Tag Archives: Iwerne Trust


The Church of England has admitted that there are about 30 separate safeguarding inquiries under way into senior clergy — bishops or cathedral deans and some retired clergy. There are only 104 active bishops in the whole Church of England and 42 deans. This raises serious questions about the depth of spiritual depravity found in the Church that will not soon go away. It is not just an Anglo Catholic like Bishop Ball and two evangelical leaders, John Smyth and Jonathan Fletcher, but massive cover ups of sexual abuse that is ringing alarm bells and causing such harm that it is emptying churches.

It is now very apparent that The Archbishop of Canterbury is a sniveling, groveling managerial fop, and the Church of England has become so incredibly embarrassing that GAFCON bishops will have nothing to do with it or him. I have blamed Welby, as I have done on occasion, for being a thin-skinned, theologically lightweight chancer who should never have been given the keys to Lambeth Palace. He now faces a safeguarding inquiry himself; he has publicly endorsed and embraced the most corrupt archbishops and bishops in the Church of South India; he has privately flailed against George Carey and he has betrayed his own evangelical roots. He has caused brilliant evangelical minds like Melvin Tinker, Peter Sanlon and Gavin Ashenden to leave the Church of England. You can read my entire article here: https://virtueonline.org/why-global-south-anglicans-will-have-re-evangelize-west


The Church of England’s clergy discipline scandal is symptomatic of a deeper problem. A new report which has branded the Church of England’s disciplinary system “toxic” will come as no surprise to everyone who has been following the story.

The paper by Dr. Sarah Horsman, warden of Sheldon — a retreat center and clergy support organization — described the C of E’s Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) as symptomatic of a wider “toxic management culture”. It also called for any replacement system “to be much more distinctively Christian, wiser, more transparent and… simply kinder”.

The report’s findings included the shocking facts that more than a third of clergy undergoing a CDM, considered suicide; only 18 per cent felt they were treated as innocent until proved guilty; and just about half “strongly disagreed” with the statement “I felt supported by the diocese through the process”. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/cofes-clergy-discipline-scandal-symptomatic-deeper-problem


Abuse by two prominent British evangelicals – Jonathan Fletcher and John Smyth (since deceased) – is raising eyebrows in England, coming as it is from two prominent evangelical priests who were formerly in the CofE but have now left.

A much-anticipated ‘lessons-learnt’ review into the activities of former church minister, Jonathan Fletcher, will be published in September. The independent Christian safeguarding charity, Thirtyone:eight, has been carrying out the review.

Fletcher, an influential evangelical, was last year said to have been involved in physical beatings, massages and other activities which he called ‘light-hearted forfeits’ — a claim dismissed by other evangelicals, including Melvin Tinker and Pete Sanlon, Justin Humphreys, chief executive of Thirtyone:eight, has now withdrawn as a speaker at the Anglican evangelical ReNew Conference on 14 September, saying it would cause victims further distress.

Meanwhile the Church of England is also investigating the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of allegations of abuse by the late John Smyth QC, who was well-known to Fletcher. All three were involved in the Iwerne Camps for top public schoolboys.

An “outrageousness of the silence” by senior evangelicals over Fletcher and Smyth are claims made by Melvin Tinker and Peter Sanlon respond to Evangelicals Now’s report on the Jonathan Fletcher affair. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/fletcher-findings-way


For another eminent piece on Feeding the Flock and Fighting the Wolves, I would point you to a brilliant piece by Melvin Tinker. Here is a sample paragraph: “The solemn task of the pastor to promote the kindness of orthodoxy and counter the cruelty of heresy is an onerous one. It requires diligent study and careful communication. It will draw opprobrium in a culture where ‘it is forbidden to forbid’ and the unholy trinity of pluralism, relativism and subjectivism hold sway so that truth, like beauty, is considered to be in the eye of the beholder. It will almost certainly be a barrier to ‘preferment’ in the established church.” You can read more here:





OPEN LETTER – To Be Released August 2020

Dear Editor

The evidence against Bishop George Bell has been gathered and thoroughly examined. Lord Alex Carlile QC and Timothy Briden have declared the allegations are unfounded and there is no case to answer . It follows, therefore, that no “significant cloud remains” hangs over Bishop Bell’s head – it hangs elsewhere.

