To: THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

This campaign has ended.

JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

(1) To call on the Church of England to allow a fuller investigation before considering the case against Bishop Bell closed. This includes re-examining the evidence against Bishop Bell.

(2) To ensure fair and just procedures are in place for the future.

Why is this important?

The Church has a responsibility to ensure fair and just procedures are in place so that evidence can be properly examined in any future investigation.

How it will be delivered

The Petition will be delivered in person to Lambeth Palace and/or a Bell Society Press Conference held.


Reasons for signing

  • Justice needs to be served
  • Because I believe in innocent until proven guilty.
  • I fully suport the aims of the George Bell Group

Updates

2016-10-15 15:51:22 +0100

DAILY TELEGRAPH - "JUSTICE FOR BISHOP" - LETTERS - OCTOBER 15 2016 - DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/daily-telegraph-justice-for-bishop-letters-dr-ruth-hildebrandt-grayson/

2016-10-15 01:59:32 +0100

LAMBETH PALACE TO RECEIVE BISHOP BELL PETITION - WEDNESDAY - OCTOBER 19 2016 - 4PM

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/lambeth-palace-to-receive-bishop-bell-petition-wednesday-october-19-2016-4pm-2/

2016-10-08 12:52:25 +0100

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND'S OCTOBER 22 2015 'BISHOP BELL' NEWS RELEASE - ONE YEAR ON

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/one-year-on-from-that-church-of-england-news-release-in-october-2015/

2016-10-08 08:44:35 +0100

BISHOP BELL - THE CONTINUING CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE - PETER HITCHENS

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/10/the-continuing-campaign-for-justice-for-the-late-bishop-george-bell.htm

2016-10-07 17:21:37 +0100

"LAMBETH PALACE RECEIVES PETITION IN SUPPORT OF GEORGE BELL" - CHURCH TIMES - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/lambeth-receives-petition-in-support-of-george-bell-church-times-october-7-2016/

2016-09-30 19:57:45 +0100

“BISHOP BELL : VICTIM OF CHURCH OF ENGLAND 'KANGAROO COURT'" - CHICHESTER OBSERVER - SEPTEMBER 29 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/bishop-bell-victim-of-cofe-kangaroo-court-chichester-observer-september-29-2016/

An abridged, dramatised reading of T S Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral will take place in Chichester as part of the campaign to clear the name of the city’s wartime Bishop Bell, a man accused last year of child abuse more than half a century after his death (October 2, 6.30pm, The Friends’ Meeting House, Priory Road, free admission).

Taking part will be...columnist and author Peter Hitchens..."I have no doubt that the reason they threw George Bell under the bus was to make themselves appear tough and decisive which is the opposite to how they have appeared. Their mistake was to think that nobody cared about George Bell any more. I have been in touch with a huge number of people who care very much.”

2016-09-25 21:15:43 +0100

BISHOP BELL'S "OCTOBER REMEMBRANCE WITH FLOWERS" - BY THE BELL MEMORIAL IN CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/weekend-remembrance-with-flowers-george-bell-bishop-of-chichester/

2016-09-25 21:11:01 +0100

"MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL" BY T.S. ELIOT - THIS SUNDAY (OCT 2) - FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE - 6.30PM

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/murder-in-the-cathedral-by-t-s-eliot-october-2016-friend-meeting-house-chichester-6-30pm/

2016-09-25 21:08:12 +0100

BISHOP BELL DAY - THIS MONDAY - OCTOBER 3 2016 - SPECIAL SERVICE AT ST MICHAEL, CORNHILL - CITY OF LONDON - 4PM

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/bishop-bell-day-next-monday-october-3-2016-special-service-at-st-michaels-cornhill-city-of-london-4pm/

2016-09-25 21:04:10 +0100

DELIVERY OF "BISHOP BELL" PETITION - LAMBETH PALACE - THURSDAY - OCTOBER 13 2016 - 2PM

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/justice-for-bishop-bell-petition-delegation-2pm-lambeth-palace/

2016-09-15 23:32:57 +0100

"ELITE SINKS CHILD ABUSE PROBE TO SAVE ITSELF" - MORNING STAR - SEPTEMBER 15 2016

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e1de-Elite-sinks-child-abuse-probe-to-save-itself#.V9sbck0rLIU

"An Anglican judge...Butler-Sloss admitted covering up the crimes of Anglican priests...a former special branch officer...said that a dossier of sexual abuse allegations ...which police claimed was 'lost' was actually seized by MI5...Officers citing 'national security' confiscated the file [a paedophile dossier naming Establishment figures], which listed 16 MP's along with senior policemen, headteachers and clergy...In years to come this will serve as a case study of how Establishment can succeed in sabotaging any attempt to uncover the truth..."

2016-09-10 12:00:01 +0100

With the new biography of Archbishop Soderblom ("A great archbishop-ecumenist", Church Times, 2 Sept), we must also remember "George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958" (Calendar of Saints, Oct 3):

The Swedish Archbishop had this to say of our English Bishop:

"It is my opinion that nobody is more important to the future of the ecumenical revival than this silent Bell. This Bell never rings for nothing. But when it does ring its tune is silver-clear. It often seems to travel from another sphere and make itself heard. It reaches farther than our shouting voices. He never begins to speak without having something to say. The strong spirituality of his nature characterize everything he does"

Both this Archbishop and Bishop Bell need to be well-remembered.

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society

2016-09-06 20:10:45 +0100

"MONEY LEFT BY BISHOP AFTER DEATH WILL BE USED TO SUPPORT CHILD ABUSE" - CHRISTIAN TODAY - SEPT 9 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/money-left-by-bishop-after-death-will-be-used-to-support-child-abuse-christian-today-sept-9-2016/

Ronald Mulkearns, who was the Bishop of Ballarat until 1997, died in April, leaving an estate of over two million dollars...He left his house and other funds to the Church. Mulkearns was accused of being slow to respond to incidents of abuse in his diocese, while there were also reports that he moved priests from post to post rather than reporting them to the authorities...he apologised when appearing before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse…The depth of the abuse scandal in the Ballarat area has shocked Australian churchgoers. Meanwhile, Victoria police said last month that they haven’t ruled out the possibility of charging the most senior Church figure in the country – Cardinal George Pell.

2016-09-06 15:38:48 +0100

“CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY OUT OF CONTROL" - THE TIMES - FRONT PAGE - SEPT 6 2016

Dame Lowell Goddard…the judge who quit as its chief [National Public Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, previously called The Goddard Inquiry] last month…said that she had quit…to challenge the basis and scale of the inquiry…The new head is Professor Alexis Jay, a social work specialist who is backed by a panel, victims of sex abuse and other expert advisers

“Ultimately…I had to face a situation I could not solve and which would continue unless challenged. I resigned to make that challenge occur” said Dame Lowell.

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/09/06/child-abuse-inquiry-out-of-control-the-times-front-page-september-6-2016/

2016-09-05 19:36:25 +0100

"BELL-RINGER EXTRAORDINAIRE" - PETER HITCHENS - Q & A - SEPTEMBER 3 2016

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/09/peter-hitchens-faqs.html

Q.Why are you so concerned about the abuse allegations against the late Bishop Bell?

PETER HITCHENS: First because, having helped make a BBC Radio 4 'Great Lives' programme in which I praised several of his actions, I felt it my personal duty to defend that judgment when he was attacked. But also for two other reasons. 1. Bell's reputation is hugely important because of his lonely, near-solitary principled opposition to the deliberate British bombing of German civilians during World War Two (this was our policy, though few now realise it). 2. The way in which the Church of England failed to protect that reputation, and abandoned the most basic rules of justice in handling the accusation against him. Please see

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/murder-in-the-cathedral-the-casual-wrecking-of-a-great-name.html

2016-08-31 16:20:05 +0100

"THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SMEARS SAINTS AND SHIELDS SCOUNDRELS" - REV'D DR JULES GOMES - JULY 29 2016

http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/jules-gomes-the-c-of-e-smears-saints-shields-scoundrels/

...After much pressure from a cadre of eminent lawyers, commentators, writers, and members of the House of Lords, the C of E finally agreed to an independent review of the Bell case at the end of June 2016. A gaggle of incompetent and frightened bishops who have tarnished Bell’s reputation now have to contend with historian Andrew Chandler’s meticulously researched and recently published biography George Bell, Bishop of Chichester: Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship. Chandler ends on a note that any historian, judge or journalist would be wise to heed when judging Bishop Bell....

"The allegation of 2015 is anomalous...It may simply be observed here that such iconoclastic activities are not unknown to historians of other, far darker, times and contexts."

2016-08-31 15:31:46 +0100

"THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND MASTERS THE NON-APOLOGY" - REV'D DR JULES GOMES - AUG 31 2016

http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rev-jules-gomes-the-church-of-england-masters-the-non-apology/

When is an apology not an apology? An apology is not an apology when a Church of England bishop offers it to a victim of sexual abuse on a silver platter of spin as a tactical cop-out while shedding crocodile tears and mumbling ‘Awfully sorry, old chap!’ in the mode of a Bertie Wooster facing a snappy Gussie Fink-Nottle...a heartfelt apology, deeply rooted in the Christian theology of repentance and reconciliation, has now been turned into an episcopal Punch and Judy show with lawyers, bureaucrats and managers on fat cat salaries pulling the strings while their purple-clad puppets dance to their dirges, desperately clutching at mitre and crosier...When is an apology a genuine apology? When it is neither as slippery as a banana skin or as shallow as the paddling pool of a typical Anglican sermon.

2016-08-28 01:07:11 +0100

"I BELIEVE CAROL IS TELLING THE TRUTH WHEN - AGED 5 - SHE WAS ABUSED BY A 'MAN OF THE CLOTH' IN CHICHESTER, BUT - ON THE BASIS OF HER OWN DETAILED ACCOUNT - I BELIEVE THE TRUTH IS SHE WASN'T ABUSED BY BISHOP BELL. THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND - ESPECIALLY THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER - MUST CONFRONT THAT TRUTH. AND SO MUST WE"

~ Richard W. Symonds - The Bell Society

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/carols-account-facts/

2016-08-27 15:29:00 +0100

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND WARNED BISHOPS NOT TO APOLOGISE TOO FULLY TO SEX ABUSE VICTIMS", DAILY TELEGRAPH, 22 AUGUST 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/church-told-bishops-not-to-apologise-to-abuse-victims-daily-telegraph-22-august-2016/

“The approach to survivors is often a corporate model and this document supports that – it shows a church led by lawyers and insurers. You get the impression that these people are really their masters,” he [‘Joe’] said. “The Church will say ‘our hands are tied’, but they are paying the people who are tying their hands. They should say ‘we need to stop this nonsense’, but they wash their hands like Pontius Pilate.”

2016-08-26 13:17:23 +0100

"THE BISHOP BELL AFFAIR; AND THE PLEA TO UNFROCK" - CHURCH TIMES - LETTERS (GABRIELLE HIGGINS) - 26 AUGUST 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/the-bishop-bell-affair-and-the-plea-to-unfrock-church-times-letters-26-august-2016/

2016-08-24 08:38:43 +0100

BISHOPS WERE URGED NOT TO APOLOGISE FULLY FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE TO MINIMISE LIABILITY" - DAILY TELEGRAPH, CHRISTIAN TODAY & PREMIER - AUGUST 22 2016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/21/church-of-england-warned-bishops-not-to-apologise-too-fully-to-s/

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/bishops.were.urged.not.to.apologise.fully.for.child.sex.abuse.to.minimise.liability.risk/93673.htm

http://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Church-of-England-told-bishops-not-to-apologise-to-victims-of-sex-abuse

2016-08-20 22:11:10 +0100

CHURCH TIMES LETTER - MARILYN BILLINGHAM - AUGUST 19 2016

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/19-august/comment/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor

Chichester needs to explain itself, publicly

Sir, — The police are to say sorry to the surviving niece of Bishop George Bell because they did not take steps to let her know that the investigation about her uncle’s alleged abuse of a child in the late 1940s was to be made public. This much has been reported accurately in the national press and in the press local to Chichester. The police said far more than this, however....
The people of Chichester diocese and your readers deserve a clear explanation about the basis on which the diocesan office made public this alleged uncorroborated crime that the police were not plan­ning to pursue, and why, despite this, they have continued to bes­mirch the reputation of a man who can no longer defend himself.

2016-08-20 01:41:05 +0100

"FOLLOWING THE CHURCH TIMES LETTER REGARDING BISHOP BELL (AUG 19), THERE IS NOW A POWERFUL CASE FOR A SUSSEX POLICE INVESTIGATION REGARDING THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER" - RICHARD W. SYMONDS - THE BELL SOCIETY

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/following-the-church-times-letter-regarding-bishop-bell-aug-19-there-is-now-a-powerful-case-for-a-police-investigation-regarding-the-diocese-of-chichester-richard-w-symonds-the-bell-societ/

2016-08-19 12:33:13 +0100

"CHICHESTER NEEDS TO EXPLAIN ITSELF, PUBLICLY" - CHURCH TIMES - LETTER - MARILYN BILLINGHAM OF CHICHESTER - AUGUST 19 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/chichester-needs-to-explain-itself-publicly-church-times-letter-marilyn-billingham-august-19-2016/

2016-08-16 20:39:37 +0100

"CATHOLIC DIOCESE FORKS OUT $1.2M AFTER 'SPOTLIGHT' LAWYER ACCUSES LEADERS OF ABUSE COVER-UP" - CHRISTIAN TODAY - AUGUST 16 2016

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/catholic.diocese.forks.out.1.2m.after.spotlight.lawyer.accuses.leaders.of.abuse.cover.up/93276.htm

2016-08-14 21:53:46 +0100

BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE COVER-UP OF SEXUAL ABUSE EXPOSED BY THE BOSTON GLOBE 'SPOTLIGHT' TEAM IN 2002

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/sexual-abuse-cover-up-by-boston-archdiocese-and-beyond-exposed-in-2002/

2016-08-14 11:30:49 +0100

FORMER CHIEF CONSTABLE ACCUSES CHURCH OF "GRAVE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE" IN BISHOP BELL CASE

PREMIER NEWS - MARCH 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/former-police/

2016-08-12 21:50:26 +0100

"THOUGHTS ON AN INJUSTICE" - PETER HITCHENS ON BISHOP BELL - AUGUST 11 2016

"SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE"

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/peter-hitchens-2/

2016-08-10 08:18:12 +0100

"AUSTRALIA'S CATHEDRAL DEANS CALL FOR PREVENTION OF FURTHER ABUSE AFTER ROYAL COMMISSION" - CHRISTIAN TODAY (JAMES MACINTYRE) - AUGUST 9 2016

The deans of Australia's cathedrals have collectively expressed their regret at the damage caused by clergy and other church officials after hearing reports at their annual conference about the country's Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/australias.cathedral.deans.call.for.prevention.of.further.abuse.after.royal.commission/92728.htm

2016-08-09 09:20:52 +0100

"RIP THE LID OFF THIS CAN OF WORMS"

~ Richard W. Symonds on the Bishop Bell Scandal

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/

2016-08-09 09:09:45 +0100

"BUZZI WAS CITED AMONG THE PAEDOPHILIA CASES LISTED AT THE END OF 'SPOTLIGHT', THE OSCAR-WINNING 2015 FILM BASED ON THE BOSTON GLOBE NEWSPAPER'S INVESTIGATION OF SEXUAL ABUSES BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS, AND EFFORTS BY THE BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE TO COVER THEM UP"

- CAREY LODGE - CHRISTIAN TODAY

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/spotlight.priest.hangs.himself.in.jail.after.fresh.paedophilia.allegations/92662.htm

2016-08-09 00:52:24 +0100

"ABUSED VICTIMS HAVE ACCUSED POLITICIANS AS WELL AS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC AND ANGLICAN CHURCHES, COUNCILS AND SCHOOLS OF FAILING TO DEAL WITH ALLEGATIONS. IN A NUMBER OF CASES, THEY SAID INSTITUTIONS HAD ACTIVELY COVERED UPto CASES AT THE BEHEST OF POWERFUL ESTABLISHMENT FIGURES, INCLUDING SENIOR MP'S, SPIES AND POLICE OFFICERS"

MARK WOODS - CHRISTIAN TODAY - AUGUST 5 2016

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/blow.to.victims.as.goddard.quits.as.head.of.child.abuse.inquiry/92369.htm

2016-08-08 09:29:17 +0100

"THE DAYS OF BISHOPS SHUFFLING GUILTY CLERGY FROM PARISH TO PARISH INSTEAD OF REPORTING THEM TO POLICE ARE GONE" - MARK WOODS - CHRISTIAN TODAY - AUGUST 5 2016

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/the.former.goddard.inquiry.is.it.time.for.victims.to.trust.the.system.again/92425.htm

2016-08-08 02:09:05 +0100

"NOW DAME LOWELL [GODDARD] HAS QUIT, THE GREAT CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY SHOULD STOP TOO" - CHARLES MOORE - DAILY TELEGRAPH

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/05/now-dame-lowell-has-quit-the-great-child-abuse-inquiry-should-st/

"In advance of Goddard, the Church of England settled out of court with a woman who said she had been abused as a child between 1949 and 1953 by George Bell, the heroic anti-Nazi wartime Bishop of Chichester. The Church accepted that he had abused her. It soon turned out that no case for Bell had ever been heard by the Church and no evidence or witnesses of his life at that time had been called. The reputation of a dead, defenceless, good man had been sacrificed in a panic"

2016-08-07 18:16:16 +0100

PAEDOPHILE INVESTIGATION "WAS NOT IN THE PUBLIC'S INTEREST BECAUSE IT COULD 'DESTABILISE NATIONAL SECURITY'"

The Belfast Telegraph reported last year:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/royal-family-member-was-investigated-as-part-of-paedophile-ring-before-coverup-excop-says-31088592.html

The former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told by a detective that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons.
“I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.
“He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

http://breakingdownthnews.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/royal-family-member-was-part-of.html#.V6conRGDkaw.facebook

2016-08-07 18:01:19 +0100

FOLLOWING THE APOLOGY BY SUSSEX POLICE TO THE FAMILY OF BISHOP BELL, AND NO APOLOGY BY THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER, THERE WILL BE A "SAY SORRY" VIGIL OUTSIDE CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL BY ST. RICHARD'S STATUE - NEXT SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 2016 - MIDDAY TO 1PM.

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/say-sorry-vigil-outside-chichester-cathedral-sunday-august-14/

2016-08-07 17:56:56 +0100

BISHOP ADMITS WHAT HE SAID WAS UNTRUE, AND INTENDS TO CORRECT IT IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS" - PETER HITCHENS BLOG

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/08/silenced-by-our-boot-faced-commissars-of-thought-crime-1.html

2016-08-07 17:52:13 +0100

AV4TAR COMMENT ON PREMIER

http://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Police-to-apologise-to-Bishop-George-Bell-s-family?utm_source=Premier

This business is far from finished. There are a number of high-profile people who are chasing justice. There was no evidence offered in the Bishop's defence. Apparently some of the details given do not appear to stand up to scrutiny: if the young girl's allegations are true they could even have pointed to someone else being the culprit. The CofE appears to be stonewalling over the way it dealt with the whole affair.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...

