Saturday, 31 March 2018

Opinion - 31 March 2018 - Easter Eve

Markus Dünzkofer pisky.scot The Eucharist is a dangerous thing

Ben Pugh Church Times Ransom, substitute, scapegoat, God: is there one doctrine of the atonement?
“No, there are only theories”

Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Apologies, Forgiveness and IICSA

Editorial The Guardian view on Easter: it would take a miracle

The Guardian Good Friday around the world – in pictures

Simon Jenkins The Guardian Happy Easter to you. Now let’s nationalise our churches
“Church buildings should revert to places of congregation, comfort and enterprise – through liberation from the church”

More primatial Easter messages
Archbishop John Davies
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop Fred Hiltz
Archbishop James Wong
Archbishop Paul Kwong
Archbishop Moon Hing

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

The View from Salisbury

The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, preached at the diocesan Maundy Thursday Chrism Mass.

The press release about this: A Maundy Message in the World’s Eye

The full text of his sermon is available here.

Another quote from the sermon:

…As a parish priest I always used to find that people with the most intractable problems would appear after the Sunday evening service when nowhere was open and there was no-one to whom I could refer them. For bishops the equivalent is receiving a letter late on Friday afternoon from the Archbishops about the Church of England and the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which they wanted read out or distributed at the start of Holy Week.

Please will you pray this Holy Week especially for all those involved, and for all affected by safeguarding issues.

Thank you for responding so promptly.

Janet Fife wrote a sharp but insightful Survivor’s reply to the Archbishops which is online.

I thought you might want to know,

she wrote,

how I, as a survivor, feel about your letter. And I know you’ll pay careful attention, because you’ve said you want to listen to survivors.

Since Archbishop Justin has called for an end to clericalism and deference, I’m going to call you Justin and John.

If you’re going to address us all as ‘Sisters and Brothers in Christ’, don’t finish with ‘The Most Revd and Rt Hon’. It’s just not brotherly. It looks like showing off. It certainly doesn’t look like the shame Justin said he felt.

If you want to send out something called a pastoral letter, make it pastoral…What practical steps have you taken to help survivors, for instance?

And so on.

It’s a good letter and a tough one and it’s received quite a lot of comment. She got me thinking about what we would be doing today gathered together and all dressed up at the start of the great three days that lead to Easter through betrayal, denial and the disciples running for it…

At the weekend, the Revd Canon Prof James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College, Salisbury, wrote this article: Salisbury Under Siege – What Does it Mean to be an Easter People?. An excerpt:

… In the gospel accounts of the resurrection, there is both fear and joy. Following Jesus is not a protection from the difficulties and challenges that face us in life. Being an Easter people does not mean that any of us will not require handkerchief to mop up our tears. All of us will know deep in our hearts what our lives, our world is like, and how much of a struggle it is. As human beings we have to deal with our fears and the reality of how little control we are able to exercise over circumstances and experiences.

It is into this condition of who we are and where we are that God can touch us with Easter life and hope. Easter peace is not the obliteration of our past or present, but the re-drawing of our lives into a new way of seeing. Faith can give us the opportunity for direction, redirection, meaning and depth.

As we live with complexity and uncertainty in Salisbury we have an opportunity to take this opportunity to work together in live for what is good. However partial limited our faith may be that always lies the possibility of transformation. We can be confident but we must safeguard against a triumphalism which does not listen carefully to human experience and its sensitivities. We can nurture faith that embraces doubt and in doing so can grows through openness and honesty.

Remember Salisbury in your prayers. Consider the longer view, the enduring truth that goodness is always stronger than evil. Love will conquer. Justice will prevail.

That will mean a change for us. It will also require a much stronger sense of the relational and our readiness to move on and beyond our internal dialogues and contestations to listen more carefully to human experience. We need space and time to share our story…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 29 March 2018 at 5:19pm BST | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | Sermons

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Opinion - 28 March 2018

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Janet Fife’s Letter – some reflections

Martin Sewell Archbishop Cranmer In Holy Week we should hold our Archbishops’ feet to the fire

Some Primatial Easter messages
Archbishops Richard Clarke and Eamon Martin
Archbishop Philip Freier
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Ally Barrett Reverend Ally First time in church?

