1. Wouldn’t disagree, broadly. Saying that the clergy are self employed also means they end up working ridiculous hours. Exploitation, basically.

  5. Thank you for this. The single best article – by far – that I have encountered on the subject of preferment and its origins is by the extremely distinguished student of the medieval church, A. Hamilton Thompson (1873-1962): https://www.le.ac.uk/lahs/downloads/1941-2/1941-42%20(22)%201-32%20Hamilton%20Thompson.pdf

    Historically, the patronage of the bishops of Chichester was very slender – for example, the 1841 Clergy List indicates that they had the gift of only thirty benefices (though four of these were plural) outside the cathedral dignities in a diocese with approximately 320 (or so) parishes extant at that time. I haven’t done a calculation of the current patronage rights of the bishops – inflated naturally by the foundation of many more recent parishes and the disposal or exchange of advowsons by former lay or corporate patrons – but thirty livings was obviously a relatively slender base on which to start, though not as extreme as the bishops of Peterborough, who had the gift of only four parochial cures in their own diocese, or Llandaff (five) or Oxford (six) (within the legal structures prevailing in Wales prior to 1921 and the expansion of the Oxford diocese beyond the confines of the eponymous county).

    Also, it is worth noting the relative financial distress of the Chichester diocese, occasioned in part by the fact that it still has far too many two or three parish benefices in rural situations, where benefices in excess of ten are now routine in nearby dioceses like Canterbury and Winchester.

    It’s therefore possible that when Dr Warner says “we have nothing for you”, what he might mean is that, given the way in which benefices need to be amalgamated in order to reduce the stipendiary headcount (and thus relieve pressure on the budget), and the pressing economic need to discount certain forms of churchmanship in order to effect any such rationalisation, the preferment cupboard is bare.

    Of course, it is also possible that there is something else going on, and that having certain associations can lead people, however blamelessly and unwittingly, into a sort of purdah. I have read Mr Flint’s witness statement, which speaks for itself. There is no biography in Crockford. However, I note that he is a long-serving incumbent of Rusper, between Crawley and Horsham (which you have pictured), and where I attended a service in 2009 as part of a pilgrimage I have been undertaking. Until recently it was in plurality with Colgate, where I have also attended a service. To my knowledge Rusper might now be the only rural single parish benefice in the diocese, absent Cowden (following the recent closures of Holtye and Hammerwood) where the incumbent has been part time; until 2015 Heyshott was also on its own, but it was led by an SSM. Knowledge of this will, I suppose, create its own pressures.

    Richard W. Symonds [unpublished]

    This disturbing case of the use and abuse of Church power has other implications. For example: If Archbishop Welby [and Bishop Warner] insist there is still a “significant cloud” hanging over the deceased Bishop Bell accused of sexual abuse, even though the accusations have been proved to be unfounded, then that Archbishop and Bishop are falsely accusing the deceased Bishop and thus is an abuse of power on their part – as well as breaking the Ninth Commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness”.

May 14 2019 – “George Bell Group issues new statement” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’ – Simon Sarmiento

George Bell House - 4 Canon Lane - Chichester Cathedral

George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral – before the name change [Picture: Alamy]

George Bell Group issues new statement

George Bell Group issues new statement

The George Bell Group has issued this: Statement May 2019.

Since October 2015 when the Archbishops’ Council announced that they had paid compensation to the woman given the pseudonym ‘Carol’, who alleged that she had been abused by Bishop George Bell, his defenders have criticised the Church authorities for never once affording the Bishop the presumption of innocence.  Now, after the inquiries of Lord Carlile and Timothy Briden, it can be seen that the allegations against Bishop Bell were unfounded in fact.

THE CARLILE REVIEW

The Carlile report, whose conclusions (save as to publicity) the Church accepted, criticised the investigation of Carol’s allegations as a rush to judgment predicated on Bell’s guilt. It concluded that the decision to settle with Carol was indefensibly wrong and that the process completely ignored the Bishop’s reputation and the interests of his surviving family, including his very elderly niece.

The original statement by the Archbishops’ Council in October 2015 claimed that none of the expert independent reports had found reason to doubt Carol’s veracity. But Lord Carlile discovered that the only expert consulted by the Church thought it very likely that Carol’s experience of abuse in her first marriage had affected her recall, and that the possibility of false memories was a real one.

Regrettably Archbishop Welby added his authority to the destruction of Bell’s reputation: on Good Friday 2016, before the Carlile report was completed, he told BBC Radio that the investigation of Carol’s claim had been ‘very thorough’ and the finding of abuse correct on the balance of probabilities. We now know how far from the truth that was.

The Archbishop told Lord Carlile during his inquiry that if there had not been a proper investigation of Carol’s story, the Church would have to apologise. But sadly, when the Carlile report was published in December 2017, he chose not to do so. To the disappointment of Bell’s defenders, he appeared to reject the presumption of innocence; instead he commented that there was still ‘a significant cloud’ left over Bishop Bell’s name without giving any explanation of why he continued to hold that view in the face of Lord Carlile’s conclusions.

THE ‘FRESH INFORMATION’ AND THE BRIDEN PROCESS

The publicity given to the Carlile report appears to have triggered a copy-cat claim by the woman given the name Alison. The Core Safeguarding Group which had been responsible for the shambolic investigation of Carol’s claim now set about trying to substantiate that by Alison. They may well have hoped that the similar facts alleged by Alison would corroborate the discredited Carol. But within weeks the police, to whom the Core Group had reported the matter, closed their enquiries.  Next an investigation by a senior retired police officer commissioned by the Church quickly showed that Alison’s evidence was unreliable and incapable of supporting any adverse finding against the Bishop.

Mr Briden reported that her account not only had internal inconsistencies but was also contaminated by her having read Carol’s story, a contamination revealed by her repeating verbatim some of Carol’s words which had been reported in the press. He ended his report by saying that all the allegations against George Bell remitted to him were unfounded.

Many will have hoped that on reading Mr Briden’s report Archbishop Welby would have publicly acknowledged that the cloud of which he had previously spoken had been dissipated. He did not do so.

THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH NOW

The history of the treatment by the Church of England of the reputation of George Bell has become a scandal. It is now the plain duty of the Church of England, nationally and in the Diocese of Chichester, to make amends by working to restore Bishop Bell’s reputation, not least in institutions which were once proud to adopt his name.

We welcome the decision of Canterbury Cathedral to revive a commission to create a statue of Bell and note the expression of ‘delight’ with which the Archbishop of Canterbury has responded. We acknowledge with gratitude the firmness with which the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford have maintained and cherished the chapel there dedicated to Bell’s memory throughout the controversy. We note that the meeting room dedicated to Bishop Bell remains, as before, at the World Council of Churches in Geneva.

It is only in Chichester itself, the place in which Bishop Bell lived and worked for almost thirty years and where his ashes are interred in the cathedral, that any public adoption of his name is now suppressed.

We find the public stance of the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, incomprehensible and indefensible. The Bishop’s ‘Response’ to the Briden Report, published on 24 January 2019 and now promoted on the websites of the diocese and cathedral, only went as far as to acknowledge that ‘Bishop Bell cannot be proven guilty’. He added that it could not be ‘safely claimed that the original complainant [i.e. Carol] had been discredited’. This is a most regrettable insinuation that there was, or likely was, substance to Carol’s allegation and hence that Bell was to be suspected of abuse.

The Bishop emphasised the defamatory innuendo by asking ‘those who hold opposing views on this matter to recognise the strength of each other’s commitment to justice and compassion.’ There is, regrettably, no evidence in this response of the Bishop’s commitment to justice or of any compassion towards those who are wrongly accused. His words have been repeated verbatim by the Bishop at Lambeth in response to a Question at the recent session of the General Synod of the church. Indeed, the Bishop even invoked the authority of the House of Bishops in support of this view. So far as we are aware the House has never even discussed the matter.

Such words simply preserve the impression that there was, and remains, a case against Bell. A not dissimilar state of mind was revealed by the Chichester Diocesan Safeguarding Officer when he told the Child Abuse Inquiry in March 2018 that ‘all the indications we have would suggest that the simplest explanation for why someone comes forward to report abuse – because they were abused – is likely to be the correct one’.

As the High Court Judge Sir Richard Henriques has pointed out in his report to the Metropolitan Police on allegations against prominent individuals, such an assumption results in an investigation which does not challenge the complainant, tends to disbelieve the suspect and shifts onto the suspect the burden of proof, ignoring any presumption of innocence. It becomes a premise for a miscarriage of justice such as can now be seen to have been inflicted on the reputation of George Bell.

It should be sufficient to observe that like Professor Anthony Maden, Lord Carlile did interview this first complainant. We note Lord Carlile’s statement of 1 February 2019, made to the local campaigner Mr Richard Symonds: ‘The Church should now accept that my recommendations should be accepted in full, and that after due process, however delayed, George Bell should be declared by the Church to be innocent of the allegations made against him.’

We are more than conscious that this saga represents a wider pattern in the Church and across society where many other such miscarriages of justice have become notorious. Now it is surely essential that if all the many safeguarding bodies, national and diocesan, are to be retained by the Church of England their work must be placed under real legal discipline and in the hands of officers who observe fully the expectations and rule of law and act without fear or prejudice.

There must never again be any repetition of such a discreditable, indeed disgraceful, performance.

Andrew Chandler, Convenor of George Bell Group, 9 May 2019

COMMENTS
Susannah Clark

“it can be seen that the allegations against Bishop Bell were unfounded in fact.”

What does that precisely mean? If the group is saying that the case is ‘unproven’ then I’d agree, because it is impossible to prove one way or the other whether her allegations against the Bishop are true or untrue. If it is saying that ‘Carol’s allegations about George Bell can be proved to be untrue, then that is a slur on a woman whose narrative they have repeatedly said is false. To say that George Bell *is* innocent (except in legal terms) is a false claim.

What I read in this statement is the use of insinuation.

“The possibility of false memories was a real one.” Yes. But ‘possibility’ means just that. It’s also possible her recall of who abused her was not false. Possibility either way is not the same as fact.

“They may well have hoped that the similar facts alleged by Alison would corroborate the discredited Carol.” Setting Alison aside, why is Carol described as “the discredited Carol”. That is offensive to a woman whose claims remain unproven one way or the other. It is slur.

As Dr Martin Warner correctly acknowledges: “Bishop Bell cannot be proven guilty.” But he is also right to add that it could not be “safely claimed that the original complainant [i.e. Carol] had been discredited.” That is not insinuation. It is fact. The fact remains that Carol may or may not have been abused by George Bell.

Process was faulty, and reform in the Church’s safeguarding procedures is overdue, but at the same time, this campaign group has created an incredibly hostile and partisan environment for an abuse victim herself. ‘Carol’ in all likelihood has indeed suffered abuse. It may have been committed by George Bell. With the passage of time we shall probably never know. However, assertions that – as a matter of fact – Carol’s claims are false… that is a disgraceful shutting down of an abuse victim’s experience and allegation.

Yes, the accused need safeguarding protection too… few deny process needs improvement… but no, it CANNOT “be seen that the allegations against Bishop Bell were unfounded in fact.”

That is a falsehood, a false assertion. If we create a virulent and hostile environment for people with the courage to come forward to accuse abusers – and it takes incredible courage – then we should be ashamed, because what it will do is drive victims back into secrecy and silence.

In addition, we must never lionise powerful men, even good men of known courage, to the extent that hagiography silences those who – in some cases – are nevertheless victims of the very dark side of human character. Great men can be flawed. We cannot simply disbelieve women because of their abuser’s reputation. That cannot wash. What we need is process that is discreet, measured, and factually very precise with its language. And non-partisan.

We do not, factually, know if George Bell was innocent or guilty. I doubt we ever will. Carol may be right.

T Pott
“We do not know, factually, if George Bell was innocent or guilty.” If that were so, it would put him in exactly the same position as everybody else who has ever lived. So, perhaps, we should simply remember people for what we do know about them.
Susannah, if you make an allegation I raped you when you were 5-years-old, the onus is on you to provide evidence that I raped you. The onus is not on me to prove I am innocent.

If you cannot provide that evidence in a court of law, then however convinced you are that it was me who raped you, I am to be presumed innocent. That’s the law.

After two investigations (Carlile & Briden), ‘Carol’ – who has had the benefit of anonymity and been paid nearly £30,000 (?) in compensation – has provided zero evidence that it was Bishop Bell who abused her.

Therefore, Bishop Bell is to be presumed innocent. That’s the law.

But the Church seems to consider itself above the law by presuming Bishop Bell’s guilt and presuming the innocence of ‘Carol’.

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

mistakenidentity

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

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/22-july/news/uk/identity-of-abuser-in-bishop-bell-case-questioned

Identity of abuser in Bishop Bell case questioned

by HATTIE WILLIAMS

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

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/carols-account-facts/

Is Carol’s account consistent with the facts?

IS THE ACCOUNT BY “CAROL” AS TO HOW SHE WAS TAKEN OFF BY BISHOP BELL TO BE READ A BED-TIME STORY 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:

http://www.chichesterweb.co.uk/zbishopskitchenk.htm
http://www.southernceramicgroup.co.uk/exhibitions/exhibitions.htm

  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

https://theukdatabase.com/2014/07/09/terence-banks-chichesterhammersmith/

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.

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/clergy-burnt-church-files-after-being-accused-of-covering-up-abuse-inquiry-hears/127645.htm

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.’

