Thinking Anglicans

Andrew Chandler writes about Bishop George Bell

Andrew Chandler, the biographer of Bishop George Bell, gave the address at a service of fellowship and encouragement for all those who have been affected by false allegations of abuse which was held on Saturday 17th March 2018, at St James’s Church Piccadilly.

The full text can be read here.

First published on the FACTUK.org website and published here with kind permission of Andrew Chandler & FACT.

FACT is a UK based, voluntary, not for profit organisation, founded more than 16 years ago, whose work is focused on providing support to those who have been accused of abuse who maintain their innocence and who have never carried out similar offences or pleaded guilty to such offences. More detail here.

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Judith MaltbyJohn BunyanCynthiaKateSam Norton Recent comment authors
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Sam Norton
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Would anyone be able to tell me about the Peter Carr referenced in this speech? Google isn’t helping.

Kate
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Kate

Once again the awful non-sequitur: Bishop Bell did many prominent good deeds and therefore cannot have been an abuser. It’s that attitude which makes victims of abuse reluctant to come forward and, when they do, risks credible allegations of abuse being dismissed.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Great essay. As the writer says, for an undefended person to be accused in a shadowy way and condemned by the shouts of a keyed-up mob is pretty central to our faith. Oh yeah and the accuser got money, eh? I feel the church behaved unethically – recklessly.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

Kate should note that the case concerning the treatment of the late Bishop Bell has nothing to do with his good deeds although they were many. It is everything to do with the fact that the evidence showed that he could not have been the person who abused or who allegedly abused the person who has made the complaint. The Church acted far too hastily and foolishly, and should learn from this sad incident, and the Archbishop of Canterbury should apologise for some of his comments about it.

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

Cynthia: I often agree with you, but your implied comparison of ‘Carol’ to Judas really crosses a line for me, I’m afraid. Please, would all commentators on the Bell case weigh heavily how what they say will be heard by all survivors of clerical abuse. Think about, for example, of the survivors (and the one who did not survive) of Bishop Ball and how the same diocesan bishop (Eric Kemp) of the time failed to respond properly to their complaints – indeed destroyed evidence amongst other crimes, as the Gibb Report evidences (as Carlisle notes his failure to act on… Read more »