2016-08-07 17:47:25 +0100

“BISHOP GEORGE BELL HAS BEEN 'THROWN UNDER THE BUS' TO PROTECT THE DARKEST CORNERS OF THE BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT"

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society

2016-08-07 17:43:38 +0100

GODDARD INQUIRY "THROWN INTO DISARRAY" FOLLOWING RESIGNATION, LEAVING INVESTIGATION OF THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER UNINVESTIGATED

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/12-august/news/uk/justice-goddard-steps-down-as-head-of-child-abuse-inquiry

THE Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales (IICSA) was thrown into disarray on Thursday night after the New Zealand judge brought in to chair it, Justice Lowell Goddard, resigned….Among the 13 separate investigations launched by the Inquiry, is one into the Anglican churches in England and Wales…it will study “the experience of the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse, and numerous investigations and reviews.”

2016-08-05 18:13:06 +0100

"POLICE SAY SORRY OVER BISHOP BELL. BBC SAY SORRY OVER BISHOP BELL. AND THE CHURCH?" - GATWICK CITY NEWS - AUGUST 5 2106

https://wordpress.com/stats/day/richardwsymonds.wordpress.com

2016-08-05 00:09:20 +0100

DAME LOWELL GODDARD RESIGNS AS HEAD OF THE GODDARD INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE - WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-08-04/dame-lowell-goddard-resigns-as-head-of-independent-inquiry-into-child-sexual-abuse/

2016-08-01 09:53:47 +0100

"ARCHBISHOPS DIFFER ON GEORGE BELL CASE" - CHURCH OF ENGLAND NEWSPAPER

http://www.churchnewspaper.com/download-newspapers/non-members?wlfrom=%2F45129%2Farchives

By CEN on 14/07/2016

LORD CAREY is among the signatories of a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury urging that independence is ‘imperative’ in the George Bell review. The letter comes in response to a statement released by the Church of England on 28 June, announcing an independent review into the case against the wartime Bishop of Chichester, commissioned […]

2016-07-31 22:58:37 +0100

COMMENT BY 'BONCE' IN "CHURCH OF ENGLAND SMEARS SAINTS AND SHIELDS SCOUNDRELS"

http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/jules-gomes-the-c-of-e-smears-saints-shields-scoundrels/

As someone who has come to faith recently from a non-Christian upbringing, and married to a wonderful God-fearing strict Eastern European lady, I have a unique perspective on this.
I have come to the conclusion that the C of E is a corrupted organisation that is highly political, and does not put God and God's love at the centre of everything it does.
Now any church associated with the C of E, or any church with a minister trained through the C of E, is compromised.
The organised church is collapsing because its a vassal of the establishment (media, government, educational establishment)...and state security services - Ed

2016-07-31 00:53:25 +0100

"THE SUNDAY QUOTE" BY BISHOP GEORGE BELL OF CHICHESTER

http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/jules-gomes-the-c-of-e-smears-saints-shields-scoundrels/

“To despair of being able to do anything, or refuse to do anything, is to be guilty of infidelity”

2016-07-30 13:25:51 +0100

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND SMEARS SAINTS AND SHIELDS SCOUNDRELS" BY REV JULES GOMES

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/church-of-england-smears-saints-shields-scoundrels/

2016-07-27 19:45:58 +0100

REVD. DR JULES G - PETITION - REASONS FOR SIGNING

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester

"I am appalled at this perversion of the process of a fair trial, and the grotesque inversion of justice"

2016-07-27 15:20:57 +0100

“BISHOP BELL” - A POEM BY BRIAN WORSFOLD OF CHICHESTER

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/780/

I raise my glass to Bishop Bell
Is he really now in hell?
And if it be so then I pray,
That I may join him there one day!
For then eternity would pass
Much quicker, and we’d raise a glass
And raise it to the place
Where those who never sinned
Sit smug and never look within.
Does his life’s work now count for nought?
It seems this now is what we’re taught.
God bless the Bishop now I say
I’ll sing his praises every day.

2016-07-27 01:54:04 +0100

"ARCHBISHOP OF YORK AND FOUR BISHOPS ACCUSED OF FAILING TO ACT OVER HISTORIC RAPE CLAIMS" - CHRISTIAN TODAY - JULY 26 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/archbishop-of-york-and-four-bishops-accused-of-failing-to-act-over-historic-rape-claims-christian-today-july-26-2016/

This has very serious consequences for the Diocese of Chichester in its handling of the Bishop Bell case.

2016-07-25 08:23:35 +0100

SUNDAY SERVICE PEW NOTICE IN CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL ON JULY 24 2016 - LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF DURHAM (FORMER LEAD BISHOP FOR SAFEGUARDING) TO THE GEORGE BELL GROUP

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/sunday-service-pew-notice-chichester-cathedral-sunday-july-24-2016/

2016-07-23 21:25:40 +0100

LETTER WRITTEN BY RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON - JULY 23 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/a-response-from-ruth-hildebrandt-grayson-to-a-statement-by-the-former-safeguarding-bishop-paul-butler-in-the-church-times/

2016-07-22 23:23:49 +0100

THE GODDARD INQUIRY "WILL LOOK AT THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER, WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN 'MULTIPLE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE' "

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/child.abuse.the.church.and.the.goddard.inquiry.why.we.should.all.pray.it.succeeds/91248.htm

2016-07-22 09:53:18 +0100

"IDENTITY OF ABUSER IN BISHOP BELL CASE QUESTIONED" - CHURCH TIMES - JULY 22 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/identity-of-abuser-in-bishop-bell-case-questioned-church-times/

2016-07-21 06:53:00 +0100

"I'M SURE 'CAROL' - AGED 5 - WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED BY A CLERIC WITHIN THE GROUNDS OF CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL, BUT WAS IT BISHOP GEORGE BELL? I DON'T THINK SO, ESPECIALLY IF THE TESTIMONY OF 'CAROL' - NOW AGED 70+ - IS CLOSELY EXAMINED"

RICHARD W. SYMONDS
THE BELL SOCIETY

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/carols-account-facts/

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/christian-today/

2016-07-20 16:58:02 +0100

"CAMPAIGNERS FIGHT TO GIVE BISHOP GEORGE BELL A 'FAIR' POSTHUMOUS HEARING ON CHARGES OF CHILD ABUSE" - RUTH GLEDHILL - CHRISTIAN TODAY - JULY 20 2016

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/campaigners.fight.to.give.bishop.george.bell.a.fair.posthumous.hearing.on.charges.of.child.abuse/91046.htm

2016-07-19 04:11:09 +0100

THE BELL PRESENTATION - ST MARGARET'S LYCHGATE - IFIELD VILLAGE

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/bishop-bell-matters-presentation-display-ifield-village/

2016-07-17 13:29:49 +0100

"THINKING ANGLICAN" THOUGHTS - AND COMMENTS

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007315.html#comments

..."Carol" isn't a child; she's a grown woman who [has] lived longer than many posting here; a woman who's chosen, of her own free will, and acting under legal advice, to sue the church. She knowingly opened her accusation to legal scrutiny.
Since she was granted (wrongly, in my view) anonymity, that should be respected, but the substance of her claim should be released with her name redacted. Yes, there's some small risk her name would get out, but if it'd gone to trial, that would've happened anyway: the gag order applies only to the press, not the court or the public gallery. Currently, it's being used to hide the church's actions from scrutiny.

~ James Byron - Sunday, 17 July 2016 at 12:55am

2016-07-15 23:40:36 +0100

(1) THINKING ANGLICANS POST-SYNOD THOUGHTS

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/the-bell-case-is-debated-at-general-synod-thinking-anglicans/

Note : “George Bell Group continues to press for thorough review of CofE’s opaque processes that led to Bell’s denigration” Martyn Percy @MartynPercy Oxford, England

(2) NEWS RELEASE REGARDING DISPLAY PRESENTATION THIS MONDAY - JULY 18 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/display-presentation-in-ifield-parish-to-mark-the-bell-petition-reaching-2000-signatures-this-monday-afternoon-july-18/

2016-07-14 23:38:12 +0100

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/carols-account-facts/

IS THE ACCOUNT OF 'CAROL' CONSISTENT WITH THE FACTS? - THE GEORGE BELL GROUP

It is only the fact that 'Carol' herself chose to describe aspects of her alleged abuse in an interview given to the Brighton Argus published on 3 February 2016 that allows outsiders to judge any part of the truth of her account....The account published in the Argus headlined Carol’s words: “My strongest memory is seeing this figure all in black standing on a stair, waiting”.....

2016-07-14 17:44:14 +0100

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND DEFENDS ITS HANDLING OF BISHOP GEORGE BELL ABUSE CASE" - CHRISTIANITY TODAY - JULY 13 2016

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/church.of.england.defends.its.handling.of.bishop.george.bell.abuse.case/90517.htm

The Church of England today defended its approach to the case of Bishop George Bell, who was accused of being a paedophile 37 years after his death....
Bell's condemnation as a paedophile was then challenged by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures. They wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year, and also circulated a document in defence of Bell to members of the General Synod meeting in York last weekend.
In a letter today to those objecting, Bishop Paul Butler, Church of England lead bishop on safeguarding, says the Church was right to settle the claim.

[Bishop Paul Butler is no longer Lead Bishop on Safeguarding - Ed]

2016-07-13 23:09:56 +0100

THE GEORGE BELL GROUP (GBG)

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/

The definitive guide to what is going on...

WHO WE ARE

STATEMENT

REVIEW

RESOURCES

We (the GBG) are an independent group whose members represent a concentration of experience in public life, in the fields of law, policing, politics, journalism, academic research and church affairs. This group began to meet in response to the 22 October statement issued by the Church of England about Bishop George Bell. See this BBC report for the full story.

We are now publishing our analysis of the way in which the allegation against Bishop Bell has been handled by the authorities of the Church....

2016-07-13 11:50:45 +0100

THE BELL PETITION REACHES ITS TARGET OF 2000+ SIGNATURES

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/the-bell-petition-reaches-its-2000-target/

Justice for Bishop George Bell of Chichester

2,069 signatures

To: The Archbishop of Canterbury

(1) To call on the Church of England to allow a fuller investigation before considering the case against Bishop Bell closed. This includes re-examining the evidence against Bishop Bell.

(2) To ensure fair and just procedures are in place for the future.

2016-07-12 18:11:34 +0100

LORD LEXDEN'S REVIEW OF "GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER" BY ANDREW CHANDLER - THE HOUSE MAGAZINE - 8 JULY 2016 - WWW.POLITICSHOME.COM

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/lord-lexden/

In just under 200 ‘incisive, elegantly
written pages’, Andrew Chandler’s
biography of George Bell recounts the
remarkable life of a man of high ideals,
writes Lord Lexden...

George Bell, Bishop of
Chichester
By Andrew Chandler
Wm. B.Eerdmans
Publishing Co.

2016-07-11 21:23:32 +0100

COMMENT BY SIMON S (PETITION - REASON FOR SIGNING)

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester#_=_

"Sexual abuse being covered up is evil. It is also evil to undermine the presumption of innocent until proven guilty"

2016-07-11 12:40:43 +0100

“‘NO CONFIDENCE’ MOTION ABOUT BELL AFFAIR CIRCULATED TO SYNOD" - THE CHURCH TIMES - JULY 8 2016

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/the-church-times/

2016-07-10 11:40:13 +0100

BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS TAKES OVER AS NEW 'SAFEGUARDING BISHOP'

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/bishop-of-bath-and-wells-takes-over-as-safeguarding-bishop/

Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, takes over the role of ‘Safeguarding Bishop’ from the Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler.

https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2016/07/parish-role-in-safeguarding-vital,-says-cofe-lead-bishop.aspx

2016-07-10 10:15:58 +0100

PETER HITCHENS - MAIL ON SUNDAY - JULY 10 2016

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/07/peter-hitchens-want-to-see-who-started-the-iraq-war-look-in-the-mirror.html

"The campaign for justice for the late Bishop George Bell goes on. Bell has been denounced by Church and media as a child abuser without the semblance of a trial. This was recently the main subject of a powerful debate in the House of Lords. The Church’s response, as ever, was to use the alleged victim as a human shield. Arrayed in his flowing clerical robes, in a chamber where all speak ‘upon their honour’, the consecrated Bishop of Chelmsford asserted that campaigners for justice for George Bell had ‘made hurtful comments about her’ (the alleged victim). Have they? I have challenged him to say who these people were and what these comments were. He has not replied, though the Church press office has emitted some irrelevant and evasive guff"

https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre.aspx

2016-07-09 14:53:22 +0100

LETTER FROM BISHOP BELL GROUP TO ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY - JULY 7 2016 - RECEIVED THE DAY BEFORE THE GENERAL SYNOD IN YORK

https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/richardwsymonds.wordpress.com

2016-07-09 11:11:11 +0100

F.A.C.T. - FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS & TEACHERS (AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS)

https://twitter.com/FACTukorg
@FACTukorg

When an allegation of abuse is made there is always a victim. If true, the person abused. If untrue, the accused and their family. Justice needed all round.

2016-07-09 09:19:23 +0100

GEMS OF THOUGHT - THE BISHOP BELL COLLECTION OF QUOTATIONS

"One of the most monstrous offences against religion is to regard Christianity as utterly unrelated to present-day life"

~ George Bell (on becoming Bishop of Chichester in 1929)

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/gems-of-thought-the-bishop-bell-collection-of-quotations/

2016-07-06 23:46:10 +0100

MARTIN SEWELL - MEMBER OF THE GENERAL SYNOD - HOUSE OF LAITY

"A Church that can use secrecy to avoid accountability (even if it has reached a correct conclusion ) is practiced and able to use those same techniques when it is in the wrong.
A major duty of General Synod is to hold the Church Establishment to account when it prefers not to be transparent. I ask you to help us in asserting that important role in this case...
If we promote transparency, we should practice what we preach"

~ Martin Sewell

http://archbishopcranmer.com/synod-no-confidence-motion-looms-in-the-secret-trial-of-bishop-george-bell-rip/

2016-07-06 23:18:34 +0100

"SYNOD 'NO CONFIDENCE' MOTION LOOMS IN THE SECRET TRIAL OF BISHOP GEORGE BELL" BY 'ARCHBISHOP CRANMER'

http://archbishopcranmer.com/synod-no-confidence-motion-looms-in-the-secret-trial-of-bishop-george-bell-rip/

A letter is currently circulating to members of the General Synod (this weekend - Ed), in the hope of issuing a Motion of No Confidence (early next year - Ed). Former solicitor Martin Sewell, the author of the letter, emphasises that there is no personal attack on the Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, but rather a challenge to the culture of secrecy which he is intent on defending.

Dear Synod Colleague,
I am writing to you to ask that you give consideration to supporting a Private Member’s Motion [PMM] which my legal colleague, David Lamming, and I are seeking to have debated at the next Synod in February 2017. To do so we shall need 100 signatures from Synod members....

2016-07-01 23:59:58 +0100

HOUSE OF LORDS DEBATE - JUNE 30 2016 - BISHOP BELL & HISTORICAL CHILD SEX ABUSE - MOTION BY LORD LEXDEN

https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2016-06-30/debates/16063032000573/HistoricalChildSexAbuse

That this House takes note of the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.

Investigations...conducted in secret by unnamed experts under processes that are unknown, led the Church to the conclusion that it ​should settle a civil claim arising from a single allegation of child sexual abuse in the late 1940s and early 1950s...The Church of England authorities must recognise that decisions reached behind closed doors by secret processes simply will not pass muster in this age of much-vaunted transparency...I must finally stress that the Bishop Bell case needs fundamental reconsideration.

2016-06-30 00:01:03 +0100

XYZ321 COMMENT ON CHURCH'S NEW INDEPENDENT REVIEW - JUNE 29 2016

It's hard to understand why the 'terms of reference' of the review have not been given if the review is 'routine'. A routine review would have routine terms of reference. If every case is different, there are still the two basic requirements of thoroughness andimpartiality. The church must commit itself to these.

But there's another point. The original investigation caused an uproar because the church expected the public to take its findings on trust. Will we be expected to do the same for the new independent review if it confirms the findings of the original investigation ?
There's an obvious need to keep the claimant's - the alleged victim's - identity out of the public arena. But a review that's wrapped in secrecy will do nothing to reassure the public. The frustration over the original investigation will just be repeated.

2016-06-29 23:25:36 +0100

"BELL REVIEW WELCOMED" - EDITORIAL COMMENT - CHICHESTER OBSERVER - JUNE 29 2016

http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/comment-bell-review-welcomed-1-7454550

Last autumn, the reputation of one of Chichester’s most principled and distinguished Bishops, George Bell, was destroyed...supporters of Bell and the George Bell Group have persistently called for the evidence to be made public as it would have been if Bell was still alive and subject to criminal proceedings...The review is a matter of standard procedure and is not intended to undermine the original decision, but we trust its remit will go beyond mere process without adding further to the distress of the woman involved. Bell was too important a figure to have his reputation trashed without full transparency and disclosure in the public domain. His alleged victim deserves to have her claims clearly and unequivocally vindicated – so that a line can be finally drawn under this matter.

2016-06-29 23:15:47 +0100

"DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER TO REVIEW PROCESSES USED IN BISHOP GEORGE BELL CASE" - CHICHESTER OBSERVER - JUNE 29 2016

http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/local/diocese-of-chichester-to-review-processes-used-in-bishop-george-bell-case-1-7452592

In a statement, the diocese said: “The House of Bishops practice guidance on all complex cases states that once all matters relating to any serious safeguarding situation have been completed, the Core Group should meet again to review the process and to consider what lessons can be learned for the handling of future serious safeguarding situations...A review has always been carried out in any case involving allegations against a bishop..." It will also consider the processes, including the commissioning of expert independent reports and archival and other investigations, which were used to inform the decision to settle the case...

2016-06-29 22:58:01 +0100

BBC NEWS - "BISHOP GEORGE BELL: REVIEW TO LOOK AT 'ABUSE' CASE" - JUNE 28 2016

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36650130

Bishop Bell's supporters have been critical of the church's investigation...The George Bell Group...members claim the Church of England made little effort to corroborate the allegations with any reference to the clergyman's diaries or papers, or those who had worked with him.The Church of England said its national safeguarding team would commission the review to see what lessons could be learnt from how the case was handled...