Bishop Bell’s name has now been fully vindicated, so there is no good reason why an apology should not be forthcoming and the name of George Bell House restored.

But Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner continue to perpetuate this injustice against the wartime Bishop of Chichester by wilfully and arrogantly refusing to admit they were wrong. There is no willingness on their part to right that wrong. They display no humility in acknowledging that wrong. They have no intention to lift that “significant cloud”.

As Stephen Parsons says in ‘Surviving Church’: “Incompetence whether caused by ignorance, conceit or malevolence, is a particularly important matter when the individual refuses to admit to it and own up to it”.

After Archbishop Welby’s comment last year: “It is still the case that there is a woman who came forward with a serious allegation and this cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet” – a few of us did not ignore or sweep under the carpet those allegations against Bishop Bell. We fully investigated the clear likelihood of ‘mistaken identity’ – especially after the IICSA brought to light the “bonfire” of John Treadgold Dean of Chichester. Our findings are one reason why we are so critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner – especially relating to excising the memory of Bishop Bell in Chichester].

Bishop Bell’s niece Barbara Whitley, the only surviving relative and in her 90’s, and the Rev Peter Mullen and Andrew Morse have already called for resignation.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, now call for the resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, unless an immediate and full public apology is forthcoming regarding Bishop Bell and the name of George Bell House in Chichester is restored.

Yours sincerely

ATKINS, Forrest William

BOYS, Geoffrey

CHARMLEY, Professor John

DONALD, Revd. Steve

GOMES, Dr. Jules

INESON, Revd. Matthew


MORGAN, Dr. Gerald

MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter


RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles


SIMS, Kevin

SYMONDS, Richard W.


WATKINS, Lindsay

For further information regarding this Open Letter and its Signatories, please contact:

Richard W. Symonds

The Bell Society

2 Lychgate Cottages

Ifield Street, Ifield Village

Crawley – Gatwick

Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only – Very deaf]

Email: richardsy5@aol.com



Justin Welby worked as dormitory officer at summer camps where late John Smyth allegedly met abuse victims

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby ( PA )


The Church of England is investigating how the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby handled allegations against the head of a Christian charity accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

The church launched an independent review last year into claims the late John Smyth QC had stripped young men naked and beat them violently in his garden shed after befriending them at summer holiday camps.

One of those claiming to have been abused has now written to the Church of England, claiming Mr Welby – who worked as a dormitory officer at the camps – had failed to refer the allegations to social services and the police.

Accusing the archbishop of “inaction”, the unnamed man told Channel 4 News: “I find it very difficult to understand why he still has permission to officiate and can still minister.”

A Church of England spokesperson said: “Since a formal complaint has now been received by the National Safeguarding Team, it is reviewing information and will obviously respond on this to the person who brought the complaint and take any further action if needed.”


Read more

The statement added: “These issues will all be considered by the Makin Review which the Church commissioned last year into the Smyth case and is expected to publish into 2021.”

The church launched the Makin Review after alleged victims first came forward in the media in 2017 to accuse Smyth of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks after meeting them at summer camps run by the Iwerne Trust – an evangelical Church of England organisation.

At the time Mr Welby issued an “unreserved and unequivocal” apology on behalf of the Anglican church and revealed he had worked at the holiday camps.

The archbishop said he became friends with Smyth in the late 1970s, when Mr Welby was a dormitory officer and Smyth was one of the main leaders at the Iwerne holiday camps. Lambeth Palace said they had since exchanged “the occasional card”.

In April 2020, the Titus Trust, which took over the running of the camps from the disbanded Iwerne Trust, said it had agreed a settlement with three men who had suffered what the Trust described as “appalling abuse” by Smyth – who died in 2018.

The unnamed man who has raised the formal complaint against Mr Welby said: “The Makin Review into John Smyth won’t be out until next year, which will be nine years after I came forward.”