DAY 12 IICSA INQUIRY – CHICHESTER – 20 MARCH 2018 – DEAN PETER ATKINSON ON DEAN TREADGOLD, TERENCE BANKS ET AL

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

http://rebuildingbridges.org.uk/conference-proceedings/discussion/

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

file:///C:/Users/DAVID/Downloads/anglican-church-case-studies_-chichester-peter-ball-investigation-report-may-2019%20(1).pdf

 

B.2: Chichester Cathedral
19. This case study will adopt a chronological approach, dealing with each perpetrator
according to the date of their conviction. Therefore the report begins with the case of
Terence Banks, although Chichester Cathedral is not within the jurisdiction of the Diocese.
The Terence Banks case
Convictions for child sexual abuse
20. On 2 May 2001, Terence Banks was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys.
The offences were committed over a period of nearly 30 years. All of his victims were under
the age of 16 at the time they were abused.48 He was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment.
21. Banks met all but one of the victims through his activities with Chichester Cathedral,
where he had been a volunteer steward until his arrest in 2000. He also played a part in the
organisation of the Southern Cathedrals Festival. This was a music festival which rotated
on a yearly basis between the cathedrals of Salisbury, Chichester and Winchester. It was
attended by various children’s choirs from across the south of England.49
48 OHY000184_008 49 https://www.southerncathedralsfestival.org.uk
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
23
22. Of the 12 victims, seven were pupils at The Prebendal School. This is an independent
preparatory school for children aged between three and 13 years. It educates both day
and boarding pupils, some of whom are choristers at Chichester Cathedral. The Chair of
Governors is the Dean of the Cathedral. Members of the Dean and Chapter play a significant
role in the governance and management of the school.
Evidence of AN‑A11
23. One of the children whom Terence Banks was convicted of abusing was AN‑A11, who
gave evidence at the public hearing. In 1978, AN‑A11 joined a choral school in Winchester
at the age of 10. He met Banks through their mutual involvement in the Chichester music
festival.50
24. During one of the festivals, Banks invited AN‑A11 to stay overnight in his house. They
attended a function that evening at a nearby hotel, during the course of which Banks
bought him alcoholic drinks. He recalled the older boys jokingly advising him to “watch out,
stick a bun up your arse, here comes Terence”.51 Whilst this remark could be characterised
as the crude humour of a teenager, it does suggest that choristers were aware of Banks’
preference for boys.
25. The alcohol caused AN‑A11 to feel queasy and he returned to the house alone.52 He
described waking up later that night to find Banks sitting on his bed. Banks pulled back the
covers, took hold of AN‑A11’s penis and began to masturbate him. Banks was masturbating
himself simultaneously. AN‑A11 told us that he “froze and didn’t know what to do”. He was 12
or 13 years old at this time.53
26. AN‑A11 recalled a second occasion when Banks invited him to visit the BBC studios
in London, where he worked as a floor manager. They watched the recording of a popular
television programme. Later that day, they returned to Banks’ flat where he again plied
AN‑A11 with alcoholic drinks and persuaded him to take a bath. He joined AN‑A11 in the
bathtub. Both were naked. Afterwards, Banks got into bed wi
24
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
29. Mrs Hind’s husband, John Hind, became the Bishop of Chichester in 2001. Concerns
were raised by a parent that she might not be sufficiently independent to conduct the
planned meeting. Mrs Hind withdrew from her role as Child Protection Adviser because of
the potential conflict and was replaced by Mr Tony Sellwood. By the time of her departure
in 2002, however, Mrs Hind had set the wheels in motion for what would eventually become
known as the Carmi review.
30. The review was to be led by Mrs Edina Carmi, a social work consultant. She was
supported by a multi-agency steering group chaired by Mr Peter Collier QC. The group
included representatives from the police, Victim Support, West Sussex Social and Caring
Services and the Education Department, along with a member of the clergy and the Bishop’s
Adviser for Child Protection. Mrs Carmi drafted the review’s terms of reference, which set
out that “the starting point for direct contributions to the review will be the victims”.
57
31. The Carmi review was designed to imitate the serious cases reviews that were
conducted by local authorities in cases of death or serious harm to young people. It was
commissioned by Bishop Hind shortly after his appointment. His intention was to understand
how Banks “could have been able to perpetrate offences against so many boys over such a
long period”.
58
The Carmi review
Commissioning of the review
32. In September 2001, a letter from Bishop Hind was sent to each of the victims who had
been identified during the police investigation.59 This letter explained that a review would
be taking place. AN‑A11 agreed to participate in the review. Along with another victim of
Banks, he met with Mrs Carmi to discuss his experiences of abuse. The victims’ views would
form part of the completed report, which was eventually finalised in January 2004.
Problems encountered during the Carmi review
The leadership of Dean John Treadgold
33. Between 1997 and 2007, Canon Peter Atkinson (currently the Dean of Worcester60) was
a residentiary canon and chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. In his view, there was a “failure
of leadership” at Chichester Cathedral at the time of Banks’ arrest.61
34. Dean John Treadgold62 was the then Dean of Chichester Cathedral. Under his direction,
safeguarding matters were handled as pastoral concerns and nothing more. Canon Atkinson
described him as a “rugged individualist” with traditional views, who found it difficult to relate
to members of the Diocese and to external agencies.63
57 ACE022573_123 58 WWS000138_031 59 INQ000984_014-15 60 WWS000140_002 61 WWS000140_020 62 This is not the correct nomenclature, but is used in this report for ease of reference. 63 Atkinson 20 March 2018 147/22
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
25
35. Dean Treadgold appears to have experienced a particularly strained relationship
with Mrs Carmi, Mrs Hind and the police. For instance, at the debrief meeting chaired
by Mrs Carmi on 12 June 2001, the police raised concerns regarding his response to the
criminal investigation of Banks. It was specifically noted that the Dean “appeared defensive
and seemed to take the side of the Defendant”.
64
36. Shortly after his retirement in autumn 2001, Dean Treadgold returned to Chichester
Cathedral. He instructed the gardeners to burn a number of files held in the basement of
the Deanery. This incident was reported to the police by members of the Cathedral. A police
investigation was subsequently conducted, during the course of which the Carmi review was
suspended.65 Ultimately, the police took no further action and the Carmi review continued
from early December 2002. Canon Atkinson recalled that no internal investigation took
place regarding the burning of these potentially important files.66 Nobody in the Cathedral
appears to have questioned Dean Treadgold about this, nor did the Cathedral carry out any
enquiries of its own.
Opposition to the review
37. In a letter to Mrs Carmi dated 3 November 2003, Bishop Hind acknowledged receipt
of her completed report. He expressed his apologies for the extent to which her review
had been hindered by “members and officials of the Church”.
67 Indeed, Mrs Carmi told us the
Dean and Chapter were reluctant both to engage with the investigation and to assist in
encouraging further victims to come forward.68
38. When the review began two years earlier, Bishop Hind wrote to the Dean and to all
members of the Chapter requesting their full co-operation with Mrs Carmi in the completion
of her task.69 The responses to his letter expressed an unreserved willingness to assist, with
Dean Treadgold declaring that “I shall be quite happy to assist Mrs Carmi in any way I can”.
70
After he resigned from his post in October 2001, he was succeeded by Dean Nicholas
Frayling, who echoed these assurances of support for the investigation.
39. Despite this ostensible show of compliance by the Dean and Chapter, Mrs Carmi said
“there was a gap between what we were asking of them and what they were prepared to do”.
71 For
example, in addition to proactively contacting those victims whose identities were known
to the police, Mrs Carmi planned to offer a chance to contribute to all other individuals who
had not previously come forward. She intended to achieve this aim by writing to the wider
Cathedral and school communities.
40. Unfortunately, Mrs Carmi faced opposition from the Dean and Chapter when she sought
to initiate such communication. Dean Frayling was said to have described her request for
information as a “fishing expedition” which was likely to cause distress to many people in its
revival of historic events.72 As chair of The Prebendal School’s governing body, he expressed
similar concerns when Mrs Carmi attempted to contact current and former parents of
its pupils.
64 ACE022454_007 65 Carmi 20 March 2018 150/14-24 66 Atkinson 20 March 2018 152/7-8 67 ACE022504_001 68 Carmi 20 March 2018 8/7-20 69 ACE022478_27 70 ACE022478_17 71 Carmi 20 March 2018 33/15-16 72 ACE025935_009
26
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
41. The reasons for these concerns were articulated in the minutes of various Chapter
meetings. In May 2003, Mrs Carmi and her review team met with the Dean and Chair of
Governors. Also present were the headmaster of The Prebendal School, a school governor
and the Communar.73 The minutes recorded an unwillingness to be seen to link the Terence
Banks and David Bowring74 cases by including both in the same letter to parents. It was
felt the two-year delay caused by the police investigation had altered things; “what seemed
appropriate in June 2001 when the bishop ordered the review might no longer be justified”.
75
42. At another Chapter meeting, some members protested that the review was adopting
the characteristics of an inquiry. The minutes reported that “considerable disagreement had
arisen between Mrs Carmi and her governors on the appropriate way to conduct the case review
… governors had become alarmed at the risk posed to the school’s reputation by the review”.
76
Mrs Carmi’s view was that both organisations feared the potential legal and financial
implications of her enquiries.
43. In July 2003, Dean Frayling agreed to include a short notice in the Cathedral newsletter.
The notice introduced the review and invited anyone with information to contact Mrs Carmi.
As Mrs Carmi recalled, the notice “did not mention Terence Banks. It did not give any assurance
of confidentiality. It did not use the wording that we had suggested”.
77 The newsletter was also
published during the summer holiday period. This unhelpful timing no doubt limited the size
of the audience that would have seen the notice.
44. In his evidence, Canon Atkinson denied knowledge of any opposition within the Chapter
to Mrs Carmi’s proposals. He insisted that Dean Frayling “was wanting to help as much as
he could”.
78
45. However, we have seen a letter sent to Bishop Hind by Dean Frayling on 30 June 2003.
The Dean claimed that he was writing on behalf of the Chapter, and set out in some detail
“the Chapter’s misgivings” about the case review, which included concerns regarding “the
wisdom of raising the public profile of the Banks case again so long after the event”.
79 The letter
also referred to the Chapter’s agreement to publish a pew note,80 which would advertise the
review and provide contact details for Mrs Carmi. It stated:
“We do not wish to be seen to be dragging our feet but Chapter felt it inappropriate to
circulate this pew note around Eastertide and then in the lead-up to the royal visit … in
effect we are seeking to be released from our obligation to publish a pew note.”81
73 The Communar is the senior lay administrator of staff at Chichester Cathedral, and means ‘keeper of the Common Fund’.
He is responsible for financial planning, personnel manager for all lay staff, managing the property portfolio and the general
administration of the Cathedral. http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/about-us/whos-who/page_6.shtml 74 David Bowring was a maths teacher at The Prebendal School. In 2003, he was jailed for sexually assaulting four boys in
the early 1970s. The case came to light whilst the police were investigating the case of Terence Banks. See paragraph 92 for
further details.
75 ANG000134_002 76 ANG000133_001 77 Carmi 20 March 2018 8/23-25 78 Atkinson 20 March 2018 154/15-16 79 ACE023433_012 80 A note available to those who attended services at the Cathedral. 81 ACE023433_013
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
27
46. The contents of this letter are consistent with the evidence of Mrs Carmi. There was a
sharp difference between the promised support for the review and the practical support she
actually received. It was entirely appropriate for Mrs Carmi to seek to contact members of
the Cathedral community during the course of her investigation. Her efforts to do so were
hindered by members of Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.
47. According to Mrs Carmi, the internal opposition from both bodies resulted in the
premature termination of her review in 2003. A number of planned interviews did not take
place and the decision was made by Bishop Hind that Mrs Carmi “should just write up where
we’d got to”.
82 If the same review process was undertaken now, Mrs Carmi would “expect to
receive more cooperation from the various organisations involved in contacting those who wished
to participate in the review”.
83
48. Canon Atkinson complained the Carmi review was not sufficiently thorough. He
highlighted the “embarrassing and inexplicable omission of Dean John Treadgold from any part
of the case review”.
84 It is correct that the Dean was not interviewed until after completion of
the report, and his evidence was included as an addendum in December 2003. According to
Mrs Carmi, her initial failure to interview the Dean was due wholly to the fact that “we, as a
group, were being told that we had to end the serious case review”.
85
Lack of diocesan authority
49. Behind the scenes, members of the Cathedral were voicing protestations to the bishop
about the review process. Bishop Hind confirmed “there was a certain amount of resistance
on the part of the Dean and Chapter to what they felt was some interference by the bishop”.
86
Although he tried proactively to obtain support from both the school and Cathedral on
Mrs Carmi’s behalf, Bishop Hind lacked the power to compel their full co-operation.
50. As Mrs Carmi said, “there was no command and control management style. The bishop had
no power to do anything and seems to have just stepped back”.
87 This observation was endorsed
by Mrs Hind, who remarked “the diocesan bishop could not order the cathedral to do anything
but had to rely on working in cooperation with them and exerting moral authority”.
88
51. When asked to describe his own powers within the Cathedral, Bishop Hind conceded
“the diocesan bishop is responsible for everything, but without any resources or power to effect
that”.
89 Recalling his initial commission of the Carmi review, he said:
“I was rather pushing the boat out. It was one of those issues where you exercise the
authority you wish you had got, rather than the one you have actually got.”90
52. The absence of diocesan authority over the Cathedral presented a barrier to the
improvement of safeguarding at that time. It exposed what Mrs Carmi identified as the
central challenge to her investigation, namely the fragmented organisational structure of
the Church. This made it difficult to attribute accountability for failures and to introduce
solutions to the problems identified.
82 Carmi 20 March 2018 11/7-8 83 ACE025935_009 84 ACE022520_013 85 Carmi 20 March 2018 17/18-19 86 Hind 7 March 2018 78/13-15 87 Carmi 20 March 2018 34/1-5 88 WWS000051_005 89 Hind 7 March 2018 74-75 90 Hind 7 March 2018 77-78
28
Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
The structure and governance of cathedrals
Relationship between cathedrals and dioceses
53. Since 1999, cathedrals have been governed by the Cathedrals Measure.91 This created
three bodies which together form the body corporate of a cathedral: the Chapter, the
Council and the College of Canons.
54. The Chapter runs the cathedral, and is formed of both clergy and lay people. It is chaired
by the Dean.92
55. The Council supports the work of the cathedral and advises the Chapter. It is chaired by
a lay person who is appointed by the diocesan bishop. The diocesan bishop does not have
the right to vote at the Council, although he is permitted to attend and speak at meetings.93
56. The College of Canons consists of the Dean and residentiary canons,94 suffragan
bishops, archdeacons and honorary and lay canons. It assists the Council with cathedral
affairs, and is responsible for electing a new bishop in accordance with the Appointment of
Bishops Act 1533.95
57. The Chapter has a high degree of independence. The diocesan bishop has no executive
role and is not involved on a day-to-day basis in the administration of a cathedral’s affairs.
Bishop Martin Warner explained that “cathedral clergy, although licensed by the diocesan
bishop, are officeholders, subject to the constitution and statutes of the cathedral which the
bishop is required to respect”.96
58. Bishop Hind summarised the situation neatly:
“Cathedrals are in a very anomalous position in relation to the diocese in which they are
set. The dean has his own ordinary jurisdiction within the cathedral and the bishop has no
direct responsibility for the life of the cathedral.”97
59. He described the relationship between Chichester Cathedral and the Chichester Diocese
as “opaque”, as the connection between the two bodies is blurred.98
60. In our view, this structure directly resulted in the inability of Bishop Hind to secure full
co-operation from Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.
61. If safeguarding reviews are commissioned, then there must be a clear line of
oversight. The Church may consider that clerics or other office holders subject to internal
Church discipline could be subject to disciplinary penalties for failing to co-operate with
such reviews.
91 INQ001068 92 The Dean is the chief resident clergyman of the Cathedral and head of the chapter of canons (the other clergy who have
posts within the Cathedral). See https://www.churchofenglandglossary.co.uk/dictionary/definition/dean 93 ACE025930_031 94 Residentiary canons are canons (i.e. clerics) who are members of cathedrals and the word derives from the fact that they are
bound by the rules, i.e. the canons of the cathedral. Some canons have specific roles within the life of the cathedral, e.g. the
treasurer, and so are known as residentiary canons. http://www.churchofenglandglossary.co.uk/dictionary/definition/canon 95 ACE025931_018-19 96 ACE026143_054 97 Hind 7 March 2018 75/9-10 98 Hind 7 March 2018 76/16
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
29
62. We consider it is essential that such reviews have the widest possible reach. They should
be advertised not just within the parish and cathedral communities, but in the local press and
on social media so that individuals can come forward. Appropriate support services must be
in place for such individuals if they wish to access them.
Relationship between cathedrals and diocesan safeguarding advisers
63. At the time of Terence Banks’ arrest, the diocesan arrangements for safeguarding
did not apply in the Cathedral. Child protection in the Cathedral was run by the Dean
and Chapter, advised by the Council.99 The Cathedral had no direct obligation to report
allegations or concerns to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Indeed, Bishop Hind described
the role of the safeguarding adviser as “very much a grace and favour matter in relation to the
Cathedral, which ran its own affairs as far as safeguarding was concerned”.
100
64. Canon Atkinson stated that, prior to the arrest of Banks, he did not recall any existing
relationship at all between the Chapter and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. He added
the relationship changed profoundly after Banks’ conviction and the subsequent Carmi
review. In his words, “there was no going back on a close working relationship between the
Cathedral and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser”.
101
65. Until 2016, there was no national guidance within the Church advising that cathedrals
should liaise with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Some dioceses have an agreement
with cathedrals to provide joint safeguarding arrangements, but it is not necessarily written
into a service level agreement and it is certainly not consistent across every diocese.102
66. Mr Colin Perkins has carried out annual reviews of safeguarding arrangements at
Chichester Cathedral since his appointment in 2011. He also decided to include the
Cathedral as part of the overall safeguarding picture within the Diocese. He negotiated a
service level agreement between the Diocese and the Chapter, which enabled the Cathedral
to be monitored in the same way as any parish. Under the terms of the agreement, the
Chichester Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Officer has also recently become the Cathedral
Safeguarding Officer. Her role contributes to the provision of direct oversight and close
co‑operation.103
67. Cathedrals should be included in the formal safeguarding systems of all dioceses.
Despite the failures exposed by the high-profile case of Terence Banks, the Church did not
take immediate action to ensure close communication between cathedrals and Diocesan
Safeguarding Advisers.
68. Documentation published from 2016 onwards made it clear to cathedrals that they
must have a formal safeguarding arrangement with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. It
was only as a result of the Cathedral Working Group Report in June 2018, and the changes
it proposed, that a substantive system of safeguarding process was put in place. This system
recognises the requirement for cathedrals to be put on the same canon law footing as other
parts of the Church in respect of their safeguarding responsibilities.
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
Relationship between Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School
69. The Carmi review identified strong links between Chichester Cathedral and The
Prebendal School. It highlighted the dangers presented by this close relationship, including
the consequent inability to ensure the existence of “a system of independent checks and
balances, with constituent parts able to act independently to challenge worrying behaviour within
their own and each other’s domain”.
104
70. This danger became a reality insofar as child protection was concerned. In 1991, two
young men separately alleged they had been abused by a member of clergy whilst pupils
at the school. The matter was referred to the Dean of 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”.
106
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
recommendations”.
110
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
31
77. This pressure is evident from a letter to the diocesan bishop dated 30 March 2004,
in which members of the Cathedral expressed their dissatisfaction with the report.111 In
particular, the letter raised concerns about the recommendation that an apology should be
provided to victims. The Dean and Chapter claimed this recommendation had been fulfilled
three years earlier, through the letter circulated to victims by Dean Treadgold. Bishop Hind
was asked to “consider removing recommendation 10.13 from the list when the recommendations
are made public”.
112
78. Similarly, whilst the letter expressed sorrow for past events, it failed to offer any apology
on behalf of Chichester Cathedral. There is no evidence to justify the suggestion that “the
action recommended has in fact been carried out to the best of our ability”.
113
79. Even before the report was finalised, attempts were being made to avoid its future
publication. In Dean Frayling’s letter to Bishop Hind dated 30 June 2003, he said that
to publish the report “would be more likely to damage our efforts to restore the cathedral’s
reputation just as these efforts are bearing fruit”.
114 Restoration of the Cathedral’s reputation
seemed to be the main concern for the Dean and Chapter at this time. As the Archbishops’
Council noted in its submissions to this Inquiry, “the needs of victims repeatedly came a poor
second to the Church’s wish to protect its reputation and the reputation of abusers”.115
80. The terms of reference provided that a summary report would be made available to
all those who participated in the review process, and that the recommendations of the
review would be made public. Moreover, the statutory guidance at that time upon which
the methods and processes of the Carmi review were based, Working Together to Safeguard
Children, made clear that:
“In all cases, the ACPC overview report should contain an executive summary that will
be made public, which includes as a minimum, information about the review process, key
issues arising from the case and the recommendations which have been made.”116
81. However, “nothing was published” in 2004.117 Indeed, the report would not be published
for another 10 years.
82. The report was not sent to The Prebendal School but the recommendations were sent
to the governing body. In a meeting during March 2004, the Governors noted:
“Although the bishop intended for the recommendations … to be made public, the full
report would remain confidential and the school would not be given the opportunity to
view a copy.”118
83. The report concerned offending against pupils of the school and those involved in choral
activities on Cathedral premises. It was evident that changes to safeguarding practice were
required and on that basis, the full report should have been made available to the school.
111 ACE023433_007-8 112 ACE023433_008 113 ACE023433_008 114 ACE023433_014 115 ACE026327_022 116 WWS000104_102 117 Carmi 20 March 2018 12/1 118 ANG000136_003
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
84. Ofsted would have been responsible for inspecting the school in respect of its welfare
provision for residential pupils from 2004 onwards. Helen Humphreys, an inspector
of education and children’s services, made a statement to the Inquiry on behalf of Her
Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) and Ofsted. She confirmed that “neither the 2004 report of,
nor recommendations made by, Mrs Carmi were passed by the Prebendal to Ofsted … it appears
that the reports and its recommendations were never drawn to Ofsted’s attention”.
119
85. Shortly after his appointment as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in May 2011, Mr Perkins
met with senior diocesan and Cathedral staff. At the meeting, he argued that the Carmi
review should be published. He was informed that the review could not be published for
legal reasons, which had supposedly been agreed at the time it was completed in 2004.120
86. In 2013, however, it came to light that no legal reasons existed to prevent publication of
the Carmi review. Graham Tilby, the current National Safeguarding Adviser, confirmed that
he too was “not aware of any specifically documented reasons for non-publication on receipt of
the full report in 2004”.
121 Bishop Warner instructed Mr Perkins to prepare the report for
publication. It was finally published in July 2014.
87. At the time of publication, there was in place a national panel of independent experts on
serious case reviews. The relevant guidance – Working Together to Safeguard Children – stated
that final serious case reviews should be published (contrary to the guidance in force in
2004) and sent to the national panel for further consideration by them.122 The Department
for Education confirmed the panel was not sent a copy of the Carmi review, despite the fact
that it contained recommendations about the organisation and governance of The Prebendal
School.123 Those recommendations had been shared with the forerunner to the Local
Safeguarding Children’s Board (the Area Child Protection Committee) in 2004.
88. The Department was unaware that such a report had even been commissioned until it
received the Inquiry’s request for information. Whilst not a regulatory requirement, it was
nonetheless essential for the governing body, the Dean and Chapter or the Diocese to have
informed those responsible for regulating the school. This would have enabled them to check
that recommendations had been implemented.
89. Neither the report nor any extracts from it were sent to the victims of Terence Banks.
AN‑A11 described this as “absolutely astonishing”.
124 Furthermore, the Church did not alert
the victims to the report’s publication. It was only by chance that AN-11 learned it had been
published, on seeing a national news report online.125 This was highly insensitive, particularly
in light of the assurance given to Mrs Carmi and to victims during the course of the review.
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Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
33
Findings of the Carmi review
90. The Carmi review considered events that occurred over a period of 30 years, over
which time “the perceptions and recognition of child abuse have dramatically changed”.
126
The Cathedral gradually fell out of step with society in its approach to child protection. It
failed to put in place adequate policies or procedures that would have enabled the swifter
identification of Terence Banks as a child sexual abuser.
The 1970s
91. In 1974, the public inquiry into the death of seven-year-old Maria Colwell exposed
a serious lack of communication within child protection agencies. It also highlighted a
persistent failure to provide sufficient training for social workers.127
92. During this period, The Prebendal School was aware of concerns relating both to
Terence Banks and David Bowring, a teacher at the school. The head teacher responded to
the allegations by banning Banks from school premises in 1973.128
93. In 1976, the head teacher advised the Department of Education that Bowring had been
dismissed because of misconduct with a 12-year-old boy. He confirmed that Bowring had
“admitted the offence and gave me his assurance that this incident was the only one of its kind
in which he had ever been involved”. It went on to describe him as a “talented and dedicated
teacher, who has served the school with unswerving loyalty and devotion”.
129
94. The head teacher appears to have accepted too readily Bowring’s claim that this was an
isolated incident. He chose not to pursue any independent investigation into the veracity of
that claim and neither perpetrator was reported to the police. Bowring would plead guilty
30 years later to no fewer than six charges of indecent assault against four boys, all of which
were committed in the 1970s when the victims were pupils at The Prebendal School.130
95. We have seen no evidence to confirm whether or not the Governing body were told
about Bowring’s dismissal, nor whether they were advised of the relevant reasons. However,
it is likely that the Chair of Governors was informed but no investigation took place either
within the school or Diocese.
96. Mrs Carmi concluded the behaviour of both organisations was consistent with existing
societal norms of the day.131 However, regardless of the era in which the abuse occurred,
The Prebendal School should have informed the police.
The 1980s
97. In 1987, Lady Butler-Sloss chaired a public inquiry into child abuse in Cleveland. Work
undertaken by the Law Commission led to the passing of the Children Act 1989, which
placed a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. A 1988
Home Office circular specified the appropriate approaches for investigating child sexual
abuse, and created a clear direction for specialist child protection units within the police.132
126 OHY000184_029 127 OHY000184_029 128 OHY000184_030 129 OHY000316_002 130 OHY000184_028 131 OHY000184_023 132 OHY000184_029
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
98. These developing societal attitudes were not mirrored by the Dean and Chapter of
the Cathedral. There was an absence of effective record-keeping, which led to confusion
about why Banks had been banned from school premises. According to Mrs Carmi, the
new headmaster of The Prebendal School believed that the ban was due to his disruptive
influence on pupils’ behaviour. Such misunderstandings resulted in the ban being only
partially enforced, with Banks continuing to enter the school and engage with its pupils.133
99. Mrs Carmi noted that, in the meantime, rumours continued to circulate that Banks was
sexually attracted to children. For example, a report was made to the vicar that he had been
seen embracing a young boy on Cathedral grounds. No action was taken by the Cathedral.134
100. Michael Walsh was a teacher at Bishop Luffa School in the 1980s. He was also head of
music at an Anglican church in Chichester, and was heavily involved with musical activities in
Chichester Cathedral. In 1986 and 1987, several members of clergy received allegations that
Walsh had raped a child. These allegations were not reported to the police. It was not until
1990, after a fourth victim contacted the police, that Walsh was convicted of five offences
of unlawful sexual intercourse involving pupils at the school. He was sentenced to five years’
imprisonment.135
The 1990s
101. The 1993 Home Office document Safe From Harm contained 13 good practice
guidelines for all voluntary organisations about their safeguarding of children.136 In 1995, the
Church of England’s response was to publish the House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse.
This was the Church’s first national child protection policy.137 It recommended that each
diocesan bishop should appoint a representative to advise on matters of child protection.
102. As part of the implementation of this policy, the Diocese of Chichester appointed
Mrs Hind in 1997 as its first Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. She drafted a set of diocesan
guidelines entitled The Protection of Children, which were accepted at a diocesan staff
meeting later that year.138 The Dean of Chichester Cathedral attended this meeting, as did
the Archdeacon of Chichester who was a member of the Cathedral Chapter.
103. The diocesan guidelines produced by Mrs Hind were more comprehensive and detailed
than national policies of the Church of England at the time. As she explained in her evidence,
the House of Bishops’ policies of 1995 and 1999 were produced by the legal department of
Church House in Westminster; neither had any input from child protection professionals.139
In contrast, Mrs Hind had a professional background in child protection and remarked that
“reading my 1997 policy, it is obvious to me it is written by a social worker”.
140 The national policy