BBC SOUTH EAST TODAY - COVERAGE OF CHURCH OF ENGLAND'S NEW INQUIRY INTO THE BISHOP BELL CASE - JUNE 28 2016 - 18.30 NEWS ONLY (15 MINUTES IN)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07hjd54

2016-06-29 22:49:01 +0100

COMMENT BY "GRAMMARBOY"

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14585942.Church_opens_inquiry_into_George_Bell_case/

If the Church of England had commissioned a thorough, independent and professional investigation in the first place, interviewing other relevant people & looking dispassionately into the case rather than spinsterishly throwing up their hands in horror and accepting unquestioningly the accuser's word, the "balance of probabilities" might well have swung decisively in the other direction, & the subsequent destruction of Bishop Bell's reputation never have occurred....I realise that this statement is inevitably going to be received by the "hang the paeds high!" clique as defending the indefensible, but I would merely say to them that were one of their own family to be treated fifty years after their death the way Bishop Bell was treated, they too would see matters very differently.

2016-06-29 22:36:08 +0100

"CHURCH OPENS INQUIRY INTO GEORGE BELL CASE" - THE ARGUS - JUNE 29 2016

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14585942.Church_opens_inquiry_into_George_Bell_case/

THE Church of England is launching an independent review into its handling of a case involving a woman abused by a former bishop...The review will be commissioned by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team, on the recommendation of the Bishop of Chichester, to see what lessons can be learnt from how the case was handled. The same process is undergone in all such cases involving bishops..The Church’s opacity on these issues has been specifically criticised by the George Bell Group...

2016-06-29 22:16:57 +0100

"CHURCH OF ENGLAND ORDERS REVIEW INTO HANDLING OF GEORGE BELL SEX ABUSE CASE" - THE GUARDIAN - JUNE 28 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/28/george-bell-church-of-england-review-handling-sex-abuse?CMP=share_btn_tw

The Church of England has launched an independent review into its processes regarding the settlement of a claim of sexual abuse by one of its leading figures of the 20th century, George Bell...The move is likely to be seized on by Bell’s supporters to bolster their argument that the church acted without sufficient evidence when it effectively branded the former bishop as a child abuser....A group...subsequently challenged the church over its apology, saying Bell’s “condemnation as a paedophile” had irreparably damaged his reputation. The Church had failed to investigate properly, they said.

2016-06-27 16:46:08 +0100

IPSO RULING - BILLINGHAM v CHICHESTER OBSERVER

https://www.ipso.co.uk/rulings-and-resolution-statements/ruling/?id=00385-16

In the specific circumstances of the case, where the Church had provided details of the investigation it had carried out in its press release, as well as the conclusion of independent experts that there was no basis to doubt the veracity of the allegations against Bishop Bell, the Committee was satisfied that publication of those allegations as fact in the headline of the article did not represent a failure to take care over the article such as to breach Clause 1 (i) of the Code. While the Committee expressed some concern that the online article did not make clear the full context in which it had been published, it was not significantly misleading; there was no breach of the Code.

2016-06-22 16:42:20 +0100

SIR CLIFF SPEAKS OUT

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/cliff-richard-sex-abuse-good-morning-britain-interview_uk_576a3099e4b0b1f1704f99eb?ncid=webmail19

[Sir Cliff Richard] said there should be anonymity for those accused of sexual abuse until they are charged and said he felt like he had been ‘collateral damage’. Speaking about how he felt when he was told the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] had insufficient evidence to charge him, he said: “It’s very difficult for me to explain to people what it’s been feeling like, what it felt like for me, to be an innocent, but having these vile accusations thrown at me. The CPS, I mean, it’s just what they do...there are certain terminologies that they have to use, and in this case they never say there is no evidence, they just say insufficient evidence, nothing on which we can prosecute. And so in a way I still feel tarnished because insufficient suggests that maybe there’s something there and I know there wasn’t”

2016-06-21 16:19:17 +0100

THE BELL CASE AND THE WIDER CULTURE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

Revd Professor Martyn Percy

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/bell-case-wider-culture-church-england/

There clearly are serious cases....the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team needs to pursue. But equally, there are already too many instances of alleged abusers...assumed to be guilty until proved innocent – only for us to discover later that no charges are to be brought. The shadows that hang over these other victims, and the stigmatisation they endure, should not be overlooked...The root of all evil is the abuse of power. Those who have used their power to abuse children, and those who have covered up such sins, cannot be allowed to hide...But equally, those with the powers to investigate such abuses must also become fairer and more transparent in their dealings with alleged and actual instances of abuse. There are now too many examples of...those who turn out to be falsely accused, being sacrificed...

2016-06-21 16:08:32 +0100

IS THERE A LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER WITHHOLDING THE DETAILS OF THE CLAIM MADE BY BISHOP BELL’S ALLEGED VICTIM ?

Alan Pardoe QC and Desmond Browne QC - 10.6.16

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/a-review-of-the-law/

In our view not one of these...[legal] provisions justifies the course taken by the Diocese, which has resulted in seriously handicapping the efforts of those wishing to see Bishop Bell’s name cleared and his reputation restored...The Diocese’s statement of 22 October 2015 referred to the settlement with 'Carol' having been reached after “a thorough pre-litigation process”. It is now clear that there were never any proceedings between Carol and the Diocese and the action was settled without any litigation being initiated...His reputation has been damned by the Diocese’s public statement of 22 October 2015, yet by reason of misconceived legal arguments the public has been prevented from judging for itself the material on which the Diocese acted.

2016-06-18 21:19:22 +0100

"GOT IT WRONG" BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS

The BBC got it wrong about Bishop Bell
But admit they got it wrong.
The Newspapers got it wrong about Bishop Bell
But do not admit they got it wrong.
The Church got it wrong about Bishop Bell
But do not admit they got it wrong.
We got it wrong about Bishop Bell
So we've got to right the wrong.

2016-06-18 19:44:18 +0100

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/a-review-of-the-law/

IS THERE A LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR THE DIOCESE OF CHICHESTER WITHHOLDING THE DETAILS OF THE CLAIM MADE BY BISHOP BELL’S ALLEGED VICTIM ?

10th June 2016

A review of the law by His Honour Alan Pardoe QC and Desmond Browne QC

It is obviously critical to any assessment of whether on the balance of probabilities the late Bishop George Bell sexually assaulted the woman now known as “Carol” to be able to consider the full details of her account (or accounts) of what occurred....The Diocese has, however, refused to disclose any of this material – even in redacted form. The Diocesan Secretary...has cited a number of legal provisions to justify this stance...
In our view not one of these...provisions justifies the course taken by the Diocese, which has resulted in seriously handicapping the efforts of those wishing to see Bishop Bell’s name cleared and his reputation restored.

2016-06-18 19:35:41 +0100

"I DON'T DOUBT SHE WAS ABUSED, BUT THE QUESTION IS : WAS IT BISHOP BELL?" - TONY DIGNUM - LEADER OF CHICHESTER COUNCIL

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-36294052

Chichester Council said it [Bishop Bell's portrait] had been replaced as there was reasonable doubt about the woman's ['Carol's'] claims.
Tony Dignum, leader of the council, said: "We haven't seen sufficient evidence against Bishop Bell to justify removing his name entirely from our memory. I don't doubt that she was abused but the question is: was it Bishop Bell?"
The Rt Rev George Bell was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death in 1958
But, a group set up to defend Bishop Bell said the church's investigation was inadequate and the woman's claims uncorroborated.
Journalist Peter Hitchens has claimed the council's move as "a small victory" for his defenders, but ultimately they want the church to re-examine the evidence against him.

2016-06-16 16:22:51 +0100

CPS - WE GOT IT WRONG ABOUT SIR CLIFF RICHARD TOO - BUT WON'T ADMIT IT

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-36547213

I chose to remain silent. This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice...Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged....they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people...I feel very strongly that no innocent person should be treated in this way....in some peoples' eyes the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) announcement today doesn't go far enough because it doesn't expressly state that I am innocent...There lies the problem.
My reputation will not be fully vindicated because the CPS's policy is to only say something general about there being 'insufficient' evidence.
How can there be evidence for something that never took place?

~ Sir Cliff Richard

2016-06-16 09:31:24 +0100

BBC ADMITS - 'WE GOT IT WRONG ABOUT BISHOP BELL'

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/the-bbc-admits-to-its-great-credit-we-got-it-wrong-about-bishop-bell.html

The summary of the conclusions of the Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) has just gone up on the BBC website, and can be seen at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/comp-reports/ecu/southeasttoday051115. There’s also a report on the Corrections & Clarifications page at http://www.bbc.co.uk/helpandfeedback/corrections_clarifications.

The ECU concluded that the Church’s original October 22nd statement (in my view the unjustified basis of much misleading reporting on the matter, as it made no assertion of guilt) ‘did not warrant reporting as a matter of fact that the allegations had been proven’

2016-06-12 20:38:11 +0100

LORD CORMACK

"Surely the lesson to be learnt here is that to give great publicity to a possibility, without giving any opportunity for it to be challenged, is itself a rather dangerous precedent"

~ Lord Cormack (House of Lords January 28 2016)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldhansrd/lhan101.pdf (page 1516)

2016-06-07 23:24:08 +0100

PART 1 - "GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT" BY SARAH MAC DONALD - FEATURES : ANONYMOUS ACCUSATIONS - THE TABLET - JUNE 4 2016 (Hat-Tip : Meriel)

"Fr [Tim] Hazelwood says there is a climate in both church and society which presumes priests are guilty unless they prove their innocence. The 57-year-old parish priest...believes it is time for priests in Ireland to establish a national body which will lobby the bishops and the current safeguarding structures on their behalf, to ensure that natural justice is not undermined"

~ Sarah Mac Donald

2016-06-07 22:45:59 +0100

PART 2 - "GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT" BY SARAH MAC DONALD - FEATURES : ANONYMOUS ACCUSATIONS - THE TABLET - JUNE 4 2016 (Hat-Tip : Meriel)

"I don't believe any anonymous accusation should go forward. False allegations only undermine genuine survivors and victims. It is important that the procedures to investigate allegations move as quickly as possible . Justice works both ways"

~ Marie Collins (survivor of clerical abuse and member of the Vatican's Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors)

2016-06-06 08:03:22 +0100

COMMENT BY PETE ON LITURGIAE CAUSA

http://liturgiae-causa.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/a-petition-for-bishop-george-bell.html

"The Bishop of Chichester needs to be reminded of what The Apostle said: Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. A 5 year old girl's memory of over half a century ago is not reliable"

~ Pete

2016-06-04 22:53:12 +0100

"THE CHURCH AND THE JEWISH QUESTION" - AN ESSAY BY DIETRICH BONHOEFFER - APRIL 1933

Bonhoeffer's essay was the first to address the new problems the church face under the Nazi dictatorship...The real question, he argued, was how the church would judge and respond to the Nazi state's actions against the Jews. The essay was completed in the days following the April 1, 1933, boycott of Jewish businesses.

In autumn 1933, the Deutsche Christen ('German Christians') gained control of many Protestant church governments throughout Germany; their policy of excluding those with 'Jewish blood' from the ministry was approved, September 1933, by the national church synod at Wittenberg.

In May 1934, the anti-Nazi Confessing Church was organised in Barmen, Germany. Bonhoeffer bitterly opposed the Aryan paragraph, arguing that its ratification surrendered Christian precepts to political ideology.

2016-06-04 21:51:24 +0100

"PASTOR NIEMOLLER AND HIS CREED" - FOREWORD BY THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER ("GEORGE CICESTR': ) - HODDER & STOUGHTON 1939

The author of this book is a close personal friend of Martin Niemoller [Franz Hildebrandt]...The National Socialist regime began in 1933...National Socialism had something Messianic in its character. Its good side was that it brought deliverance for the common people. It brought the waters of "Nationalism" and "Socialism" together in an overwhelming flood...But its bad side was that the Messianic hope was fixed entirely on this world; with natural and most unhappy results. Thus, there was a worship of the race [Aryan], coupled with the hatred of the alien, and particularly a passionate antagonism to the Jew. And also there was a complete subordination of all things to the absolute authority of the State. Thus National Socialism implicitly contradicted the First Commandment, as Niemoller and his friends were quick to perceive.

2016-06-04 21:00:06 +0100

"AND OTHER PASTORS OF THY FLOCK" - 'A GERMAN TRIBUTE TO THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER' - CAMBRIDGE 1942

My dear Bishop

The plan for this book goes back as far as November 1938. You will remember those days when we read about the pogrom in Germany, when your palace at Chichester was overflooded with letters of refugees begging you to help them to come over to England, when it became clear that not only the Jews but thousands of Christians had to leave their country. YOU WERE THE FIRST TO REALIZE THEIR PLIGHT...It is an academic custom in Germany to honour a man by a dedication of some essays written by his friends and pupils, and that is what we have tried to do in this little book...

Yours ever,

FRANZ HILDEBRANDT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Hildebrandt

2016-06-04 20:19:38 +0100

"MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL" BY TS ELIOT (Hat-Tip : Marilyn)

https://cemjoad.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/t-s-eliot-and-bishop-george-bell/

TS Eliot...accepted the commission to write a play – “Murder In The Cathedral” – for the Canterbury Festival in June 1935, at the request of George Bell, Bishop of Chichester.

2016-06-04 16:44:42 +0100

"BECKET'S LESSON FOR TODAY" - THE TABLET - MAY 28 2016 (Hat-Tip : Meriel)

[Thomas Becket] was resisting the principle that the Church must obey the state in all things...If for "the state" one reads "secular society", then this is still a burning issue....In their public witness [religious institutions]...their role is to maintain a crtical distance from the social consensus...This will not make them popular. Yet the lesson...is not that the Churches must move towards the social consensus. rather, it makes abundantly clear why at times they must resist it. And if that means taking a hit, then - as Becket would have said - so be it"

2016-06-03 19:37:25 +0100

CHICHESTER POST - LETTER - FRIDAY JUNE 3 2016
(This letter also appeared in the Argus on May 31 2016)

Dear Editor

BISHOP Bell's name is being crucified by the Diocese of Chichester, not just because of a lack of common sense and sound judgement, but also because of an excess of secrecy and concealment.
If the Church of England's Chichester Diocese remains on the same trajectory, it may well find itself in 2016 embroiled in a scandal paralleling that of the Roman Catholic's Boston Archdiocese in 2002 - accurately portrayed in the film 'Spotlight', now showing in cinemas across the Diocese - stretching from Chichester to Hastings.

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester

Crawley
West Sussex

2016-06-02 21:00:58 +0100

PART 3 (FINAL) - "CAMPAIGNERS' FIGHT TO CLEAR 'SEX ATTACK' BISHOP GOES VIRAL", CHICHESTER POST, MAY 27 2016

Last week Chichester City Council rehung a picture of the late bishop in its offices, having initially removed it "for fear of vandalism". Councillor Tony Dignum explained the decision to restore the portrait was based on the Chichester Diocese's failure to offer any evidence to condemn the bishop beyond the uncorroborated claim of the accuser....
The church claimed it had carried out a "thorough investigation" including the use of "expert independent reports", but refused to publicly reveal the evidence.

2016-06-02 21:00:25 +0100

PART 2 - "CAMPAIGNERS' FIGHT TO CLEAR 'SEX ATTACK' BISHOP GOES VIRAL", CHICHESTER POST, MAY 27 2016

"The living who are falsely accused of child abuse are slowly destroyed - physically, emotionally and spiritually. But the dead who are falsely accused of child abuse cannot be destroyed any more; all that remains is to smear their reputations with wickedness and expunge people's perceptions of their saintliness. We don't know if Bishop Bell has been falsely accused because we may not see the evidence, but we do know the allegation has represented an injustice - morally, pastorally and legally - if only because justice has not been seen to be done."

~ 'Archbishop Cranmer'

2016-06-02 20:59:18 +0100

PART 1 - "CAMPAIGNERS' FIGHT TO CLEAR 'SEX ATTACK' BISHOP GOES VIRAL", CHICHESTER POST, MAY 27 2016

"My own view, for what it's worth, is this: I have little doubt the victim was sexually molested by a 'man of the cloth' in one of the houses within the grounds of the Cathedral, but I have great doubt it was Bishop Bell. In other words, I think it was a case of 'mistaken identity'."

~ Bell Society's Richard Symonds

2016-06-02 13:22:08 +0100

"BROTHER IVO" COMMENT 2

http://brotherivo.com/blog/2016/06/02/chichester-diocese-can-learn-from-its-own-lessons/

A Church that can get it right in secrecy, can get it wrong in secrecy, and will have all the necessary tools with which to bury its mistakes...

Whenever questions about the inquiry process surrounding Bishop Bell are asked, the official response is that nothing can be said because to answer any question would be to breach the right to confidentiality belonging to the complainant. It is deployed as a shield to silence even those questions touching upon the actions of the institution rather than the circumstances of the accuser. Apparently the cloak of secrecy is drawn so tightly, that even members of the Cathedral Chapter are excluded and frustrated.

2016-06-02 11:48:12 +0100

"BROTHER IVO" COMMENT 1

http://brotherivo.com/blog/2016/06/02/chichester-diocese-can-learn-from-its-own-lessons/

Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
This is the lesson that must be drawn from all these past tragedies. We have short term memories but highly entrenched corporate instincts towards secrecy.
This matter will not go away. It will be raised at Question Time at the next General Synod in York. If transparency does not begin thereafter, we shall have to seek a full public debate about the Church’s instinct against openness, by which the default position of “Trust me I’m a Bishop’ is exposed for the absurd foolishness that it is.

2016-06-02 10:25:53 +0100

"CHICHESTER DIOCESE CAN LEARN FROM ITS OWN LESSONS" ~ BROTHER IVO

http://brotherivo.com/blog/2016/06/02/chichester-diocese-can-learn-from-its-own-lessons/

The Anglican Church has been considering the Elliott Review into its handling of child abuse matters, hot on the heels of the Archbishop of Canterbury feeling obliged to issue an apology over such matters in Jersey. At the other end of the country, a victim of abuse has called for the Bishop of Durham -the Church’s lead Bishop in the field – to undergo retraining following mistakes in the North...the Kincora Inquiry is beginning its work into accusations of State Agencies looking the other way to protect the abuser, who, it is suggested, was a security asset.

We never seem to get away from this terrible subject, and when stories come so quickly, one after another, it is easy to glaze over, switch off, and hope that lessons will be learned.

Only, they are not.

2016-05-31 14:00:05 +0100

"BELL SECRECY", ARGUS LETTER, MAY 31 2016

BISHOP Bell's name is being crucified by the Diocese of Chichester, not just because of a lack of common sense and sound judgement, but also because of an excess of secrecy and concealment.
If the Church of England's Chichester Diocese remains on the same trajectory, it may well find itself in 2016 embroiled in a scandal paralleling that of the Roman Catholic's Boston Archdiocese in 2002 - accurately portrayed in the film 'Spotlight', now showing in cinemas across the Diocese - stretching from Chichester to Hastings.