James Eglinton The Herald Kirk should not be debasing the act of giving

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at 11:00am BST | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Nicholas Papadopulos to be next Dean of Salisbury

Press release from Number 10

Queen approves appointment of Dean of Salisbury: 27 March 2018
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Nicholas Charles Papadopulos to the Deanery of Salisbury.

Published 28 March 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Canon Nicholas Charles Papadopulos, MA, Canon Treasurer of Canterbury Cathedral and Director of Initial Ministerial Education 2 in the Diocese of Canterbury, to be appointed to the Deanery of Salisbury, following the resignation of the Very Reverend June Osborne, BA, on 14 July 2017.

The Reverend Canon Nicholas Papadopulos is aged 51. He studied History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Law at City University, London. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1990 and practised at the criminal Bar for seven years. He trained for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and subsequently studied for his MA at King’s College, London. He served his title as Assistant Curate at St Mark Portsea in the Diocese of Portsmouth from 1999 to 2002. From 2002 to 2007 he was Senior Chaplain and Press Officer to the Bishop of Salisbury, and from 2007 to 2013 Vicar of Pimlico St Peter with Westminster Christ Church (St Peter’s Eaton Square) in the Diocese of London. Since 2013 he has been Canon Treasurer at Canterbury Cathedral and Director of Initial Ministerial Education 2 in the Diocese of Canterbury.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Simon Burton-Jones to be next Bishop of Tonbridge

Press release from Number 10

Nomination of Suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge: 27 March 2018

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Simon David Burton-Jones to this post.

Published 27 March 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Simon David Burton-Jones, MA, BTh, Archdeacon of Rochester, in the Diocese of Rochester, to the Suffragan See of Tonbridge, in the Diocese of Rochester. He succeeds the Right Reverend Brian Colin Castle, MA, PhD, who resigned on the 30 November 2015.

That’s the press release in full. There are more details on the Rochester diocesan website: New Bishop of Tonbridge Announced.

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Further analysis of the IICSA hearings

Since the hearings concluded last week, there have been several further reports in addition to the letter from the archbishops and the response from Janet Fife.

The Church Times reported on both of those here: Sorry not enough, Archbishops’ letter says after IICSA, and a survivor agrees.

The BBC radio programme Sunday carried a lengthy report available to listen to here (starts at 28 minutes).

The Independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church concluded three weeks of hearing this week. Phil Johnson, abuse survivor, talks to Emily Buchanan about what the hearings have meant to him. Bishop Alan Wilson, long term critic of the Church on its handling of clerical sex abuse cases, discusses the positives and negatives to have emerged. And Bishop Mark Sowerby, the deputy lead bishop for Safeguarding responds. Martin Bashir BBC Religion Correspondent provides analysis.

Martin Sewell has written at Archbishop Cranmer In Holy Week we should hold our Archbishops’ feet to the fire.

And Martyn Percy has written for Modern Church Church of England ‘no longer competent’ to manage safeguarding, says senior cleric.

The full article is available here.

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Sunday, 25 March 2018

A response to the Archbishops

Surviving Church has published this: Survivor’s Reply to Archbishops’ pastoral letter.

The author is Janet Fife.

Please read the whole letter.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 25 March 2018 at 12:19pm GMT | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 24 March 2018

Opinion - 24 March 2018

Fred Hiltz Primate of Canada ‘Standing under in order to understand’

Jonathan Clatworthy Château Clâteau Sex abuse and godly power

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA – Final reflections

Anna Norman-Walker Viamedia.News Is There Life for the Church After IICSA?

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of ++Justin: legality, honesty and rising above contempt.