focussed heavily on abuse by clergy. The diocesan guidelines were of wider application,
covering both clergy and volunteers.141 It is unclear why the Church, given its lack of relevant
expertise, did not seek assistance from external professionals when drafting the policies of
1995 and 1999.
133 OHY000184_031 134 OHY000184_031 135 OHY000184_027 136 INQ001079 137 OHY000184_029 138 ACE021328 139 WWS000051_011 140 Hind 9 March 2018 59/9-10 141 WWS000051_011
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
35
104. Mrs Hind emphasised to us that the guidelines were intended to apply equally to
Chichester Cathedral and to other congregations in the Diocese. Her understanding was
that cathedrals were firmly within her professional domain. She therefore sent copies of the
document to all clergy for implementation, operating in the expectation that the Cathedral
would follow diocesan policy. Each congregation was asked to appoint a child protection
representative to implement the policy in parishes and to receive training.142
105. There appears to have been some confusion about whether Church policies applied
equally to the Cathedral. Canon Atkinson accepted that the Cathedral was “very slow”
in implementing the 1997 guidelines. However, he added that “it was not a time at which
cathedrals automatically, spontaneously assumed that what bishops were putting out to apply to
parishes was to be implemented in cathedrals in exactly the same way”.
143
106. Meanwhile, Walsh was released from prison in the late 1990s and returned to the
Diocese of Chichester. He applied to sing in the mixed-age Cathedral choir. As Canon
Atkinson explained, this application “was resisted by the Chapter on more than one occasion,
out of consideration for the continuing feelings of the families involved in the case; though
eventually it was agreed that Mr Walsh could be allowed to sing on a very occasional basis”.
144 It is
difficult to see how it would ever be appropriate for someone convicted of these offences to
sing in this choir, at least without a very specific safeguarding contract in place.
107. Shortly after the diocesan policy was introduced in September 1997, Mrs Hind was
informed by a parish priest that Walsh conducted the choir only occasionally during church
services. She later discovered that this was incorrect. Walsh was in fact regularly rehearsing
the Cathedral choir, which included child members. He was also providing private music
tuition to some of those children.145
108. Canon Atkinson conceded that allowing Walsh’s application to sing in the choir “was a
complete mistake. We shouldn’t have done that”.
146 He confirmed that no formal agreement,
or indeed any safeguarding procedure at all, was put in place to protect against the risk that
Walsh may have posed.
109. The House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse and the updated 1999 Policy on Child
Protection both set out the presumption that a convicted child sex offender would not
be allowed to return to active ministry. However, as Mrs Carmi identified, neither policy
provided guidance on such an individual’s wider involvement in the Church.147 It is likely that
this failure led to some confusion within the Church regarding the management of convicted
individuals and may well have contributed to the Cathedral’s inadequate response in the case
of Michael Walsh.
110. This case occurred before the arrest of Banks and, according to Canon Atkinson,
“before Chapter had been fully sensitised to the subtlety and insidiousness of abuse”.
148 Indeed,
Mrs Carmi observed that the gap between the safeguarding approaches of the Cathedral
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
and the rest of society had “widened to an unacceptable level”.
149 However, lessons should
have been learned from the Walsh case. This might have enabled the Dean and Chapter to
avoid some of the mistakes made with Terence Banks.
Events leading to Terence Banks’ arrest
111. During the 1990s, further concerns were voiced within the Cathedral about the
behaviour of Terence Banks. In 1991, the Canon of Chichester Cathedral received an
allegation that Banks had shown pornographic videos to a 12-year-old boy. According to the
boy’s parents, they were spoken to by the Canon who made them feel “they were making
too much of a minor incident”.
150 No adult should show pornographic images to a child. It is
reprehensible that no steps were taken at this time.
112. On 29 March 2000, a victim visited Dean Treadgold and reported that he and another
boy had been sexually abused by Banks. Dean Treadgold did not report these allegations
to the police, the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser or social services. Instead, he said he
would discuss the matter with the victim on his return from a trip abroad. He advised the
victim to “act on his conscience as the Dean could not act on mere allegations”.
151
113. It was not until the father of another victim reported abuse to police that Banks was
finally arrested in April 2000.152 This delay followed a series of concerns spanning nearly
three decades, during which time both the Cathedral and The Prebendal School failed to act
on the emerging worrying pattern of abuse. They did not recognise that such matters should
be reported to the local authority or to the police, or indeed that children in their care were
being exposed to risk.
Aftermath of Terence Banks’ arrest
114. Mrs Hind was unaware of the Terence Banks case until the day of his arrest in April
2000, when she was contacted by the Communar of Chichester Cathedral. At the time
of his arrest, the Cathedral was yet to implement the diocesan child protection policy,
appoint a child protection representative, or request training for its volunteers.153 Canon
Atkinson openly acknowledged that “child protection was not an issue high on the agenda of the
Chapter … we were not implementing or articulating explicitly a child protection policy”.
154
115. By 2000, clear child protection procedures existed both in West Sussex and in the
Diocese of Chichester. The Protection of Children stated unambiguously that, on the making
of an allegation, “the parish priest will discuss the concerns with the Diocesan Child Protection
Adviser who will decide … what action to take”.
155 Dean Treadgold’s failure to take any
appropriate action was therefore inconsistent with existing parish guidance.
116. Canon Atkinson described the arrest of Banks as “the watershed. It was the wakeup … things began to move very quickly at that point”.
156 Mrs Hind worked in collaboration
with Chichester Cathedral, reviewing its draft child protection policy and encouraging the
appointment of an independent child protection representative.
149 OHY000184_033 150 OHY000184_032 151 OHY000184_033 152 OHY000184_033 153 WWS000051_005-6 154 ACE023433_003 155 ACE021328_019 156 Atkinson 20 March 2018 134/7-11
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
37
117. She offered similar assistance to The Prebendal School, advising about the inclusion
of independent people on its governing body who had no association with the Cathedral.
A note was added to Protecting All God’s Children, clarifying that the responsibilities of
parishes apply equally to cathedrals.157 This guidance was introduced by the House of
Bishops in 2004. It made a number of changes to the 1995 policy, including setting out
the professional skills required of Diocesan Child Protection Advisers. It also clarified that
the Diocese was responsible for appointing a suitably qualified Diocesan Child Protection
Adviser and for providing appropriate support.
118. In October 2000, the Chapter explicitly adopted its own safeguarding policy titled
Cathedral Child Protection Policy and Guidelines.158 This policy was amended and revised in
May 2003. Its provisions included regular child protection training, vetting of all staff and
volunteers, and arrangements for reporting child protection concerns. Convicted child sex
offenders were prohibited from holding any position that would bring them into contact
with children.
119. However, as Mrs Carmi correctly observed, this policy was deficient in several respects.
Although it provided for regular training, it failed to specify which staff and volunteers must
receive the training and the frequency at which it should be provided. It also omitted the
nature of the training required.159
120. The policy also stated that staff and volunteers should be provided with copies of the
document only “where appropriate”.
160 There was a failure to recognise the need for a general
awareness of its contents amongst all individuals involved in the life of the Cathedral,
regardless of whether or not they had unsupervised access to children.
121. Before resigning as Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind drafted a further child
protection policy entitled The Care and Protection of Children, which was published in 2002.161
It made plain that “any suspicion, allegation or disclosure that a child is suffering or is likely to
suffer significant harm, must be referred to the local Social Services Department”.
162
122. In contrast, the Cathedral’s policy provided merely for the reporting of “allegations”.
163
This was a significant omission by the Cathedral. Many of the concerns regarding Banks
involved matters such as his provision of alcohol to under-age children and overnight trips.
Neither of these would fall into the category of specific allegations, but they were obviously
inappropriate and of clear contextual importance. The Cathedral should have widened its
guidelines to allow for the referral of suspicions and concerns, in accordance with diocesan
procedures at the time.
123. In addition, Cathedral guidelines required the reporting of allegations to the Cathedral’s
child protection officer.164 Many individuals would prefer to make disclosures to a person
who is independent of the Church, an option that was set out in Mrs Hind’s updated
diocesan guidelines. In our view, it is important that all safeguarding guidelines should
include the option of alternative reporting routes.
157 ACE024892_057 158 ACE021320 159 OHY000184_038 160 ACE021320_003-4 161 ACE021327 162 ACE021327_022 163 ACE021320_004 164 ACE021320_004
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
124. The Care and Protection of Children also contained a significantly higher level of detail
than the 1997 diocesan guidelines. Unlike its predecessor, for example, the 2002 policy
introduced guidance about the reporting of historical allegations.165 It specified that all such
allegations must be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, although it did not
include a requirement to inform the police. As Mrs Carmi pointed out, neither diocesan nor
Cathedral procedures addressed the issue of anonymous allegations.166
The provision of pastoral support to victims
125. One of the key findings of the Carmi review was the provision of pastoral support
to victims. There is no dispute that during the course of his trial, Terence Banks was
accompanied at court each day by a member of clergy. In contrast, neither the Diocese nor
the Dean and Chapter offered pastoral support to the complainants who had attended to
give evidence against their perpetrator. AN‑A11 described this situation as “just astonishing, a
slap in the face. There was no support offered to us whatsoever”.
167
126. As Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind had no role in providing or arranging
support for the complainants at court. She had mistakenly believed that assistance was
being offered by Victim Support, although it does not appear that any efforts were made to
verify this.168
127. Canon Atkinson claimed that the Chapter relied on advice from Dean Treadgold, that
it could not provide pastoral support to complainants whilst the allegations were being
investigated.169 He also noted that the Chapter could not provide pastoral support to a
number of complainants as their identities were unknown to the Dean and Chapter.170 We do
not consider this to be an adequate justification. Their identities would certainly have been
known to the police and the prosecutorial authorities, via whom pastoral contact could have
been offered.
128. It was acknowledged by the Diocesan Child Protection Advisers in post, both prior
to and at the time of the Carmi review, that a letter offering diocesan support could have
been forwarded by the police. Other than the letter circulated by Dean Treadgold at the
conclusion of the trial, Canon Atkinson was not aware of any support having even been
offered to the complainants during or after the criminal case.171
129. The Dean and Chapter and the Diocese failed to respond effectively to victims’ needs,
and demonstrated a lack of concern for their welfare. In its submissions to this Inquiry, the
Archbishops’ Council described the shortfall in support as “appalling” and “extraordinary …
it is critical to recognise the harm that this caused to survivors”.172 It also recognised that the
absence of an appropriate pastoral response, as identified by Mrs Carmi, was not remedied
for far too long.
165 ACE021327_025 166 OHY000184_039 167 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 74/1-5 168 Hind 9 March 2018 75-76 169 Atkinson 20 March 2018 140/12-25 170 WWS000140_010 171 Atkinson 20 March 2018 143/13-17 172 ACE026327_021
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
39
130. The public display of clerical support undoubtedly fuelled the perception that the
Cathedral Chapter rallied around Terence Banks rather than his victims. It is not surprising
that the victims were left with the impression this was a system which favoured the abuser
rather than the abused.
The Chichester Cathedral community
131. The Carmi review went further. It concluded that victims and their families were often
ostracised by the Church after coming forward with their allegations. When the father of
one victim told his local village vicar about what had happened, the vicar did not respond
and subsequently appeared to avoid contact with him.173
132. The mother of another victim reported she was rejected by the Cathedral community
after disclosing an incident of abuse. She was forced to deal not only with the fact that her
child had been sexually abused, but with the social isolation she suffered as a consequence
of her disclosure.174
133. Mrs Carmi characterised Chichester Cathedral as a “closed community” which
encouraged the occurrence of incidents such as these and, in turn, posed a serious risk to
safeguarding.175 The culture she described was a hostile one, in which individuals who chose
to criticise the Cathedral community were shunned. Mrs Carmi remarked that “although
it was acceptable to disclose issues to individuals within the community so that they could be
dealt with internally, disclosing the issues to external parties was discouraged as this brought the
institution into potential disrepute and was perceived as a betrayal”.
176
134. On 7 June 2005, Canon Atkinson drafted an internal response to the Carmi review on
behalf of the Dean and Chapter. His view was that it represented a “fundamentally flawed
judgement on what went on at the cathedral”.
177 He specifically denied that the Cathedral
was a closed community. Rather, he described it as being “a series of different organisations,
involving different groups of people, with some overlap but much discontinuity”.
178 In his view,
Mrs Carmi had insufficient evidence to conclude that the families of victims were ostracised
by the Church.
135. By contrast, as Mrs Carmi observed, the accuracy of her characterisation depends on
the perspective of the viewer. As a matter of common sense, a person who is inside a closed
community is able to see and appreciate the various factions contained within it. A person
who is outside a closed community does not have that benefit. His or her perception may
simply be of a group that puts forward a solidly united front, through which it is seemingly
impossible to break.179
136. For example, one congregation member explained to Mrs Carmi that a select group of
individuals existed in Chichester Cathedral who would socialise with the senior clergy and
the Dean. From her and others’ viewpoints, Terence Banks was a member of that elite inner
circle. Regardless of whether or not this was factually correct, it was the perception that
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
created the problems with which we are concerned. His victims found it difficult to report
their abuse, in the knowledge that others who had done so felt rejected by the Cathedral
community.180
137. The status enjoyed by Banks has been the subject of some debate. There is no dispute
that, following the death of his parents, he was provided with Church-owned property in
1994. The Carmi review described his role as Head Steward of Chichester Cathedral, a title
which previously attributed to his father. According to Mrs Carmi, it was perceived to be a
powerful position, through which, for example, Banks was able to control the provision of
privileged seating.181
138. In Canon Atkinson’s internal memorandum, he dismissed this title as “entirely incorrect
… even as a description of the role of Head Steward, this is ludicrously overstated”.
182
139. In Canon Atkinson’s evidence to the Inquiry, he reasserted that Banks “was not this
immensely important figure, this personage of high importance. I’m quite convinced about that.”183
Yet he did acknowledge that Banks’ victims perceived him as a person of great influence.184
However, Bishop Hind referred to Banks as a steward “with a very, very small ‘s’ … it simply
meant he was somebody who stewarded people to their pews”.
185
140. As Mrs Carmi commented, perhaps from Canon Atkinson’s “position on the pyramid