Richard W. Symonds
Ifield Street
Crawley

2016-05-31 10:59:36 +0100

BISHOP BELL & THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND GENERAL SYNOD 2016

FRIDAY JULY 8 - SUNDAY JULY 10

https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2521186/july_2016_timetable__with_timings__final_may_2016.pdf

Will the Bishop Bell case be debated?

2016-05-30 10:46:57 +0100

PART 1 - DAVID LAMMING'S COMMENT IN "THINKING ANGLICANS"

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007271.html#comments

I, too, have 'quibbles', but more than just quibbles (and for a different reason from Kate), with the use of the word 'survivor'. It assumes the truth of the allegation, and in historic cases, where, many years later, evidence properly to assess the allegation may not be available, there is a danger of unjustly naming someone as an abuser.

2016-05-30 10:46:21 +0100

PART 2 - DAVID LAMMING'S COMMENT IN "THINKING ANGLICANS"

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007271.html#comments

It is now reasonably clear that this is the position with the allegation of child sex abuse made against the late and much revered Bishop of Chichester, George Bell. Anyone reading the statement put out by the Church of England media centre on 22 October 2015, in which the unnamed complainant (a much better word) is repeatedly referred to as "the survivor", would be forgiven for taking the statement as one that assumed Bishop Bell's guilt (despite subsequent protestations and explanations by and on behalf of the Diocese of Chichester that this has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.)

2016-05-30 10:45:46 +0100

PART 3 - DAVID LAMMING'S COMMENT IN "THINKING ANGLICANS"

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007271.html#comments

There is now a cogent case, set out in the 'Review' dated 18 March 2016 conducted by the George Bell Group (
http://www.georgebellgroup.org/review/
), in particular in the light of the inconsistencies exposed by the interview given by 'Carol' to the Brighton Argus in February 2016, that Bishop Bell's reputation has been unjustly traduced. There is a crying need for the Diocese now to recognise that it may have got it wrong and to accept the need for an independent inquiry into the way it conducted its investigation into 'Carol's' complaint and a re-examination of all the evidence now available. A petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury "(1) To call on the Church of England to allow a fuller investigation before considering the case against Bishop Bell closed.

2016-05-30 10:39:15 +0100

PART 4 (FINAL) - DAVID LAMMING'S COMMENT IN "THINKING ANGLICANS"

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007271.html#comments

This includes re-examining the evidence against Bishop Bell, and (2) To ensure fair and just procedures are in place for the future", has so far attracted 1,764 signatures:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester.

This case shows how the 'backlash' following the revelations against the late Jimmy Savile and in the light of the past failures of the C of E to investigate allegations of child sex abuse (especially in Chichester Diocese), must not be allowed to usurp the presumption of innocence. It may well be that 'Carol' (now in her 70s) was abused as a child but that George Bell is the victim of mistaken identity. The late Bishop's reputation and memory deserve a proper re-examination of the evidence, which should not await any investigation which may (or may not) be part of the Goddard inquiry.

2016-05-29 11:26:04 +0100

STEPHANIE D. COMMENT

"His memory is being crucified by the church to which he dedicated his life"

~ Stephanie d.

2016-05-28 19:59:26 +0100

GEORGE BELL HOUSE (NOW RE-NAMED 4 CANON LANE)

DRESDEN AND BONHOEFFER ROOMS
Scroll to end to the 5 photos in a row.
Click on the first photo on the left for the Dresden Room
Click on the third photo in the middle for the Bonhoeffer Room

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/catering-hospitality/conference-banqueting.shtml

2016-05-28 18:31:50 +0100

COMMENT BY DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON

"It's time bishops (and archbishops, for that matter) stopped worrying about political correctness and started getting on with - well, being bishops"

2016-05-28 18:17:15 +0100

LETTER BY DR. RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON, CHURCH TIMES, MAY 27 2016

Sir,

Many thanks to Dr Andrew Chandler for his excellent article (20 May 2016) stressing the important role played by Bishop George Bell in helping to keep the plight of those falsely accused and persecuted by the Nazi regime, in particular Dr Martin Niemoller, in the public eye throughout the Second World War. As the daughter of Franz Hildebrandt, Niemoller's curate in Berlin-Dahlem, who was himself arrested, imprisoned but fortuitously released by the Nazis just before the outbreak of war, I would like to make one additional point. Bishop Bell set a precedent by the selfless, generous, and often courageous way in which he overcame opposition at home and helped many refugees, like my father, escape persecution and begin a new life in this country. It is a precedent which those in similar positions of influence and authority in the Church of England today would do well to emulate.

2016-05-28 12:41:23 +0100

EMAIL FROM MADELINE BECK OF AUSTRALIA

"There needs to be a thorough inquiry carried out by the Church of England to determine whether or not the late Bishop George Bell is innocent of these allegations. I believe in this cause because it takes many decades to build an impeccable record and seconds to tarnish it. The media in the Western World can sometimes have their own sinister motives for‘a good story’ which can be destructive for all vulnerable people involved if not treated gently and with sensitivity. In the words of Peter Hitchens... “This fair, just, brave man deserves the simple justice of the presumption of innocence”. If we cannot grant this for someone who has done a lot of good and has been highly regarded as a valuable role model by many, what does it mean for society? If we truly understand that the ‘truth will out’ why not conduct a proper investigation into the matter? We would expect the same justice granted for us"

2016-05-27 15:42:46 +0100

COMMENT BY RICHARD W. SYMONDS

"This scandal is going to hit the Church of England's Chichester Diocese very hard indeed - just as it did the Catholic Church's Archdiocese in Boston"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-27 15:34:37 +0100

http://www.wired.com/2015/11/spotlight-journalism-movies/

COMMENT BY RICHARD SIPE (INCLUDED IN "SPOTLIGHT" FILM)

Sexual abuse is a “recognizable psychiatric phenomenon” within the Church

~ Richard Sipe

2016-05-26 21:50:03 +0100

LETTER WRITTEN BY RICHARD WILBY IN THE CHICHESTER OBSERVER ON THURSDAY, MAY 26 2016 - "COMMONSENSE COUNCIL"

Congratulations to the members of Chichester City Council for reinstating their portrait of Bishop Bell.
Their action shows they have the common sense and sound judgement so conspicuously lacking from the Church of England in their deplorable actions.

RICHARD WILBY
Church Road, Aldingbourne

2016-05-26 18:18:54 +0100

STEPHANIE D. COMMENT

"George Bell, whose wife Henrietta was a cousin of my father and also my Godmother, was a close family friend. He baptised my 4 siblings and me, and as children we loved and respected him. As adults we learned of his contribution to humanity. His memory is being crucified by the church to which he dedicated his life"

2016-05-25 23:25:54 +0100

RICHARD H. COMMENT

"Martin Sewell's letter of 17 May 2016 to the Argus sums up my thoughts. Robust and open procedures should be undertaken for true justice to be done and seen to be done. There is no lasting value in a "cover up" to either the accused or the complainer. The evidence should be tested in detail"

2016-05-25 16:11:07 +0100

PART 1 - "SPOTLIGHT" CONVERSATION BETWEEN BOSTON LAWYER AND TWO BOSTON GLOBE JOURNALISTS

Journalist 1:
We understand you've settled several cases...?

Lawyer:
Even if I'd been involved in those cases, the settlements would be confidential, and I could be disbarred for acknowledging their existence. Most of these folks, they just want some acknowledgement of what happened. We got 'em a sit-down with the Bishop and a little dough, and that's the best they could hope for.

Journalist 1:
Well, it's certainly the best the priests could hope for.

Lawyer:
No, the Church promised they'd take the priests out of circulation.

Journalist 1:
And did you follow up on that?

Lawyer:
[Question not answered] Do you guys need anything else?

2016-05-25 16:10:20 +0100

PART 2 - "SPOTLIGHT" CONVERSATION BETWEEN BOSTON LAWYER AND TWO BOSTON GLOBE JOURNALISTS

Journalist 2:
Yes. Why aren't there any records? There aren't any records of any of these settlements. You never filed anything in court.

Lawyer:
It's just a private mediation. We dealt directly with the Church. We would draw up a demand letter and send it to the chancery.

Journalist 2:
So, this is just you and the Archdiocese's lawyers in a room?

Lawyer:
Correct

Journalist 2
Anyone else?

Lawyer:
Occasionally, the Church would bring in another defence attorney to help out.

JOURNALIST SUMMARISES CONVERSATION AFTERWARDS

Journalist:
So this was all under the table. There's no paper trail. At all. The victim has to sign a confidentiality agreement to get the settlement. The lawyer takes a third and the Church sweeps it under the rug.

2016-05-25 10:42:29 +0100

THE BELL SOCIETY - Justice For Bishop George Bell : Seeking Truth, Unity and Humanity's Survival

"Check this out, a good campaign"

~ Guardian's Michael White ‏@MichaelWhite

https://twitter.com/MichaelWhite/status/735366526799380482

2016-05-25 10:15:35 +0100

"SPOTLIGHT" - COMMENT BY XX

"If the Diocese of Chichester wanted to avoid a deep-bore investigation into its mucky past, a settlement of the Bell case was a natural move. There is, as Holmes would say, more to this case than meets the eye at first sight"

2016-05-25 08:07:08 +0100

"SPOTLIGHT"

If you see this film please ask yourself:

(a) Are there parallels between what happened in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and what is happening in the Church of England Diocese of Chichester?

(b) Is legal action the only way to force the Diocese of Chichester to make public what they are keeping secret?

(c) Is the Church of England exploiting its powerful influence to protect itself from scandal, while the innocent pay the price?

(d) Will the film adversely affect the Justice for Bishop Bell Campaign?

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-25 01:40:54 +0100

THE BELL SOCIETY

Justice For Bishop George Bell - Seeking Truth, Unity and Humanity's Survival

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/

2016-05-24 17:42:01 +0100

ANTHONY S. COMMENT

"Innocent until proven guilty is a basic principle of law that seems to have been trampled on this case"

2016-05-24 15:38:14 +0100

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS - CHURCH OF ENGLAND POLICY

https://www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/safeguarding-children-vulnerable-adults.aspx

2016-05-24 15:26:56 +0100

"THE STALINESQUE DISAPPEARANCE OF GEORGE BELL HOUSE IN CHICHESTER"

https://richardwsymonds.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/the-stalinesque-disappearance-of-george-bell-house/

2016-05-24 00:14:51 +0100

PART 1 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

BURNEL COMMENT

The Vatican and Catholic church has been conspicuous in wanting to be seen to be doing something (reluctantly) whilst simultaneously hoping to brush it under the carpet and hoping it will all go away. If the statistics are correct, approximately 10% of Priests have been involved in abuse, so what the Church has done is the tip of a huge iceberg, a token gesture. They knew what was going on, but it was kept quiet, priests were moved, free to abuse again, others put on gardening leave.

Spotlight is an enlightening film that will open many otherwise closed eyes to the enormity of the problem. It is well worth a look.

2016-05-24 00:14:02 +0100

PART 2 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

“The Catholic church often talks about this as pain that’s in the past,” says Spotlight’s co-screenwriter, Josh Singer. “I think the survivors would tell you they’re less interested in the church trying to make amends and more interested in the church protecting children in the future.”

2016-05-24 00:13:24 +0100

PART 3 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

The Spotlight team had identified 12 priests who they knew had been implicated in child sex abuse. They wanted to get the names out there, but Baron told them to hold their fire and aim for the bigger target: the Catholic church itself. “Would an editor have that sort of restraint now?” asks Singer. “As opposed to just throwing what you have up on the web? If you’d just run those names it would have been a he-said-she-said with every single one. Instead of talking about the bigger story, which is the system.”

2016-05-24 00:12:43 +0100

PART 4 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

Since the Spotlight investigation, the Vatican has moved to establish a tribunal to hear cases of bishops accused of perpetrating or covering up child abuse. Critics say its remit is foggy and its powers unclear. Pope Francis’s visit to Boston last September was marred by his comments the week earlier that US bishops had shown “courage” in facing the scandal. Survivors responded with anger and incredulity. Generally, it is thought that the church still has a lot to learn about transparency.

2016-05-24 00:12:08 +0100

PART 5 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

“It’s been 13 years since we published our stories,” says Michael Rezendes. “So far, for survivors, there’s been a tribunal that hasn’t taken any concrete action. Over the last 10 years the Vatican has defrocked something like 850 priests and sanctioned maybe 2,500 more. But in terms of policy, there has been very little systemic change.”

2016-05-24 00:11:38 +0100

PART 6 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

"SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS" (SNAP)

http://www.snapnetwork.org/

2016-05-24 00:10:15 +0100

PART 7 - "SPOTLIGHT" FILM - DVD RELEASED IN UK TODAY - MONDAY MAY 23 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/13/spotlight-reporters-uncovered-catholic-child-abuse-boston-globe

ABUSE SCANDALS IN ENGLAND (LISTED AT END OF FILM)

London
Manchester
Middlesbrough
Preston
Reading

2016-05-23 15:58:55 +0100

M S. REASON FOR SIGNING

"Because as muslim, I am very upset with the concept of taking an unsubstantiated allegation and then the media portraying it as a fact. It is continuously repeated behaviour which is due to bad journalists"

2016-05-23 10:28:06 +0100

"STEROFLEX" ON VIRTUE-SIGNALLING AND THE CHURCH
http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

"Virtue-signalling by a bunch of third-raters. Gossiping old men and women causing people to be condemned without cause. Being forced to prove your innocence...And this is the Church of England?"

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/i-invented-virtue-signalling-now-its-taking-over-the-world/ ("Virtue-signalling")
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/20/virtue-signalling-putdown-passed-sell-by-date ("Virtue-signalling")
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=virtue%20signalling ("Virtue-signalling" = Saying you love or hate something to show off what a virtuous person you are, instead of actually trying to fix the problem)

2016-05-22 18:08:41 +0100

"FIRST THEY CAME FOR BISHOP BELL"

First they came for Bishop Bell
But I did not speak out
Because I was not a Bishop...
Then they came for me
But there was no one left to speak up for me

(Adaptatation of Martin Niemoller's Poem "First They Came" by Richard W. Symonds)

2016-05-22 17:34:03 +0100

PART 1 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

http://thetab.com/uk/sussex/2016/05/20/no-platforming-silly-interview-peter-hitchens-9752

The Tab Sussex (Ivor Jones) "began by asking him about his current fight for the reputation of the late Bishop George Bell (an early critic of Nazism) in light of allegations revealed by the Church last year he had abused a young girl in the late 1940s and early 50s...."

2016-05-22 17:32:36 +0100

PART 2 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

Why have you become so interested in the case of Bishop George Bell and the allegation which has recently come to light that he molested a young girl while a priest?

Well it had been an interest of mine for some time. I had, in the course of reordering all my thoughts about the Second World War, become very conscious of George Bell’s almost unique role in both being a confirmed opponent of Hitler and the Nazis, more confirmed than most – an early observer of the danger, a friend of the German resistance – and also, what some people might see as a paradox, a very severe opponent of the area bombing of German cities by the Royal Air Force.

2016-05-22 17:31:55 +0100

PART 3 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

And so when the three major newspapers and the BBC all came out with stories saying he had been a child abuser, I was astonished, because this didn’t in any way fit with the picture of him which I had formed through all my reading and everything else.

I also felt journalistically that those newspapers had made a serious mistake. They had done a thing which you’re not supposed to do: they had confused an allegation with a conviction and I decided I was going to pursue it. That’s why I got involved in it.

2016-05-22 17:31:21 +0100

PART 4 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

What comments do you have on the way in which The Argus has handled this case?

Well, I don’t like the way they’ve handled it because I think they’ve been among the newspapers which has treated an allegation as a proven fact, which runs against the principle of English justice, which is that you presume [a person is] innocent until proven guilty. All we have is a solitary, ancient, uncorroborated allegation. It is an allegation, a serious allegation and it should be treated extremely seriously and the person who makes it should be treated with sympathy and the allegation should be thoroughly investigated. And I mean thoroughly investigated. But until it’s been proven then no one’s entitled to say this happened.

2016-05-22 17:30:52 +0100

PART 5 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

Do you feel like the presumption of innocence is being eroded in other areas?

Oh, enormously. It is, anyway, in cases where sexual abuses are alleged it goes out of the window almost immediately, the crime itself being so horrible that people are inclined to say “oh well it must be true” or, alternatively, to be afraid – in case they are accused of it themselves – of suggesting that the charge might not necessarily be true. The presumption of innocence is not something like freedom of speech that can be enforced by statute. It has to exist in the hearts of people.

2016-05-22 17:30:21 +0100

PART 6 - PETER HITCHENS ON GEORGE BELL - FRIDAY MAY 20 2016

On that note of freedom of speech, we’re at the University of Sussex; now a lot of journalists have been saying recently there’s been a real encroachment upon the right to freedom of speech in university campuses.

There is no “right” to freedom of speech; there is no right to anything, it’s a freedom and that’s the whole problem with it – it has to be maintained by constant vigilance and determination and if it isn’t then it will die.

2016-05-22 09:58:08 +0100

"GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - CHURCH, STATE, AND RESISTANCE IN THE AGE OF DICTATORSHIP" BY DR ANDREW CHANDLER

APPENDIX 3 - "POSTLUDE: HISTORY AND ALLEGATION"

"In sum, we are asked to invest an entire authority in one testimony and to dismiss all the materials by which we have come to know the historical George Bell as mere figments of reputation. The corollary of such a method may now be witnessed in the hasty removal of his name or image from the public institutions and commemorations. It may simply be observed here that such iconoclastic activities are not unknown to historians of other, far darker, times and contexts" ~ Andrew Chandler

http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/7227/george-bell-bishop-of-chichester.aspx

2016-05-22 09:25:09 +0100

"CHRISTIANS AGAINST NAZIS : THE GERMAN CONFESSING CHURCH" BY LEONORE SIEGELE-WENSCHKEWITZ - CHRISTIANITY TODAY - ISSUE 9

http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-9/christians-against-nazis-german-confessing-church.html

"GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - CHURCH, STATE, AND RESISTANCE IN THE AGE OF DICTATORSHIP" BY DR ANDREW CHANDLER (EERDMANS 2016)

http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/7227/george-bell-bishop-of-chichester.aspx

2016-05-22 03:14:18 +0100

PART 1 - CONVERSATION BETWEEN UNCLE BRIAN, ANTON & SIGFRIDIII

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

Uncle Brian:

....[Archbishop] Welby would be free to tell us that, wouldn’t he?

Anton to Uncle Brian:

Not necessarily.

Sigfridiii to Uncle Brian:

Unless the gagging arrangement applies to all parties to the agreement.

