David Wheeler-Reed The Conversation What the early church thought about God’s gender
Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity New Wine United 2018 (1): The Lord is with you
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer John Smyth dies – just as the CPS gives police go-ahead for his extradition and prosecution
Carlo Uchello The Episcopal Café The Most Important (and Ignored) Day of the Year
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church John Smyth’s death -the aftermath0 Comments
We are amongst the scores of victims viciously beaten by the late John Smyth QC whilst he was Chair of The Iwerne Trust.
We are appalled by the statement issued on Monday 13th August by the Titus Trust, which now runs the Iwerne network.
The statement says that the Titus Trust has “done all that [it] can to ensure the matter is properly investigated by the relevant authorities.” This is untrue.
The statement further says that the board of the Titus Trust was only informed of the allegations against John Smyth in 2014. This is also untrue.
The Revd The Hon David Fletcher was employed as the senior officer of the Iwerne Trust from 1967 until 1986, when he became a trustee. He served in that capacity continuously until August 2016, only resigning his post when the Iwerne Trust was closed in a bid to distance it from its successor. Revd Fletcher was also a trustee of the Titus Trust from its foundation in 1997 until the same date.
It is a matter of record that Revd Fletcher and numerous leaders of his movement have been fully aware of Smyth’s abuse for 36 years. Revd Fletcher commissioned a comprehensive report of Smyth’s abuses in the UK in March 1982. From 1993 he was in possession of a further report of Smyth’s abuse in Zimbabwe. These reports, which were stored in the loft of the Chair of the Titus Trust Giles Rawlinson, were not made available to any secular authorities until 2017, when they were requisitioned by Hampshire Police under warrant.
An earlier statement from the Titus Trust website says that Smyth’s abuse took place between 1978 and 1981. They know this to be untrue. Smyth’s abuse in the UK started in 1975 and continued until 1982 and probably until 1984. Rev Fletcher and other Iwerne Trustees then facilitated Smyth’s move to Africa, where he abused at least 60 children between 1985 and 2017.
The Titus Trust, under the leadership of Fletcher and Rawlinson, took over the Iwerne network in its entirety in 1997. Titus has continued to run holidays under the Iwerne brand until as recently as last week. To suggest that the two are completely separate is simply deceitful.
Since Smyth’s horrific abuses were publicly exposed in February 2017, the Titus Trust has flatly refused to engage with his victims, or even to enquire after our well-being, let alone to offer any form of support or redress. Their protestation of sympathy is cynical and disingenuous.
Had the Titus Trust acted on the information that was available to it since its foundation, Smyth’s abuse could have been stopped long ago. Our hearts go out to the 60 or more children of Zimbabwe and South Africa who suffered at the hands of John Smyth as we did, but needlessly.
We have no interest in the “thoughts and prayers” of the Titus Trust. We do not believe they are fit to work with children.
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Sexual Abusers and the Abused – the cost of forgiveness
Mark Vernon Church Times Century of the selfie
Sara Gillingham The Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale Being Intersex in the House of God5 Comments
Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity A Parable of Radical Inclusion: the Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage
Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer John Smyth tortured Christian boys at Iwerne – where’s the CofE inquiry?
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New Directions for the Church 10: offer hope
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Peter Ball, Vicky Beeching, and Lizzy Lowe: lessons about abusive Christianity
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The post IICSA Church of England – in Praise of Integrity
Paul Vallely Church Times Action matters more than words30 Comments
Kelvin Holdsworth What’s in Kelvin’s Head Praying for Dr Pritchard
Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity How should we respond in prayer to IICSA? – Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse
Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Evidence of shockingly prejudiced attitudes to LGBTI+ people in the Church of England
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of bishops, accountability, and governance
Jenn Strawbridge Young Clergy Women International Tainted Love
Michelle Montrose Liverpool Parish Church Sermon preached on 29 July
[This is the sermon I heard at church on Sunday morning.]
Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau New directions for the Church 9: break down the barriers
Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England Vicky’s Book
catholicity and covenant Time to reclaim the tippet from the neo-Puritans
Richard Nicholl Church Times More marketing is not the answer for the Church
“Social media has some surprising lessons for the C of E”
Mark Ashcroft St Chrysostom’s Church News and Views The agents of genuine renewal1 Comment
As we reported here, it emerged earlier this month that the Bishop of Oxford had given Lord Carey permission to officiate (PTO) back in February. The Bishop of Oxford issued the following statement today.
Lord Carey PTO : statement from the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford
“Along with many others, I am sorry and ashamed to hear again this week of the abuse perpetrated by Peter Ball, and the way in which the Church of England failed to respond to the survivors over such a long period of time and at the most senior level. The whole Church needs to respond to what has been revealed with repentance, improved practice and a continued change of culture.
