Tag Archives: George Bell Bishop of Chichester

JUNE 30 2020 – “COTTRELL AND CAREY: WHY IS SOME SAFEGUARDING SECRET, WHILE OTHERS ARE THROWN TO THE MEDIA?” – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER’

Cottrell-Carey

Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York [left] – George Carey Former Archbishop of Canterbury [right]

“COTTRELL AND CAREY: WHY IS SOME SAFEGUARDING SECRET, WHILE OTHERS ARE THROWN TO THE MEDIA?” – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER’

 

“Bishop Stephen Cottrell: Safeguarding Statements” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’ [+ Comments]

 

JUNE 22 2020 – THE MARTIN SEWELL LETTER – DAILY TELEGRAPH [20/06/2020]

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SIR – The way allegations have been made against the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Rev Professor Martyn Percy (Letters, June 19), breaches the Church of England’s guidelines and ignores recommendations of the Carlile Report into the Bishop Bell fiasco.
I hope that Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury whose right to officiate has been revoked (report, June 18), fares better. Abuse victims know that an organisation which puts PR before justice is no friend of theirs.

Martin Sewell
Member of the General Synod
Gravesend, Kent

JUNE 21 2020 – “GEORGE CAREY – A VICTIM OF STASI-STYLE INJUSTICE ?” – ANGLICAN INK

Carey-Bell (2)

Former Archbishop George Carey [left] – Bishop George Bell [right]

George Carey – a victim of Stasi-style injustice?

 

Has the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey been the victim of a Stasi-style injustice in the summary removal of his permission to officiate in Oxford Diocese?

According to a diocesan statement, Carey, 84, had his PTO removed because ‘new information has come to light’ in the course of the Church of England’s ongoing review into its handling of the John Smyth abuse scandal. The review is led by a well-respected former director of social services, Keith Makin. In the 1970s and 1980s, high-earning lawyer Smyth, then a Queen’s Counsel, savagely beat boys he groomed through the Iwerne evangelical camps for pupils from the ‘top 30’ fee-paying English boarding schools.

The Oxford statement does not specify what this ‘new information’ was that was passed onto the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team, which then told  the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, that he had to act against Carey.

But the ‘new information’ is almost certainly to do with the fact that Carey was principal of Trinity theological college in Bristol when Smyth was an independent part-time student there in 1983 a year after the Iwerne leadership privately told Smyth to get out of the network.

Carey claims he has no memory of meeting Smyth and is ‘bewildered and dismayed’ by the sudden decision to take away his PTO and the lack of an explanation why.  In 2017 Carey resigned his role as an honorary assistant bishop in Oxford Diocese after admitting he had been duped by the serial church abuser, Peter Ball, and to mishandling the allegations against Ball whilst he was Archbishop in the 1990s.

Carey’s PTO, which he applied for in 2018, enabled him to help out with services at his local parish church. Surely a lesser man than Carey would not have bothered with Christian service at his local church after resigning as an honorary bishop in the diocese?

The strong evidence is that even if Carey did meet Smyth at Trinity and forgot about him amidst the various student faces passing his eyes, he would have had no knowledge of the abuse scandal. After a victim disclosed Smyth’s abuse in 1982 to the then vicar of the Round Church in Cambridge, Mark Ruston, the scandal was kept secret. Ruston compiled a report on the abuse but circulated it to a small group of Iwerne leaders. The report was not made public or passed onto the police.

Carey, being from a working class background, was not a Iwerne insider. He would not have been shown the Ruston report.  Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that so soon after the Ruston report any Iwerne insider would have told Carey that he had an abuser at his college.

So, why has Carey been fingered for an association with Smyth? And where does that leave clearly Iwerne-background clergy in the Church of England who knew about the Smyth scandal in the 1980s? If ‘new information’ comes to light about them in the course of the Makin review, which is due to report next year, will they be summarily suspended Stasi-style?

Julian Mann is an evangelical journalist based in Morecambe, Lancashire, and author of Christians in the Community of the Dome

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

“CAREY PROCLAIMS HIS INNOCENCE AFTER MYSTERY SUSPENSION BY OXFORD DIOCESE” – ANGLICAN INK

In a 17 June 2020 statement Lord Carey proclaimed his innocence. He was also nonplussed as to why he was suspended and what he was alleged to have done to merit the discipline.

“I am bewildered and dismayed to receive the news a short time ago that due to ‘concerns’ being raised during the review of John Smyth QC I have had my PTO revoked. I have been given no information on the nature of these ‘concerns’ and have no memory of meeting Mr Smyth. In 2018 the National Safeguarding Team and the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury invited me to meet with them to arrange safeguarding training and facilitate a meeting with survivors of Peter Ball’s abuse. To my immense disappointment they have failed to deliver action on either of these matters which were the subject of a mutually agreed plan. As a result, I have little confidence in their ability to pursue a proper investigation. I understand from the testimony of victims and survivors of clerical abuse that this lack of confidence is widely shared”

JUNE 20 2020 – VENDETTA AGAINST THE DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH MARTYN PERCY SPARKS LETTER TO THE GENERAL SYNOD

VENDETTA AGAINST THE DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH MARTYN PERCY SPARKS LETTER TO THE GENERAL SYNOD

 

“This letter is currently being circulated to members of General Synod of the Church of England, in advance of their virtual meeting in July. There will be two Q&A sessions, and it is hoped that this summary of the situation will encourage Synod members to look carefully into the way the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, is being appallingly treated – not only by the Governing Body of the College, but also now by the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England.