it wasn’t all that high, but certainly for victims Terence Banks had a high status”.
186 Banks’
ability to provide preferential seating within the Cathedral to those families with whom
he was friendly, for instance, only served to reinforce his position of perceived power
and prominence.
141. In reality, the precise nature of his job does not matter. The widely held perception
of Banks was as a distinguished member of the Cathedral. This enabled him successfully to
influence, groom and abuse his victims. Indeed AN‑A11 recalled that at his young age, he
would have had “no concept of who was a volunteer in that kind of environment. He was part of
the religious establishment to me”.
187 His parents allowed him to visit Banks with naivety about
what his intentions may have been, purely because “they hung on every word of anybody
within that establishment. They were incredibly proud of me being part of it.”188
142. In declining AN‑A11’s request for a contribution towards his counselling costs, Dean
Frayling advised “Terence Banks was not at any time an employee of the Dean and Chapter.
He was, on occasions, a volunteer steward who assisted in showing people to their seats
before services.”189
143. This attitude was problematic for effective safeguarding. It shows a belief existed
within the Cathedral that the title of ‘volunteer’ minimised both the person’s role in the
Church and the Church’s responsibility for their actions. That is fundamentally flawed. It
180 Carmi 20 March 2018 26/9-25 181 OHY000184_009 182 ACE022520_005 183 Atkinson 20 March 2018 169/16-18 184 ACE022520_004 185 Hind 7 March 2018 83/19-22 186 Carmi 20 March 2018 20/3-5 187 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 59/10-12 188 AN‑A11 20 March 2018 65/22-25 189 INQ000984_017-18
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
41
suggests volunteers do not represent a key pillar of the Church’s structure, yet the reality
is the Church would collapse without their contribution. As Bishop Hind pointed out, “the
church is primarily a voluntary body”.
190
The implementation of Mrs Carmi’s recommendations
144. Bishop Hind said the recommendations of the Carmi review “made a significant
difference to our practice”. He added that, despite the reservations expressed by the Dean
and Chapter, they did accept the recommendations which led to a “marked change of culture
within the cathedral”.
191
145. Shortly after completion of the Carmi review in 2004, the Chichester Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser produced an implementation plan. This plan identified the tasks to
be undertaken and the resources required for the achievement of each objective set by
Mrs Carmi.192 According to Mr Tilby, all recommendations were accepted except one; namely,
the recommendation that the position of Cathedral Dean as Chair of Governors of The
Prebendal School be reconsidered.193
B.3: The cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard
Reverend Roy Cotton’s conviction for child sexual abuse
146. In March 1954, just six weeks before the date of his intended ordination, Reverend Roy
Cotton was found guilty of indecently exposing himself to a child in an organ loft. He was
acting as a Scoutmaster at the time. The court sentenced him to probation for one year and
he withdrew from theological training.194 He was also banned from the Scout Movement.
147. Over the following decade, however, Cotton set up a preparatory school and continued
to work closely with children. In 1966, a number of pupils reported that he had sexually
abused them and he was dismissed from the school. These allegations do not appear to have
been reported to the police by the pupils, their families or those in positions of responsibility
at the school.195
148. In 1967, Cotton was ordained. The Bishop of Portsmouth, John Phillips, believed he
should be exempted from the usual recruitment process, saying he “should not be subjected to
a further raking-up of all that has gone before”.196 In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury
dated 13 May 1966, Bishop Phillips praised Cotton as “a man of considerable ability … free of
any trouble for twelve years”.197
149. As a result of this persistence on his behalf, Cotton’s conviction was successfully
withheld from the Selection Committee.198 This enabled him to avoid the objective scrutiny
and risk evaluations that prospective ordinands typically received. In our view, any concerns
190 Hind 7 March 2018 45/24-25 191 WWS000138_032-033 192 WWS000105 193 ACE025940_045 194 ACE025954_138 195 ACE025954_133 196 ACE025954_121 197 ACE025954_132 198 ACE025954_121
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
regarding Cotton’s criminality were overshadowed by the belief that his offending was “in the
past”. Even at that time, we consider this to have been a gross error of judgement given the
potential risk to children.
150. In subsequent correspondence, Bishop Phillips continued to minimise the severity of
Cotton’s offending. Lambeth Palace indicated its intention to place him on the caution list.199
Upon learning of this, Bishop Phillips said:
“Perhaps because there has been a court case this is inevitable, but it was over 12 years
ago, and I just wonder how long a man has to be in the clear before his name has to go on
a list.”200
151. Bishop Phillips also exerted heavy pressure on the Scout Association to accept Cotton
as a leader. He failed to acknowledge the risk that Cotton could still pose to children and
the fact that time would not necessarily diminish the propensity to offend. He went so far
as to question the validity of the conviction, declaring in one letter that “I went very carefully
indeed into the past, and I discovered that all who then had any dealings with him had grave
doubts of his guilt in the matter for which he was accused”.
201 In a separate effort to secure
Cotton’s appointment as the Vicar of Harting, he claimed that the offence “has, I believe, been
proved a false one. He pleaded guilty at the time to spare the boys concerned having to appear
in court.”202
152. The Scout Association soon succumbed. Despite the terms of its recruitment policy,
which excluded convicted offenders from employment, Cotton was granted a Leader Permit
in 1969.203 This provided him with authorised and unsupervised access to young boys, but
also established him as a trusted authority figure in the eyes of their parents.
Further allegations of abuse
153. In 1974, Cotton was appointed as parish priest at St Andrew’s Church in Eastbourne.
He took charge of the choir and organised various activities for young people, including
overnight trips away.204 One of the children involved in these activities was 10-year-old
Philip Johnson.
154. Mr Johnson told us “Roy Cotton groomed me pretty much from the first time that I ever
met him”.
205 Cotton singled him out for special attention, including picking him up from home
in his car and inviting him to assist with extra tasks. Before long, Mr Johnson was expected
to take showers in Cotton’s presence which made him feel “very uncomfortable”.
206
155. Mr Johnson’s parents regarded Cotton as a wealthy and powerful man who could
offer their son opportunities in life. He used his status to gain their trust by, for example,
purchasing academic books for Mr Johnson and educating him on their contents. He began
to spend more unsupervised time with his victim, which led to physical acts such as kissing
and cuddling.207
199 This list is circulated privately to bishops by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s staff. It has various categories but is designed
to identify individuals towards whom caution should be exercised.
200 ACE025954_101 201 ACE025954_079 202 ACE025954_071 203 ACE025954_077 204 ANG000090_001 205 Johnson 6 March 2018 19/20-21 206 ANG000090_002 207 ANG000090_003
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
43
156. Mr Johnson recalled his attendance on a group camping trip to France, when he was
11 years old. One night, he felt homesick and unwell. Cotton invited him into his sleeping bag
and sexually assaulted him.208
157. Cotton took Mr Johnson on numerous trips abroad during his teenage years, both alone
and with others. On these trips, Mr Johnson says, Cotton gave him alcohol “to try and wear
down my resistance”.
209 Although parishioners were aware of these trips, nobody appears
to have raised concerns about a middle-aged man holidaying for extended periods with a
teenage boy.
158. Mr Johnson also stayed regularly at Cotton’s vicarage, during which time “the sexual
activity increased and became more serious”. Cotton would come to his bedroom and remove
Mr Johnson’s clothing, before masturbating him until he ejaculated. Mr Johnson told us that
on occasion this was “quite rough and forceful, causing pain and discomfort”. Cotton attempted
anal penetration on several occasions.210
159. This serious and sustained abuse continued until Mr Johnson went to university at
the age of 19. As a result, he suffered negative consequences on his physical and mental
health “which continue to the present day”.
211 His experiences meant he was unable to build
sexual relationships with others. He suffered from flashbacks and struggled to perform
academically. He felt “worthless and inadequate and this infected every aspect of my life”.
212
160. When he was 15 years old, Cotton took Mr Johnson to stay with Reverend Colin
Pritchard. He described this as “the most frightening evening of my life”.
213 Having been plied
with alcohol by both men, he awoke the next morning to find himself naked in Pritchard’s
bed with no memory of the previous night. Pritchard then sexually assaulted him in the
kitchen, “grabbing at my genitals under my dressing gown to such an extent that he cut my penis
with his fingernail”.
214 Pritchard would later plead guilty to this assault.
The arrests of Reverends Cotton and Pritchard
161. In September 1996, Mr Johnson learned that his younger brother had also been
sexually abused by Cotton. This prompted him to visit Sussex Police Station, where he
reported the offences committed by Cotton and Pritchard. Mr Johnson said he was made
to feel uncomfortable by the officers, who appeared to view him “as a threat to children …
I felt that I was being investigated more than Cotton or Pritchard”.
215 He was not directed to
counselling services or any form of victim support.
162. Sussex Police arrested both Cotton and Pritchard in December 1997, 15 months after
the initial complaint was made.216 During this delay, there is no evidence that Sussex Police
took any steps to prevent the suspects from having contact with children.217
208 ANG000090_006 209 ANG000090_010 210 ANG000090_009 211 ANG000090_022 212 ANG000090_016 213 ANG000090_011 214 ANG000090_011 215 ANG000090_018 216 OHY003521_002 217 Hick 9 March 2018 144/3-8
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
163. Detective Sergeant Hick suggested that at this time, child protection was not a widely
understood topic within policing.218 Nevertheless, there was a plethora of guidance in place
by the mid-1990s. This included nine Home Office circulars around child sexual abuse, two
editions of Working Together to Safeguard Children and two thematic investigations by Her
Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), along with the establishment of area child
protection committees.
164. The police relied on their computer system to check the details of Cotton’s past.
DS Hick told us it was “inconceivable” that these checks would not have been conducted at
the time of his arrest. Accordingly, Sussex Police “would have been aware” of his conviction
and “the officer would have been aware when he did his interview”.219
165. In early 1999, however, the Crown Prosecution Service concluded there was
insufficient evidence to prosecute either Cotton or Pritchard. DS Hick said the decision
was “presumably due to a lack of corroborative evidence”.
220 The requirement of formal
corroboration was abolished by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The very
nature of sexual offending often means there is no ‘corroboration’ by way of any witness
to the offence other than the complainant. We assume that DS Hick meant ‘supporting
evidence’, namely material that makes a complainant’s account more likely to be true. The
police did not visit the diocesan office to seek out relevant material for their enquiries.221
Relationship between the Church and police
166. During the investigation, Mr Johnson was advised by Sussex Police that he should
refrain from making a complaint to the Church, as “all contact with the Church would be via the
police”.
222 However, DS Hick told us the force “did not share any sensitive information” relating
to this case with the Diocese of Chichester.223
167. In December 1997, Mrs Hind was the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. Upon learning
of the arrests, she contacted the investigating officer at Sussex Police. He declined to share
the victims’ names or any description of the allegations, including their nature and severity.
The police did not request access to the blue files224 of Cotton and Pritchard, nor was
Mrs Hind invited to provide any assistance to the investigation.225
168. During the 1990s, no information-sharing protocol existed between the Diocese of
Chichester and the police.226 The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) herself could not
have viewed the blue file at that time, as access was confined to the Bishop of Chichester
and his senior team. The fact that she was denied access to this file, coupled with an absence
of inter-agency co-operation, contributed to the investigation’s overall lack of progress.
169. When the case was discontinued, Sussex Police should have disclosed their written
findings to the Diocese. As Mrs Hind observed, failure to do so meant that the Diocese had
no evidence on which to base any disciplinary action. The Church was also unable to initiate
218 Hick 9 March 2018 147/14-16 219 Hick 9 March 2018 156/7-12 220 ANG000212_002 221 Hick 9 March 2018 152/20-25 222 Johnson 6 March 2018 49/24-25 223 ANG000212_002 224 These are personnel files kept by the Diocese which should be a thorough record of someone’s appointments as an office
holder. They also contain internal material as to their character, conduct and any complaints made against them.
225 WWS000051_021 226 Hick 9 March 2018 137/14-24
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
45
contact with the victims, due to the non-disclosure of their identities. This general failure to
share information led to a flawed police investigation, and a situation in which the effective
safeguarding of children was compromised.227
170. Equally, the Diocese did not offer Church files to the police. It did not conduct its own
enquiries into the two priests. It appears to have adopted a largely passive approach to the
investigation, with Mrs Hind admitting that “we probably would have waited” for the police to
ask for relevant material.228
171. At this time, Bishop Wallace Benn was the Area Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of
Chichester. He was keen to emphasise that all responsibility for contacting the police lay
with Mrs Hind. He accepted her advice that Cotton should have no contact with children
during the investigation, and told Cotton the same. He also claimed to have relied on her
view that it was unnecessary to suspend Cotton from public ministry. This is despite, on his
own account, being oblivious to the nature of the allegations at this stage.229
172. This raises two important issues. First, a condition of non-contact with children is
difficult to enforce on a practical basis, even with the inclusion of relevant safeguards.
Bishop Benn was in any case unable to explain how this condition was monitored, or point
to any safeguarding agreement signed by Cotton which prevented him from undertaking
services with children.230 Although Bishop Benn verbally instructed him to avoid contact
with children, he was effectively free to behave as he wished.
173. Bishop Benn repeatedly insisted that the issue of disciplinary action was “not my
role … the DSA’s responsibility was to initiate any monitoring and I would have acted on this
advice”.
231 Nicholas Reade, Archdeacon of Lewes, 1997–2004, in contrast, told the Inquiry
that “discipline is a matter for the bishop”.
232 In failing to suspend Cotton from ministry during
the police investigation, the Diocese neglected to manage the risks he posed. Bishop Benn’s
stated reliance on Mrs Hind allowed him to sidestep his own responsibilities.
174. The efforts by the Church were constrained by its inability to correspond with the
victim and the lack of multi-agency co-operation. The House of Bishops’ policy guidance at
that time stated that the Church would not conduct its own investigations.
Reverend Roy Cotton’s retirement
175. During the police investigation, Cotton notified Bishop Benn of his intention to retire,
saying “I trust that I shall be granted a licence to officiate generally in the Diocese when needs
demand”.
233 In his response, Bishop Benn assured Cotton that “I shall be very happy to grant
you this”.
234 This does not sit comfortably with his evidence to the Inquiry, in which he
claimed that “I would have preferred not to grant Roy Cotton PTO”.
235
227 WWS000051_021 228 Hind 9 March 2018 110/19 229 WPB000047_023 230 Benn 12 March 2018 55/4-11 231 WPB000047_023 232 WWS000072_024 233 WPB000009_001 234 WPB000008_001 235 WPB000047_026
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
176. However he did grant permission to officiate (PTO) to Cotton on 17 May 1999, by
which time the police investigation had ceased. Bishop Benn concluded that there were,
accordingly, no grounds for refusing it, “especially in the face of the direct instruction from
