Tag Archives: George Bell Bishop of Chichester

MAY 26 2022 – MARTYN PERCY, GEORGE BELL AND THE ‘ORWELLIAN’ CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Dr Martyn Percy

THINKING ANGLICANS

Martyn Percy: Is the Church of England Orwellian?

on Wednesday, 25 May 2022 by Simon Sarmiento

Martyn Percy has written three articles which Modern Church has published.

“In three short articles, Martyn Percy looks at three words currently being given the full 1984 treatment: independent, ethical and trustworthy.  Is the Church of England using these words as defined by most dictionaries in 2022? Or, are we now enmeshed in an Orwellian church in which little that is said corresponds to our normal frames of reference?”

2 COMMENTS

Froghole

Dr Percy mentions the flood (or ‘flood’) at Bishopthorpe, and the fire at Chichester. This reminds me that the British state, like the Church of England has ‘form’ in misappropriating documents, as at Hanslope Park, Bucks (the FCDO migrated archives):

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/625667/cary-report-release-colonial-administration-files.pdf.

The Harvard historian Caroline Elkins was able to make much hay from this with respect to her campaigns for justice in Kenya; see here for a recent discussion:

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/108/1084814/legacy-of-violence/9781847921062.html, at 408, 649-55 and 675;

note that one of the villains of her story, Evelyn Baring, chaired the committee which produced the Howick report on crown appointments in the Church (1964, as Lord Howick of Glendale). The desire for secrecy and concealment seems to be a profoundly unappealing aspect of the national character. As is the do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do approach to government in Church and State. The unpleasant Savoyard philosopher, de Maistre, noted that a nation often gets the government it deserves; perhaps the same might be said of its prelates. *If* this is true, what does it say about modern Britain?

Richard W. Symonds

In his essay “Politics and the English Language” (1946) George Orwell wrote: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. We have been witness to the ‘murder’ and character assassination of not only Martyn Percy but also Bishop Bell – and others. In 1935, poet TS Eliot wrote ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ – a play commissioned by the Bishop of Chichester George Bell on the martyrdom of the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket. The play can be seen as a prophetic warning to the Church of England.

In 1965, Stephen Spender wrote: “Orwell perhaps lacked poetry, but…he echoes the message of Wilfred Owen, the greatest poet of the First World War: ‘All a poet can do today is to warn’. 1984 remains…a necessary warning”.

The Church of England are clearly not listening to the warnings – by poets or anyone else.

This is beyond a tragedy as we celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty – its Supreme Governor.

Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern

There will be no expressions of sorrow, regret or acknowledgement of the need for repentance on the part of anyone at Christ Church, let alone its clergy, simply because they will have been told by Winkworth Sherwood and Luther Pendragon that such admissions of failure could be constructed as an admission of guilt and further diminish the already abysmal reputation of the institution.

Gilo

Gilo

Why does the Oxford scandal matter?

Similar could happen to any priest in the CofE. Dodgy lawyers and disreputable laundries have shown how easy it is to work alongside the structures of a dysfunctional diocese and malevolent college to assist in the design and production of the giant carcrash that has happened in Oxford diocese. And the CofE must now add ‘weaponized safeguarding’ to its list of forms of abuse.

A judicial inquiry is required. Nothing less will disinfect Oxford malfeasance (diocese, cathedral, college, lawyers, laundries) with the sunlight of scrutiny. 

Whatever this is … it does not look like safeguarding. It is misappropriation of process for malign purpose and looks to have involved many layers of dishonesty and even fraud. 

All needs full investigation. And the Archbishops should be putting Oxford Diocese into Visitation and its bishop and cathedral under suspension pending investigation. 

https://t.co/V2R6JLZpMF

Excerpts from ‘Archbishop Cranmer’ article [above]

The Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board is not independent. They are funded by the Archbishops’ Council, accountable to it, and have no remit or powers that render it independent. It operates out of Church House in Westminster. Ergo, it is another internal laundry machine, merely branded ‘independent’ in order to satisfy the PR imperative for reputational damage control.

Alex Carlile’s review into the Church of England’s treatment of George Bell was independent, and given his searing judgment against the Church of England’s woeful and chronic maladministration of justice, you might understand why they don’t want to commission another one of those.

