Dr Martin Warner Bishop of Chichester said this on Oct 22 2015:
“In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective, and undertaken by people who command the respect of all parties”
Lord Carlile QC said this on February 1 2019:
“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”
Professor Peter Billingham said this on May 12 2019
“Two major reports in 2017 and 2019 [Carlile and Briden] established that allegations of abuse made against Bishop Bell sixty years after his death were unfounded”
After nearly 4 years, we are still awaiting an apology from Bishop Warner – and we still await Bishop Bell to be declared innocent.
I hesitate to ask readers one again to support a petition, but my good friend Peter Billingham, a long-standing and dedicated fighter in the cause of truth, and justice for the late George Bell, needs your support in a good enterprise.
There is now no serious question that the late Bishop Bell has emerged with his reputation unstained after allegations made against him. Regular readers will know of the case, but for new readers, or those wishing to refresh their memories, the best summary of the long saga may be read here http://www.georgebellgroup.org/statement-may-2019/
The distinguished QC Lord Carlile of Berriew reviewed the case in a report which showed that the investigation of the allegations against the late Bishop bell was a one-sided, sloppy kangaroo court. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, who commissioned that report, debarred him from stating a conclusion about George Bell’s guilt or innocence. Lord Carlile made it clear, when questioned at the time of publication, that he thought the case against George bell was extraordinarily weak. He has since said clearly that he believes that Bishop Bell *was* innocent of the charges,
Lord Carlile declared on 1 February 2019, ‘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.’
But while the Church has plainly retreated from its earlier attitude, and the media which joined hastily in the Church’s hasty, unfair condemnation are now licking their wounds, relieved that the dead have no redress in such situations, there is still a failure in some quarters to admit error. In a Stalinist frenzy after the first accusations were made, George Bell’s name was hurriedly and shamefully stripped from a number of buildings and institutions, by people who failed to understand the most basic principles of English justice.
The most important of these was the handsome and tranquil guest house in Chichester Cathedral precincts, called George Bell House. This building was originally the gift of an order of Anglican nuns who had loved George Bell when he was alive and wanted to honour him after his death. Yet despite the vindication of George Bell by the Carlile review, his name has still not been restored to it. This is small-minded and petty, and putting it right would go a long way towards the penitence the Chichester authorities, and the Church of England as a whole, ought to show.
So, in the names of Truth and Justice, I ask you please to take a moment to add your names to this petition:
Bishop George Bell was one of the great leaders of the Church of England in the twentieth century. As a member of the House of Lords, on moral grounds he bravely opposed the blanket bombing of German cities in WW2.
Two major reports in 2017 and 2019 established that allegations of abuse made against Bishop Bell sixty years after his death were unfounded.
We request that the name of 4 Canon Lane in Chichester Cathedral grounds should once more celebrate the memory of this great Bishop and be known again as George Bell House.
Reasons for signing
I’ve signed this petition because the accusations against Bishop George Bell were shown to be unfounded, but the Dean and Chapter have made no attempts to restore Bishop Bell’s reputation which have been traduced. One simple way to do this would be to re-instate the name George Bell House onto 4 Canon Lane – a name which had been… Read more
“Rededicating 4 Canon Lane restores the reputation of Bishop Bell. It also restores dignity to the Cathedral and the community of Chichester”