Monday, November 28 2016
West Sussex PO19 1PY
Dear Dean and Members of Chapter
We write concerning the recent publication of the Pitkin Guide to the Cathedral. In common with many people locally and nationally who have read it, we find your stance on the text concerning the late Bishop Bell unhelpful. We are given to understand the copyright is your responsibility and that you wrote the text in question.
When every effort is being made to heal the hurt and divisions occasioned by the way the Church locally and nationally has handled this affair, it seems to us unwise to leave in place any potentially damaging text about Bishop Bell.
As concern grows nationally regarding the handling of sexual abuse cases, we await the investigation into the Church of England’s handling of this affair.
In the meantime, we would suggest three possible courses of action:
1. The withdrawal of the Guide from sale pending the Review by Lord Carlile QC
2. The re-printing of the Guide, excluding – or re-writing – the text in question
3. The insertion of a Slip into every copy of the Guide, stating something along the lines of: “The accusation of child sexual abuse which has been made against Bishop George Bell is now the subject to an investigation – led by Lord Carlile QC – which will report in 2017”.
Thank you for giving this letter your consideration.
Professor Peter BILLINGHAM
Rt. Rev and Rt. Hon THE LORD CAREY OF CLIFTON
Dr Colin CLARK
The Rt Hon THE LORD DEAR
The Reverend David EVANS
The Reverend Dr Jules GOMES
Dr Ruth Hildebrandt GRAYSON
Professor James GRAYSON
The Reverend Professor Martin HENIG
SIR JOHN AND LADY MACLURE
LADY [BRIDGET] NIXON
The Very Reverend Professor Martyn PERCY
THE DUKE OF RICHMOND
Richard W. SYMONDS
THE LADY KENYA TATTON-BROWN
Dr Geoffrey THOMAS
The Reverend John TIBBS
For any reply and/or further information, please contact:
Richard W. Symonds The Bell Society 2 Lychgate Cottages Ifield Street, Ifield Village Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)
cc The Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester