Tag Archives: Letters

January 25 2018 – “Church of England must exonerate Bishop Bell” – Daily Telegraph – Letters – Martin Sewell and Jill Davies

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-daily-telegraph/20180125/282093457164206

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January 9 2018 – Letter from Anne A. Dawson of Northolt

Dear Editor
I am writing in support of the ‘Rebuilding Bridges’ Morning Conference next month – at Church House Westminster on Thursday February 1 – which I am sadly unable to attend. This is important to me because it restores my faith in humanity there are other people sharing views compatible to mine.
I felt devastated by the bleakness of the statement of our spiritual leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in response to the Independent Review by Lord Carlile 15.12.2017, because I feel it expresses cynicism and self-interest, especially the Archbishop’s words about Bishop Bell:
“We realise that a significant cloud is left over his name. No human being is entirely good or bad. Bishop Bell was in many ways a hero. He is also accused of great wickedness. Good acts do not diminish evil ones, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good”
My trust in the hierarchy of the Church of England has been shattered. I won’t leave the Church because of this, but basically the statement is tragic because of its implications.
Why is there a cloud over Bishop Bell’s name?
My response is because the Archbishop intends perpetuating ambiguity.
I would challenge the relevance in the context of this statement: “Good acts do not diminish evil ones, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good”.
 
Why is the Archbishop saying this, if not to convey insidious undertones of an implied guilty verdict? The Archbishop had an opportunity to clearly refer to the UDHR, Articles 10 and 11. I feel he has let down the Church of England, as its leading spokesperson.
I am not an expert in law or theology. My interest in this issue is because my work in a pastoral role at primary school includes safeguarding procedures. In my opinion, Lord Carlile’s report was balanced and rational. It avoided preference or prejudice, unlike the Archbishop’s statement which conveyed both.
To me ethics are of utmost importance, because we are educating the next generation to be morally responsible as individuals and as world citizens.
Every child has a sense of natural justice. ‘It’s not fair’ is one of the first and most repeated phrases from Reception Year upwards. In playground disputes we always follow procedures based on conflict resolution. First one child speaks, while the other listens, then vice-versa. With an adult monitoring, most often the outcome is reconciliation.
However, how can I encourage children to respect a man of great responsibility like the Archbishop, when he dismisses the need for a fair hearing of the other?
The school where I work is predominantly non-Christian, with a very diverse spread of backgrounds and nationalities. My sadness is that the Christian faith is being destroyed within by its own leaders, when they recklessly demolish the reputation of one of its greatest representatives.
I am really distressed by this, as children have more choices than ever about what they choose to believe and the inspiration for their internal value system, but the consequences of weak moral leadership from the Anglican Church will not inspire any young person.
The Archbishop has weakened the Church of England by the defamation of Bishop Bell. The long term result is a church broken from within, which does not attract new faith in young people.
A strong church for the younger generation is needed, which has the humility to concede it is sometimes wrong and mismanages its procedures. The Archbishop has lacked the courage to do this, by continuing to deflect guilt onto Bishop Bell. That is why I feel his Statement was self-serving and cynical by the statement “Good acts do not diminish evil ones , nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good”. This comment is made in the context of Bishop Bell’s life, marked throughout with adherence to Christ-centred behaviour in war-divided Europe and beyond. This reference to “evil acts” are totally without evidence, and neither necessary or appropriate to the statement.
To misquote Martin Luther King Jr, 28.8.1963 “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the allegations, but by the content of their character”.
I want to live out my Christian values towards others, based on informed and thoughtful reflection rather than prejudice. I own my anger towards the Archbishop, prompted by shock that he was so intentionally ambivalent towards Bishop Bell in his statement.
I continue to learn through this situation about the theory of personality and what integrity really is. I will continue to invest time and consideration into challenging the Archbishop’s statement “Good acts do not diminish evil ones, nor do evil ones make it right to forget the good”, especially in the context of Bishop Bell.
This letter is underpinned by my sincere desire to look towards the well-being of children. My work requires robust safeguarding in school and in all spheres of life.
In an attempt to over-compensate for past indifference to allegations of child abuse within the church, the leadership projected blame onto a dead man to absorb the ill will. By implying the guilt of Bishop Bell in the above comments in his statement, the Archbishop increases mistrust in safeguarding procedure rather than respecting Lord Carlile’s conclusions.
This does not offer any assurance that future allegations will be properly addressed. I feel compassion for those who have been deeply hurt by words of injustice towards Bishop Bell, who has no opportunity for a fair public hearing.
I hope for a positive outcome at the Rebuilding Bridges event on Ist February, and pray that it brings reconciliation and the restoration of Bishop Bell’s good name.
Yours sincerely
Anne A. Dawson
Northolt

December 19 2017 – “How can Archbishop Welby leave Bishop Bell’s name ‘under a cloud’?” – Daily Telegraph – Letters – William Jupe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2017/12/19/lettershow-can-archbishop-welby-leave-bishop-bells-name-cloud/

Letters: How can Archbishop Welby leave Bishop Bell’s name under a cloud?

Bishop Bell in Chichester CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE/TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY

SIR – Thank God for Charles Moore, and for all who refused to accept the traducing of the late George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, by the Church authorities.

How can the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, condemn a man with such assurance for something alleged to have happened 63 years ago that cannot be corroborated?

Would he embrace being condemned himself on the basis of the unchallenged testimony of one person at such a distance?

William Jupe
Worcester

December 16 2017 – “Welby refuses to apologise for shaming of Bishop Bell” – Telegraph – [Reporters: Olivia Rudgard & Robert Mendick] – “Archbishop Welby’s response to the George Bell inquiry is shocking” – Telegraph [Charles Moore] – “Bishop Bell not guilty” – Telegraph Letters [Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson]

 

December 7 2017 – “Why is the C of E still messing around with the Carlile report?” – The Spectator – Letter – Peter Hitchens

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Peter Hitchens

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/12/letters-why-is-the-c-of-e-still-messing-around-with-the-carlile-report/

Letters: Why is the C of E still messing around with the Carlile report?

9 December 2017

9:00 AM

The Carlile report

Sir: The Bishop of Bath and Wells tells us (Letters, 2 December) that nobody is holding up publication of the Carlile report into the Church of England’s hole-in-corner kangaroo condemnation of the late George Bell. Is it then just accidental that the church is still making excuses for not publishing it, and presumably for fiddling about with it, more than eight weeks after receiving it on 7 October? The church was swift to condemn George Bell on paltry evidence. It was swifter still to denounce those who stood up for him, falsely accusing them of attacking Bell’s accuser. Yet it is miserably slow to accept just criticism of itself. Somehow, I suspect that, had Lord Carlile exonerated the apparatchiks involved, his report would long ago have been released. May I commend to the Bishop the words of Our Lord (Matthew 5:25): ‘Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him.’
Peter Hitchens
London W8

November 20 2017 – Letter from William Nye to Richard W. Symonds

Dear Mr Symonds

Thank you for this.  I can assure you that we are working towards publication of the review by Lord Carlile as swiftly as we can.

We received the draft of Lord Carlile’s report in October and now, according to the Terms of Reference of the review, are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed. This is quite an intensive process and includes issues over factual accuracy and identification of ‘Carol’. As the review website notes, the final version of the report will then be presented to the National Safeguarding Steering Group before publication. This is the process with all independent reviews.

Best wishes

William Nye

November 21 2017 – 2nd Letter to William Nye from Richard W. Symonds

Dear Mr Nye

 
Thank you for your reply – it is appreciated.
 
The accompanying Statement is also very welcome – albeit short:
 
I did not understand there was a distinction between the ‘National Safeguarding Team’ and the ‘National Safeguarding Steering Group’; I am glad to have that clarified by your Statement.
 
Controversy and confusion still exists – as exemplified by this article in Christian Today. The critical ‘George Bell House’ issue in Chichester also remains regrettably unresolved.
 
But, despite this, I’m sure progress can be looked forward to in a spirit of reconciliation and hope.
 
Thank you again for your kind response to concerns.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Richard W. Symonds MCIPD
 
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
 
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)