George Bell House, 4 Canon Lane, Chichester
TO ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS: APOLOGISE. RESTORE THE NAME OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE. OR RESIGN
George Bell House – 4 Canon Lane – Chichester Cathedral
LETTER SUBMISSION – AUGUST 29 2020
Following this week’s Private Eye article and Church Times letter, we the undersigned again call upon / renew the call for Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Martin Warner to consider their positions.
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.
ATKINS, Revd. Forrest William
CHARMLEY, Professor John
DONALD, Revd. Steve
GOMES, Dr. Jules
INESON, Revd. Matthew
LINSLEY, Alice C.
MORGAN, Dr. Gerald
MULLEN, Revd. Dr. Peter
RAVEN, Revd. Canon Charles
ROBINSON, Dr. Steven
SYKES, Rt. Revd. Nicholas J.G. – Suffragan Bishop
SYMONDS, Richard W.
VIRTUE, David W. DD
For further information regarding this Letter and its Signatories, please contact:
Richard W. Symonds
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley – Gatwick
Tel: 07540 309592 [Text only please]
St Richard’s Walk – Chichester Cathedral