2016-05-22 03:13:41 +0100

PART 2 - CONVERSATION BETWEEN UNCLE BRIAN, ANTON & SIGFRIDIII

Uncle Brian to Anton:

Anton, unless I’m reading too much into your cryptic two-word comment, you seem to be suggesting something like this:

Premise No. 1.—The Church holds an insurance policy that covers indemnity payouts to victims of sexual abuse by Anglican clergy, but a clause in the policy stipulates that the Church must treat the existence of the insurance policy as strictly confidential.

Premise No. 2.—In the present case, the bishops are refusing to publish details of their “very thorough investigation” because to do so would be somehow to breach the confidentiality clause in their insurance policy.

Conclusion.—By their very silence, the bishops are publicly (albeit only implicitly) providing confirmation that they do in fact hold an insurance policy of the kind described. Therefore, by publicly providing such confirmation, they have breached the confidentiality clause in their insurance policy.

2016-05-22 03:04:37 +0100

PART 3 (FINAL) - CONVERSATION BETWEEN UNCLE BRIAN, ANTON & SIGFRIDIII

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

Uncle Brian (cont): Is that it, Anton? In that case, what happens next?

Anton to Uncle Brian.

No! I was suggesting merely that an insurers' gagging clause might include the condition that the existence of the gag not be revealed.

2016-05-22 02:40:24 +0100

MAALAISTOLLO COMMENT

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

"Might it not be the case that the manifestly unfair pursuit of the apparently blameless and/or deceased is designed to get the public to the point where they will acquiesce in further historic abuse investigations of all kinds being dropped, thus letting the real and surviving but highly placed perpetrators off the hook?"

DAVID COMMENT

"Yes, maybe indeed - or pursuing certain individuals, who are probably innocent, is cynically used as a decoy to deflect attention away from living establishment figures where there is desire to not investigate their alleged crimes"

2016-05-22 02:29:15 +0100

SIGFRIDIII COMMENT

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

"Lambeth seems to operate the same school of spin as that practised by No.10. Keep on saying it and eventually everyone will either believe it, or capitulate"

2016-05-21 11:43:54 +0100

PART 1 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/20-may/comment/opinion/accusation-and-condemnation

Accusation and condemnation

Andrew Chandler on the cases of George Bell and one of the men he championed

ON 1 July 1937, the Pastor of Dahlem, a comfortable suburb of Berlin, was arrested and taken into custody. It was not unusual for a pastor to be detained in such a way in Germany that summer. But this case was, at once, conspicuous. The pastor was not released.

What could he have done? Every society and age has a sense of what its greatest crime may be, so that the power of allegation itself may be enough to cast a man or woman out from respectable company and make a good name ...

If you have a valid subscription to Church Times, please log in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.

2016-05-21 11:42:58 +0100

PART 2 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

IF HE were alive now, what would Niemöller say to the Church of England? For it is not the Pastor of Dahlem but the now long-dead English bishop who stands accused, and of the greatest crime known to contemporary society.
Much on this has already been published in the columns of this paper. Those who are responsible have repeatedly emphasised that care is due to the person who has accused Bell of assaulting her as a child. But they should also ask themselves that, if innocence, not guilt, must be proved, how may any innocent man or woman feel safe, particularly when an accusation may be made years, even decades later, with no necessity to prove things in court, no need for conventional proof, little consistency, and no corroboration?

2016-05-21 11:42:16 +0100

PART 3 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

Various assumptions can be made: that there is no smoke without fire; that the responsible authorities always act thoroughly and credibly, even when they work in secret; that experts are trustworthy, even if the basis and character of their expertise is unknown; even that good people often do wicked things.
Would any of that have reassured a bishop such as Henson? Perhaps such things will always happen to somebody else, and leave us undisturbed. What did Niemöller once famously observe about that?

2016-05-21 11:41:32 +0100

PART 4 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

Archbishop Söderblom, who admired Bell profoundly, once said that this was a Bell that never rang without reason. Now the reason is a new one: it is for those men and women — often in public service, schoolteachers, practitioners of medicine and pastoral care — who find that it is not innocence but guilt that is first assumed; who struggle as best they can to clear their names; who face suspension from work, contempt, isolation, and even violence in the communities that they serve; even exclusion from their own churches.
These things are not going on in some despotic foreign state. Even if we have forgotten all the other reasons that George Bell matters to us in 2016, this is one reason we might acknowledge. Rather than suppress his name — even challenging its place in the C of E’s calendar — we should cling to it for all our worth.

2016-05-21 11:40:40 +0100

PART 5 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

"More from Andrew Chandler writing in this week's Church Times about BISHOP GEORGE BELL. Just as the Church of England deserted Niemoller in his hour of need, so its 21st Century descendents have deserted the pastor's courageous friend and advocate and labeled him a criminal and non-person without the benefit of due legal process"

~ Jill Armstead

2016-05-21 11:40:03 +0100

PART 6 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

In July 1938, Bell marked the first anniversary of Niemöller’s detention at a service of intercession in St Martin-in-the-Fields, in central London. By August, he was working on the creation of a new Guild of Prayer for all those who were in prison and all who suffered in Germany and Austria. Subscription would cost 3d. a week, but there was also a yearly rate: clearly Bell did not think that Niemöller would be freed soon. (Life fellowship could be had for £10.)

2016-05-21 11:39:28 +0100

PART 7 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

But here Bell encountered an objection. The Vicar’s secretary at St Martin’s wrote: “the Vicar feels, in common with us all, that this ‘special guild’ approaches too nearly to the likeness of a political effort. We may well have the German Ambassador refusing to come.”
Another example of the Church’s ambivalence broke out in the correspondence columns of The Times. The Bishop of Durham, Herbert Hensley Henson, got into a fight with the Bishop of Gloucester, Arthur Headlam, who thought that the German state would not have moved against Niemöller unless he had given them reason. He told Henson that it was more important to understand the German authorities than it was to criticise them.

2016-05-21 11:38:53 +0100

PART 8 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

Henson exploded at this. As far as Headlam was concerned, Henson did not know his place. As far as Henson was concerned, a bishop should know an offence against justice for what it was. In 1938, episcopal collegiality had its limits.

2016-05-21 11:38:24 +0100

PART 9 - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

THROUGH the long war, which broke out in September 1939, the Bishop of Chichester remained constant to the imprisoned Pastor of Dahlem. Every year, a special service of intercession took place for him. Little news of any kind from inside Germany reached him, and what news emerged was bleak and bitter. When so many perished, how could it be hoped that one such as Niemöller could survive?
In fact, Niemöller did survive. When peace came, he was reunited with his wife, and restored to his friends. And, in October 1945, George Bell met his friend again, in Stuttgart.

2016-05-21 11:37:13 +0100

PART 10 (FINAL) - CHURCH TIMES ARTICLE - MAY 20 2016

It was not the pastor but the bishop who would die first. In 1958, Niemöller paid tribute to his friend, ally, and advocate in a BBC programme. “George Bell”, he said, “was a Christian who was led and riven by the love of Christ Jesus himself. He couldn’t see somebody suffering without suffering himself. He couldn’t see people left alone without becoming their brother.”

2016-05-20 12:31:03 +0100

ALBERT'S COMMENT

"...this is also about caring for the accuser. No reasonable person can currently accept that +Bell is guilty....The secrecy surrounding this case is making us all question the veracity of the accuser, which, if she really is the survivor of child abuse must be very painful indeed
No one is benefiting from the present unjust situation"

~ Albert

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-05-20 11:54:54 +0100

CARL JACOBS COMMENT

"The CoE leadership has absolutely benefited from this strategy. It may look bad, but only a small collection of people is paying any attention. They have largely removed the story from view. They have avoided the possibility of a trial with no good defense except discrediting a potentially sympathetic victim. From the point of view of a [slithering reptile lawyer][deleted], that's a win. There was no good outcome for the CoE that involved contradicting the accusation. [Rapacious carnivores][deleted] Lawyers don't deal in justice, after all. They protect the interests of the client. They aren't paid to worry about collateral damage.
The CoE will refuse these requests until Hell freezes over. The only way the true story gets out is if someone leaks it..."

~ Carl Jacobs

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-05-20 11:47:26 +0100

ANTON'S COMMENT

"Insisting on confidentiality didn't work well for the Roman Catholic church early on in its own travails about this issue (See "Spotlight" film - Ed): it looks like a cover-up if more stuff emerges"

~ Anton

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-05-20 11:20:56 +0100

ALBERT'S COMMENT

"If the CofE isn't careful, it is going to look like it panicked and decided the best way to make the matter go quiet was to drop +Bell in it because he cannot answer back. In other words, the failure to produce evidence looks like a cover up of bad and unjust procedure, which was itself designed to limit bad publicity, at the expense of +Bell's reputation.
Please note: I am not saying that this is what the CofE has done. I am saying that this is what it increasingly looks like it has done"

~ Albert

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-05-20 11:14:39 +0100

CARL JACOBS COMMENT

"I think it much more likely that CoE lawyers want this information suppressed. They throw the dead bishop under the bus, settle with the victim, and then stonewall any requests for information. They thus hope to inflict a quiet death upon the story at minimal cost to everyone involved except George Bell and his family - who frankly are considered expendable. It is a given that CoE leadership is protecting itself by refusing to release this information. I suspect this is so because of the cynical way in which they responded to the accusation. They don't want their rather (ahem) practical calculations exposed"

~ Carl Jacobs

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-05-20 01:49:27 +0100

PART 1 - "BISHOP GEORGE BELL" - EDITORIAL COMMENT - CHICHESTER OBSERVER - THURSDAY MAY 19 2016
BY GARY SHIPTON - DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF JOHNSTON PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF SUSSEX NEWSPAPERS (INCLUDING CHICHESTER OBSERVER, CRAWLEY OBSERVER, WEST SUSSEX GAZETTE AND WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES)

"The lack of information given by Church of England unsatisfactory"

2016-05-20 01:48:47 +0100

PART 2 - "BISHOP GEORGE BELL" - EDITORIAL COMMENT - CHICHESTER OBSERVER

The letter by Martin Sewell eloquently argues for more transparency about the processes around which the Church of England reached its conclusions in the case of Bishop George Bell.
Fundamental to the principle of justice is not just that it is done, but it is seen to be done.
It is now clear that the lack of information, and the outcry which it has prompted, are entirely unsatisfactory.
Mr Sewell says this is unfair to all, "not least the accuser".
He is right.

2016-05-20 01:47:48 +0100

PART 3 (FINAL) - "BISHOP GEORGE BELL" - EDITORIAL COMMENT - CHICHESTER OBSERVER

This level of confidentiality serves no-one well, least of all her.
Were Bishop Bell alive and subject to a criminal prosecution all the evidence would have been made public and there would have been genuine closure at the end of it.
We do not criticize the church for its actions.
But a line can only be drawn under this matter if the light of publicity is shone on all aspects of this sad case, without in any way compromising the identity of the accuser.
Mr Sewell's letter can be found in full on the facing page.

2016-05-19 21:35:02 +0100

LETTER WRITTEN BY ALDINGBOURNE'S RICHARD WILBY - "MOVE SHOWS COMMON SENSE" - BOGNOR OBSERVER - THURSDAY MAY 19 2016

"Congratulations to the members of Chichester City Council for reinstating their portrait of Bishop Bell. Their action shows they have the common sense and sound judgement so conspicuously lacking from the Church of England in their deplorable actions"

2016-05-19 21:03:18 +0100

RICHARD W. SYMONDS COMMENT

"No harm is wished upon the established Church - and those within it - but if the Archbishop and Bishop continue to remain silent, and do not indicate clearly the grounds of their position, the more damage they are doing to themselves and the institution(s) they represent. 'Metaphorical beheadings' will inevitably take place - 'heads will roll' - if this is not resolved quickly and effectively"

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society

2016-05-19 14:38:30 +0100

"ARCHBISHOP CRANMER"

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/#disqus_thread

While Christians are urged to be as gentle as doves, we are also required to be wise as serpents. Complainants undoubtedly have the right to be heard and to have their accounts taken seriously and treated compassionately. But that ought never to be confused with the need for instant belief: no complainant can reasonably demand uncritical acceptance of an allegation, and no judge should give it.

The Church needs its pastors, but it also needs its prophetic critics to ensure that its policies and procedures are just and rigorous. Martin Sewell is right to remind us that justice must be transparent and accountable – two features which are unnecessarily lacking from the Diocese’s ongoing handling of this case.

2016-05-19 14:35:17 +0100

"IAN" COMMENT

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/#disqus_thread

"I'd like to challenge the assumption that pastors should be nice guys. "Thy rod and thy staff comfort/strengthen/encourage me". The rod is a weapon, mostly used to against the predator. The staff generally corrects the flock. (See: http://www.antipas.org/comment....
The church desperately needs real shepherds.A real shepherd would not have allowed this situation to arise"

2016-05-19 14:30:17 +0100

"DAVID" COMMENT

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/#disqus_thread

"Secrecy is a British disease affecting all our institutions. It is the enemy of democracy, justice and fair play. Secrecy is loved by the powerful as it enables their actions and decisions to escape scrutiny. Far, far too much is secret in this country, and the C of E is no exception.
Free speech, freedom of the press and freedom of conscience are the very hallmarks of a just society. Maintaining freedom is a constant struggle. In struggling to demand an end to secrecy we honour those who worked and sacrificed to give us those freedoms that we still enjoy"

2016-05-19 14:25:32 +0100

"ARCHBISHOP CRANMER"

http://archbishopcranmer.com/the-absurd-fiction-of-the-need-for-secrecy-in-the-trial-of-bishop-george-bell/#disqus_thread

The Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner may dismiss the “strident voices” which are seeking to “undermine” the “survivor’s” claims against George Bell, thereby exacerbating her suffering in a deeply un-Christian way (the intended inference). But George Bell can no longer grieve for his reputation or demand rehabilitation. Trust demands justice, and justice must be seen to have been done. This is not going to go away, and the voices will remain as “strident” as they need to be until the necessary transparency and accountability are secured.

2016-05-19 11:35:34 +0100

R1950 COMMENT - "PORTRAIT OF SEX ABUSE BISHOP IS BACK ON COUNCIL OFFICE WALL", ARGUS, MAY 14 2016

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14493019.Portrait_of_sex_abuse_bishop_is_back_on_council_office_wall/?cmpid=cmt

There are portraits hung of Mary Tudor. She sent over 200 people to their deaths for their beliefs. This is a proven fact.

There are busts of Julius Caesar. He committed virtual genocide in Gaul. This is a proven fact.

There are portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella who supported the Inquisition in Spain, which sent thousands to their deaths. This is a proven fact.

Nothing has been proved against Bishop Bell.

2016-05-18 22:10:49 +0100

MS COMMENT

"My perspective is that this is...very much about justice in the Church of today. If we can act so cavalierly towards a man of George Bell's stature, few are safe"

2016-05-18 09:14:09 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 1 (Hat-Tip : Jill A.)

"Destroyed by false accusations of child abuse" by Daniel Finkelstein

If we’re not careful, our certainty about tackling the legacy of Savile will simply create thousands of new victims.

"I now have difficulty seeing myself being remotely employed, sociable, and relaxed enough to pursue any kind of relationship. The deterioration of my physical appearance caused neighbours and family members who visited to approach me differently. I feel like I have become a failure"

~ Rhys, a man wrongly accused of children abuse.

2016-05-18 09:13:27 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 2

On Sunday, I got a note from Professor Carolyn Hoyle of Oxford University’s Centre for Criminology. She said that she hoped that “despite the doom and gloom” I was enjoying myself in the sunshine. She knew well why I might not be.
Earlier that day she had sent me a report she had been working on with her colleagues Naomi-Ellen Speechley and Ros Burnett. The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Occupations of Trust: Victims’ Voice is a relentless and depressing study. She rightly thought I would be shocked by it.

2016-05-18 09:12:47 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 3

In the years after the death of Jimmy Savile we have finally realised how big a problem child abuse has been and we are determined to do something about it. Our past treatment of this issue has been exposed as scandalous. And I am not one of those who thinks the passage of time makes things better. It is right to pursue cases even after decades have passed.
Here, though, is another lesson of history. It is precisely at the moment when we are on the strongest moral ground that we make the biggest errors. When the entire population has risen together to combat some social ill, all doubts are swept away and the truth can become inconvenient. The broad brush sweeps before it the guilty and the innocent.

2016-05-18 09:12:05 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 4

Have we learnt nothing from the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six — and Stefan Kiszko, who spent 16 years wrongly imprisoned?
Our current, entirely justified, concern about child abuse carries with it particular dangers. It is an extremely difficult area in which to establish guilt and innocence and we are using very alarming techniques.
First there is a dangerous principle: the accuser must always be believed. This goes far beyond the idea that the accuser must be treated with respect and their allegations taken seriously, which is correct. The new principle is dangerous not just because it defies common sense. The real problem is that police don’t seek the truth, they construct cases. Starting with a rock-solid assumption that the victim is indeed a victim and that the victim’s story is correct, the temptation is strong to fit the facts to the story rather that test the story with the facts.

2016-05-18 09:11:21 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 5

The police trawl for other victims, informing one person of the accusations of another. Catastrophically, the sheer number of allegations then becomes a strong part of the case against the accused. It is not necessary for these allegations to be all that similar, a common alleged perpetrator is sufficient.
Little account seems to be taken of the fact that those making the accusations need not be lying to be wrong. They may have identified the wrong person or allowed old memories to become confused with things they have read or heard or been told about in counselling.

2016-05-18 09:10:45 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 6

There have been many reports, official and unofficial, that have questioned these techniques and warned of the potential for miscarriages of justice. Yet still we use them. Now more than ever.
The accused feel alienated and lose their trust in institutions
One reason that this continues is that we all, let’s face it, find the fact that someone has been accused of a large number of crimes pretty compelling. The case of the late Greville Janner provides a good example.

2016-05-18 09:10:02 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 7 & 8

The coverage of his case generally assumes his guilt. Yet actually we know little (me included) of the accusations one way or the other apart from there being quite a number of them and that the police and prosecution think that the case is strong. They thought that, too, with Bill Roache of Coronation Street and the six charges against him. He was found not guilty on all of them.
Which leaves one further point to be made. Some view these dangerous techniques as acceptable because the impact on the abused child is too grave for us to worry all that much about the suffering of those wrongly accused.
And it is this view that the new report makes untenable.
Interviewing people who have been found legally innocent — there was no further action against them after their arrest, they were found not guilty at trial, their conviction was overturned — the academics uncovered the terrible toll that the accusations took.

2016-05-18 09:07:52 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 9

Much coverage has been about celebrities, but these were carers and teachers, often people who had spent their lives working with disturbed children. There was the practical impact. Many of the accused were dismissed from their jobs or suspended, even when this was against their employers’ rules. It proved incredibly hard to find other work, even voluntary work. The accusations may have gone nowhere but the fact of them meant that job applications went nowhere too.
It was sometimes possible to obtain justice — end a suspension, gain a clean records check — but only after years in limbo. During this period there were often legal bills to pay with no chance of compensation for the costs. People earning modest salaries, and sometimes no longer any salary at all, faced thousands of pounds in fees. Many lost their homes.