He added: “I find it depressing and staggering that the Church of England can take so long to find out the truth about what actually happened.”


UPDATE 30.07.20 A previous version of this article reported that John Smyth QC was alleged to have abused young men at Christian holiday camps. While Mr Smyth met the men at the camps, the alleged abuse took place at his home. The article has been amended accordingly. 



Archbishop Justin Welby








The man [‘Graham’], who made the complaint to the Church of England spoke to Channel 4 News anonymously calling into question why Archbishop Welby was still allowed to officiate and minister.

He said: “There should be procedures in place when disclosures of abuse are made to the Church of England. There are strict safeguarding procedures…I find it very difficult to understand why he still has permission to officiate and can still minister.”

He added: “I find it depressing and staggering that the Church of England can take so long to find out the truth about what actually happened.”




Chichester Cathedral – RWS Photography




Monday, 27 July 2020 at 11.24 pm by Simon Sarmiento

Channel 4 News reported on Monday evening: Church launches investigation into how Welby dealt with complaints about an alleged serial abuse

This programme can reveal that the Church of England has launched an investigation into how the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, dealt with complaints about a serial abuser of young men.

John Smyth was alleged to have beaten dozens of young men in the 1970s and 1980s.

One of those abused has now written to the Church of England, launching a formal complaint against Mr Welby, saying he failed to act properly when he learnt of the abuse.

More details are in the video (3 minutes).

The Church of England has responded with this statement:

It is in the public domain that when Lambeth was contacted in 2013 about an allegation against Smyth it liaised with the relevant diocese. This was to ensure that the survivor was being supported, police had been informed and that the bishop had contacted the Bishop of Cape Town, where Smyth was then living. However, since a formal complaint has now been received by the National Safeguarding Team, it is reviewing information and will obviously respond on this to the person who brought the complaint and take any further action if needed.

These issues will all be considered by the Makin Review which the Church commissioned last year into the Smyth case and is expected to publish into 2021.

The Telegraph has also reported on this: Church of England investigating complaint over how Archbishop of Canterbury dealt with abuse claims at Christian camps.


Richard W. Symonds

That “significant cloud” hanging over over Bishop George Bell has floated away from him and is now hanging over Archbishop Justin Welby”

Of course, by implication, this equally applies to the present Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner regarding the Bishop Bell debacle.

It is very difficult to understand why he, Bishop Warner, also still has permission to officiate and can still minister.

Richard W. Symonds


“A report [on John Smyth] commissioned by the Iwerne Trust and compiled in 1982, prompted by a suicide attempt by a survivor, was written by a C of E priest, the Revd Mark Ruston, when he was Vicar of Holy Sepulchre with All Saints, Cambridge” ~ Church Times
The Report – hand-marked ‘strictly confidential’ – was prepared in 1982 by the Rev’d Mark Ruston, vicar of the Round Church in Cambridge. It bears the initials of eight individual addressees – all Anglicans, some clergy – who by ordinary inference are more likely than not to have read and/or known and discussed its contents. It was the reason why John Smyth was removed from his role within the Trust, gave up a glittering career as a leading QC, and quietly left the country in what can only be described as an Establishment cover-up…The Ruston Report resurfaced in or around 2013 within the Titus Trust, the successor organisation to the Iwerne Trust” ~ Martin Sewell
“Canon Mark Rushton, a close friend of the Most Rev Justin Welby”




A statement by the Archbishop Welby complainant at 1030 on 28 July 2020

This statement is issued on behalf of the complainant in the Archbishop Justin Welby case.

On 28 July Channel 4 News correctly reported that Archbishop Justin Welby is under investigation over alleged safeguarding failures, following a complaint I made on 12 June this year. The Church of England has issued a response today that fails to mention Archbishop Welby by name. Instead, the church states that it “ensure[d] that the survivor was being supported, police had been informed and that the Bishop had contacted the Bishop of Cape Town”.

I dispute entirely all three of these assertions.