Church Times Interview with Loretta Minghella, the new First Church Estates Commissioner
Loretta Minghella tells Paul Handley how the Church Commissioners are flexing their muscle

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Friday, 23 March 2018

IICSA: Archbishops' Joint Pastoral Letter

From the York diocesan website: Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse: Archbishops’ Joint Pastoral Letter

The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have written a joint Pastoral Letter for wide circulation following the end of the hearing which took place over the last three weeks as part of the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

“We are writing to you to ask for your prayers as Holy Week begins and as the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse has finished its hearing into matters in the Diocese of Chichester. Please will you pray this Holy Week especially for all those involved, and for all affected by safeguarding issues.”

Archbishops Sentamu and Justin hope that their letter can either be read out or distributed this weekend and at the start of Holy Week.

“We take very seriously all that has been heard by the Inquiry. Archbishop Justin said when he gave evidence last week that he had learned again through listening and reading the evidence given to the Inquiry, that we must not simply say sorry, but that we must also take action that demonstrates clearly that we have learnt the lessons. It is a fact that Bishops and Archbishops are now rightly required to listen, learn and act in accordance with safeguarding legislation and good practice.”

Please download the Archbishops’ letter below:

Joint Pastoral Letter from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury: IICSA
For circulation following the end of the hearing which took place during March 2018 as part of the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICS
A).

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IICSA hearings - Friday 23 March

The final day in this three week period of hearings has concluded and the transcript is available here.

Many documents have at last been uploaded to the IICSA website, and I will publish links to some of the more important ones in a separate article soon.

Before today’s hearing there were some comments about the hearings made yesterday, including these:

Guardian editorial: The Guardian view of abuse in the church: a truly dreadful story

Michael Sadgrove Child Sexual Abuse - what does the church do about shame?

Archbishop Cranmer Welby condemns the church’s deferential culture of clericalism and tribalism

Law & Religion UK IICSA: Archbishop Welby’s evidence session

And earlier, another article which I failed to link to previously: IICSA: Some legal views

Reports on today’s session:

Church Times Church of England would be shut down if it were a school, survivors’ lawyer tells final IICSA hearing

Christian Today Church of England made ‘conscious effort to treat survivors badly’, inquiry hears

Guardian Child abuse inquiry: ‘collusion and cover-up’ rife among C of E clergy

The Tablet Church of England ‘inappropriate’ organisation to have charge of children, inquiry hears

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Court of Appeal dismisses Pemberton case

Updated Thursday evening

The Court of Appeal has today dismissed the appeal by Jeremy Pemberton against the earlier judgement of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The judgement is now available online: Pemberton v Inwood [2018] EWCA Civ 564, with a printable version here.

There are numerous media reports:

Anglican Communion News Service Priest in same-sex marriage loses legal challenge to bishop’s “discriminatory” response

Guardian Gay hospital chaplain loses discrimination appeal against C of E

Christian Today Gay clergyman Jeremy Pemberton loses discrimination appeal against Church of England

Press Association via Premier Gay priest denied job after marrying partner loses discrimination appeal

BBC Gay priest Jeremy Pemberton’s discrimination appeal dismissed

Huffington Post Gay Priest Jeremy Pemberton Loses Discrimination Appeal Against The Church Of England

Newark Advertiser Jeremy Pemberton loses discrimination appeal

Nottingham Post Gay priest ‘naturally disappointed’ after his appeal over discrimination claim is dismissed

Church Times Bishop was in his rights to refuse Pemberton a licence, tribunal rules

Jeremy Pemberton has issued a press release, which is copied below the fold.

ACNS reports:

Commenting on today’s judgment, a Southwell and Nottingham diocesan spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the court has upheld the decision made with regards to the employment tribunal. We recognise that this has been a long and difficult process for many of those concerned, and we hold them in our thoughts and prayers.”

OneBodyOneFaith has issued a statement: Disappointment and gratitude as Pemberton case concludes

“…The question now is less whether the bishop acted legally - that seems beyond doubt - but whether people want to continue to support this kind of discrimination against committed, loving couples as they seek to follow Christ. There is a real sense of the need for change, the will for change and the time for change.“

Press Release from Jeremy Pemberton

The Court of Appeal has examined the issues in my claim against Bishop Richard Inwood and has dismissed them. I am grateful for the expertise of the Court, though naturally disappointed in the judgment.