“The authors, lawyers Martin Sewell and David Lamming, have worked tirelessly on the chronic mishandling of the Bishop George Bell case, and it is profoundly disappointing to see many of the problems identified by the Carlile Report seemingly replicated in the case now being considered against Prof Martyn Percy”

‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Dear General Synod colleague,

Christ Church, Oxford and the NST

Private Eye recently carried a piece on the reporting of the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Martyn Percy to our National Safeguarding Team for alleged safeguarding deficiencies. No child, young person or vulnerable adult has made any allegation of misconduct and the report comes from Christ Church malcontents whose complaints (not about safeguarding) have already been dismissed by the retired High Court Judge, Sir Andrew Smith, employed by the College pursuant to the College’s governing statutes to comprehensively investigate.

The Church is being dragged into a vendetta not of our making and, surprisingly, our officials and advisors seem to have allowed this to happen. This abuse of our processes by well-connected persons raises an important matter of principle. We doubt many internal parish bun fights would be so well received at national level. The issue flags up our institutional deference towards those of privilege.

It is not a currently a transparent process: the only transparency is the motivation. If Dean Percy is criticised by the Church or the Charity Commission it will be pleaded in the defence to the Dean’s Employment Tribunal claim against the Governing Body to defeat or mitigate the damages for the dons’ failed coup. We are being used. This is a route to an objective that can now only be secured by pretending the Dean is unsafe.

It has all the hallmarks of bullying, plain and simple. The Dean, uniquely at Christ Church, has no grievance procedure under the Statutes. This means that he can be attacked with impunity by malcontents and has no defence other than an Employment Tribunal. The Charity Commissioners are now involved. Yet the NST have decided to side with the malcontents at Christ Church, without so much as interviewing the Dean, or even doing a simple fact-check. The strain, and the financial and emotional burden, must be dreadful; but the Dean is resisting injustice, and the abuse survivors who are aware of the circumstances unanimously support him.

Christ Church has no procedure for removing the Dean, either by the dons or the Church, other than by a complex statutory process (and which applies to all dons). Seven dons tried to remove the Dean in 2018-19, and this failed completely with all 27 charges against him dismissed following a costly 11-day hearing. We ought not to allow the dons now to try to use safeguarding as their short cut, and with the complicity of the NST and its processes abused for ancillary purposes. We defer to nobody in our concern for proper safeguarding practice. But this case has nothing to do with safeguarding. The allegations of “safeguarding concerns” now being made to the NST never featured in the complaint of 2018-19. No person, survivor of abuse, or vulnerable adult has made any complaint, ever, against Dean Percy.

Dean Percy is trusted by survivors and was invited to be a contributor to the seminal book Letters to a Broken Church, published in July 2019. When two lone survivors protested the enthronement of the Bishop of Oxford on 30 September 2016 for safeguarding concerns, the entire Church hierarchy ignored them save for Dean Percy, who ensured they had access to a College toilet and brought them coffee and sandwiches.

The NST declined to investigate Jonathan Fletcher as he was not employed by the Church of England but was, rather, vicar of a proprietary chapel. William Nye, in his evidence to IICSA (witness statement 22 December 2017, paras 87-90) states that clergy in institutions such as Christ Church must have “due regard” to C of E standards in safeguarding, but that discipline remains with the independent institution (in the case of Christ Church, as a formal process in accordance with its Statutes). The C of E does not have jurisdiction. However, the NST has decided, with specious reasoning, that jurisdiction nevertheless applies in order to investigate Dean Percy, despite this being an entirely parochial Christ Church matter.

As this is going to be a growing controversy with more information emerging, we are undertaking a detailed analysis which we will share with you in the near future, should it become necessary. We draw on our experience of the George Bell controversy. This case is arguably even worse: lessons have been ignored despite the expensive Carlile Review.

Below are links comprehensively addressing the issues. We hope you will take the trouble to acquaint yourself with the story and find the links helpful in understanding the controversy. There are to be two Q&A sessions at the informal ‘virtual’ General Synod on Saturday 11 July. As you learn of the problems, you may have questions relating to the issues.

Members of clergy might usefully apply the following test: would I have confidence in the NST to handle a case against me in the light of this?

With best wishes,

Martin Sewell
David Lamming

 

Annexures:

JUNE 16 2020 – THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS OF DEAN MARTYN PERCY OF CHRIST CHURCH AND BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

character assassination button

THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS OF DEAN MARTYN PERCY OF CHRIST CHURCH AND BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

 

The Martyn Percy affair – further comments

What can I say by way of comment over this conflict?  It is quite clear that Martyn has in the past upset the equilibrium and status quo in two powerful institutions.  In the first case, at Christ Church Oxford, a group of senior members have complained about him in his role of Head of House or Dean on two separate occasions.  We, as outsiders observers, have no detailed understanding of the first allegations made against him.   All we do know with some certainty is that a Tribunal was convened under the chairmanship of a retired judge, Sir Andrew Smith.  This found him innocent of the accusations made against him – all twenty-seven charges were dismissed.  Our sympathy for Martyn’s cause is aroused by the fact that he had to endure two years of pressure and stress.  We feel for anyone who, in the course of allegations against them, is suspended from his work and made the object of a campaign of vilification and slander.  Moreover, who was denied the opportunity of even having a preliminary investigation before the Tribunal against him was convened. 

This Tribunal involved the spending of huge resources of charitable money, thought to be over £2 million. Martyn’s own legal costs have been huge.  When the Tribunal verdict was announced, we hoped that the problem would go away.  We might also have hoped that the original accusers might express a little remorse for having spent so much charitable money to further their cause.  But no, the current situation is that the same accusers among the governing body have re-emerged to continue the campaign against the Dean.  This time they are using a quite different set of accusations and a different method of harassing and undermining Martyn.  Having exhausted the procedures afforded to them by the college statutes, the complainants have moved on to attack him using the tools of the quasi-legal structures of the Church of England.

Those of us who support Martyn and his principled stand over a variety of topics in current church debates, are aware that he has made enemies.  As an avowed progressive, he is not easily going to fit in with the prevailing opinions of a largely conservative bench of bishops.  The one particular issue over the past five years that has rattled many cages is the George Bell affair.  Martyn has prominently identified himself with those who regard the posthumous trashing of Bishop Bell’s reputation as contrary to the laws of justice and historical truth.  Many of us, with Martyn, regarded the alacrity with which Church leaders assigned guilt to Bell as being an attempt to show a decisiveness while many other more recent safeguarding allegations were being mishandled.  

The method of assessing and evaluating the Bell evidence was the infamous core group, the same tool that is now being deployed against Martyn himself.  It would not be hard to suggest, to use Gilo’s expression, that, in both case, the core group has been ‘weaponised’ against the subject of the investigation.  This is especially true when the person at the heart of the enquiry has no representation to speak on their behalf.  Again, in both Bell’s case and Martyn’s, similar church establishment mechanisms can be seen at work.  The NST have put Martyn “on trial” without conducting even the most minimal inquiry or interview with him.  The core group contained people who were prosecuting him for their own ends, and were heavily invested in pre-judging the outcome of any investigation.  This is identical to what the Dean had to endure at Christ Church from 2018.

As with Christ Church, so with the NST.  The Dean is forced to pay for his own defence to protect his reputation and integrity.  It was noticeable that the Anglican hierarchy were largely mute when the original Christ Church accusations were aired.  There was a sense that, while support was being expressed by hundreds of individuals across the country and £100,000 raised for legal costs, official support from the Anglican hierarchy was largely absent.

The appeal to the Church of England and its National Safeguarding Team by complaining Christ Church dons to examine accusations against the Dean of Christ Church, has already been explored in Gilo’s piece.  The mention by Gilo of the ‘right part’ of the NST hints at private conversations and plotting at the highest levels of the Church of England taking place with the complainants at Christ Church.  I understand that as far as the lawyers acting for Martyn are concerned, the NST has absolutely no jurisdiction in Martyn’s case.  Martyn is not an employee of the Church of England; he is not being accused of being a danger to children or vulnerable adults.  We also note the “vulnerable adult” terminology used by the NST.  The correct term is “adults-at-risk”, which is defined and deployed in higher education, local government and the NHS.  The NST are out of touch.  The safeguarding issues that are the focus of the enquiry had already been dealt with properly by Martyn, according to University and college protocols. 

Once again, a core group is being used to achieve a particular end.   What we see in the process seems to run counter to natural justice and fairness.  It also seems to take no notice of Lord Carlile’s remarks and the recommendations that were made by him in 2017.  We refer particularly to those that laid out how all interested parties should be represented. These were accepted in total by the Church of England and now they are ignored in what has become a notorious case, ensuring that the whole world is watching (and judging!) the Church of England as it stumbles ahead with a faulty grasp of proper procedures in this complex case.

If Martyn can stand up to the pressure currently being put on him, it could help expose the evident power abuses and appalling misuses of procedure which seem to be operating in the NST.  If the NST were to see sense and pull out of its involvement in the Christ Church debacle, this would have a desirable outcome.  it would allow the NST to be regarded as a properly accountable organisation. No longer would the considerable power of this body be used against individuals without clear and consistent protocols in the way that it operates.  Someone made the decision to allow the NST to enter the treacherous waters of internal Oxford collegiate politics. 

Who was it and what are the systems in place to query and even put a block on such a risky, even impetuous, decision? If, as is likely, the NST comes out of this disastrous intervention with egg on its face, who is going to take responsibility for this financial and ethical car-crash? In many ways this whole episode goes far beyond what Martyn may or may not have done to upset members of his college.  The issue has become one of the church using its legal structures in ways that deny compassion, natural justice and the basic qualities of care.  Once again the Church of England seems incapable of handling its power without hurting and damaging people.  Legalism, the power of money and privilege seem to be prominent.    If the general public sees some of this behaviour and is unimpressed, can we really blame them? 