First, on the matter of support.
I disclosed in the Diocese of Ely in March 2012. Far from supporting me, they were unable to find a counsellor until January 2014, 22 months later. At that stage I was offered £100 towards counselling. In the end I am not aware that the Diocese of Ely paid anything towards the counselling I received. I was not supported.

Second, on the matter of informing the police.
I never met, and was never formally interviewed by, anyone from the Diocese of Ely. I do not recall being told that that the Police had been contacted. It was never suggested that I speak to the Police and I had no contact with them. To this day, I do not know what, if anything, the Diocese of Ely, told the Police.

Third, on the matter of the Church of England relaying concerns to the Diocese of Cape Town. I have in front of me a copy of the letter the church is referring to. On the simple matter of facts, it was not addressed to the Archbishop of Cape Town but to Bishop Garth Counsell, the Bishop of Table Bay. There is no evidence that this letter was in fact sent or received. What is undisputed is that John Smyth continued in his role as Director of the Justice Alliance of South Africa for a further three years, and that during that time he continued to meet and groom young men in Cape Town.

I emailed the Diocese of Ely on at least six occasions, asking if Smyth had been stopped. These emails were sent on 21 May 2014, 16 June 2014, 4 September 2014, 2 December 2014, 10 February 2015 and 25 August 2015. For example, in May 2014 I wrote “What is his position in Cape Town? Have you heard back? A known abuser continues his ministry?….Has every attempt been made to follow up?” In December 2014 I wrote “Can you give me the slightest reassurance that, to the best of your knowledge he is not continuing now?” and in February 2015 I wrote “Can you categorically state that everything within your power has been done…to ensure that he is unable to have any continuing contact with boys and young adults? Have the appropriate authorities a full understanding of his history and the dangers? Has he been stopped?”

I received multiple replies saying that no one had acknowledged their letter to Bishop Counsell. In May 2014 I was told “The Bishop of Ely wrote to the Bishop of Cape Town (sic). There was no reply, either then or when I chased it up. We think they have no equivalent position to [safeguarding officer] in the South African church”. I was told “The only information I have about Smyth is gleaned from his website…..Unfortunately I have no power to compel agencies in South Africa to respond to my concerns and no professional routes to take this further. I know this will be difficult for you to hear and I am sorry that I am unable to say something more positive”.

I was repeatedly told by the Diocese of Ely that they could not get hold of anyone in Cape Town. My last contact with Ely was in August 2015, when I wrote: “Can [you] do nothing? There are no letters from Cape Town, no further leads? The man…may as we speak have a coterie of young men? Has every length been tried to find out?”

I dispute all three responses to my complaint against Archbishop Welby.

The complainant does not wish his name to be in the public domain.

For further information, please contact Andrew Graystone via andrew.graystone1@btinternet.com or 07772 710090.




Dear friends and colleagues, 

You may have heard that on Monday night Channel 4 News carried the story that a formal complaint has been issued against Archbishop Justin Welby alleging that the disclosure to him of the actions of the serial abuser John Smyth in early 2013 received an inadequate response by both him and Church House then and in the subsequent years, so that Smyth was able to continue his activities and abuse many further victims.  

Quite patently John Smyth was not stopped and remained as Chairman of the Justice Alliance of South Africa until 2017. By reason of this delay Smyth died before facing justice. 

The Church of England has put a statement on its website 


This response was felt to be so inadequate that the complainant has issued the following further detailed rejoinder.