But an “independent inquiry” has to mean what it says, and do what it says on the tin. To achieve that, the Church of England cannot protect itself by setting the Terms of Reference, and then picking the coppers, counsel, judge and jury; and then controlling the PR on the verdict.

MAY 9 2022 – “THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE MARTYN PERCY/OXFORD CASE AND THE BISHOP BELL/CHICHESTER CASE ARE BEYOND QUESTION AND BEYOND DISTURBING” – RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

“THE PARALLELS BETWEEN THE MARTYN PERCY/OXFORD CASE AND THE BISHOP BELL/CHICHESTER CASE ARE BEYOND QUESTION AND BEYOND DISTURBING”

RICHARD W. SYMONDS – THE BELL SOCIETY

THINKING ANGLICANS – Opinion – 11 May 2022

on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 at 11.48 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion

Martyn Percy Prospect Why I’m leaving the Church of England
“Mired in allegations of partisanship and incompetence, the Church is now incapable of running its own affairs. After a series of farcical “safeguarding” claims, the former dean of Christ Church, Oxford, no longer feels he belongs”
[This is covered as a news item in The Guardian and Church Times.]

Archbishop Cranmer Bishop of Oxford instructs lawyers to censor Archbishop Cranmer

Diocese of Oxford Dr Martyn Percy has announced he is to leave the Church of England

Felicity Cooke ViaMedia.News Leading, Following, or Forgetting? The Church and the World35 Comments

Former Oxford college dean quits Church of England, calling it an ‘unsafe’ place to workThe TelegraphThe Very Rev Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean of Christ Church, agreed to step down following a mediation process that concluded in February.Flag as irrelevant
Oxford dean Martyn Percy quits ‘unsafe’ CofE | The TimesThe TimesThe ousted head of an Oxford college has quit the Church of England, saying it was an “unsafe place to work”. Martyn Percy, 59, left Christ Church …Flag as irrelevant
Martyn Percy quits the Church of England after long-running dispute – Christian TodayChristian TodayFormer Christ Church DeanMartyn Percy, has announced his decision to … Percy was dean of both the Oxford University college and cathedral …Flag as irrelevant
Religion news 12 May 2022Religion Media CentreMartyn Percy, former Dean of Christ Church Oxford, quits the Church of England; More money for struggling parishes and front-line services; …

FEBRUARY 6 2022 – RESTORING 4 CANON LANE BACK TO GEORGE BELL HOUSE IN CHICHESTER – PART 1

This Notice has appeared in a window at 4 Canon Lane, Chichester [aka George Bell House] – Saturday February 6 2022

George Bell House, 4 Canon Lane

Chichester Cathedral

St Richard’s Walk

NOVEMBER 29 2021 – LORD LEXDEN LETTER – DAILY TELEGRAPH [NOVEMBER 25 2021] + FROM THE ARCHIVES [OCTOBER 22 2015] – “CHURCH OF ENGLAND STATEMENT BY THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER DR. MARTIN WARNER ON THE RT. REVD. GEORGE BELL [1883-1958]”

Lord Lexden OBE

Restore the memorials to Bishop Bell – Lord Lexden

Thursday, 25 November, 2021

bell

When Bishop George Bell was wrongly condemned by the Church of England as a child abuser in 2015, his name was removed from a number of buildings in his Chichester diocese that had been dedicated to his memory.  Now that the Archbishop of Canterbury has belatedly accepted the Church’s error (see below), the Bishop’s name must be restored to all the places from which it was shamefully expunged. In a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on 25 November, Alistair Lexden urged Anglicans to demand action by the current Bishop of Chichester.

SIR — Bishop Bell’s name must be put back on the buildings in Chichester, as the Rev Dr Barry Orford insists (Letters, November 23). There is no sign, however, that the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, with whom I have clashed in the House of Lords, intends to lift a finger.

Last week he praised the statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as “both humble and courageous, reminding us that these virtues, evident in George Bell himself, do still surface in the Church of England”.

It is an outrage to put Archbishop Welby on the same plane as the great man whose reputation he traduced. Bishop Warner added that he had “no plans to make any further comments”. Anglicans must give him no peace until he either does his duty or resigns.