Bishop Eric Kemp, who had expressly told me to do so”.
236 He told the Inquiry this was a verbal
instruction, although he was unable to specify when it was received or produce any written
record of the exchange in which it was given.237 Bishop Benn insisted he knew nothing of
Cotton’s earlier conviction until 2001. Whether or not the police investigation had been
completed, there should not have been an automatic assumption that there was nothing to
concern Church authorities.
177. It does not appear that Bishop Benn sought any advice on this issue from Mrs Hind.
Her clear understanding was that “Cotton was ill and was withdrawing from all ministry. I had no
expectation that he would be granted PTO”.
238
178. In light of the recent police investigation, it was unwise of the Diocese to grant Cotton
permission to officiate. The inability of either the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or Area
Bishop to see the blue files impeded any risk assessment being carried out or an adequate
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
47
182. As Cotton came from an Anglo-Catholic background, Archdeacon Reade said
he “would have felt bereft if not allowed to celebrate Mass … Bishop Wallace wanted to facilitate
that”.
242 Mrs Hind informed us that Bishop Benn did not make her aware of the confidential
declaration. As a result, she was not in a position to consider any risk assessment.243
183. In his witness statement, Bishop Benn said he was confident that both Mrs Hind and
Mr Tony Sellwood were told about Cotton’s disclosure.244 The Meekings report recorded that
Bishop Benn had confirmed that he did not discuss Cotton’s conviction with Mr Sellwood
at any time.
184. This was a clear example of the Diocese failing to prioritise its responsibilities for
children and young people. Its approach seems to have been led by pastoral concerns for
Cotton, rather than the potential danger he posed to children.
185. It is not at all clear why Bishop Benn did not consider it appropriate to pass this
information to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. The significance of her role was
apparently not appreciated by senior members of clergy. If such an appreciation did exist, it
was overridden by less important concerns for a fellow member of clergy.
186. Moreover, no written record of the restrictions was made. Instead, they were
communicated to Cotton during a visit to his house by Archdeacon Reade. Archdeacon
Philip Jones was appointed Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings in 2005. As he pointed out,
“nothing was formalised” and it is likely that neither Bishop Benn nor Archdeacon Reade “knew
the extent of his activities on a day-to-day basis”.
245
187. When questioned about how he intended to enforce these restrictions, Bishop Benn
responded, “You hope a clergyman will take the command of a bishop seriously”.
246 Cotton’s
sexual offending demonstrates a blatant disregard for the moral codes of society and of the
Church. A verbal rebuke from a bishop was unlikely to alter his mindset.
188. Following Cotton’s retirement, Reverend Duncan Lloyd-James succeeded him as the
Rector of Brede with Udimore. Reverend Lloyd-James confirmed that both before and after
his appointment, no member of senior clergy alerted him to the allegations against Cotton.
Cotton continued to officiate publicly on numerous occasions, including in the presence
of children. This was at times with Reverend Lloyd-James’ permission, which he says he
“most certainly would not have given”247 had he known of the allegations. This reinforces the
deficiencies that were in place on the ground for the granting of permission to officiate.
Victims’ correspondence with the Diocese
189. On 13 March 1999, Sussex Police sent a letter to Mr Johnson. They informed him
that no further action would be taken against Cotton and Pritchard, due to a lack of
corroborating evidence. He was “devastated” to receive this news some two and a half years
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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”.
253
193. Bishop Benn told us that he did not inform the police himself about the allegations as
“it was the responsibility of the DSA to decide what information should be shared with the police
and to share all relevant information with the police”. Given the serious allegations raised, he
should have at least followed up to ensure that Mr Sellwood did inform the police and to find
out what had happened.
The Northamptonshire Police investigation
194. On 1 September 2006, a young man attended Northamptonshire Police Station. He
alleged that he had been repeatedly abused by Pritchard during his early teenage years. The
abuse included mutual masturbation, oral sex and attempted anal penetration.254
195. On 27 September 2006, a warrant was executed at Pritchard’s home address and
items of his property were seized. He was subsequently interviewed under caution by
Northamptonshire Police, at which time he denied all allegations. Pritchard was released on
bail whilst further enquiries took place.
196. In June 2007, Detective Constable David Charman of Northamptonshire Police met
with Mrs Hind at the Bishop of Chichester’s Palace. He reviewed the blue files of both
Pritchard and Cotton. As a result of this review, he identified that Mr Johnson and his
brother, Mr Gary Johnson, may have been further victims of both men. Accordingly, he
contacted Sussex Police and requested the file from their original investigation. However,
the police advised him that they “were unable to locate it”, with the officer adding that “he was
unable to remember anything of the Pritchard case he had investigated previously”.
255
248 Johnson 6 March 2018 52/2 249 OHY003521_004 250 ACE021705_033 and 040-45 251 ACE021705_034 252 WPB000047_031 253 ACE021705_030 254 NNP000026_002 255 NNP000026_004
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49
197. Sussex Police confirmed that all records from its investigation had been destroyed
in 2004. At that time, its policy was to dispose of files relating to child sexual offences
after five years.256 The damaging consequence was that by the time the Northamptonshire
investigation commenced, valuable information on Pritchard and Cotton could no longer
be accessed. Furthermore, the promise given by Sussex Police to Mr Johnson that matters
would be kept on file was simply not true.
198. During the course of the Northamptonshire investigation, Cotton died. His victims
were denied the opportunity to see him brought to justice. Pritchard, however, was arrested
and charged with sexual offending against children. On 28 July 2008, he pleaded guilty to
seven counts of indecent assault and gross indecency, relating in part to Mr Johnson. He was
sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.257
199. Mr Johnson praised the efforts of Northamptonshire Police, who aided his
understanding of the court process and provided him with regular updates throughout the
investigation. He described Northamptonshire and Sussex police forces as “like night and day”
in terms of the quality of their support for victims and survivors.258
The response of the Diocese
200. Bishop Benn, former Bishop of Lewes, was aware of the Northamptonshire Police
investigation in 2006. He said he “took no further steps at that time, because the matter was
being dealt with by Tony Sellwood, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser”.259 He did not raise the
question of whether Pritchard should be suspended from ministry, nor did Mr Sellwood
advise that Pritchard be suspended after his arrest.
201. Pritchard announced his retirement in January 2007. The granting of permission to
officiate (PTO) was at that time the responsibility of Bishop Benn as area bishop. Pritchard
requested permission to officiate from Bishop Benn. It was granted immediately with no
conditions attached.260 This should not have happened. Pritchard was still being investigated
by Northamptonshire Police for offences of child sexual abuse, after having been arrested
previously by Sussex Police for similar allegations.
202. Bishop Benn told the Inquiry that, without any instruction from him, his personal
assistant had “issued the PTO believing that she was supposed to do so and using a signature
stamp … it was an error on her part”.
261 If this was the case, it reflects poorly on the quality of
the process and of record-keeping at that time.
203. In July 2007, Bishop Benn’s assistant informed him that Pritchard had been granted
permission to officiate. Bishop Benn discussed this with Mrs Hind and Bishop Hind, who
was his diocesan bishop at the time. They advised that Pritchard should not be allowed to
work with children. They did not suggest his permission to officiate should be suspended
or withdrawn, and Bishop Benn did not raise this issue.262 Bishop Hind, however, recalled
Bishop Benn stating that Pritchard was not “involved in active ministry”.
263
256 Hick 9 March 2018 140/9-11 257 NNP000026_006 258 Johnson 6 March 2018 58/17 259 WPB000047_035 260 WPB000012_001 261 WPB000047_035-36 262 WPB000047_035-36 263 WWS000138_040
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
204. In any event, it was not until September 2007 that Pritchard’s permission to officiate
was suspended on the advice of Mrs Shirley Hosgood, the newly appointed Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser.264 Some years later, Bishop Hind discovered that Pritchard had in fact
been taking public services prior to his suspension. This was contrary to the statements of
Bishop Benn, who told us that “Pritchard was off sick anyway and was not ministering at all”.
265
There was a presumption that clergymen would obey the instructions of more senior clerics,
who failed to check or monitor those with permission to officiate.
205. During the Northamptonshire Police investigation in December 2007, Mr Johnson
alerted Bishop Benn to an online blog authored by another victim of Cotton, known to this
Inquiry as AN-A31.266 His account of abuse was relevant to the case against Pritchard, who
was accused of conspiring with Cotton to abuse children. Bishop Benn did not inform the
police or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser of this information. He “assumed” they had
already been made aware of the issue by Mr Johnson, and failed in his own responsibilities
as a recipient of this complaint.267 Two months later, AN-A31 directly disclosed his abuse to
Mrs Hosgood. She immediately advised Northamptonshire Police of the allegations.268
206. Bishop Benn told us that he passed the blog to Bishop Hind.269 However, Bishop
Hind said that he heard about it from Mrs Hosgood and not from Bishop Benn.270 This was
supported by the evidence of Mrs Hosgood, who gave it to him in February 2008.271
207. As Mrs Hosgood observed, Bishop Benn should have ensured that this information
was passed to either her or the police in December 2007. His failure to notify her was also
contrary to diocesan safeguarding procedures, which required that the safeguarding adviser
must be informed of all allegations of abuse as soon as possible.
208. Shortly after Pritchard was imprisoned, Bishop Hind wrote an open letter to his
victims. He expressed his “compassion for all who have suffered” but said “the Church of
England cannot accept responsibility for the personal actions of abusers”.272 The latter expression
was insensitive and hurtful to victims. It was also wrong in law. Bishop Hind told us that he
regretted this wording, but that it had been based on legal advice received.
The Past Cases Review
Establishment of the review
209. During the mid to late-2000s, a number of individuals in the Church of England were
reported for sexual abuse. In 2007, for example, a choirmaster named Peter Halliday was
convicted of 10 counts of sexual abuse of boys between 1986 and 1990. Despite being
aware of this abuse before his arrest, the Bishop of Dorking failed to notify the police. In
1990, he allowed Mr Halliday to “leave quietly as long as he had no more contact with children”.
Mr Halliday went on to act as a governor at a secondary school and work with children
in a choir.273
264 ANG000213_021 265 WPB000047_035 266 ACE023504_002 267 WPB000047_033 268 ANG000213_017 269 WPB000047_033 270 WWS000138_para 123 271 ANG000213_20.5 272 OHY000111_001 273 ACE025937_003
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
51
210. In May 2007, the House of Bishops sought assistance from the Church’s Central
Safeguarding Liaison Group (CSLG) on how to manage a review of past cases. The CSLG
was designed to provide such advice, with its membership including various independent
safeguarding experts. Concerns were being expressed within the Church as to the number
and nature of child abuse cases that had come to light. As Lord Rowan Williams told the
Inquiry, these cases showed “that the present effects of poor practice in the past were still an
acute problem for those who had suffered abuse, and that practice across the Church of England
remained uneven in its effectiveness”. He added that the Church “could not credibly claim to
be putting the interests of children first if we were not willing to review our past and present
performance more rigorously”.
274
211. This led to the establishment of a Past Cases Review Working Group. On 5 December
2007, a protocol for the review was approved by the House of Bishops.275 The key purpose
of the review was to “ensure that in every case, the current risk, if any, is identified, and
appropriate plans are made to manage the identified risk to children and young people and take
any action necessary in the light of current statutory and other best practice guidance”.276
212. Dioceses were invited to adopt the protocol in a letter circulated by the Bishop of
Hereford, Anthony Priddis. He was the lead bishop for safeguarding at this time.277 All
dioceses were required to compile a ‘Known Cases List’ covering all cases “involving any
clergy, employees, readers and licensed lay workers or volunteers in the Church about whom
information of concern exists”. An independent reviewer was to be appointed by each diocese,
who would review the list and consider all relevant safeguarding files.278
213. The Church recently commissioned an independent team to scrutinise the adequacy
of the Past Cases Review. A report, published in June 2018, identified various shortcomings
in the review process. For example, there was a lack of clarity about which roles were in
the scope of the review. Categories ranged from “clergy, employees, readers and licensed lay
workers or volunteers in the Church” to “all cases in which it is alleged that a person who holds
office in the church, ordained or lay, paid or voluntary”. There was little involvement of Church
bodies and institutions outside episcopal oversight.279
The Meekings report
214. Roger Meekings was the independent reviewer appointed by the Diocese of
Chichester. Mrs Hosgood identified him as a suitable candidate for this work, having been
supervised by him in previous safeguarding roles. Mr Meekings was a qualified social worker
and a specialist in child protection issues.280
215. Bishop Hind appointed Mr Meekings on 7 February 2008.281 He was given authority
to access all relevant files held by the Diocese. Bishop Hind also wrote to a number of key
office holders. He asked them to identify any potential cases of concern relating to child
sexual abuse, and to provide details of those cases to Mr Meekings.282
274 ACE026001_005 275 ACE025937_004-5 276 ACE024730_003 277 ACE004958_009 278 ACE025937_006-7 279 ACE026359_16 280 ANG000210_001-2 281 ANG000145 282 ACE022267_097-98
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
216. Mr Meekings examined approximately 1,500 diocesan files and documents. He
also viewed separate case records of individuals about whom there had been previous
safeguarding concerns. These records were held by the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.283
Mr Meekings finalised his review of past cases on 12 February 2009.284
217. In light of Pritchard’s recent conviction, Mr Meekings also produced a confidential
addendum addressing the cases of Pritchard and Cotton.285 This document suggested
that the Diocese should review the actions of staff in relation to both cases. Bishop Hind
subsequently requested that Mr Meekings conduct this review himself and make
appropriate recommendations.286
The Cotton and Pritchard report
218. During his review of the Cotton and Pritchard cases, Mr Meekings interviewed
Bishop Benn on two occasions. He concluded that Bishop Benn “had found out about
Roy Cotton’s 1954 conviction during the time that the police were undertaking their 1998/9
enquiries. He had not shared this information with Janet Hind, the Child Protection Adviser at the
time.”287 According to Mr Meekings, Bishop Benn had learned of Cotton’s conviction from
Archdeacon Reade, who was Archdeacon of Lewes and Hastings at the time. He then met
with Cotton during the late 1990s, who disclosed his conviction but claimed to have been
falsely accused. Bishop Benn did not recall ever seeing the 2001 confidential declaration,
and suggested it may have been misfiled.288
219. Based on this information, Mr Meekings drafted a chronology of events concerning
Cotton. This chronology included recording the date that Bishop Benn found out about
Cotton’s “conviction”. In May 2009 he sent this to Bishop Benn, who confirmed that 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
53
222. According to Mr Meekings’ handwritten notes of their discussions about Cotton on
20 April 2009, Bishop Benn remarked, “You can’t write off a good guy, just because of a bad
day.”294 This comment was disturbingly reminiscent of those made 40 years earlier by the