“We recognise that there will be renewed questions concerning Lord Carey’s Permission to Officiate following the IICSA hearings this week and I am sorry that my response to Lord Carey’s request for PTO in February this year caused additional distress to some survivors of abuse.
“When Lord Carey stepped down from his role as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford following the publication of the Gibb report in 2017 it also meant that he was no longer able to preside over services at his local church. There were no legal grounds for me to deny Lord Carey’s request for PTO in February this year as he was not subject to a disciplinary process, and there has never been any suggestion that he is himself a risk to children, young people or vulnerable adults.
“Lord Carey’s PTO remains in place at this time, providing him with a safe space to exercise his ministry. However, as part of the Church of England’s ongoing response to IICSA, there will now be a process of review and support offered to Lord Carey by the Diocese of Oxford together with the National Safeguarding Team.”139 Comments
The transcript for the final day, Friday, is available here.
The transcript of Thursday’s hearing is now available. Gregor McGill, Andrew Nunn, Ros Hunt and Bishop Frank Sergeant were interviewed.
The transcript for Wednesday’s hearing is now published. Witnesses questioned were Andrew Purkis, Wayne Murdock, and Carwyn Hughes. Statements from Lady Alice Renton and Ian Beer were also read out.
There is a list of 35 documents, and the links to all of them are here. More details later.
Miranda Threlfall-Holmes St Margaret of Antioch
Simon Butler ViaMedia.News History & Doctrine – Written by Winners?2 Comments
The transcript of Tuesday’s hearing is now available here. The entire day was taken up with questioning Lord Carey.
The National Secular Society reported it too: “Establishment” helped abusive bishop evade justice, inquiry hears.0 Comments
Queen appoints new Suffragan Bishop of Warrington
The Queen has appointed the Venerable Beverley Anne Mason as Suffragan Bishop of Warrington.
Published 24 July 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Beverley Anne Mason, MA, Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, to the Suffragan See of Warrington, in the Diocese of Liverpool, in succession to the Right Reverend Richard Finn Blackburn, MA, who resigned on the 31st May 2018.
There are more details on the Liverpool diocesan website. The new bishop will be consecrated on 18 October 2018.7 Comments
The transcript of the first day is now available here.
Three documents have been published:
The lawyer representing the Archbishops’ Council read this opening statement.
IICSA video recordings:
The Diocese of London has announced that the Rt Revd Adrian Newman will be resigning on health grounds as Bishop of Stepney and will withdraw from public duties at the end of October.9 Comments
In November 2017, we published an article headed Update on Episcopal Teaching Document and Pastoral Advisory Group. This listed the then current membership of the various groups. Since that time there have been some changes, and the current rosters are listed here. For convenience those lists (as of July 2018) are copied below the fold. Some corrections are noted. (more…)5 Comments
Daniel Hill Law & Religion UK The State and Marriage III: Objections to the Cutting of the Connection
Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley The Immigration Policy of Heaven
Andy Griffiths Church Times Clergy must refuse to be indispensable
“Building teams to carry out ministry is better for the health of the incumbent and the parish”
Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News Incarnational Truth – The Power of Testimony
Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Peter Ball and the Dynamics of Church Power1 Comment
The Church of England’s House of Bishops Delegation Committee has approved a new Policy on Granting Permission to Officiate.
The Church Times reports: Clerics under investigation for abuse may be barred from ministering under new safeguarding rules.
PERMISSION to officiate (PTO) will be refused or withdrawn from clerics who are under police investigation over allegations of past child or vulnerable adult abuse, new guidance from the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England states.
It also states that PTO may be withdrawn or refused by the bishop, even if the investigation of the cleric has concluded, and no conviction made.
“Where a cleric has been the subject of a criminal investigation for offences relating to children and vulnerable adults that did not result in a conviction, again the bishop must consult the diocesan safeguarding advisor and the diocesan registrar before deciding whether to grant PTO.”
Appropriate reasons for withdrawing PTO listed in the document include “following an allegation of abuse in a cleric’s past ministry pending the police investigation”.
In addition, PTO must be refused when a cleric has accepted a police caution; an allegation of abuse has been proved in court; or the cleric has been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults…
There is of course a lot more to the document, which is 47 pages long (main part 25 pages, followed by 8 annexes).15 Comments
Charles Clarke and Linda Woodhead have published a revised version of their 2015 report: A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools.
Our report on the original version of this can be found here.
The Church of England has issued a response.
The Church Times has reported on it: Don’t use faith to decide who gets a school place, says new report.
The National Secular Society had this to say: Former education secretary renews call for reform of religion in schools.