Lord Lexden
London SW1

You may also be interested in

bell

Bishop Bell: a triumphant end to the campaign

Friday, 19 November, 2021

In 2016, Alistair Lexden joined a number of academics, politicians, lawyers, clerics and writers in a group which was established to refute the Church of England’s condemnation of Bishop George Bell, one of greatest of all Anglican bishops who died in 1958, as a child sex abuser.

Oct 22 2015 – “I would be grateful…if you could refrain from including George Bell in your guided tours and external presentations” – Dean of Chichester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine [to Cathedral Guides]

IMG_1572

Page 37 of Cathedral Guide ‘Society and Faith’ [later, the Guide was pulped]

NOVEMBER 21 2021 – PETER HITCHENS ON ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY, BISHOP GEORGE BELL – AND MARTIN WARNER, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER

Peter Hitchens

PETER HITCHENS ON MARTIN WARNER, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER – MAIL ON SUNDAY [NOVEMBER 21 2021]

Let us now praise Archbishop Justin Welby. These are words I never thought I’d write, but I must, because three weeks after I gave him what for on this page, Mr Welby has finally admitted he was wrong about the late, great Bishop George Bell (not to be mistaken for the horrible Peter Ball).

He has withdrawn his silly claim that a ‘significant cloud’ still hangs over Bishop Bell, who was presumed guilty by the CofE, when someone accused him of incredibly long-ago child abuse. In fact a series of detailed investigations have demolished the cases against him.

Now that Mr Welby has given way, we must hope for a similar climbdown from the current far-from-great Bishop of Chichester, whose name I forget, who badly needs to right the wrongs done to his genuinely distinguished forerunner.

Dr Martin Warner – Bishop of Chichester

Photo source: Wiki Commons

FURTHER INFORMATION

‘Thinking Anglicans’

‘Surviving Church’

NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “BELL’S NAME WAS REMOVED FROM A KEY BUILDING IN CHICHESTER, AND THE ARCHBISHOP’S STATEMENT COULD SPARK REQUESTS FOR ITS REINSTATEMENT” – KELLY BROWN – CHICHESTER OBSERVER

June 6 2019 – ‘Welcome to George Bell House’ – Pictured left – Chichester’s Professor Peter Billingham [1953-2020]. Pictured right – Sheffield’s Reverend James Grayson

George Bell House, Chichester [before 2015]

4 Canon Lane, Chichester [after 2015]

“BELL’S NAME WAS REMOVED FROM A KEY BUILDING IN CHICHESTER, AND THE ARCHBISHOP’S STATEMENT COULD SPARK REQUESTS FOR ITS REINSTATEMENT” – KELLY BROWN – CHICHESTER OBSERVER ET AL

NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “NO NATION, NO CHURCH, NO INDIVIDUAL IS GUILTLESS WITHOUT REPENTANCE, AND WITHOUT FORGIVENESS THERE CAN BE NO REGENERATION” – BISHOP GEORGE BELL [1883-1958]

George Bell House [before 2015]

PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM ARCHBISHOP JUSTIN WELBY ON BISHOP GEORGE BELL

REVEREND NICK FLINT – FACEBOOK

THINKING ANGLICANS

CHARLES MOORE – TELEGRAPH – NOVEMBER 18 2021 – “IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A STATUE FOR CHURCH TO REPENT TERRIBLE SLUR AGAINST BISHOP ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE”

“It is also brave. Justin Welby is taking personal responsibility for the injustice done to the man he himself describes as “one of the most courageous, distinguished Anglican bishops of the last century”. It is a big admission”

Charles Moore

YOUTUBE – PN

CHRISTIAN TODAY

WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE / CHICHESTER OBSERVER / RYE OBSERVER / LITTLEHAMPTON GAZETTE / WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES

Bell’s name was removed from a key building in Chichester and the Archbishop’s statement could spark requests for its reinstatement….