Another question that is being asked by many of us is this.  If Martyn Percy deserved investigation over safeguarding issues with apparently such flimsy evidence being offered, then why not are other more pressing cases given attention?  There are several outstanding CDM claims against serving bishops which lie on file.  Presumably these can now be activated by victims and complainants? There is the case of Jonathan Fletcher which seems to be ignored by central church authorities, even though it reached front-page headlines of the Daily Telegraph.  If the allegations against Fletcher are even half-true, he still poses a safeguarding threat which should be a priority for the NST.  To focus on Martyn, who poses no such threat, and ignore Fletcher can only be described as a deeply political choice. 

Unless someone explains the real basis for NST involvement in the Christ Church factional disputes, Martyn’s supporters will conclude that the NST has become a political tool at the service of certain unaccountable factions within the Church of England.  If that surmise is correct, one would hope that the General Synod would wake up to this fact and vote the NST out of existence.  We cannot afford to have a rogue structure within the Church which operates with so much secrecy, factionalism and sometimes overt bullying.  Whoever authorised the unleashing of the NST on Martyn Percy has been responsible for taking an enormous gamble with the Church’s assets and reputation.  They have gambled on an outcome which, even if successful at one level, does no credit to the Church.  If the anonymous power brokers are, however, unsuccessful in what they are doing in Oxford, this may have the effect of destroying the NST structure altogether and their future ability to exercise power through it.

6 thoughts on “The Martyn Percy affair – further comments”

  1. Martyn Percy’s intervention re. the appointment of Philip North as Bishop of Sheffield, in the same year his views on the Bishop Bell case were expressed, was another example of his getting up the noses of the powers that be.

    His blog https://theore0.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/abstaining-a-lenten-reflection-on-sheffield-by-martyn-percy/ was widely influential and many saw it as the turning point in the North/Sheffield affair. I have a feeling his card was marked then.

    Though, to be honest, I think almost anyone with real principles in the C of E gets their card marked pretty promptly.

     

  2. I know both men. And consider both to be people in the hierarchy of the Church who speak with integrity in relation to the abuse crisis. And I know that church-context abuse survivors have strong support from each. Martyn was approached by us to write a chapter in Letters to a Broken Church – and wrote an excellent chapter following the Chichester hearings at the Inquiry.

    Philip would have been one of very few bishops we could have approached for a chapter. His interview on BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme was unlike anything we’d heard from any other bishop (with the exception of Alan Wilson). A remarkable interview and one that all Synod members should listen to if they haven’t already. Sadly, our book was already by that stage at print process – so we couldn’t include Philip.

    https://www.thinkinganglica

    Their political or tribal differences aside – both Martyn Percy and Philip North have given their voices courageously as allies to the plight of survivors. I salute them both.

  3. “I understand that as far as the lawyers acting for Martyn are concerned, the NST has absolutely no jurisdiction in Martyn’s case. Martyn is not an employee of the Church of England;”

    I am not an employment lawyer and do not wish to dip into the vexed question of whether office holders are employees, but I am concerned that this line of argument being advanced by Dr Percy’s lawyers will probably consume more costs than most of the other issues in contention.

    The dean of Christ Church is, unusually, paid by Christ Church rather than the Commissioners. Although I don’t have copies of Doe, Hill, Cripps, etc., to hand, he is an ecclesiastical office holder and there are a plethora of statutes and measures which make specific reference to Christ Church as an ecclesiastical corporation, even if there are usually specific provisions in each measure to differentiate Christ Church from other capitular bodies.

    What I suspect has happened is that the students have tried to refer the Woodward case to the NST as a lever to eject Percy. They are gaming the system, and as Stephen notes it is opportunistic and unedifying. The students are probably past caring about that, however, and have reasoned that the ends justify the means.

    Since there is no clear distinction between the position of dean as head of the cathedral and as head of the college they probably approached the NST telling the latter that they have to do something. The NST, no doubt panicked, will have referred the question to the Legal Office. The Legal Office (currently led by a clergyman who was at Christ Church) will probably have advised the NST that they do have standing insofar as Percy is an ’employee’ or ‘office-holder’ qua his position as head of the cathedral, and the want of any distinction between the two aspects of his office means that his safeguarding responsibilities might therefore apply to the entirety of his office.

    Curiously, it is not so long ago that the then second commissioner disclaimed any involvement of the Church of England in the resolution of the dispute:

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-29/debates/6DA9CB26-1373-470D-AAD3-CE9BEDE88743/DeanOfChristChurchOxford

    This question will no doubt consume a great deal of the ET’s time. I strongly suspect that it will result in the office being split in twain, which is probably what a majority of the students now want. Legislation severing the provostship of Oriel from a stall at Rochester was passed in 1875; similar legislation was passed severing the mastership of Pembroke (Oxford) from a stall at Gloucester in 1937, and the mastership of St Catharine’s (Cambridge) from a stall at Norwich in 1927. Many other headships at both universities had been tied to college livings and the headships of all the old colleges bar Merton, Downing and Trinity Hall (plus Keble, St Peter’s and Selwyn) had been reserved to clerics. Splitting the deanery would be the last act in that process.

    1. Sorry, I should have added that the head of the Legal Office was also chancellor of the Oxford diocese until last year (when he became head of the Legal Office), although he is based in London and assists at Holy Redeemer Clerkenwell.

      1. Froghole

        And, of course, it is perfectly possible that the head of the Legal Office had nothing to do with the decision that the NST assume responsibility for this matter, or indeed that the NST sought advice from the Legal Office at all. My statements above were mere conjecture.