Bishop of Portsmouth, when he casually dismissed concerns about Cotton as being “in the
past”. It appeared to privilege the needs and interests of the abuser over the abused.
223. Bishop Benn suggested that this comment was made in relation to a separate matter,
namely a trivial dispute between the wives of two vicars. He was unable to explain why
this would arise during a safeguarding conversation about a sexual offender, other than to
comment that “a lot of these notes are actually not very clear and a bit muddled”.
295 As a matter
of common sense, it is unlikely that Mr Meekings would have recorded this information if it
was irrelevant to the context of their meeting. Bishop Benn’s evidence lacked credibility, as
such remarks were clearly inconsistent with the intention of the meeting.
224. Having spoken with Cotton in the late 1990s, Bishop Benn said that he considered
him to be “a villain … I did not believe him and his protestations”.
296 If he truly doubted Cotton’s
honesty, then the obvious course of action was to make enquiries as to whether his
version of events was correct. Bishop Benn failed to do so and, at best, displayed a lack of
appropriate curiosity. He should have either requested access to Cotton’s blue file or asked
Bishop Hind to check it himself. Had either of them examined the blue file, it would have
shown that Cotton was a convicted offender.
225. Bishop Benn told us that having received the confidential declaration form, he
instructed his personal assistant to send it to Chichester Palace for inclusion in Cotton’s
blue file. When Mr Meekings reviewed the blue file, this document was missing. Bishop
Benn took no responsibility for its absence, saying it could only be due to “a specific failing
of my PA”.
297
226. Bishop Benn should have shared Cotton’s disclosure with the Diocesan Child
Protection Adviser in the 1990s, regardless of whether he believed it to be an allegation
or a conviction. This might have prompted a review of his blue file, which may in turn have
shown that he was a convicted offender. The consequence of Bishop Benn’s failure to share
information was that Cotton’s past was not made subject to wider or professional scrutiny.
Findings of the Past Cases Review
227. Mr Meekings recommended that the delegation of authority for permission to officiate
should be reviewed, having found that crucial information on individuals was not always
recorded on their blue file. He specified that area bishops should not make decisions without
formally accessing the contents of those files.298
228. He also noted that the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser held a separate set of case
records, which were stored separately from the blue files. He recommended that all of these
documents be integrated, having observed that the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser was not
routinely given access to the blue files.299
294 ANG000179_003 295 Benn 12 March 2018 68/24-25 296 WPB000047_014 297 WPB000047_017 298 ANG000167_002 299 ANG000167_003
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
229. Mr Meekings said there should be a clear protocol for resolving disagreements
between the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and senior clergy. This would ensure that
safeguarding matters were addressed professionally and transparently.300
Response of the Diocese
230. In February 2009, Bishop Hind informed senior diocesan staff that permission to
officiate should not be granted to any person unless written confirmation was received from
the Bishop’s Palace that all necessary cross-checks had been made.301
231. Following submission of the draft addendum report into Cotton and Pritchard,
however, the Diocese did not respond for almost four months. On 18 September 2009,
Bishop Hind sent an email to Mr Meekings expressing his desire to discuss its contents, but
adding that he would not be available for another month.302 Mr Meekings was “surprised at
the apparent lack of urgency and importance given to the findings of the Cotton/Pritchard report
by the Diocese”.
303
232. The email included a document entitled ‘Points of Action’ composed by the Diocese
in response to the Past Cases Review generally.304 Bishop Hind explained that he had
appointed Archdeacon Jones to address the findings of the Cotton and Pritchard report.
233. In his response, Mr Meekings raised the concern that locating the role at Archdeacon
level would “reduce the perceived importance placed on safeguarding by the Diocese … there
could be an issue as to whether an Archdeacon would have sufficient authority to ensure
compliance”.
305 He also noted that Archdeacon Jones worked in the same geographic area as
Bishop Benn, with whom he shared a close working relationship. The Cotton and Pritchard
report questioned the integrity of Bishop Benn’s conduct, but Mr Meekings believed that it
may not “receive the degree of objective introspection and forensic scrutiny it required”.
306
234. Archdeacon Jones denied the validity of these concerns, telling the Inquiry that he was
answerable to the Bishop of Chichester and therefore “worked with, but not for, the Bishop of
Lewes”.
307 Bishop Hind agreed that Mr Meekings’ fears were “based on a misunderstanding …
archdeacons are not the officers of area bishops but of the diocesan bishop”.
308
Publication of the Cotton and Pritchard report
235. Upon receipt of the Cotton and Pritchard report, Archdeacon Jones wrote to Bishop
Hind. He suggested the report was “based in part on speculation and assumptions … certain
imputations, even accusations, are made against Wallace himself … what is said may amount to
actionable defamation and I have accordingly suggested to Wallace that he seek legal advice as
soon as possible”.
309 Bishop Benn vehemently opposed its publication, describing its contents
as “selective and not comprehensive … it contained statements of opinion which did not have any
evidential status”.310
300 ANG000167_003 301 WWS000058_2 302 ACE023511 303 ANG000210_015 304 ACE023629 305 ANG000210_010 306 ANG000210_016 307 WWS000133_033 308 WWS000138_045 309 ACE021705_087 310 WPB000047_053
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
55
236. Both Archdeacon Jones and Bishop Benn doubted the independence of the report,
given Mr Meekings’ professional relationship with Mrs Hosgood. Archdeacon Jones told us
that, in his view, Mr Meekings drafted the report “specifically with the aim of showing Bishop
Benn up”.
311
237. On 5 November 2009, Mr Meekings met with Archdeacon Jones and Mr John
Stapleton, the then diocesan registrar. According to Archdeacon Jones, the aim of this
meeting was to “take the sting out of some of the allegations and suggestions in the report, which
Roger Meekings ultimately acceded to”.
312 He insisted that it was a “professional meeting” in
which “we made our views clear … it was certainly not hostile”.
313
238. Mr Meekings’ recollection of this meeting was markedly different. He said it was
“extremely one-sided and in no way a constructive discussion … there was a threatening undertone
to everything they said to me”. He was asked to amend the Cotton and Pritchard report by
removing his criticisms of Bishop Benn, failing which he could be sued for libel. Mr Meekings
believed that he was “being attacked for what I felt was a fair report”.
314 It was not appropriate
to ask Mr Meekings to change the content of the report in order to assuage the concerns of
Bishop Benn.
239. As a result of this meeting, a final version of the report was submitted by Mr Meekings
on 17 December 2009. The final report set out a series of revised recommendations. Bishop
Benn, however, remained displeased. Archdeacon Jones understood that he “would take
action, either by way of an injunction to prevent publication or by way of proceedings for libel”.
315
240. Bishop Benn told us he merely sought legal advice from Mr Stapleton. He denied that
he ever threatened or intended to take legal action if the report was published.316 However,
there was undoubtedly a widespread perception in the Diocese that he would do so. Bishop
Hind was “very, very clearly given to understand that Wallace Benn was threatening to take legal
action against me or the Diocese, were that report to be shared more widely”.
317
241. Accordingly, Bishop Hind decided not to publish the Cotton and Pritchard report.
He judged that publication “would be likely to embroil the Diocese in litigation with one of its
bishops … this would have been wasteful of time and financial resources”.
318 We are unable to
say whether it was purely the threat of libel that prevented the report from being disclosed,
or whether there were also concerns about embarrassment to the Diocese given the various
criticisms of its safeguarding procedures.
Disclosure of the report to victims and survivors
242. Some discussion appears to have taken place as to whether the report should be
shared with victims and survivors. In an email to his chaplain on 3 June 2010, Bishop Hind
acknowledged that a failure to publish the report would “leave a serious gap as far as helping
victims come to terms not only with their abuse, but also how their cases were handled”.
319
311 Jones 7 March 2018 155/5-6 312 Jones 7 March 2018 160/3-5 313 Jones 7 March 2018 161/10-11 314 ANG000210_016-17 315 Jones 7 March 2018 162/19-21 316 Benn 12 March 2018 119/22-25 317 Hind 7 March 2018 94/20-23 318 WWS000138_046 319 WWS000117_001
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
243. Mr Johnson repeatedly sought to obtain a copy of the report from the Diocese. He
was keen to ensure that all relevant information was shared with the victims of Cotton and
Pritchard, who believed that its publication would assist with their healing process. Bishop
Benn flatly disagreed with this sentiment. He argued, “How does it help people’s healing if
unsubstantiated, ill-founded, defamatory material is there that doesn’t appear to be true?”320
Mr Johnson’s letters went unanswered.321
244. Furthermore, although it appears that Mrs Hosgood was aware of the original,
unamended version of the report, the report itself was not disclosed to any member
of the newly-established Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group. The opinions of the
numerous safeguarding professionals in this group would clearly be of value, considering the
complexity and importance of the report. However, according to Mrs Hosgood, Archdeacon
Jones was “quite firm in his refusal to share the Meekings report with others, including anyone
from the police”.
322
245. Bishop Hind even declined to share the Cotton and Pritchard report with Mrs Hosgood
herself. He told us this decision was based on “the criticisms of the evidential basis and
accuracy of some of its findings in relation to Bishop Benn”.
323 His reluctance was also due to her
rapidly deteriorating relationship with Bishop Benn. Archdeacon Jones noted that “the main
focus was on getting them to work together effectively, which would have been out of the question
if the report had been shown to Shirley Hosgood in defiance of Wallace Benn’s wishes”.
324
246. We heard of Mrs Hosgood’s determined efforts to ensure that the Diocese engaged
appropriately with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. In meetings with senior clergy
and staff, she flagged her concerns that these individuals were not receiving the level of
support they deserved. Her words appear to have fallen on deaf ears. It is not surprising that
she gradually “lost confidence that the Diocese was willing or able to address historic and current
safeguarding concerns”.325
247. The Archbishops’ Council has recognised that a lack of communication and
transparency was “a major historic failing on the part of the Church”. The refusal to publish or
disclose reports allowed victims to form the “understandable conclusion that the Church was
engaged in a cover-up”.326
The resignation of Shirley Hosgood
248. In an email attached to his final report on 17 December 2009, Mr Meekings informed
Bishop Hind that although he had tried to “be as reasonable and helpful to the Diocese as
possible in dealing with difficult and sensitive issues … my intentions have not been understood”.
He notified the Bishop of his intention to cease all involvement with the Diocese, including
withdrawing his professional support to Mrs Hosgood.327
249. Following Mr Meekings’ departure, the Diocese did not put arrangements in place
to ensure that Mrs Hosgood had continued access to supervision. She wrote a letter to
Bishop Hind on 14 January 2010, in which she raised concerns about her role as Diocesan
320 Benn 12 March 2018 123/18-20 321 ANG000213_024 322 ANG000213_023-24 323 WWS000138_044 324 WWS000133_028 325 ANG000213_039 326 ACE026327_024 327 ACE022267_132
Case study 1: The Diocese of Chichester
57
Safeguarding Adviser. In her view, the “lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities” meant
that serious matters were not being dealt with promptly. She further observed that
safeguarding issues were “not being shared with me or not being shared in a timely way”.
328
250. Extensive discussions were also taking place between clergy and staff about the
Cotton and Pritchard report. Mrs Hosgood was excluded from those discussions. She was
not invited to provide her view as to whether the report should be published. Mrs Hosgood
described her isolation from the decision-making process as “an example of Bishop John not
wanting to support me in addressing key safeguarding initiatives”.
329
251. Mrs Hosgood was also frustrated by the struggle to agree suitable terms of reference
for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (as discussed in Part B.4). She said that “the
Diocese’s failure to cooperate or support me in my efforts to carry out my duties as DSA betrayed
at best, a misunderstanding and at worst, an indifference to safeguarding work”.
330 In these
circumstances, Mrs Hosgood could no longer function effectively as Diocesan Safeguarding
Adviser. She resigned on 9 September 2010.
B.4: Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group
Establishment of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group
252. The House of Bishops’ 2004 policy Protecting All God’s Children recommended that
each diocese should form a child protection management group, chaired by an independent
lay person. In addition to meeting formally at least once a year to review diocesan policy, it
would advise the bishop on safeguarding cases and report annually to the Bishop’s Council
or Diocesan Synod.331
253. Shortly after this policy was issued, the Diocese of Chichester set up the Child
Abuse Advisory Group (CAAG). Archdeacon Philip Jones described it as an “ad hoc body
that met only when the need arose”. It had no oversight function or involvement in policy
implementation, and simply “dealt with safeguarding on a case by case basis”.
332 Following
Mr Tony Sellwood’s death in early 2007, Mrs Shirley Hosgood was appointed Diocesan Child
Protection Adviser. She was concerned the group was “very informal … it didn’t have any clear
terms of reference”.
333
254. In November 2007, a meeting was held at which it was decided that the CAAG should
be disbanded. It was to be replaced by a new diocesan safeguarding group with fresh terms
of reference, so as to ensure its structure and management was consistent with Protecting All
God’s Children. The new group would be formally organised and take “collective responsibility
for the implementation of child protection strategies”.334
Terms of Reference
255. A working group was tasked with drafting new terms of reference. Its members were
Archdeacon Jones, Archdeacon Roger Coombes, Mrs Hosgood, two former members
of the CAAG, and the diocesan secretary. However, the terms were not agreed until
328 ACE023543_001 329 ANG000213_011 330 ANG000213_038 331 ACE024892_030 332 WWS000133_052-53 333 Hosgood 6 March 2018 155/11-15 334 ANG000213_034
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Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball: Investigation Report
February 2010, more than two years after the CAAG had been discontinued.335 This
was because the working group was unable to agree on appropriate and effective terms.
Although the group reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, it appears that he did
not take any steps to resolve this dispute.
256. A period of time time taken to debate matters can, on occasion, be helpful for
reflective and thoughtful decision-making. In this situation, however, it should not have taken
so long for the terms of reference to be agreed. Either Bishop John Hind or the Diocesan
Safeguarding Adviser, or both, should have sought to resolve the disputes.
257. According to Mrs Hosgood, “the professionals and representatives from the Church both
wanted a very different safeguarding group”.
336 In her view, the group required an independent
chair with specialist safeguarding experience. Both archdeacons objected, as this would
“weigh things heavily on the side of the statutory agencies in terms of their influence over the
group”.
337 Senior diocesan personnel had featured heavily in the CAAG’s processes and
decision-making.
258. In Archdeacon Jones’ view, the new group should have retained clergy involvement
as it “needed some input as to the state of the diocese, its structure, its work, its life”.
338 We
recognise that the Church has particularities which require input from those with knowledge
about its workings and structure. However, the primary purpose of any such group is to
provide expertise in safeguarding.
259. In any event, the failure to agree terms of reference in a timely manner meant
that, for a significant period, the Diocese was without an effective and transparent
safeguarding structure.
Function of the group