It is important to stress that the complainant victim, who I have spoken to many times, has made every attempt directly and indirectly  to avoid this matter reaching such an unhappy stage. This problem has existed for eight years, he has been very patient. The formal complaint was formally lodged on 12 June 2020; the complainant waited for news, perhaps for an announcement or even an invitation to sit at the core group table, just like the Oxford dons who arrived with no evidence against Dean Martyn Percy. No news or invitation came. “ Graham” of course had first hand evidence to impart.
At General Synod we were told that the establishment of a core group was the triaging system for complaints. Right now, the complainant does not even know if a core group exists or whether some other process applies here. The CofE announcement is buried deep within its website and you may notice that the announcement does not actually say that the usual core group has been established to progress the complaint; rather it says that the NST is simply “reviewing the information”.  
It is such privileged treatment and lack of transparency that has proved to be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’.   Both current Archbishops have had their complaints handled quietly, discretely, and remained in active office; Lord George Carey, the Bishop of Lincoln and  Dean Martyn Percy were named publicly and have had their ministries and duties curtailed. 
This sense of institutional injustice is felt keenly by survivors. It may be counter intuitive for most of us: survivors feel the injustice inflicted on senior Churchmen ostensibly in their name. They are incensed at the recognition that Church House continues to be an organisation operating arbitrarily, protecting some reputations, careless of others, and always prioritising its reputation and self interest over simple fairness for all.
You may notice that the CofE website announcement does not even confirm that the complaint specifically names the Archbishop. He, of course, is entitled to a fair hearing and the presumption of innocence which the Church notably denied to such as Bishop Bell in comparatively recent times, and continues to deny Dean Percy,  by progressing a complaint without primary evidence and through a core group thoroughly corrupted, inter alia, by multiple conflicts of interest. Church House never admits it is wrong. 
In his own case, the Archbishop did however, set a high bar for expectations of active involvement when such complaints arise. 

Giving evidence under oath to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last year, Archbishop Welby said: “Nobody can say it is not my fault. It is so absurd. To say ‘I have heard about a problem but it was someone else’s job to report it’ that is not an acceptable human response, yet alone a leadership response”…..”If you know a child is being abused, not to report it is simply wrong, for every human being”. 

The case “ Graham” advances is that Archbishop Justin neither took sufficient action himself, nor did he ensure that action for justice and prevention had been taken, once Smyth’s cruelty was exposed. Graham” was personally known to the Archbishop as was John Smyth. 

Every attempt to spare the Archbishop and the Church embarrassment has been made but failed. How much of “Graham’s” entreaties have reached the Archbishop personally is less clear. That said, institutionally these wounds are entirely self inflicted. 

I have spoken to the complainant this morning. He says this  ‘I am not driven by a need for revenge or malice. All I want is the truth. We were denied justice by the death of John Smyth. For all to tell the truth, now, that is what we want.’  

Although a number of Church insiders have access to his contact details, nobody from there has communicated with “Graham” since he has reluctantly felt obliged to put the fact of his complaint into the public domain. His support continues to come entirely from the survivor community and their friends. The endurance of returning to remembrances of injustice is what victim survivors call “re-abuse”.
Martin Sewell


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




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”

April 18 2019 – “Smyth abuse – Survivors dispute Welby claim” – Church Times – Madeleine Davies


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby



SURVIVORS of abuse perpetrated by John Smyth have written to Lambeth Palace to correct the Archbishop of Canterbury’s assertion that Smyth was “not actually an Anglican” — a comment made during an interview on Channel 4 News last week.

In total, the letter lists 14 points of dispute about the Archbishop’s comments.

During the interview on Friday, which explored the Church of England’s response to Smyth’s abuse, Archbishop Welby said that Smyth “was not actually an Anglican. The church he went to in South Africa was not Anglican, and Iwerne was not part of the Church of England.”

Smyth was living in South Africa when a disclosure of abuse was made in Ely diocese in 2013, and died there last year. He was a former chairman of the Iwerne Trust, which ran holiday camps for boys at English public schools, and is now part of the Titus Trust. A six-month Channel 4 News investigation, broadcast two years ago, found that both the Iwerne Trust and Winchester College had learned of allegations of abuse by Mr Smyth in the 1980s, but failed to report them to the police (News, 10 February 2017).

One of the survivors who wrote to Lambeth Palace this week, Graham*, described the claim that Smyth was not an Anglican as “farcical”, given that he worshipped in the C of E.. The letter tells the Archbishop that Smyth had in fact been a licensed Reader in the diocese of Winchester.

A spokesperson for the diocese of Winchester said: “When the allegations first came to light we reviewed our records. There was nothing to suggest that John Smyth had had a formal role within the diocese and so no further investigation was undertaken.”