In response, the current Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner said: “I greatly welcome Archbishop Justin Welby’s statement on Bishop George Bell. It is both humble and courageous, reminding us that these virtues, evident in George Bell himself, do still surface in the Church of England of our own time

Kelly Brown

THE ARGUS

“IS IT SOMETIMES GOOD TO CHANGE ONE’S MIND? A QUESTION AT GENERAL SYNOD” – ‘SURVIVING CHURCH’

OCTOBER 31 2021 – ARCHBISHOP WELBY’S “SIGNIFICANT CLOUD” FALSE ACCUSATION AGAINST BISHOP BELL IS BEYOND HYPOCRISY

Archbishop Welby

Daily Telegraph

“THE KREMLIN HAD MORE OF A CONSCIENCE THAN WELBY THE HYPOCRITE” – PETER HITCHENS – MAIL ON SUNDAY – OCTOBER 31 2021

The Kremlin had more of a conscience than Welby the hypocrite

This is Peter Hitchens’ Mail on Sunday column

EVEN the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union eventually admitted that it had wrongly smeared and ruined those it had once accused of terrible crimes.

The victims of screaming one-sided show trials, later murdered or starved to death, and in one terrible case, hanged, cremated and their ashes used to grit the freezing roads, all of them were in the end exonerated.

So why does Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, struggle so to admit he made a terrible mistake about the late Bishop George Bell of Chichester, one of the greatest Englishmen of the 20th Century? He did not, as many do, mix him up with his near-namesake, the revolting molester Peter Ball. Nor should you (I have had some very rude letters accusing me of defending Ball. I would not dream of doing any such thing).

But, to put it at its mildest, Mr Welby was involved in what has since been shown to be a shocking kangaroo trial, in which the long-dead Bell, a courageous opponent of the Nazis and ally of the German resistance to Hitler, was presumed guilty of a terrible charge of child abuse. My own view has long been that the complainant was abused, but by somebody else. Her evidence against Bell, when it was finally made public, did not stand up to serious examination by a leading QC, Lord Carlile.

But would Mr Welby back down? Not a bit of it. First he took seriously a collection of new allegations against George Bell, so ludicrous and feeble that even Dame Cressida Dick and her Olympically gullible Met Police Celebrity Squad would not have believed them. And when these duly collapsed, he continued to insist that a ‘significant cloud’ hung over the reputation of George Bell. Apparently, in his world, if you are accused of a crime you will always remain suspect.

But Mr Welby, so censorious about others, now has troubles of his own. When he was a senior church official in Liverpool, he banned a worshipper from the Cathedral there, for being ‘abusive and threatening’. But the worshipper had his reasons. He was rightly trying to get Mr Welby to act against a priest who, he said, had abused him. In this case (unlike George Bell’s) there was good reason to take the claim seriously. The priest involved, John Roberts, already had a criminal conviction for indecent assault. Later Roberts was jailed for offences against three people – one of them the man Mr Welby had sternly banned from the Cathedral. This fascinating story about England’s premier clergyman has received amazingly little media coverage outside our sister paper, the Daily Mail.

Actually, I can see Mr Welby’s problem here. He made a bad judgment, as many have done in such cases. But lawyers for the victims of Roberts point out that Mr Welby’s failure to act could have delayed police action for many years. So he really is not in a position to set himself up as the Righteous Judge of George Bell.

THAT is why I wrote to the Church of England and asked if, under the circumstances, Mr Welby would withdraw the words ‘significant cloud’ and act to rehabilitate George Bell. For Bishop Bell’s name, like that of a Soviet show-trial victim , has been stripped from a building named after him, from a school named after him and from a house in another school, which was also named after him. A planned statue of him, which should long ago have been completed and unveiled on the front of Canterbury Cathedral, is in some sort of limbo.

I got nothing back except flannel. So here we are. As long as he will not withdraw the claim that there is a ‘significant cloud’ over George Bell, then I say that Justin Welby is a hypocrite, and a significant cloud hangs over him. Even the Kremlin had more of a conscience.

Sir,

Peter Hitchens has written yet another powerful article on the defamation of the character of Bishop George Bell. The Church of England cannot survive when there is such divisiveness at the very top. And little or no respect for the presumption of innocence.
I urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to protect the reputation of the Church of England in this spiritual crisis for us all…We must not allow the Church…to be undermined in England in this way. The Queen deserves better than this.


Kind regards,

Gerald Morgan OM FTCD

(Leader: English Parliamentary Party, founded Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, 2001)
Dr Gerald Morgan, FTCD (1993)
Lydbrook School (1946-1953),Monmouth School (1953-1961),Meyricke Exhibitioner, Jesus College, Oxford (1961-1964),D.Phil. (Oxon.), 1973 Director:The Chaucer Hub.