I have reached a settlement agreement with the Church of England that I will not pursue this claim any further. They, on their part, will not apply for costs against me.

I am more grateful than I can say to Sean Jones QC, Helen Trotter, Justin Gau, and Susanna Reynhart of Thompson Snell & Passmore. Since the end of the original tribunal hearing they have all represented me pro bono with great skill and commitment. We have worked together for three and a half years on this case, and I count myself very blessed to have had them alongside me every step of the way. I am also very grateful to Bishop Alan Wilson, my expert witness; to my family for their support; and to the countless people who have written, messaged, telephoned and spoken to me expressing their solidarity.

The Church of England has established through this process that it can continue to discriminate legally against some LGBT people in relation to their employment, even where that employment is not within the boundaries of the church’s jurisdiction. This will seem to most people in the UK today an extraordinary result, and not one that will help commend the claims of Christ to the nation. An official position that regards the loves and commitments of LGBT people, including clergy, as sinful by definition is years overdue for thorough-going revision. The need for a revolution in attitudes and practices in the Church towards this minority is still acute – we continue to wait for real change.

I hope that I shall be permitted to return to active ministry at some point. Had I committed an infraction that was dealt with under the Clergy Discipline Measure, then I might have been told I was being suspended for a definite period, with the hope and expectation of restoration after that. Because I was never dealt with under any process, I have no permission to officiate at all, and no indication of when I might hope to have that restored. Everything is in the hands of, and at the will of individual bishops.

Finally, I owe most to Laurence Cunnington. He has been rock-like and constant in his support and love in this, as in all things. We look forward to celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary soon. I cannot thank him enough for the honour he does me in being my husband.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 22 March 2018 at 12:50pm GMT | Comments (39) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Wednesday 21 March

Updated Thursday morning

The transcript of the final day of taking evidence from live witnesses can be found here.
There will be no hearing tomorrow, Thursday. On Friday the final portions of some written statements will be read into the record, and that will be followed by statements from the lawyers representing various “core participants”.

Media reports:

Church Times
‘I am ashamed of the Church’, Archbishop Welby admits to IICSA

Christian Today
Archbishop of Canterbury goes before child sex abuse hearings
Justin Welby: Child sex abuse by priests will ‘destroy the Church’ if it continues

The Tablet
Archbishop Welby to give evidence at national inquiry into child sexual abuse
Archbishop Welby ‘appalled and ashamed’ of Church of England

Press Association via Daily Mail Abusers may be forgiven but can never be trusted again, Archbishop tells inquiry

The Times Abuse makes me ashamed of church, says Welby (£)

Guardian Justin Welby: sexual abusers can never be trusted again

Belfast Telegraph Archbishop tells child abuse inquiry he is ‘ashamed’ of Church
Abusers may be forgiven but can never be trusted again, Archbishop tells inquiry

Anglican Communion News Service
Archbishop of Canterbury gives evidence to Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Telegraph Justin Welby: I have learned to be ashamed of the Church of England

Daily Mail
Archbishop of Canterbury fights back tears to tell child abuse inquiry he is ‘ashamed of the Church’ as he says abusers must be forgiven but can ‘never be trusted again’

Religion News Service via Colorado Springs Gazette Archbishop of Canterbury: Church has failed to protect children from abuse

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA -reflections on Welby’s conclusions

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Opinion - 21 March 2018

David Walker ViaMedia.News St Francis – Suffering, Abuse of Power and the Love of God.

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of leadership and governance

Jason Farago New York Times ‘Jacob and His Twelve Sons’: Zurbarán’s Biblical All-Stars

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Living to survive church – a reflection on the IICSA hearings

Nick Baines The facts of the matter?

Jem Bloomfield quiteirregular Sunday Morning in the Midlands

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Monday/Tuesday 19/20 March

Updated again Wednesday afternoon

The transcript of the Anglican hearings for Monday 19 March is available here.

Witnesses heard were: two survivors, the Bishop of Manchester (concerning religious coummunities) and Graham Tilby (head of the National Safeguarding Team).