         

        MORE INFORMATION

        Thinking Anglicans

JUNE 11 2020 – “ARCHBISHOP GROVELS OVER WHITE PRIVILEGE” – CHURCH MILITANT

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/canterbury-archbishop-grovels-over-white-privilege

ARCHBISHOP GROVELS OVER WHITE PRIVILEGE

NEWS: WORLD NEWS

 

by Jules Gomes  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 10, 2020    93 Comments

Catholic priest equates ‘white privilege’ with white supremacy

LAMBETH, England (ChurchMilitant.com) – Despite being mocked for “self-flagellation” by a distinguished Indian parliamentarian after he apologized for Britain’s colonial past, the archbishop of Canterbury is now apologizing for his “white privilege” in the wake of Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots.

“I acknowledge that I come from privilege and a place of power as a white person in this country,” Anglican archbishop Justin Welby announced Tuesday in a video posted on Twitter. “But I feel within me, again today, that great call of Jesus that we are as a Church to be those who set our own house in order and who acknowledge our own historic errors and failings.”

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Welby (right) poses for a photo op with Pope Francis in the Vatican

 

“I come back to the fact that, in the New Testament, Jesus says be angry about injustice, repent of injustice — that means go the other way, take action against injustice,” Welby said, beginning his brief apology by reflecting on the parable of the Good Samaritan.

“It must never involve the creation of more injustice, by seeking to damage other people,” Welby noted, barely acknowledging the widespread BLM-led violence and iconoclasm against statues of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Edward Colston in London and other British cities.

 

“Justin Welby seems to have made it his trademark to apologize for everything and anything which the ‘wokeratari’ will applaud,” Anglican cleric Melvin Tinker told Church Militant.

“But the archapologizer of Canterbury is very selective about what he will apologize for. Most ordinary people couldn’t care less for what he has to say anyway,” said Tinker, a well-known critic of cultural Marxism and author of That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost.

“There is no personal apology for the character assassination of Bp. George Bell or the dreadful sexual abuse of Fr. Matthew Ineson — both left lying wounded on the road while the archbishop happily passes by on the other side leaving it to other ‘Good Samaritans’ to take up their causes,” the vicar of St. John Newland Church in Hull remarked.

Welby had tarnished the name of Bp. Bell, who stood against Hitler by insisting that Bell was guilty of pedophilia, even after the Lord Carlile Review exonerated him. Ineson was repeatedly raped by an Anglican vicar when he was 16 years old.

 

Meanwhile, openly gay Catholic priest Bryan N. Massingale claimed he could equate “systemic racism” with “white supremacy, although I know that white people find that term even more of a stumbling block than white privilege.”

“You realized that, if you wanted, by being white you could make things hard — much harder — for others, especially black folks,” Fr. Massingale, professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University wrote in the leftwing National Catholic Reporter on June 1.

The archapologizer of Canterbury is very selective about what he will apologize for. Most ordinary people couldn’t care less for what he has to say anyway.Tweet

“The only reason for racism’s persistence is that white people continue to benefit from it,” he fulminated. “Demand that your parish and diocese sponsor not just an evening on race, but a whole series,” and “Tell your priests and religious education directors to make anti-racism a staple feature of their homilies and your children’s religious formation.”

Massingale added to his diatribe:

While you’re at it, write your bishop and ask how anti-racism is part of your church leaders’ formation for ministry. Ask how he is actively educating himself to become anti-racist. Let him know that if seminarians and candidates for ministry and religious life are unwilling or unable to be actively anti-racist, then they do not have a vocation for church leadership since they haven’t embraced a fundamental requirement of Christian discipleship.

Speaking to Church Militant, Dave Brennan, director of pro-life Brephos, explained that “real repentance and true courage would entail confronting the greatest, most hidden, most accepted injustice of our day — the industrial-scale slaughter of babies in the womb.” This includes a disproportionate number of black babies, especially in America.

“But sadly, the Church of England has no track record of confronting the accepted evils of the day when it actually matters — only jumping on the bandwagon of retrospective virtue-signaling once it is felt to be politically expedient to do so,” lamented Brennan, an associate of the Center for Bioethical Reform UK.

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Welby and Catholic bishops failed to condemn the rioting 

 

“So it seems we must wait for the secular media and mob to finally clock that ripping babies to pieces is wrong, and then, like clockwork, we can expect to see Welby appear saying how everyone needs to ‘repent,'” he added.

Former Anglican bishop Gavin Ashenden told Church Militant that “the archbishop of Canterbury’s capacity to betray Jesus” seems “unbounded.”

Dr. Ashenden elaborated: “Jesus demands personal responsibility, the betrayers speak about privilege. Jesus speaks about personal repentance, the betrayers speak about corporate apology. Jesus concentrates on the individual person, the betrayers focus on group guilt by association.”

“Welby’s legacy and his current obsession are all consistent with the great betrayal,” the former Queen’s Chaplain and recent convert to Catholicism commented.

“If you drive Jesus out of the Church and replace him with Marx and Engels, you get not a Church, but a political party. You get not Jesus but Judas. Tragically, Welby appears to have sided with Judas,” he pointed out.

In 2019, on his visit to India, Welby fell prostrate at the Jalianwalla Bagh memorial in Amritsar and apologized for the massacre of 1919, where British soldiers shot dead at least 379 people.