Graham also listed the many links between the Iwerne Trust and the C of E, pointing out that survivors in the United Kingdom and trustees of the Trust — some of whom were ordained — had attended Anglican churches.

In his interview, Archbishop Welby said: “The Church of England was never directly involved, but we take responsibility because there was a Church of England clergyman, though not on the payroll, who was in charge of the Iwerne Trust and there were Anglicans there . . .”

He also emphasised that the allegations did not pertain to the Iwerne Trust’s camps — the abuse had taken place at Smyth’s home.

But Archbishop Welby did not mention that the report commissioned by the Iwerne Trust and compiled in 1982, prompted by a suicide attempt by a survivor, was written by a C of E priest, the Revd Mark Ruston, when he was Vicar of Holy Sepulchre with All Saints, Cambridge. It described what it called the “beatings” of 22 young men.

“The scale and severity of the practice was horrific . . . eight received about 14,000 strokes: two of them having some 8000 strokes over three years.”

The contents of the report were disclosed to a number of Anglican clergy. Smyth went on to live in Zimbabwe, where he continued to run holiday camps — Zambezi Ministries — and South Africa.

“Had any one of these men spoken out about what they knew, upwards of 60 African children might not have been viciously beaten, and Smyth might have faced the justice he deserved,” the letter says.

Archbishop Welby told Channel 4 News that he had had “no idea” of Smyth’s abuse until 2013. “I heard a report about an allegation of abuse; it was made in Ely diocese, and the Bishop of Ely had contacted the statutory authorities . . . and I wrote to the Primate in South Africa.”

In fact, it was the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, who wrote to the Church in South Africa.

Asked about a promised review, Archbishop Welby told Channel 4 News that it could not take place until the Church had secured the participation of the other organisations involved: a reference to Scripture Union, Winchester College, and the Titus Trust.

“Unless you can get everyone in you are never going to get anywhere near the truth,” he said. “We’ve written to them; we’ve not had answers from all of them; and I would very much like them to reply promptly and quickly, and let’s get on with it and discover what we need to learn.”

Several survivors of Smyth’s abuse have launched a civil claim against the Titus Trust (News, 24 August 2018), and it is understood that the Titus Trust will consider a review only once these have been concluded (News, 1 March).

Graham suggested that it was “perverse that the decision as to which organisations should have the veto on a review has been taken before the review itself, when all of the facts are not yet known”.

He also disputed the Archbishop’s comment that there had been “very rapid contact” with the survivors, and that the bishop in charge of safeguarding and safeguarding officers had met them.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Lambeth Palace declined to clarify the Archbishop’s comments but said that he hoped to meet survivors “as soon as possible”.

*Name changed to protect anonymity



Sorry not enough, Archbishops’ letter says after IICSA — and a survivor agrees

26 Mar 2018

‘I am ashamed of the Church’, Archbishop Welby admits to IICSA hearing

21 Mar 2018

John Smyth QC, 77, accused of shed beatings, dies in Cape Town

13 Aug 2018

George Bell: the life matched the legacy

01 Feb 2019

UK news in brief

18 May 2018

Archbishop Welby apologises for ‘mistakes’ in case of George Bell

24 Jan 2019

Feb 20 2019 – “‘General Synod has no confidence in the Church of England’s capacity to regulate its own safeguarding culture'” – Martin Sewell




“Was this not the process that created the Bishop George Bell debacle? The Church of England leadership will still not follow the plain and increasingly irritated advice of its independent investigator Lord Carlile, who said: “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….

“If witnesses accounts and denials of knowledge (if appropriate) are not captured in a timely way, may not their reputations be placed “under a cloud” of complicity in the cover-up by some future archbishop without evidence, just as Justin Welby has tainted the memory of Bishop George Bell? Justice requires due process to victims and those under suspicion alike. We are woefully failing many in this case”



“The church in trying to preserve its reputation has all but lost it. Kicking allegations ‘into the long grass’ and then throwing long dead Bishops ‘under the bus’ has all added to the loss of credibility of the church and its hierarchy…