Media reports:

Church Times
Church must create ‘culture of challenge’ Peter Ball survivor tells IICSA

Abuse allegations must be reported, Church of England safeguarding adviser tells IICSA

Christian Today
Abuse inquiry reveals Church’s ‘stupidity, incompetence and lying’, says bishop

Serious abuse by priests could still go unreported, Church’s safeguarding chief admits

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church
Safeguarding – reconciling two perspectives.
The comments below this article, including those from Ian Elliott, author of one of the earlier reports, are worth reading.

Tuesday

The transcript for Tuesday is now published.

Media Reports:

Christian Today
Clergy burnt church files after being accused of covering up abuse, inquiry hears

Church Times
IICSA latest: the dean’s bonfire and the destroyed report at Chichester Cathedral

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Further reports on abuse survivor Matthew Ineson

in other news related to safeguarding, the Church Times last Friday carried a report on the case of Matthew Ineson.

See Sex abuse survivor Matthew Ineson criticises ‘inaction’ of senior clerics in BBC programme.

Also, the Church of England Newspaper reports: Abuse survivor calls for senior bishops to resign over failures

Thinking Anglicans has reported on this case previously:

The TV programme mentioned in the above report was linked in this article.

Church of England issues statement about Matthew Ineson

Matthew Ineson responds to statement from NST

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bishop of Shrewsbury to leave

The Area Bishop of Shrewsbury in the diocese of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Mark Rylands, has announced that he has chosen to leave his role for a return to parish ministry in Exeter Diocese. He will continue as Bishop of Shrewsbury until July when there will be a special farewell service. He will then take up his new role as a Priest-in-Charge of the Ashburton and Moorland Team in Exeter Diocese, where he will also be an Assistant Bishop.

Further details are on the Lichfield diocesan website.

Posted by Peter Owen on Sunday, 18 March 2018 at 12:10pm GMT | Comments (4) | TrackBack
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Saturday, 17 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Friday 16 March

Updated

Friday’s transcript is now available here.

Next week’s schedule is published here.

Statement from Archbishop of Canterbury on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA (The archbishop is scheduled to appear on Wednesday)

Media reports and comment:

Church Times
Church must accept past faults, says Chichester diocesan Visitor Robert Bursell QC

‘I don’t recall hearing about Chichester’s problems,’ Lord Carey tells IICSA

Archdeacon tells IICSA: ‘I couldn’t believe a priest would lie to me’

Leader Comment: A shambles is no safeguard

Letter to the Editor from Andrew Graystone Bishops ought to clarify the change in culture on abuse (scroll down for this letter)

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA – A promise to ‘change the culture’ of the Church?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 12:47pm GMT | Comments (19) | TrackBack
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Opinion - 17 March 2018

Church Times ‘This is God’s best for me’
Kate Wharton tells Madeleine Davies about a ceremony that she did not grow up planning

Church Times How Stephen Hawking did theologians a favour
He had no place for God, and thereby reminded believers of the true purpose of cosmology, says Andrew Davison

Hayley Matthews ViaMedia.News The Stonewalling of Sexual Abuse…

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Wednesday/Thursday 14/15 March

Transcripts for these two days are available:

Wednesday 14 March
Note: this item has been removed from the IICSA website, presumably this is only temporary.

Thursday 15 March

The appearance on Wednesday of former Archbishop Rowan Williams generated a increase in media attention:

Guardian Williams: church’s old views on gay clergy led to desire not to judge sexual activities
Telegraph Church overlooked sexual abuse by bishop because he was gay, former Archbishop suggests
Press Association via Daily Mail Sexist Church culture may be linked to failure to tackle child abuse - Williams

Church Times Lord Williams backs abuse survivors’ demand for independent safeguarding body at IICSA
Christian Today Church ‘overcompensated’ for conservative stance on homosexuality by treating paedophile bishop lightly
The Tablet Rowan Williams admits failings over C of E child abuse

The Times Archbishop ‘shielded from sex abuse row’ (£) and this is further explained in a report at Christian Today Church’s approach to abuse was to ‘stonewall’ and ‘say nothing’, says Rowan Williams’ former aide