2016-05-18 09:07:06 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 10

Yet, difficult though all this was, the psychological impact was worse. The quote from Rhys with which I began this column is typical. The wrongly accused feel that, as another interviewee called Josef puts it, “I changed completely who I was after the first knock on the door in 2009. I’ve never forgotten it. It’s as if it happened yesterday . . . I am not the same person physically or mentally.”
Many consider suicide (I “contemplated swallowing bleach” said James); most reported severe anxiety or panic attacks (“It’s the first thing you think about in the morning, it’s the last thing you think about at night,” said Rob); others saw their relationships deteriorate and their families suffer (“I also suffered from shock that turned into depression. I lost two stones in weight in about six weeks,” said Jack’s wife).

2016-05-18 09:05:42 +0100

TIMES ARTICLE - PART 11 (FINAL)

Then there is the anger and the frustration. The feeling that no one ever apologises. Not for the trauma, not for breaking the door down when arresting them, not for anything. The accused feel alienated, embattled and lose their trust in institutions. Particularly their trust in the police, who often retain their belief in guilt and let the accused know it.
To record this is not minimise the suffering of the abused. It is not to deny the undeniable truth about abuse. It is just to urge that we don’t add miscarriages of justice to the historic errors we have already made.

2016-05-17 21:02:06 +0100

ARGUS LETTER - PART 1

This 'Bishop Bell' Letter has been published in the Argus - "More proof needed" - Tuesday May 17 2016 - by Martin Sewell:

Dear Editor
I write as a member of the Church of England General Synod, a member of a Diocesan Safeguarding Group and a solicitor for 35 years with experience of hundreds of cases of child abuse, having represented victims of child abuse, those rightfully convicted and those wrongfully accused.

2016-05-17 21:00:44 +0100

ARGUS LETTER - PART 2

The Chichester Council is absolutely right to conclude that the Church has not yet put into the public domain sufficient evidence to enable the Council to draw a safe conclusion that Bishop Bell was guilty of child abuse. This Is unfair to all, not least the accuser. The Church's lack of transparency prolongs the agony for all, and its explanation that nothing can be said about its processes, because everything is confidential, is misconceived in law.

2016-05-17 20:59:49 +0100

ARGUS LETTER - PART 3

Every week, the Law Reports publish detailed judgements concerning cases of sexual abuse.

They routinely describe the nature of the allegations, a summary of the evidence, for and against; the names and expertise of the experts; their points of agreement and disagreement, a summary of the applicable law, the evaluation of contested evidence and the Court findings on disputed fact. All this is done in the public interest without [at all][Edited in] compromising the identity of the accuser [to the slightest degree][Edited out].

2016-05-17 20:58:51 +0100

ARGUS LETTER - PART 4

In the light of such routine transparency, why does the Church continue in the absurd fiction that it cannot answer the most basic of questions about the processes by which it reached a conclusion in the case of Bishop George Bell? Nobody is asking for clues to identity, only evidence that a process of due diligence has been undertaken.

All we are getting is "Trust me - I am a Bishop" which, paradoxically, embodies precisely the toxic culture of deference and unaccountability which dropped the Church into such messes in the first place.

Martin Sewell
Gravesend
Kent

2016-05-17 20:21:27 +0100

REASONS FOR SIGNING...So that when evidence is reexamined there is representation present for George Bell.

~ Brenda H

2016-05-16 11:16:29 +0100

ANDREW P. COMMENT

"Important decisions like this need to be based on proper evidence. It's regretful that something as obvious as this needs saying"

2016-05-15 00:41:26 +0100

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-36294052

BISHOP GEORGE BELL : COUNCIL RE-HANGING OF PORTRAIT "OFFENSIVE"

Re-hanging a portrait in a town hall of a bishop named as an alleged paedophile is "offensive", say campaigners...But, Chichester Council said it had been replaced as there was reasonable doubt about the woman's claims...
Tony Dignum, leader of the council, said: "We haven't seen sufficient evidence against Bishop Bell...I don't doubt that she was abused but the question is: was it Bishop Bell?"
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, said the move was offensive to all "victims and survivors of childhood abuse...Some would say it is [also] offensive to re-hang a portrait of this man over whom such a cloud hangs."
...But, a group set up to defend Bishop Bell said the church's investigation was inadequate and the woman's claims uncorroborated....

2016-05-14 17:50:46 +0100

BBC ONE SOUTH EAST TODAY - SATURDAY MAY 14 2016 - 5.20PM

BISHOP BELL'S PORTRAIT RE-HUNG AT CHICHESTER DISTRICT COUNCIL OFFICES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b079rtcd

Chichester City Council says it [the re-hanging of Bishop Bell's portrait] is because there is reasonable doubt about the woman's claims.

"Our position is that we have not seen sufficient evidence against him where we should erase him completely from our memories"

~ Cllr Tony Dignum - Leader of Chichester District Council

2016-05-14 17:46:55 +0100

"PORTRAIT OF SEX ABUSE BISHOP IS BACK ON COUNCIL OFFICE WALL - AUTHORITY SAYS CHURCH ACTED HASTILY AND THERE WAS SOME DOUBT OVER GUILT", THE ARGUS, SATURDAY MAY 14 2016 - PAGE 8

"We have been very mindful of the work done by Andrew Chandler [Bell's biographer and a leading voice calling for his rehabilitation], and I felt he made a very strong case that the Church had acted very hastily in condemning Bell, and that natural justice had not been observed. You don't have to believe that Chandler is 100% right to doubt whether the Church was right to do what it has done...there is some doubt over whether Bell was guilty and we must avoid a rush to judgement"

~ Councillor Tony Dignum - Leader of Chichester District Council

2016-05-14 07:44:02 +0100

XXX COMMENT

"I do not think the Church of England was wise to deal with this case in the 'in camera' way it did. For the upshot was that it had to announce a decision which, from the terms of the investigation, it could not justify by public evidence. That's plainly not right, and wouldn't be right even if the accused priest was an obscure parish figure and not a celebrated bishop.
My impression is that the Diocese of Chichester made the wrong decision about how to handle the case and now finds itself in a predicament of silence it can't break free from. I think it was more blunder and panic than malice that lead to the current state of affairs. And I feel more sadness than anger"

2016-05-14 07:37:09 +0100

RWS RESPONSE TO XXX COMMENT

"And I feel more sadness than anger"
~ XXX

"And I feel more anger than sadness because I suspect this has happened to many "an obscure parish figure" - and others..
My heart goes out more to these 'forgotten unknowns' (and their families), rather than living Bishops - and Archbishops - who choose to remain silent. I can't see Bishop Bell choosing to remain silent. Can you?"
~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-13 21:18:05 +0100

LAWRENCE M. COMMENT

"As a 12-year-old chorister I knew Bishop Bell and his wife quite well and some of us helped him pack his library on retirement. It would take a lot more evidence than is currently alleged to change my view of him as a hero"

2016-05-13 15:31:00 +0100

"FRIENDS WHO LIKE JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL" FACEBOOK GROUP (CREATED BY JILL ARMSTEAD)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1117648908292503/

2016-05-13 10:44:58 +0100

"BISHOP BELL PORTRAIT IS REINSTATED", CHICHESTER OBSERVER, ARTICLE, THURSDAY MAY 12 2016

'A portrait of George Bell has been reinstated in the Chichester City Council chambers. The council removed the picture in the wake of the Church of England apologising and paying a civil settlement to a woman who says she was abused by the former Bishop as a child in the late 1940s, early '50s...Clerk Rodney Duggua confirmed it has now been rehung in the Council House..."Bishop Bell's name is displayed on the board of Freedom Holders in the Assembly Room Ante Room, and he is also commemorated by the name of the street in Parklands, Bell Close"

2016-05-13 10:30:37 +0100

"PETITION TO REOPEN BELL CASE", CHICHESTER OBSERVER, LETTER, THURSDAY MAY 12 2016

'We wish to draw attention of readers...there is currently a very active petition...requesting a reopening of the case against Bishop Bell...We invite everyone who believes a great injustice has been done to Bishop Bell to add their signatures...'

~ Marilyn and Peter Billingham
~ Richard W. Symonds
~ Meriel Wilmot-Wright

2016-05-13 10:08:22 +0100

IVOR S. COMMENT

"Bishop George Bell ordained me deacon in 1954 and priest in 1955. On both occasions I had the chance over several days to be present at his residence where his wife Henrietta and he hosted us as ordinands. He also came several times to conduct confirmations in the parish in which I served. Never once did I observe or hear anything that would lend credence to the allegation made against him"

2016-05-13 10:04:17 +0100

BISHOP BELL EXHIBITION - From The Archives

http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/exhibitions-and-events/exhibitions/bishop-bell/

George Bell, Bishop of Chichester (1883-1958), sat in the House of Lords for 20 years on the bishops benches famously speaking out against the blanket bombing of German cities during the Second World War.

Lord Lloyd of Berwick explains why Parliament marked the 50th anniversary of Bell's death with an exhibition on his career and contribution to the House of Lords....

2016-05-13 00:17:32 +0100

THE DEFENCE OF BISHOP GEORGE BELL - FULL DOCUMENTS IN THE CASE

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/the-defence-of-george-full-documents-in-the-case.html

Here are the documents released last night by the Bell Support Group, urging a reconsideration by Church (and Media) of the charges against Bishop George Bell

1.Statement

Press Statement

George Bell’s naming as a paedophile is challenged today by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures

Release 00:01hrs on Sunday the 20th of March 2016

2016-05-13 00:12:04 +0100

BISHOP GEORGE BELL PAPERS - LAMBETH PALACE LIBRARY

http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/bell

Correspondence and diaries of the Rt Revd George Bell (1883-1958), successively student of Christ Church, chaplain to Archbishop Randall Davidson, Dean of Canterbury, and from 1929 Bishop of Chichester.

This extensive collection includes material on the German churches before and after the Second World War, the allies' war policy, relief work among refugees, the atomic bomb, the ecumenical movement and Churches overseas, South Africa, religious drama and art, liturgy, and church and state relations.

2016-05-12 23:33:54 +0100

"G. F." COMMENT

"Innocence till proven guilty is a principle that seems to be increasingly undervalued. It may seem of less consequence when the dead are denied due process in this way, but it greatly endangers the living. Everyone who values the freedom we enjoy in the UK should sign this petition"

2016-05-12 19:37:16 +0100

"SPOTLIGHT" FILM - BOSTON GLOBE

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/05/11/465123/71-US-priests-exposed-over-sexual-abuse

71 US priests accused of sexually abusing children

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Baltimore has released the names of 71 priests accused of sexual harassment of children.

The archdiocese in the US state of Maryland released the names of the clergy men on their website, saying they faced “credible” accusations of sexual abuse.

The move was made as part of the fallout from the Boston Globe daily investigations portrayed in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight....

Approximately 6,900 US Roman Catholic priests were accused of sexual abuse with at least 16,900 young victims between 1950 and 2011, according to data from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The US Catholic Church is facing severe financial difficulties over settlement payments to victims and other costs.

2016-05-12 19:35:44 +0100

"ADELEDICNANDER" COMMENT

Radio 4's 'Sunday' on 1st May...reported a...group of theologians' call for the Pope to end the "medieval practice" of "anonymous denunciations" of unorthodox beliefs to "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith". Those accused do not know who their accusers are but face censure or even excommunication in absolute secrecy and without knowing why....Father Brian D'Arcey...is asked if "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" is behaving rather like a law unto itself in these matters.
"The process itself is unjust...You never know your accuser. You never meet the accuser. The people in the CDF are the accusers...judge...witness, and indeed the defenders. And I still don't know - or nobody else does - what's going on. It's un-gospel like, it's un-Christian...and we're asking for it to be reformed."

2016-05-12 15:16:07 +0100

DAVID M. COMMENT

"The certainty of the church that Bishop Bell committed this "crime" in the face of an almost complete lack of objective evidence is a national scandal"

2016-05-12 15:14:30 +0100

TREVOR T. COMMENT

"Whilst the church must respond diligently to all accusations of abuse, it must also embrace the concept of presumed innocence until proper evidence, presented after a scrupulous and fair investigation, proves otherwise. Failure to do this will simply mean that the church will encourage and perpetuate a new form of abuse through false and malicious accusations to which anyone could potentially fall victim"

2016-05-11 23:09:43 +0100

PAUL L. COMMENT

"The idea of breaking down the legacy of a man on the basis of a secret and unproven criminal accusation is repulsive to me. It is essential in these strained times to resist these retrograde impulses"

2016-05-11 21:35:36 +0100

CLARE R COMMENT

"Until a full investigation is undertaken it is wrong to besmirch him. We must keep the presumption of innocence until proven guilty as it is one of the most important aspects of our legal system that prevents miscarriages of justice"

2016-05-11 21:33:34 +0100

RWS UPDATE

"Most institutions, including the church, now have in place processes which are rigorous, objective, and fair"

~ The Dean of Chichester, Stephen Waine (Cathedral Newsletter Winter 2015)

"In this case, the scrutiny of the allegation has been thorough, objective"

~ The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner (Cathedral Newsletter Winter 2015)

Unless the present Dean and Bishop participated in the Investigation, the circumstances of which are enclosed in secrecy, HOW DO THEY KNOW the scrutiny of the claims against Bishop Bell were "thorough, objective...rigorous...and fair"?!

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-11 21:29:08 +0100

RWS LETTER SUBMISSION 1 OF 2

Dear Editor

4 Canon Lane Chichester should now be returned back to its original name of George Bell House - especially after the Dean of Chichester wrote this in the Cathedral Winter Newsletter:

"In time we will acquire ways to continue to recognise the huge contribution which Bell made to the history of his time and his lasting legacy, and hold them alongside an acknowledgement of his serious
wrongdoing. It will take time and patience"

How do we know George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, was guilty of serious wrongdoing and of the particular serious wrongdoing of which he is accused ? The Church of England confined itself to a judgement on "the balance of probabilities". It said in effect : this is what we think most likely in view of the evidence and what we have to act on.

2016-05-11 21:27:55 +0100

RWS LETTER SUBMISSION 2 OF 2

The Church made no unqualified claim Bishop Bell was guilty. The Dean, by contrast, appears to have no doubt about his guilt : and not merely appears to, but actually does, present the Bishop's guilt as a matter of fact. The Dean of Chichester has overstepped the mark by seriously misrepresenting the Church's position.

The present Bishop of Chichester must now respond to what his Dean has said. The Bishop is under no legal constraint to remain silent. Continued silence would be deemed consent to what the Dean has said in the Winter Newsletter.

Was it the Dean who issued the 'decree' regarding the re-naming of George Bell House to 4 Canon Lane?

If so, we must look to the Bishop of Chichester - and beyond - to right this wrong.

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-11 21:25:41 +0100

PETER T COMMENT

"Innocent until proven guilty. Simple as... Otherwise we are all in jeopardy to any smear or unsupported allegation"

2016-05-11 21:23:25 +0100

STUART H COMMENT

"As an atheist, I might be expected to take any opportunity to fling mud at a struggling church, but as a fair-minded person I feel compelled to urge the church to fully examine the evidence and resist the current fashion for 'justice' based solely on Salem-style mass hysteria, mixed with an inability to accept that some people genuinely do try to live saintly lives"

2016-05-11 18:23:59 +0100

"AT LAST - A SMALL VICTORY IN THE REHABILITATION OF GEORGE BELL" - BY PETER HITCHENS

Here is a picture of the portrait of Bishop George Bell, now restored to its rightful place in the elegant old Council House (town hall) at Chichester, where he was Bishop for many distinguished and courageous years.

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/at-last-a-small-victory-in-the-rehabilitation-of-george-bell.html#comments

2016-05-11 16:08:56 +0100

DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - PART 1

Bishop Martin Warner
The Palace
Chichester
W Sussex PO19 1PY

Dear Bishop Warner

With reference to your letter of 5 May 2016 and our other recent correspondence relating to the case of Bishop George Bell, I would like specific answers to the following points, on which I have taken advice:

2016-05-11 16:08:22 +0100

DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - PART 2

A diocesan 'committee', such as that set up to investigate the Bell case, has no status as a court. It may use the procedures of a civil law court, but these cannot be held to indicate that a legal process has been duly carried out.

'Carol's' subsequent interviews with the media abrogate any confidentiality agreements that may have been reached between the two parties in settlement of the case.

In any case in law where claims have been made against one party, it is incumbent upon lawyers to obtain statements from both parties. This is especially the case where the accused is long dead. I have been advised that it would not be possible to come to a legally valid decision if this has not happened. Moreover, it is not permissable for one party (i.e. the Diocese of Chichester) to act as judge and jury in a case in which it has an interest.

2016-05-11 16:08:00 +0100

DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - PART 3

A case for the defence has now been assembled by the George Bell Support Group, containing evidence (including an eyewitness account) that has not yet been tested in court. It is now incumbent on the Diocese to reopen the case and place a new investigation in the hands of the appropriate impartial and legally recognised authorities.

2016-05-11 16:07:36 +0100

DR RUTH HILDEBRANDT GRAYSON LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER - PART 4

On behalf of the family of Franz Hildebrandt, and of relatives of another friend of Bishop Bell with whom I am in contact in Germany, I request a detailed reply to each of the above points. The longer it takes for the Diocesan authorities to agree to reopen the case and to allow both sides of the argument to be heard, the more it adds to the stress we are all experiencing. In the meantime, the Diocese is laying itself open to the accusation of defaming the character of a defenceless individual.

Yours sincerely

Dr Ruth Hildebrandt Grayson

cc Archbishop Justin Welby

2016-05-11 12:26:17 +0100

ROBERT J COMMENT

"I was at the Prebendal School at the time and confirmed by George Bell. I am quite sure this is nonsense and the result of a panic by the Diocese of Chichester"

2016-05-09 23:09:00 +0100

XYZ COMMENT 2

I reiterate that the Dean has overstepped the mark; on this point the Bishop can speak and indicate clearly that the Dean has misrepresented the the Church's position as set out in the October statement.

2016-05-09 22:31:33 +0100

XYZ COMMENT 1

"In time we will acquire ways to continue to recognise the huge contribution which Bell made to the history of his time and his lasting legacy, and hold them alongside an acknowledgement of his serious wrongdoing. It will take time and patience"

(Source : Letter from the Dean of Chichester in the Cathedral Winter Newsletter)(Hat-Tip : Jill Armstead)

How do we know that he was guilty of serious wrongdoing and of the particular serious wrongdoing of which he is accused ? I thought the wording of the October statement was more tentative. It confined itself, as I recall (perhaps I'm wrong), to a judgement on the balance of probabilities. It said in effect : this is what we think most likely in view of the evidence and what we have to act on. It made no unqualified claim that Bell was guilty. The Dean, by contrast, appears to have no doubt about his guilt : and not merely appears to, but actually does, present Bell's guilt as a matter of fact. He oversteps the mark.