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.

Comments

  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…”

April 7 2019 – Coburg Conference 2011″ – Chichester and Arundel Cathedrals – ‘The Parish Proclaimer’

download (1)

Arundel Cathedral

https://www.arundelcathedral.org/proclaimer/Proclaimer%20Lent%202012_2.pdf

ECUMENICAL COBURG CONFERENCE XIV

By Anne Dunkley & Sherien Morgan

Since the 1980s, delegates from the Anglican Cathedral of Chichester, the
Evangelical Church of Bayreuth, the Lutheran Church of Berlin, and the Roman
Catholic Cathedral of Bamberg, have met every two years to discuss current topics
which affect them.

The 25th anniversary of the first conference was held in Chichester on 16 – 19
October last year, the delegation being led by the Dean of Chichester, the Very Revd.
Nicholas Frayling and attended by the Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Revd. John Hind.
There were thirty-four delegates present and the conference took place largely within
the Cathedral Close, using Vicars’ Hall and George Bell House.

The Chichester delegation consisted of eight members, one of whom had not attended before. The theme was ‘The Challenge of Secularism in the New Europe’. Once again, summaries of the texts of the two keynote presentations had been translated and circulated in advance, and this was a great help in enabling delegates to discuss points arising from the presentations, both with the speakers, and with each other in the group
sessions.

This year’s theme was ‘The Challenge of Secularism in the New Europe’.
Daily worship was led in turn by the different delegations, whether in the Bishop’s
private chapel, the Lady Chapel of Chichester Cathedral or Arundel Cathedral; also
the delegates had the opportunity to attend Evensong in Chichester Cathedral sung
by the Cathedral choir.

The second day of the conference was held in the local parish of Arundel. Bishop
David Farrer, vicar of St. Nicholas Church, welcomed the delegates to the parish
church, itself unique in being an Anglican church which is attached to the Roman
Catholic Fitzalan Chapel, property of the Duke of Norfolk, and resting place of
deceased members of the Fitzalan Howard family for many hundreds of years. Only a
glass screen separates the two places of worship. Arundel parish has an active
ecumenical partnership with the town of Stegaurach in Franconia, where the Roman
Catholic congregation shares its church building with the Lutheran community, and
both communities jointly support an Indian aid project in Tamil Nadu.

Here, seated in the Anglican pews, the delegates heard the second keynote speaker
of the conference, Bishop Kieran Conry, Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and
Brighton, in a stimulating paper on ‘The Challenge of Secularism for the Churches in
Europe today’.
4
Bishop Kieran explained that if secularism means the appropriation by the state of
things which formerly belonged to the church – amongst them authority, property
and social function, including teaching and nursing – it is not entirely negative. The
media expected the Pope’s visit to England and Scotland last year to be very
unpopular, in that he is Head of a Church that is seen to be contrary to values
promoted by society today, when in fact they were quite wrong and he was
received with great enthusiasm.
Society is not openly hostile, but the problem lies with the separation of the sacred
and what might be termed ‘secular’. The natural world is governed by reason, and
the Church can no longer claim its ancient authority as being the voice of God, as
this is not open to scientific scrutiny. Modern civilisation must be tolerant of
religion, but it is preferred that it is practised in private. The great threat is the
indifference of the great majority in society for whom religion is irrelevant, and the
danger is that we start to believe it and lose our nerve. But one of the most positive
aspects of the response to the Pope’s visit is a renewed sense of confidence amongst
Catholics and other Christians, and this must be one of the first responses to the
challenge. Dialogue between religions must be promoted and deepened, enabling us
to understand their ‘otherness’ as well as transcendent ‘otherness’ of God. This
dialogue will promote living together, working together for peace and justice, mutual
understanding and sharing of spiritual riches. And finally the need for humility is
very important, with Christ as our model. The church will not be heard today if she
shouts more loudly, but may be heard if she speaks more quietly.

Delegates divided up into small discussion groups to examine questions Bishop
Kieran had suggested. Meanwhile, it was indeed heart-warming to see Anglican
Dean Nicholas Frayling, Roman Catholic Bishop Kieran, Lutheran Bishop Dorothea
Greiner, and Anglican Bishop David Farrer deeply engrossed in discussion standing
in the chancel of St. Nicholas parish church.

Then to Arundel Cathedral, where the Dean, Canon Tim Madeley, introduced both
the building and the shrine of St. Philip Howard, son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk. The
daily conference worship was led here by the Bamberg delegation, and again was felt
to be particularly relevant, as it was the feast of St. Luke, who himself brought many
secular, positive elements into the church. The delegates were warmly welcomed by
the Mayor of Arundel, Mrs Wendy Eve, to Arundel Town Hall where lunch was
provided and served by the ladies of St. Nicholas church and Arundel Cathedral
together. Both Bishop Kieran and Canon Tim were able to join the conference
5
delegates for lunch and also later for dinner. After lunch there was a visit of Arundel
Castle, by courtesy of His Grace, the Duke of Norfolk. During the tour of the Castle
the delegates learnt more about Arundel as the seat of the Earl Marshal of England,
and the home of the leading Roman Catholic family. It was remarked that many of
the portraits on the walls were of the same people whose portraits were seen in
Schloss Coburg during the last conference, and that they did not look any more
cheerful at Arundel!
The evening was dedicated to an Anniversary Dinner to celebrate 25 years of the
Coburg conferences, with the all-Sussex food being generously donated by local
producers. Guests of Honour were His Excellency Mr Georg Boomgaarden, the
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany and Mrs Boomgaarden.

The Ambassador made reference to his own keen interest in Bishop George Bell and his
work with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. There were many present with long-standing and
close links with the Coburg conferences both past and present, in particular Bishop
John Hind and Canon of Honour Wolfgang Klausnitzer, and it was a very happy
occasion.

St. Nicholas Church founded a thriving and enthusiastic link in 2002 with the
Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, sited in
Stegaurach, a small town on the outskirts of the World Heritage medieval city of
Bamburg in Bavaria, southern Germany. Many friendships have been formed with
the people of Stegaurach as a result of visits both ways, in which everyone, young
and not so young, is invited to take part. This link is of particular importance, as it is
a truly ecumenical link, St. Nicholas is the first Anglican Church in their diocese to
twin with a Catholic Church, which itself is shared with the Lutheran community of
Stegaurach, and the partnership is shared with us, the parishioners of the Cathedral.

Many visits have taken place since the summer of 2003, during the summer of 2010
thirty seven of us went again, when we visited Flossenburg concentration camp with
our friends – a deeply moving experience – and it was there that Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, great friend of Bishop George Bell, was executed in 1945. Indeed we
look forward to the next visit of our German friends this summer; they will arrive on
Wednesday 15 August and remain with us until Monday 20 August.
Whilst they are here, there will be a full programme of social activities, trips out and
many opportunities to join with them and our friends from St. Nicholas in acts of
worship, and you will also have a chance to meet with them after Mass at the
Cathedral.
6
They are a very friendly group who speak English well. We have many host families
who already welcome visitors into their homes, however, this year we are looking for
even more volunteers to help with this side of the undertaking.

All we need is people to offer, for the most part, bed and breakfast. We would be
particularly delighted to hear from people who could host a young family.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please keep an eye on the
weekly parish newsletter for further details.

Editor’s Note

You can look at many photos and use the Google Translator (or similar) on the
website for Stegaurach: visit http://www.stegaurach.de

If you want to read more about ecumenism at work, you can visit a special page on
the Diocese of Chichester’s website: from their home page at http://www.diochi.org.uk
visit the ‘Activities’ section and then click on ‘European Ecumenical Committee’

IMG_1814

Chichester Cathedral

April 7 2019 – The Coburg Conferences – “From Wuppertal 1934 to Chichester 2019” – Peter Crosskey

George Bell, Bishop of Chichester

“From Wuppertal 1934 to Chichester 2019” by Peter Crosskey

The end of May 2019 will mark the 85th anniversary of the Barmen Declaration, which expressed the commitment of a small but determined group of Lutheran pastors to oppose the rise of Hitler and the National Socialists.

Meeting in the Gemarke Church, Wuppertal-Barmen, more than 130 delegates including pastors, committed Christians and theologians, issued a six-part declaration opposing mainstream German Christian acceptance of national socialism.

A full account of the historic 1934 Barmen Declaration can be found on the website of the Lutheran evangelist EKD church [ https://www.ekd.de/en/The-Barmen-Declaration-133.htm ]

Half a century later, in October 1984, an ecumenical conference in Chichester brought together German church leaders from both the FRG and GDR. Alongside Anglican theologians, they gathered to discuss practical aspects of rapprochement and Christian unity.

The event also celebrated the lives and work of Bishop George Bell and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The latter had been ministering to German-speaking congregations in London at the time of the Barmen Declaration, before returning to Germany in 1935.

The 1984 Chichester conference prepared the way for the first of the Coburg conferences in 1985, which has since been established as a rolling biennial series of ecumenical conferences hosted in rotation by three German churches  and the Diocese of Chichester.

A process that started in the wake of the 500th anniversary celebrations of Martin Luther’s birth, generated both ecumenical conferences and the 1987 Meissen Statement [ https://www.ekd.de/ekd_en/ds_doc/meissen_engl_.pdf ] – a six-article ‘road map’ for Christian unity.

The first article opens with the words: “God’s plan … is to reconcile all things in Christ…” and the second article discusses the nature of communion. The third article is a call for unity: “…to fulfil its mission the Church itself must be united.” The fourth article talks about communion as a shared act of faith, while the fifth article records a number of points of agreement and the sixth sets out the next steps for mutual acknowledgement. The final paragraph concludes with the words: “We know that beyond this commitment lies a move from recognition to the reconciliation of churches and ministries within the wider fellowship of the universal Church.”

This autumn will see Chichester hosting the next Coburg conference [ https://www.chichester.anglican.org/european-ecumenical-committee/ 

At the time of writing, Chichester cathedral’s European ecumenical 

committee had this to say about the Coburg conferences:

“The first ecumenical conference held in Chichester in 1984 to celebrate Bishop George Bell proved so valuable that the regular ‘Coburg conferences’ were born. Held every other year, delegates from the Diocese of Chichester, the Evangelical Kirchenkreis Bayreuth, the Lutheran church in Berlin-Brandenburg, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg meet for discussions, lectures and workshops on a variety of topics and current issues. It is an opportunity to share and solve problems together and exchange news of parish links. A very strong bond of support, fellowship and understanding has developed.”

In his 2018 Easter sermon [https://www.chichester.anglican.org/news/2018/04/01/bishop-martins-easter-day-sermon/ ], Bishop Martin Warner talked of his conference trip to Germany in 2017, when the Lutherans were celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reformation. His visit was preceded by (Re)imagining Europe, a conference held in Rome and organised by churches across the EU. 

Bishop Martin observed: “They were drawing from a vision that was formed at the very moment when Europe was descending into the second world war, indeed when Bishop George Bell was seeking to support Christians who were separated from us by that conflict, but not in faith.”

The 2019 Chichester leg of the Coburg Conferences programme will open in October.