Real repentance and true courage would entail confronting the greatest, most hidden, most accepted injustice of our day — the industrial-scale slaughter of babies in the womb.Tweet

But Indian parliamentarian Swapan Dasgupta, recipient of the Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian award) for literature, derided Welby’s Amritsar apology as “a form of self-flagellation that may appeal to multiculturalism … but doesn’t alter the [positive] way India thinks of contemporary Britain.”

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Fr. Massingale attacking “white privilege” as “white supremacy”

 

“Indians are not obsessed about the Raj [British colonial rule]. It was a reality but I don’t think it is seen as a national catastrophe,” he observed, not hesitating to mention the “chuckles over the many Indians who actively propped up the Empire.”

“Welby jumps on bandwagons more nimbly than any of his predecessors. Meanwhile, only 870,000 attended C of E [Church of England] services every week, and that will shrink when the churches reopen. Note that so far only 250 people have retweeted the ‘spiritual leader of 80m Anglicans,'” Catholic journalist and presenter of the Holy Smoke religion podcast tweeted.

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“FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS” AT TOM TOWER – THE BELL TOWER AT CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD

170px-Tom_Tower,_Christ_Church_2004-01-21

The Tom Tower – Christ Church Oxford [Photo by Toby Ord]

“The wily Censors have made sure they complained to the right part of the [Church of England’s] National Safeguarding Team” [Senior College figure to the Governing Board Trustees at Christ Church Oxford]

‘Thinking Anglicans’

“More Christ Church shenanigans”

5 COMMENTS

Neil J
What’s fascinating about this one is how it overrides the usual liberal-conservative divide. I guess Profs Biggar and Percy would generally be considered to be on different sides theologically, but one’s support for the other leads to both being assaulted. Perhaps Cranmer’s characterisation of the secular-sacred divide is right in this case; or perhaps the Censors and Christ Church GB just can’t bear not getting their way?
Richard W. Symonds
Rowland Wateridge

I am not in any position to express a view on what has taken place here, but offer for TA readers’ consideration the following factual extracts from Lord Carlile’s Report in the case of Bishop George Bell:
 
[B] SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS, LESSONS TO BE LEARNED AND RECOMMENDATIONS

19. My recommendations are as follows.

20. Core Groups are necessary for the scrutiny of cases, not least in order to ensure that decisions are taken consistently. Each such group should have one person nominated at the beginning as Chair who is expected to chair all meetings throughout. Groups should be established with as continuous and permanent a membership as possible.

21. The Core Group should have, in addition to someone advocating for the complainant, someone assigned to it to represent the interests of the accused person …
 
It was my understanding at the time that the Church accepted Lord Carlile’s recommendations with the sole exception of claims being settled subject to a confidentiality clause. Note the words “someone advocating for the complainant” and “someone assigned to it to represent the interests of the accused person … “
 
 

Kate
 
The Church of England has apparently established a major investigation into a figure outside the House of Bishops based on allegations which appear to be very similar to those made against some bishops but which have been swept under the carpet. If that is really the case then the whole House of Bishops ought to be deeply ashamed.
Mark Bennet

 

THE MEANING OF JOHN DONNE’S ‘FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS’

Apparently John Donne wrote this as a meditation, not a poetic verse, and I think we can see the unifying subject within each part of this, I have separated each section, it is normally written as one block of text, I did this to show that each sentence is an amplification, a development on the first assertion – that no man is an island:

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself.

Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.

As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

For me this piece of writing is an expression of the great British contribution to the world of ideas, and this is that we are each unique, valuable individuals, we are each connected and an essential part of our societies, and the fabric of humanity.

There is a sense of genuine loss for each life, which potentially could have enriched us all.

The original emergence of what used to be called ‘Liberalism*’ have their roots in this kind of idea. If you follow each ‘verse’, or sentence, it builds on the idea that each individual ‘man’ is a precious part of the whole.

In essence the writer is calling for us to regard the waste of death, the sacrifice of men to war, as being as if our very continent is washed away, we are diminished by the absence of each individual.

John Donne is meditating on the value of each individual, he ends by asking not to wonder whose funeral bell is tolling, it might just as well be yours, he is inviting us to regard each life as being as precious as our own.

This is how the theme of this strikes me, no doubt a literary critic might wax lyrical on other aspects, but I think that is the essence of John Donne’s thinking when he wrote this.

*I have to say that what passes for ‘Liberalism’ among modern political circles bears very little resemblance to these original roots of the ideas about the value of the individual.

It seems, rather, to have become a form of authoritarian compulsion, based on quasi-virtuous excuses for compelling people to agree to accepted modes of language, and ways of thinking, without seeking agreement for them, or discussing their value in each context-as in ‘political correctness’ and other forms of post modern tyranny.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” was a poem by John Donne before it was a book by Hemingway.
The poem surrounds the idea that “no man is an island.” The tolling of bells is an old funeral custom. The bells of the cathedral or church would sound to mark and honor a death. Within the poem, the tolling bells operates as a means of mourning and connection, showing that no one is untouched by their sound. We all as humans are connected, whether we like it or not—“for I am involved in mankind”; you are involved in mankind; we all are involved in mankind. In this way, the narrator of the poem comments that we do not need to “send to know” for whom the bells tolls, as if seeking an individual name. Instead, “each man’s death diminishes” the narrator because all of mankind is so entwined.

Originally, it is prose, and for me it remains beautiful, rhythmic prose.

It has been appropriated as a poem, but it is just a paragraph excerpted from one of Donne’s Devotions Upon Divergent Occasions: Meditation XVII .

The paragraph comes as the conclusion of a sequence of thought:

  1. A funeral bell is tolled to announce the death of one particular person, so it is “for” that person
  2. But the purpose of tolling a bell is that people hear it, so it’s “for” anyone who hears it
  3. (The paragraph in question) But ultimately each of us is not a solitary being: each one of us is a small part of a great community of beings, humankind. When another person dies, you too have lost a little bit of your own self. So that bell is tolling for you, and for everybody, as well as for the particular dead person.
It isn’t a poem, in fact.
It’s pretty obvious in context.
The clause originated from John Donne, who said, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

From the quote, it means that when a bell tolls to announce the death of someone, you shouldn’t ask who it tolls for, that it tolls for you.

For details, follow this link: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjuvrzEiJLdAhWkCsAKHc1YBa4QFjAAegQIChAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFor_Whom_the_Bell_Tolls&usg=AOvVaw0RfelvUdwYdmT7BalYPrQS

 

JUNE 5 2020 – AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN – FROM A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF LINCOLN

My Lord,

Following a year’s suspension you have learnt that you will face proceedings under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure, the tool favoured in past months to threaten clergy if they dared enter their churches. It is reported that proceedings were instituted by Melissa Caslake, the National Head of Safeguarding. Except of course as you know this is not true. The Archbishop of Canterbury has instituted proceedings against you, just as he suspended you. He will be the one who, if a case is found, will “administer discipline”. He is the Archbishop you made your oath of obedience to as a bishop within his province.

As the Measure states:

a person on whom functions in connection with the discipline of persons in Holy Orders are conferred by this Measure shall, in exercising those functions, have due regard to the role in that connection of the bishop or archbishop who, by virtue of his office and consecration, is required to administer discipline”.

You may feel that Melissa Caslake has acted with the highest probity yet only a few days’ ago it was reported that a core group of the National Safeguarding Team has been set up to look into the Dean of Christ Church Oxford, oddly someone whom the Archbishop of Canterbury is at odds. This is against the House of Bishops’ own guidelines.

It must be a difficult job to judge whether someone “failed to respond appropriately to safeguarding disclosures”. Any response could be judged as inadequate, but how can we judge best intentions or doing the best as one sees fit at a particular time? How can one be judged fairly? How can anyone judge what an “appropriate” response is? It is hard for a judge to make a window into a man’s soul.

You may feel that you have been treated fairly by the Church of England in making you wait a year to be given the news you have but if you look at Article 6 of the Human Rights Act it says any public hearing (as yours shall be) must be fair. Furthermore it is only fair if:

  • is held within a reasonable time

  • is heard by an independent and impartial decision-maker

  • gives you all the relevant information

  • is open to the public (although the press and public can be excluded for highly sensitive cases)

  • allows you representation and an interpreter where appropriate, and

  • is followed by a public decision.

You also have the right to an explanation of how the court or decision-making authority reached its decision.

No wonder you are bewildered.

Criticisms of bishops for making the decisions they did in the past fail to afford them the rights you have. What they might have thought appropriate would have stood up in the past. But is it something from the past that might prevent you having a fair hearing? The desire perhaps for a living bishop to be paraded about by Justin Welby as an example, given his failures to pin anything on Bishop Bell?

If after disclosures about the National Safeguarding Team being prepared to seek to go for a Dean, are you satisfied your own hearing will be fair? Have you confidence that the Team is independent of bishops? Are you satisfied that the process of clergy discipline is fair? The Archbishop is both judge and jury, and we might also add the CPS. What other organisation would be permitted to act in this way. Will such a process treat you fairly?

Surely you would be a support of clergy everywhere if you challenged the CDM and indeed the role of the National Safeguarding Team on Human Rights grounds. You would become a hero to many if you brought the lot crashing down. Expose the rotten culture of a church in captivity to the vindictiveness of those for whom power has been perverted.

The bishops of the Church of England signed up to “Promoting a Safer Church”, its safeguarding policy, and it says:

The Church of England is called to share the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. The life of our communities and institutions is integral to how we address this task. The good news speaks of welcome for all, with a particular regard for those who are most vulnerable, into a community where the value and dignity of every human being is affirmed and those in positions of responsibility and authority are truly trustworthy. Being faithful to our call to share the gospel therefore compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has’.

In March when the Bishops, you excluded, ordered the churches to be closed what happened to “promoting a safer church”? What happened to the vulnerable when bishops ordered clergy to ignore protections in law for the vulnerable set out in the Coronavirus Act 2020:

(5) A person who is responsible for a place of worship must ensure that, during the emergency period, the place of worship is closed, except for uses permitted in paragraph (6).

(6) A place of worship may be used—

(c)to provide essential voluntary services or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency).

It meant nothing. Do you think they responded appropriately to the opportunities afforded to churches to serve most in need? Is it not surely they, not you, who should be facing a CDM if not a charge of misconduct in public office?