2016-05-09 22:17:05 +0100

AD COMMENT

"Justice for one who fought so hard for justice for others"

~ Anthony D.

2016-05-09 19:52:59 +0100

JA COMMENT

I think in a nutshell, an allegation was made against Bishop Bell, the Church authorities decided the allegation was true then set up an investigation charged with finding evidence to support its decision, then relied on the findings of the investigation to (with great sadness of course) trash his reputation and write him out of history. I have re-read the Dean's letter in the Cathedral Winter Newsletter: Oh the weasel words! "In time we will acquire ways to continue to recognise the huge contribution which Bell made to the history of his time and his lasting legacy, and hold them alongside an acknowledgement of his series wrongdoing. It will take time and patience."

~ Jill Armstead

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1189613294384705&id=100000081379450&comment_id=1190418944304140&notif_t=feed_comment&notif_id=1462775560445533

2016-05-08 12:11:52 +0100

RWS COMMENT

For a chance of renaming 4 Canon Lane Chichester back to "George Bell House"

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/visiting/_folder1/

please encourage others to sign this Justice for Bishop George Bell Petition:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester

Thank you.

Richard W. Symonds

2016-05-08 10:44:27 +0100

THE STALINESQUE DISAPPEARANCE OF "GEORGE BELL HOUSE"

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/visiting/_folder1/

2016-05-08 01:02:10 +0100

EKM COMMENT

As both an admirer of George Bell, and someone deeply concerned with the way his "case", such as it is, has been handled so far, I would like to express my support for your campaign. I do not live in the UK (I am in Australia), but if there is anything that you can add my name to, please do not hesitate to do so.

Evan Kenneth Milner.
Wollongong, NSW. Australia.

2016-05-07 21:34:57 +0100

KB COMMENT

I wish to add my name to the petition though I do not at present have a UK postal address. I am priest-in-charge of the English-speaking Congregation, All Saints' Cathedral, Cairo, Egypt.

Thank you.

Kerry Buttram

2016-05-07 21:12:54 +0100

PCL COMMENT

I read regularly the blog of Peter Hitchens and so I became aware of what seems to be a gross injustice done to the memory of a great man, Bishop Bell. I think it is a growing problem in the world today the mentality that figures of authority are suspected as abusers by default. Husbands are automatically labelled as wife beaters, parents as child abusers, priests as pedophiles and so on. I want my name added on the list of signatures in the petition for justice for George Bell.

~ Petre Cătălin Logofătu, Romania.

2016-05-07 13:53:22 +0100

RWS COMMENT 2

Personally, I have little doubt 70-yr-old 'Carol' was sexually molested by a 'Man of the Cloth' in Chichester when she was five (confirming Goddard's findings).

What I have grave doubt about is that it was Bishop Bell. In other words, it's a case of mistaken identity....and that mistaken identity is causing a gross miscarriage of justice.

2016-05-07 13:52:32 +0100

RWS COMMENT 1

The Goddard Inquiry is likely to confirm sexual abuse took place in the Diocese of Chichester and beyond; the likes of Peter Ball may well be the tip of an iceberg. The tabloid media are likely to parallel Boston with Chichester, probably using the film "Spotlight" as its touchstone (UK release May 23).

Bishop Bell' s case will be the exception which doesn't fit the tabloid attack against the Church (Church of England and Catholic alike).

My guess is the mainstream media will simply ignore this exception or provide confused/confusing coverage, believing - rightly or wrongly - their readers/viewers/listeners are unable to make such subtle (or unsubtle) distinctions...and if a serious attempt is made it will damage circulation/audience figures, sales, profit etc.

2016-05-07 12:54:43 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 6

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

“The result,” as an editorial in the Church Times observed on 4 December 2015, “is that Bell now rests uneasily in some sort of moral limbo.”‘

Thinking about this whole affair, I have come to think that it is not Bishop Bell but the Church who rests uneasily in some sort of moral limbo.

I may be wrong but I assume that the leaders of the Church are not as unanimous on this issue as they seem to be.

2016-05-07 12:54:19 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 5

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

Andrew Chandler, a historian and biographer, describes Bishop George Bell as ‘… this striking bishop of the Church of England’ in his latest book. I think “striking” is indeed the right word to portrait Bishop Bell.

Chandler also writes in Preface about the statement of the Church on 22 Oct 2015;

‘… while a contemporary history of the controversy provoked by this statement is becoming feasible – for there are public articles and letters appearing in the British press by the week – no consideration of the substance of the allegation itself is possible.

Quite simply, whatever materials exist remain secret.

2016-05-07 12:33:43 +0100

JUSTICE4GEORGEBELL - TWITTER CAMPAIGN

https://twitter.com/Justice4Bell?lang=en-gb

JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL - FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN

https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Bishop-George-Bell-577597159058935/

2016-05-06 19:09:35 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 4

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

Now there are a number of people, in the world, who want to find out the truth about Bishop Bell. It is not unreasonable to challenge asking if the investigation, which the
Church of England has made, has justly, systematically and adequately been done, or not.

...there is no criticism against the accuser in this challenge.

2016-05-06 18:57:27 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 3

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

If the Church was not prepared to say this openly, but was happy to have it said openly by others, this contentment surely requires investigation and explanation. the question of why the church hasn't protested, even though the media went much further than ti did, and of how three national newspapers and two local ones reached the same conclusion , even though it was not supported by any on-the-record document or statement, is one of the most fascinating in the whole affair. One might almost be tempted to believe in telepathy or the supernatural . But if the Church believed this to be the case, why did it no say so openly and in terms?

2016-05-06 18:57:06 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 2

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

The article says that one newspaper headline “went further than the Church” with a quotation from the Telegraph.

The headline of The Telegraph (22 Oct 2015) actually gives the Church of England as the source, it says the Bishop ‘was a paedophile – Church of England’.

In that sense the Telegraph did not go further than the Church. If it went further than the Church, why the Church has not protested against the headline?

The Church has evidently not protested against the Telegraph on this headline.

Therefore it is reasonable to think that the Church is content with the conclusion made by the Telegraph on 22 Oct 2015 after the statement of the Church on this issue.

2016-05-06 18:54:19 +0100

"KY" COMMENT 1

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

Thank you for your comment – it helps me think twice or thrice on this issue.

I, indeed, agree with you rightly saying “the question of why the church hasn't protested, (…) is one of the most fascinating in the whole affair”.

Why hasn’t the Church protested against the Telegraph?

This question reminds me of Agatha Christie’s “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”
(I actually am fond of some of the titles of her books.)

In this story, the hint is hidden in the title.

In the case of Bishop Bell, it may be the subject of the question that gives us a clue.

Why hasn’t ‘the Church’ protested against the Telegraph?

What if ‘the Church’ is not a singular?

I mean what if the conclusion of ‘the Church’ is not a unanimous one?

I do not know why it is not unanimous, but it might be due to the quality of the investigation...

2016-05-06 18:43:35 +0100

FOR THOSE OUTSIDE THE UK WHO WISH TO SIGN THE PETITION

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/for-those-without-uk-postcodes-who-wnat-to-sign-the-george-bell-justice-petition.html#comments

For those without UK postcodes who want to sign the George Bell Justice petition
I have now had this advice from the petition organisers, 38 Degrees:

'Unfortunately, at the moment 38 Degrees petitions can only take signatures from people based in the UK because the software relies in part on the UK postcode database to ensure that each electronic signature comes from an individual.

People outside the UK who feel strongly about this issue could contact Richard Symonds who started the petition and ask him to add their names manually to a printed version.

You can contact him by clicking the black envelope icon by his name on this page:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/justice-for-bishop-george-bell-of-chichester '

(or Email : richardsy5@aol.com )

2016-05-05 17:44:22 +0100

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/05/a-good-new-independent-account-of-the-george-bell-controversy.html

05 May 2016 12:52 PM

BBC HAS "A GOOD NEW INDEPENDENT ACCOUNT OF THE GEORGE BELL CONTROVERSY" - PETER HITCHENS

Here http://bbc.in/1UBjubI is an unexpectedly good and clear account of the George Bell controversy...If some other media had covered the story with such care and responsibility, we might not now be in the mess we are in, with the C of E still doggedly sticking to a version of events which has been shot full of holes by expert analysis and a contemporary witness, and trying to hide behind the alleged victim, falsely accusing George Bell’s defenders of attacking her.

Those of you who have yet to sign the petition for Justice for George Bell may do so here http://bit.ly/1rq31vQ . Almost 1,200 people have signed it already...and urge readers to sign themselves, and encourage friends to do so. This is an excellent cause, the cause of justice and truth.

2016-05-05 15:28:16 +0100

BBC - "GEORGE BELL: THE BATTLE FOR A BISHOP'S REPUTATION" BY JUSTIN PARKINSON

By Justin Parkinson

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35971308

Andrew Chandler emphasises: "The controversy that has attended all of this has never been directed against the complainant ['carol'], for whom everyone feels a genuine sympathy. It is really about the process that has been brought to bear on the complaint itself."

Following the allegation against Bell, who was married but had no descendants, the Church asked potential victims to contact the NSPCC. No-one has yet done so.
But John Cameron, the NSPCC's head of help lines, says it's important that organisations show complainants are "being listened to" and that allegations are taken seriously.

If George Bell's supporters win their battle, it's likely to have a wider impact on the controversies of investigating historical abuse.

2016-05-05 15:27:01 +0100

CHARLES MOORE - SPECTATOR
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/we-didnt-have-a-real-choice-in-the-1975-referendum-we-do-now/

"First moves have now begun to restore the reputation of George Bell...who was alleged by his own diocese...to have abused a young girl from 1949 until 1953. Bell’s supporters have worked hard to show that the process by which the diocese arrived at this conclusion nearly 60 years after he died has been inadequate & unjust. It is good news that Chichester Council, having originally removed the portrait of Bell which hung on its Council House staircase, last week decided to re-hang it. Bell has not been found guilty. He has been judged by the Church ‘on the balance of probabilities’ in an out-of-court settlement which no one has been allowed to see. Why should anyone feel compelled to accept the Church’s decision? We should re-hang his portraits unless & until actual evidence is publicly heard & the case for Bell is properly put."

2016-05-04 22:12:50 +0100

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/gerard-henderson/unsubstantiated-sex-claims-ruin-the-lifes-work-of-good-men/news-story/55eafe450eb287aaf0ec25e473b88509

"UNSUBSTANTIATED SEX CLAIMS RUIN THE LIFE'S WORK OF GOOD MEN"

THE AUSTRALIAN
April 9 2016
Gerard Henderson
Columnist

I write in defence of the memory of the Australian Jesuit priest Patrick Stephenson and in support of my friend Charles Moore’s campaign to honour the life of the British Anglican bishop George Bell. Both men have been accused, decades after their deaths, of sexual impropriety with unnamed ­minors....

2016-05-03 18:07:46 +0100

"NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE?"

"No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire. I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong"

~ Judge David Clarke - dismissing the 'child abuse' case brought about by the Crown Prosecution Service against Southampton football manager Dave Jones.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Smoke-Fire-Autobiography-Jones/dp/1908051191

2016-05-03 17:38:34 +0100

"GROUP CHALLENGES NAMING OF BISHOP GEORGE BELL AS A PAEDOPHILE"

'THINKING ANGLICANS'

Sunday, 20 March 2016

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/007229.html

The George Bell Group has sent a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and also issued a press statement: George Bell’s naming as a paedophile is challenged today by a group of lawyers, academics, politicians and senior Church figures. The statement is copied in full below...

2016-05-03 15:05:20 +0100

TS ELIOT - BISHOP BELL - CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL SPIRE - ARUNDEL-BELL SCREEN

https://cemjoad.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/ts-eliot-and-chichester-cathedral/

TS Eliot was commissioned by Bishop George Bell of Chichester to write a play “Murder in the Cathedral”. The Bishop was a great Patron of the Arts.

The Arundel-Bell Screen was built as a tribute to Bishop George Bell in 1961. It replaced the Screen which was dismantled in 1859, resulting in the final collapse of the Cathedral Spire in 1861.

In April 2016, Bishop Bell’s name was deleted from the “Welcome to Chichester Cathedral” brochure, returning to its pre-1961 title “The Arundel Screen”.

This recent decision, and others relating to Bishop George Bell, has caused a magnitude of disquiet similar to that of the Spire's collapse in 1861.

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html

2016-05-03 14:20:51 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"Certain Church representatives, oh so nicely, threw Bishop Bell under the bus"

Richard W. Symonds
The Bell Society

2016-04-30 19:48:18 +0100

'CAROL' APOLOGISES TO FORMER ARCHBISHOP OVER ABUSE CLAIM

"A woman, who the Church of England has accepted was abused by a bishop, has apologised to the family of a former Archbishop of Canterbury [George Carey]." 'Carol'..."claimed she had written to Lord Carey, telling him that she had been abused as a child by Bishop George Bell. In a statement issued by her solicitor [Tracey Emmott], she accepted that was an error...She first made complaints in 1995 to Bishop Kemp of Chichester. She was prompted to complain again to Lambeth Palace at the time of the Jimmy Savile revelations, but it was only in 2013 when she wrote again - this time to Archbishop Justin Welby - that the matter was referred to the police"'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35797388

2016-04-30 14:32:24 +0100

"THE BBC ADMITS...'WE GOT IT WRONG ABOUT BISHOP BELL'"

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/the-bbc-admits-to-its-great-credit-we-got-it-wrong-about-bishop-bell.html

2016-04-30 12:35:56 +0100

FALSELY ACCUSED CARERS & TEACHERS (FACT)

@FACTukorg

When an allegation of abuse is made there is always a victim. If true, the person abused. If untrue, the accused and their family. Justice needed all round.

2016-04-30 11:42:05 +0100

"BISHOP BELL"

A POEM BY BRIAN WORSFOLD OF CHICHESTER

I raise my glass to Bishop Bell
Is he really now in hell?
And if it be so then I pray,
That I may join him there one day!
For then eternity would pass
Much quicker, and we'd raise a glass
And raise it to the place
Where those who never sinned
Sit smug and never look within.
Does his life's work now count for nought?
It seems this now is what we're taught.
God bless the Bishop now I say
I'll sing his praises every day.

2016-04-30 07:48:21 +0100

LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF CHICHESTER (MARTIN WARNER) TO DR. RUTH GRAYSON (DAUGHTER OF BISHOP BELL'S FRIEND FRANZ HILDEBRANDT)

http://www.niemoeller-haus-ausstellung.de/tafeln_gross/tafel35/tafel_35_3.jpg

"The information you request is not withheld by the Church by [sic] its own; we are constrained by law from disclosing that information.
You will be aware that the forthcoming Goddard Inquiry that will look into the Diocese of Chichester has a vigorous and thorough mandate. My expectation is that the Church's processes in response to the allegation against Bishop George Bell will be considered in detail. If there is censure, then we shall have to face the consequences of that"

2016-04-30 02:01:56 +0100

TELEGRAPH - CHARLES MOORE

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12077435/The-Church-the-police-and-the-unholy-destruction-of-Bishop-Bell.html

"The Church, the Police and the Unholy Destruction of Bishop Bell"

2016-04-30 01:56:55 +0100

GUARDIAN - LETTERS

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/12/doubts-that-linger-over-george-bell-child-abuse-ruling

Giles Fraser (Loose canon, 8 January) asks if it is really not possible for more details of the case surrounding Bishop George Bell “to be made public, short of identifying the victim?” The answer, as enshrined in the law governing all such cases, is no. In all cases, a survivor’s right to privacy is protected in law. It is legally impermissible for the church to disclose any evidence used in the settlement, or any information that might lead to identification of the complainant. The presumption of innocence relates to criminal prosecutions. This was a civil case, where the church used the evidence, which it may not disclose, to decide to settle.
Gabrielle Higgins
Diocesan secretary, Chichester

2016-04-29 23:28:09 +0100

THE C. OF E. OCTOBER STATEMENT (22ND OCT 2015) ON THE RT. REVD. GEORGE BELL

https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/10/statement-on-the-rt-revd-george-bell-(1883-1958).aspx

The Bishop of Chichester has issued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against the Right Reverend George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death on 3rd October 1958.

2016-04-29 23:20:12 +0100

REVIEW OF THE GEORGE BELL GROUP

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/review/

The purpose of this Review is to examine the process leading up to the release by the Church of England’s Media Centre of its statement on 22nd October 2015 (“the October Statement”) and the events which followed in the hope that no further steps will be taken to remove Bishop Bell’s name from public memorials until a proper enquiry has taken place into the allegations against him. The members of the Bell Support Group responsible for this document believe that natural justice and the damage done to the Bishop’s good name by the October Statement cry out for such an enquiry.

2016-04-29 22:37:14 +0100

"LESSONS FOR THE CHURCH FROM HILLSBOROUGH" BY BROTHER IVO

http://brotherivo.com/blog/2016/04/29/lessons-for-the-church-from-hillsborough/

Nobody in the campaign is denying the possibility that the complainant in the case is telling the truth, yet what is attracting objective people to support the campaign is an examination of the information currently in the public domain, which draws experienced lawyers and public figures to the inescapable conclusion that one cannot see a fair - and therefore a safe - process at work.

2016-04-29 17:26:17 +0100

BBC QUESTION TIME

On last night's BBC1 Question Time at 25 minutes in, on a question of Hillsborough and South Yorkshire Police, panellist Paul Marshall identified a wider pattern there which is also as apparent in the case of Bishop Bell:

"So there was a systematic way of trying to manipulate the press, and you saw the same thing actually with Cliff Richard, which I thought was a very sickening thing, also through a media exercise, bringing the media in to make themselves look good, before a man had actually been charged or found guilty of anything"

~ "adeledicnander"
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html#comments (Comments)

2016-04-29 17:04:58 +0100

SOLICITOR OF 'CAROL' CRITICISES GEORGE BELL GROUP

Tracey Emmott, the solicitor who specialises in child sexual abuse cases and represents 'Carol' who claims to have been abused by wartime Bishop of Chichester George Bell in the 1940s and 50s, has criticised the George Bell Group for not treating her client with the respect she deserves. The Group has called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to apologise for blackening Bishop Bell’s name over the case.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/local/west_sussex_news/14374552.Abuse_victim_s_lawyer_hits_back_at_Establishment_critics_of_Church_apology/?ref=twtrec

2016-04-29 16:54:41 +0100

CHICHESTER UNIVERSITY CLOSES GEORGE BELL INSTITUTE & WITHDRAWS ASSOCIATED FELLOWSHIPS
http://www.chi.ac.uk/news/public-statement-bishop-george-bell

Public statement on Bishop George Bell
04/02/2016
The University has an Anglican foundation, this means that the Diocese of Chichester has been represented on the University’s Board of Governors. Bishop Bell served both as a member and Chair of the Board of Governors. The University has been host to the George Bell Institute since 2010. The George Bell Institute and the academic work of its human rights scholars were supported by funds from the George Bell Trust. In May 2015, the Trust Board took the decision that the Trust was not financially viable and a process was put in train to wind up the Trust. This process came to an end in January 2016 and as result the University has closed the Institute and withdrawn the associated Fellowships.
For further information please contact our Press Office:
Email: press@chi.ac.uk

2016-04-29 16:39:47 +0100

TWITTER COMMENT

@FTerryChandler

The supporters of Bishop George Bell continue to attack the survivor,' Carol', one even demanding to meet her. You can 'flag' their petition.

@Justice4GeorgeBell

No-one is 'attacking' the alleged victim. Why do you keep spreading this untruth?

2016-04-28 19:44:32 +0100

K1 COMMENT

I'm not advocating it, but in my opinion the most appropriate default postcode for overseas participants hoping to get to the bottom of this scandal would be NW1 6XE. (221b Baker Street aka The Sherlock Holmes Museum.)

~ "Kevin 1"
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html#comments (Comments)

2016-04-28 19:42:35 +0100

ADELE DN COMMENT

"Innocent until proved guilty" as a UN Universal Human Right is made worthless by manipulation of the media as exampled here by the Church of England.
The C of E media coverage was formulated from hearsay.
The Ninth Commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour" held no noticeable sway in any of this.
In a qualifying statement following a question in the House of Lords on the Church’s actions the Bishop of Durham said: "The church therefore, having evaluated the evidence before them, accepted the veracity of the claims before them."
None of which sits at all well with the apparent public demonstration of indifference to new findings subsequently reported to the Church by the George Bell Group.

~ "adeledicnander"
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html#comments (Comments)

2016-04-28 10:41:11 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-04-27 01:21:55 +0100

"NO SMOKE, NO FIRE" - 'THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DAVE JONES'

https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Smoke-Fire-Autobiography-Jones/dp/1908051191

"The parallels of each case are both unmistakable and disturbing"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-26 19:42:42 +0100

BISHOP OF CHICHESTER DEFENDS HIS DECISION TO NAME BISHOP BELL (VIA GABRIELLE HIGGINS, CHICHESTER DIOCESAN SECRETARY) - JANUARY 2016

http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2016/01/22/bishop-george-bell-points-on-a-complex-case/

2016-04-26 14:34:28 +0100

RWS COMMENT (Hat-Tip : MARK T.)

"Fiat justitia ruat caelum (Let justice be done though the heavens fall)(Justice, regardless of consequences). In 1933, Judge Horton quoted the Latin phrase in the Scottsboro Boys trial when explaining his judicial decision, even though he knew it would end his career"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-26 00:54:47 +0100

INVESTIGATION INTO FAILINGS BY THE ANGLICAN CHURCH - THE GODDARD INQUIRY - APRIL 22 2016

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/investigations/investigation-into-failings-by-the-anglican-church?show_hearings

2016-04-25 23:32:12 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"The Church is vital and critical for a community's survival and well-being, but it must have just and fair systems in place by which it can correct itself when mistakes are made"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-25 20:29:45 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"This Petition is too serious to ignore"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-25 19:41:17 +0100

NR COMMENT

"Without cast iron evidence, it is morally wrong to accuse any one of any sort of crime"

~ Nathaniel Ramanaden
https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Bishop-George-Bell-577597159058935/

2016-04-25 17:10:52 +0100

GD COMMENT

"I have signed, and you will be much heartened by the current volume of supporters - almost 800 as I write this. The momentum is building..."

~ Lord Geoffrey Dear - Signatory of The George Bell Group
http://www.georgebellgroup.org/george-bell-group/

(Writer & Broadcaster Sir Robin Day said of Geoffrey Dear : "The best known and most respected police officer of his generation")
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Dear,_Baron_Dear

2016-04-25 15:54:35 +0100

TT COMMENT

As a retired Civil Law Lawyer, I endorse the call for the issue against Bell to be properly aired. The Government happily recreates Inquiries, even Inquests, that run for years with the self-evident intent that unwanted History can be rewritten to sate "Public" demand.
Until I read this analysis of the "evidence" against him, the limited media exposure of the Church's behaviour simply merged with the ongoing incidence of clerical wrongdoing.
As seems to me, beyond the balance of probability and, on this review, beyond reasonable doubt, Bell is condemned by the appalling lack of judgment of Both the senior Clerics and their professional advisers but not wrong-doing on his part.
If this is not reviewed, it merely confirms that our leaders and those whom they appoint to their sinecures are pygmies - and who deserve the obloquy and contempt of those who look back at History

~ Thomas Tidswell

2016-04-25 13:11:50 +0100

"GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER. CHURCH, STATE, AND RESISTANCE IN THE AGE OF DICTATORSHIP" BY DR. ANDREW CHANDLER

"The allegation of 2015 is anomalous. Indeed, it seems to exist in its own world, evidently uncorroborated by any other independent source. It also remains unique, for apparently no other such accusation has arisen. In sum, we are asked to invest an entire authority in one testimony and to dismiss all the materials by which we have come to know the historical George Bell as mere figments of reputation. The corollary of such a method may now be witnessed in the hasty removal of his name or image from public institutions and commemorations. It may simply be observed here that such iconoclastic activities are not unknown to historians of other, far darker, times and contexts"

(Appendix 3 - Postlude : History and Allegation - Pages 195 to 199)

2016-04-25 13:06:40 +0100

MS COMMENT

"Finished Andrew Chandler's biography of Bishop George Bell. Masterly distillation of a life very widely admired. Judicious too"

Michael Sadgrove @Sadgrovem

https://www.amazon.co.uk/George-Bell-Bishop-Chichester-Dictatorship/dp/0802872271

2016-04-25 12:19:16 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"The Church should be charged with the attempted murder of a Bishop's reputation"

~ Richard W. Symonds

'Murder in the Cathedral'
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html

2016-04-25 12:10:37 +0100

BISHOP GEORGE BELL - WIKIPEDIA - "CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bell_(bishop)

2016-04-25 00:33:39 +0100

"MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL" BY PETER HITCHENS

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/04/reposted-murder-in-the-cathedral-explains-why-you-should-sign-the-george-bell-petition-.html

2016-04-24 19:53:58 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"This Petition will run into the thousands when, and only when, it dawns on thinking and caring people that this could happen to them at any time. What if it is their father or mother, their husband or wife, their son or daughter, their brother or sister - or themselves - who are suddenly accused of paedophilia, presumed guilty without sufficient proof, and with no chance of defending and protecting themselves?"

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-24 18:14:10 +0100

RWS COMMENT

The Church really needs to morally wake itself up fast, or they will fall deeper into the moral hole they have dug for themselves when they have to confront questions arising from this 'Spotlight' film (UK release date : May 23 2016):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotlight_(film)

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-24 17:50:07 +0100

RWS COMMENT

The Church should be charged with the attempted murder of a Bishop's reputation. A real 'Judas' story of the betrayal of a Bishop by one of its own.

http://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/whats-on/chancellors-lectures.shtml

~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-24 11:54:16 +0100

PH COMMENT

"A great Englishman has been unfairly smeared. Will you do nothing? Or sign this petition for justice for George Bell?"

~ Peter Hitchens ‏@ClarkeMicah

2016-04-24 11:49:07 +0100

J4BGB COMMENT

"In just a few days, over 600 people have signed the petition demanding justice for Bishop George Bell. Please add your name, and encourage others to do the same"

~ Justice For Bishop George Bell
https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Bishop-George-Bell-577597159058935/

2016-04-24 11:44:24 +0100

YR COMMENT

"Dead men can't defend themselves, but you can. Please sign petition for Church to re-examine the Bishop Bell case"

~ Yvonne Ridley
https://twitter.com/yvonneridley?lang=en-gb

2016-04-24 00:45:52 +0100

RWS COMMENT

"Church must keep lid on Bell issue or larger can of worms will open. Petition then in thousands"

~Richard W. Symonds (Twitter post)​

"I sense the Church of England is trying to keep a lid on this Bishop Bell issue because if it doesn't then an even larger can of worms will open up which will threaten not just the Church of England. If that larger can of worms is opened up then this Petition will run into the thousands"

~ Richard W. Symonds (Facebook post)

2016-04-23 23:45:46 +0100

QUESTION ASKED BY FRANK FIELD MP IN PARLIAMENT - FEBRUARY 2016

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-02-24/28341/

2016-04-23 18:11:22 +0100

"TONGUES LIKE OF FIRE" BY PAUL BENNEY (ON DISPLAY IN CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL - MARCH 11 - MAY 18 2016)

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BnH7jRMIgAAxxrL.jpg

"Petition's 520 'Tongues of Fire' so far - and it's spreading far and wide" ~ Richard W. Symonds

2016-04-23 16:37:49 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-04-23 09:49:59 +0100

"DOESN'T BISHOP GEORGE BELL DESERVE THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE?" BY GILES FRASER

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2016/jan/07/doesnt-bishop-george-bell-deserve-the-presumption-of-innocence

2016-04-23 09:47:11 +0100

"THE CHURCH, THE POLICE AND THE UNHOLY DESTRUCTION OF BISHOP BELL" BY CHARLES MOORE

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12077435/The-Church-the-police-and-the-unholy-destruction-of-Bishop-Bell.html

2016-04-23 08:36:50 +0100

ST OLAV BOOKSHOP IN CHICHESTER STOCKS NEW BIOGRAPHY OF BISHOP BELL

http://www.stolavchristianbookshop.org/shopexd.asp?id=3063438

GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER: CHURCH, STATE, AND RESISTANCE IN THE AGE OF DICTATORSHIP

George Bell, Bishop of Chichester: Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship
Our Price: £23.99
ISBN/EAN: 9780802872272
Stock: 11
More available to order!
Publisher: EERDMANS (WM. B.) PUBLISH
Pub. Date: February 29 2016
Author: CHANDLER, DR. ANDREW

2016-04-22 23:52:46 +0100

ARCHBISHOP CRANMER - "BISHOP GEORGE BELL AND THE TYRANNY OF PAEDOMANIA"

http://archbishopcranmer.com/bishop-george-bell-and-the-tyranny-of-paedomania/

2016-04-22 23:12:51 +0100

"PROOF OF GUILT IS CRUCIAL AND MUST NOT BE ASSUMED" - THE ARGUS - JANUARY 2016

http://www.theargus.co.uk/opinion/comment/14210243.Proof_of_guilt_is_crucial_and_must_not_be_assumed/

2016-04-22 23:00:16 +0100

"MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL" - 'THE CASUAL WRECKING OF A GREAT NAME'

BY PETER HITCHENS

MARCH 2016

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/murder-in-the-cathedral-the-casual-wrecking-of-a-great-name.html

2016-04-22 20:48:26 +0100

"BISHOP'S SEX ATTACK VICTIM REFUSES TO GIVE EVIDENCE", THE ARGUS, APRIL 21 2016
The victim of a sexually abusive bishop has refused to participate in a Church-led inquiry into his abuser, calling it a "continuing cover-up".
Graham Sawyer, who was indecently assaulted by former Bishop of Lewes Peter Ball in the 1980's, criticised the inquiry's failure to examine what he described as a culture of bullying and intimidation within the Church which perpetuates abuse.
In October, Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, was jailed for nearly three years...
Graham...was invited to participate in the inquiry set up by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in the aftermath of Ball's sentencing last year. He said the Inquiry "will only be dealing with half-truths and be party to a continuing ecclesiastical cover-up." He said : "The enduring intimidation of people like myself from the highest levels of the Church is in a way more appalling than what Ball did to me all those years ago."

2016-04-22 20:14:15 +0100

"GEORGE BELL, BISHOP OF CHICHESTER" - 'Church, State, and Resistance in the Age of Dictatorship" by Andrew Chandler (Eerdmans, 2016)

"The allegation of 2015 is anomalous. Indeed, it seems to exist in its own world, evidently uncorroborated by any other independent source. It also remains unique, for apparently no other such accusation has arisen. In sum, we are asked to invest an entire authority in one testimony and to dismiss all the materials by which we have come to know the historical George Bell as mere figments of reputation. The corollary of such a method may now be witnessed in the hasty removal of his name or image from public institutions and commemorations. It may simply be observed here that such iconoclastic activities are not unknown to historians of other, far darker, times and contexts"

2016-04-22 20:00:27 +0100

EMAIL FROM DAUGHTER OF BISHOP BELL'S FRIEND FRANZ HILDEBRANDT

"I am the older daughter of Franz Hildebrandt, one of Bishop Bell's closest friends for many years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Hildebrandt
...I have signed [The Petition]...forwarded it in turn to a number of other people in this country. Thank you so much for taking this initiative. I have myself written letters both to the Church Times and to the Daily Telegraph. Last week...I also wrote to Archbishop Justin Welby and to Bishop Martin Warner. As of now I have received no reply from either of them"

2016-04-22 14:08:12 +0100

SIR, ...the church authorities claimed to have carried out full & transparent inquiries, & to have acted responsibly & appropriately, which they simply had not. There is...gulf between the descriptive language used...& the reality. The people concerned seem to believe...describing an investigation in terms such as “transparent” & “appropriate” dispenses them from ensuring...it has been....there will be no improvements in safeguarding until fundamental changes in attitude take place....these should include a recognition by the clergy that, on occasion, they lack wisdom and insight in pastoral matters and should seek advice; the inclusion of independent-minded assessors and advisers from disciplines other than social work and human resources; &, above all else, the ending of the disingenuous cover-ups of poorly handled safeguarding cases.
If the Church cannot put its house in order...then, inevitably, seats will be empty of bums.
MARGERY ROBERTS
Churchwarden

2016-04-22 13:56:45 +0100

LETTER BY MARGERY ROBERTS IN THE CHURCH TIMES - SENT BY JILL ARMSTEAD

Reading about the Timothy Storey case in Church Times, I recognised the same arrogant incompetence that signaled the miscarriage of justice that has seen BISHOP BELL hung out to dry by the Diocese of Chichester. And then I came across this brilliant letter on the Letters page ~ Jill Armstead

2016-04-22 11:35:21 +0100

LETTER FROM THE DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD

Dear Richard

Thanks for your note. Let me touch base with colleagues in the GBGroup [George Bell Group], and see what might be done, and if we might join forces somehow on this. kind regards.

The Dean, The Very Revd Prof. Martyn Percy
T: 01865 276150 & 276161 (PA: Rachel Perham)
chch letterheadscan.JPG

2016-04-22 11:25:02 +0100

REFLECTION AFTER VISIT TO CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL - APRIL 21'16 - RICHARD SYMONDS

Travelled to Chichester to buy its Observer & to read it in the Cathedral's 'Cloisters' Cafe/Shop (formerly 'The Bishop Bell Rooms').
Asked at the Cloisters Shop if they were going to stock the new biography on Bishop Bell. "It's on its way" came the reply.

Went into the Cathedral and was handed a "Welcome Chichester Cathedral" Leaflet. Arriving back in Ifield I compared the Leaflet with the one given last month. "4. Bell-Arundel Screen" (March) - "4. The Arundel Screen" (April).
This is what happened when they messed about with the Screen in 1859:
https://cemjoad.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/ts-eliot-and-chichester-cathedral/
Picked up leaflet in The Cloisters Cafe : "Accommodation at Chichester Cathedral". Now "4 Canon Lane" (formerly "George Bell House")
Read a Chichester Observer Letter by Tim Hudson - April 21:

2016-04-21 22:07:39 +0100

CHICHESTER OBSERVER LETTER -APRIL 21 2016

"No answer from the council"

No-one from Chichester City Council, I'm sorry to say, has responded to my letter published three weeks ago.
Bishop George Bell's portrait, I pointed out, had disappeared from its prominent position in the city's Council House, without the fact being mentioned anywhere.
Many others besides myself are concerned that this has happened, and will want to know who authorised its removal.
Was there a vote of the full City Council on the matter, or did a council officer take the decision on his/her own initiative?
The decision, in any case, should be revoked and the painting restored to its place.
By voting to return the portrait to its place, the City Council would be the first public body to stand up for the reputation of one of the greatest figures in Chichester's long history.
Hopefully that might be the beginning of a more general rehabilitation, now long overdue.

TIM HUDSON
Hawthorn Close
Chichester

2016-04-21 20:40:23 +0100

"THE GEORGE BELL CONTROVERSY DEEPENS" - WRITTEN BY PETER HITCHENS FIVE MONTHS AGO - NOVEMBER 2015

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/11/a-fair-trial-for-the-chichester-one-the-george-bell-controversy-deepens-.html

2016-04-21 12:59:57 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-04-20 14:23:21 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-04-18 21:00:05 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-04-18 19:53:14 +0100

"ANGLICAN ROUGH JUSTICE" BY PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER HILL

https://rothercottage.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/anglican-rough-justice-2/

2016-04-18 13:57:33 +0100

"THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND'S SHAMEFUL BETRAYAL OF BISHOP GEORGE BELL"

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/11/the-church-of-englands-shameful-betrayal-of-bishop-george-bell/

2016-04-18 12:45:58 +0100

"CHURCH WRONG TO NAME BISHOP OF CHICHESTER GEORGE BELL A PAEDOPHILE"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/12198949/Church-wrong-to-name-Bishop-of-Chichester-George-Bell-a-paedophile.html

2016-04-17 23:54:23 +0100

STATEMENT BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON THE RT. REVD GEORGE BELL (1883-1958)

22 OCTOBER 2015

https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/10/statement-on-the-rt-revd-george-bell-(1883-1958).aspx

2016-04-17 00:57:32 +0100

JUSTICE4GEORGEBELL - TWITTER

https://twitter.com/Justice4Bell

JUSTICE FOR BISHOP GEORGE BELL - FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/Justice-for-Bishop-George-Bell-577597159058935/?fref=nf

2016-04-16 16:47:35 +0100

"THE BELL CASE AND THE WIDER CULTURE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND" BY THE VERY REVD PROFESSOR MARTYN PERCY - DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD

http://www.georgebellgroup.org/bell-case-wider-culture-church-england/

2016-04-16 16:42:56 +0100

"IN BRITAIN, THE NAME OF A COURAGEOUS CHRISTIAN IS SMEARED" BY JOANNA BOGLE

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/4723/in_britain_the_name_of_a_courageous_christian_is_smeared.aspx

2016-04-16 10:36:15 +0100

10 signatures reached

2016-04-16 00:38:20 +0100

THE DEFENCE OF GEORGE BELL - FULL DOCUMENTS OF THE CASE

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/03/the-defence-of-george-full-documents-in-the-case.html