Tel.: 086 456 56 60

Thank you for forwarding this article to me. As it happens, a worshipper at my church this morning arrived clutching a copy of it, so it is certainly being read. My only regret is that while it quite properly blames Welby, it does not censure the unspeakable and continuing behaviour of Martin Warner and the Dean and Chapter of Chichester. Warner’s adamant refusal to acknowledge wrongdoing is one of the most disgraceful episodes in recent Church of England history. A man of integrity would have apologized and offered his resignation.

The Revd Dr Barry A. Orford

I would happily attack the frightful Chichester prelates, but in this case Welby’s behaviour in Liverpool, newly exposed and too little known, was the trigger for the article and applies only to him.

Peter Hitchens

Seems to me there is the same pattern of behaviour amongst church leaders. Rather than admit they were wrong and ask for forgiveness (ok to ask for forgiveness for what ancestors did long ago), they continue to try and make themselves look good by slandering others, preferably dead others because they can’t speak in their defence.

FW Atkins

“The Church, like the Crown, has to be protected at all costs – even if it means throwing one of its own under a bus”

Richard W. Symonds – The Bell Society

NATION.lK

IN ENTERTAINMENT

OCTOBER 15 2021 – THE UNEDITED VERSION OF REVD DR BARRY ORFORD’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH TIMES [AND THE UNPUBLISHED LETTER FROM RICHARD W. SYMONDS]

LETTER [PUBLISHED] – BUT HEAVILY EDITED

From the Revd Dr Barry A. Orford

Sir, — Clearly, something is rotten in the diocese of London and in the wider Church of England. What has happened among us to the notion of personal accountability?

You report that an official diocesan investigation into that tragedy will not seek to apportion blame. What can that achieve? None of us enjoys facing the truth that we have made serious errors, but how are forgiveness and healing possible if we do not acknowledge individually our responsibility for them?

In past years, a report like Lord Carlile’s could have led to resignations.

The emerging stories of cover-up and slandering of the innocent present us with the opportunity to repent and accept the chastening that will enable us, under God, to become the Church that we are called to be. Will we take it?

BARRY A. ORFORD

Hampstead

THE UNEDITED VERSION OF THE ABOVE

September 3rd, 2021

Sir,

The letters from the Revd Roderick Leece and the Revd Nick Pigott referring to the death of Fr Alan Griffin, plus the article by Bishop Selby (October 8), tell us clearly that something is rotten in the Diocese of London and in the wider Church of England. They prompt a disturbing question – what has happened among us to the notion of personal accountability?

The London Diocese has intoned the regulation chant that ‘lessons will be learned’ from the Griffin case, yet you report that an official diocesan investigation into that tragedy will not seek to apportion blame. What can that achieve? None of us enjoys facing the truth that we have made serious errors, but how are forgiveness and healing possible if we do not acknowledge individually our responsibility for them?

In past years a report like Lord Carlile’s on the conduct of those in the Chichester Diocese who rushed to blacken the blameless name of Bishop George Bell could have led to resignations. Today, those responsible have not even felt shamed into an apology. (I am told that they have recently compounded their offence by removing Bell’s name from the house dedicated to his memory.) What does this say about unwillingness to confess shortcomings?

The emerging stories of cover up and slandering of the innocent present us with the opportunity to repent and accept the chastening which will enable us, under God, to become the Church we are called to be. Will we take it?

The Revd Dr Barry A. Orford

LETTER [UNPUBLISHED]

Dear Editor
Those libelled by false accusation can exercise their right to justice through the courts [‘The accused have their rights, too’, CT, Oct 8].
Sir Cliff Richard exercised this right, but at a cost – not just financial. 
For most of us living, if falsely accused and libelled, this is not an option – there is simply nothing we can do about it. For those no longer living, such as Bishop George Bell, the same applies – you cannot libel the dead. 
Former Archbishop George Carey has done something about this miscarriage of justice by writing about it in his memoirs – ‘The Truth Will Set You Free‘.
Genuine repentance is key to right these wrongs, but there is little sign of that from those who should know better.
The truth of former Bishop Peter Selby’s concluding four words continues to resonate ‘as clear as a bell’:
“It could be you”

Yours sincerely


Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society