My Lord, rather than be bewildered, be brave and you may well be the saviour of the Church of England.

MAY 27 2020 – JOSEPH SHAW ON ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY AND BISHOP GEORGE BELL

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St. Margaret’s Parish Church in Ifield Village

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/wheres-the-moral-outrage-from-the-christian-left-while-being-locked-out-of-their-churches

Referring to the government’s message about public health, he [Archbishop Welby] told the press that “by closing the churches, we make a powerful symbol of the need to listen to that message.”

I’m not someone who has called for people to flout the government’s guidelines, but going beyond them in this extraordinary way seems to me a powerful symbol of the Church of England’s worship of the idol of “health and safety.”

This isn’t the first time Welby has jumped on a bandwagon without engaging his brain. He condemned the long-dead and much-revered Bishop George Bell of Chichester for child abuse, without bothering to find out if the accusation was credible, a condemnation now criticized by a succession of official reports. Welby has found it difficult to apologize to Bell’s relations, who were understandably furious. Perhaps he was hoping his zeal in criticizing the dead would counter-balance Anglican failures to deal with Peter Ball, a living Anglican bishop actually imprisoned for sexual abuse.

May 22 2020 – “NINTH COMMANDMENT CONCERNS ABOUT THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER” – ANGLICAN LINK

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Present Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

Letter to the editor: Ninth commandment concerns about the Bishop of Chichester

Letter to the editor: Ninth commandment concerns about the Bishop of Chichester

Richard Symonds of The Bell Society believes the General Synod of the Church of England and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse should investigate the Bishop of Chichester for being “economic with the truth” in his statements on his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases. He writes:

 

Sir:

The Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner makes very clear at the IICSA in March 2018, the Church’s insurance company at the time – presumably Ecclesiastical? – was fully involved in (and I’m sure was fully paid for) the advice to the Church, and presumably its Core Group, regarding Bishop Bell and ‘Carol’:

Day 8 IICSA Inquiry – Chichester 14 March 2018 – Page 21 – Fiona Scolding QC: “The other matter I want to put to you is [quoting Lord Carlile]: ‘There was no organised or valuable enquiry or investigation into the merits of the allegations, and the standpoint of Bishop Bell was never given parity or proportionality.’ What is your response to that?”

Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner: “The question of an organised or valuable inquiry is something of a value judgement, I think, and we certainly didn’t feel that there was no serious inquiry into that which was undertaken through our insurers and their legal representative in whom we had considerable trust and regard and who Lord Carlile also recognises as a responsible and able person. I see him to say that the standpoint of Bishop Bell was never given parity or proportionality. It was certainly given proportionality. We understood absolutely that was the case. I think the area which he’s rightly also identified is that there was nobody there to speak for Bishop Bell, and that, again, with the benefit of hindsight, is something that I think was wrong…”

Mr. David Lamming, Church of England’s General Synod Member representing St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich, further comments: ‘Bishop Martin Warner’s answer to Fiona Scolding’s question at IICSA [Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse] on 14 March 2018 about the involvement of insurers in the settlement of ‘Carol’s’ claim (see…Richard Symonds’s comment) appears to be at odds with information he provided to me in 2016.’

At General Synod on 8 July 2016 I asked a question about the contribution to the settlement made by the Church Commissioners. The question was answered by the then First Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Andreas Whittam Smith. In the light of his written answer, I asked by way of a supplementary “whether insurers were asked to contribute to the settlement and, if so, whether and why they declined to do so?”’

This was Sir Andreas’s response: “You are accrediting the Church Commissioners with far more involvement in this case than you might think. We have a discretion to pay bishops’ costs, as you probably know, and we make judgments on what costs to bear on a variety of factors. In this case, the answers are really clear in my answer. I do not think I can add to them. There are the damages; there are the claimant’s legal costs and there are the Diocese of Chichester’s costs. We paid £29,800 of those and a private individual came forward, not an insurer, and paid the rest. I cannot add to that.”’

His answer led to the following exchange with Martin Sewell:

Mr Martin Sewell (Rochester): There is a very simple question on the table: did any insurer decline to indemnify?
Sir Andreas Whittam Smith: I have no idea whether an insurer was involved. We were not told about such a case.
Mr Martin Sewell: Who would know?
Sir Andreas Whittam Smith: The Diocese of Chichester would know.
Mr Martin Sewell: Will that information be made available?
Sir Andreas Whittam Smith: I cannot speak for the Diocese of Chichester, I am afraid.’

In the light of this exchange I e-mailed the Bishop of Chichester on 25 July 2016, asking (inter alia), “Were insurers involved at any stage prior to the settlement with Carol? If so, were they asked to contribute to the settlement and, if so, did they decline to do so or to indemnify the Diocese and, if so, why?”’

This was Bishop Martin’s reply in an e-mail on 29 July 2016: “No relevant insurance was held in respect of this claim, so no insurers were involved in the case and no requests were made to any insurer. As Sir Andreas said in his reply to the Synod, the costs and damages were paid by the Commissioners and a private individual who wishes to remain anonymous. The claim was made against me in my corporate capacity.”

Yours sincerely

Richard W. Symonds, The Bell Society

Ifield Village, Crawley-Gatwick, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Email: richardsy5@aol.com