Further reports:
BBC Child abuse inquiry: Diocese had ‘major issue’
Christian Today Church has bias against abuse victims and ‘culture of deference and defensiveness’, bishop admits
Church Times I was shocked by what I found in Chichester diocese, Dr Warner tells IICSA hearing

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Joe Hawes to be next Dean of St Edmundsbury

Press release from the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Joe Hawes, currently Vicar of All Saints’ Fulham, is to be the next Dean of St Edmundsbury, in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

A priest who substantially increased the number of families and young people worshipping at the major London parish he leads has been chosen as the new Dean of St Edmundsbury.

The Revd Canon Joe Hawes, Vicar of All Saints’ Fulham, who enjoys scuba-diving in his leisure time, will start his new senior role during the summer.

Bishop Martin, said there had been a strong field of applicants with more candidates than usual for a Dean’s post.

“I am delighted that it was a unanimous decision to appoint Joe. He is an outstanding and Godly priest. He is warm, engaging, caring and fun. He brings energy and wisdom, and a huge amount of experience in parish ministry.

“He has been Vicar of All Saints’ in Fulham for 15 years, and increased the regular congregation by 25% to more than 500 each Sunday, with a particular ministry with families and young people.

“In Fulham he has developed worship to be engaging and accessible for people of different backgrounds and ages, and a church looking outwards, engaged in loving service with those in need.

“He has strong leadership and organisational skills, sees the cathedral as serving the whole county, not just Bury St Edmunds, and I look forward to working with him across the county for the greater good.”

Roger Wright, Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music, who was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to lead the process of finding a new Dean, said: “It was a pleasure and privilege to chair the panel for this appointment.

“His considerable experience, and his warm and engaging personality will help the cathedral be a beacon of hope for Suffolk as it broadens its appeal to all.

“Joe will be strong and thoughtful leader in this new period of the life of the cathedral and we very much look forward to his presence in the diocese.”

Canon Joe’s parish of All Saints’ Fulham has been developing its broadcasting profile, the Christmas Day the service was live on BBC1, and Palm Sunday Morning worship will be broadcast on Radio 4 on 25 March.

Canon Joe, who will become one of the most senior Church of England figures in Suffolk, said: “I am really looking forward to getting to know the people of Suffolk and to taking my place among the Bishop’s Staff.

“I am keen to see even more people discover the beauty of the cathedral. We need to build our financial reserves so that we can further develop our excellence within music, worship, learning and care to the highest possible standards.

“We need to provide a place which is both sanctuary in an uncertain world, and also a forum for debate and reflection on the major questions which are challenging us as a society at the moment.”

Canon Joe, 52, is in a civil partnership with the Revd Chris Eyden, the vicar of All Saints’ Putney, who will remain serving in Putney for the time being.

Bishop Martin said he is looking forward to welcoming Joe, and Chris when he is able to be in the county.

Canon Joe will be installed as the Dean of St Edmundsbury in the Cathedral on Saturday 14 July.

The Rt Revd Graeme Knowles, acting Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said: “The Cathedral Chapter are delighted at Joe’s appointment. He will bring many gifts, experience and skills from his present ministry in Fulham.

“Joe will be joining the cathedral at a time when our vision and strategy is taking shape, therefore he will be able to contribute greatly to our future plans for the cathedral, town of Bury St Edmunds and county of Suffolk.”

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 1:34pm GMT | Comments (27) | TrackBack
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Opinion - 14 March 2018

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News The Slow Death of Patriarchy

Mark Woods Christian Today Are conservative evangelicals more likely to protect child abusers?

Jeremy Morris ViaMedia.News Church on the Ropes…

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church IICSA Monday and Tuesday – Reflections on ‘Harm Awareness’

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 14 March 2018 at 11:00am GMT | Comments (8) | TrackBack
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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Tuesday 13 March

The transcript for Tuesday 13 March is available here. Witnesses were The Revd Canon and Worshipful Dr Rupert Bursell QC, Professor Julie Macfarlane, and Bishop Mark Sowerby.

Media reports:

Church Times Abuse survivor tells IICSA of her battle for justice

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CofE responds to government consultation on Sex Education

The UK government recently held a consultation on Changes to the teaching of Sex & Relationship Education and PSHE.

The Church of England has now published its response to that consultation:
Changes to the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education and PSHE: A call for evidence Church of England Education Office Response

And in addition Nigel Genders the Church of England’s Chief Education Officer has published comment on this response, here.

This has had quite a lot of media coverage, for example:

BBC Sex education: Schools ‘should promote celibacy’, says Church of England

Times Educational Supplement Pupils should be taught that abstinence and celibacy are ‘positive life choices’, C of E says

Telegraph Teach pupils the value of abstinence and celibacy, says Church of England

Independent Pupils should be taught in school that abstinence and celibacy are ‘positive life choices’, says Church of England

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Jillian Duff to be next Bishop of Lancaster

Press release from Number 10

Queen approves appointment of Suffragan See of Lancaster
The Queen has approved the appointment of Reverend Dr Jillian Duff as the next Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster.

Published 13 March 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Dr Jillian Louise Calland Duff, MA, Director of Mellitus College, North West, to the Suffragan See of Lancaster, in the Diocese of Blackburn. Dr Jillian Duff succeeds the Right Reverend Geoffrey Seagrove Pearson, BA, on his resignation of 31 July 2017.

Dr Jillian Duff (aged 45) was born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. She was educated at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. After working in the oil industry, she trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall Oxford. Dr Duff served her title at St Philip’s, Litherland, in the Diocese of Liverpool from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 Dr Duff took up the role of Pioneer Minister, church planting in Liverpool City Centre till 2011. In 2009 Dr Duff was appointed Chaplain to Liverpool College. In 2011 she worked as IME tutor and Vocations Development Advisor in the Diocese of Liverpool. From 2012 she worked to build a partnership between the North West Bishops and St Mellitus College, London and in 2013 became the founding Director of St Mellitus College, North West, based at Liverpool Cathedral, while serving at St Paul’s Widnes.

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Monday, 12 March 2018

Penalty announced in spiritual abuse case

The case was previously reported here.

The following notice has been published by the Diocese of Oxford:

Revd. Timothy Davis | March 2018 | Tribunal and penalty

In December 2017, the Revd Tim Davis was found guilty of conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders through the abuse of spiritual power and authority over a person then aged 15-16.

The penalty imposed on Tim Davis was that he should cease to hold office with immediate effect, and he now stands prohibited from the exercise of holy orders for a period of two years (as announced on Saturday 10th March). Should he wish to return to ministry after the period of prohibition then he will be required to undertake a formal risk assessment.

The findings of the tribunal are instructive for anyone still doubting that spiritual abuse exists, and we commend the young man and his family for their courage and grace throughout this process. The Diocese of Oxford continues to offer pastoral support to all involved.

There is some additional information at Law & Religion UK.

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IICSA hearings - Monday 12 March

The transcript of today’s hearing, which was entirely devoted to the evidence of Bishop Wallace Benn, is now available.

Media reports:

Church Times
Don’t blame me for safeguarding blunders, former Bishop of Lewes, Wallace Benn, tells IICSA hearing

Christian Today
Bishop claims he was ‘scapegoated’ over child sex abuse allegations
Bishop admits ‘hunch’ about paedophile priest but says he was powerless to stop him

The following item was written before today’s hearing and reflects the evidence given last week by others:
Chichester Observer
Revealed: How former bishop failed to report paedophile priests

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Private Members' Motions - Liturgies for same-sex couples

The Church of England publishes the texts of motions proposed by individual members of General Synod here: Private Members’ Motions. The page is updated from time to time, most recently two days ago.

There has been this one addition since last month’s meeting of General Synod.

Liturgies for same-sex couples

Ms Christina Baron (Bath & Wells) to move:

‘That this Synod:

Request the House of Bishops to commend an Order of Prayer and Dedication after the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage for use by ministers in exercise of their discretion under Canon B5, being a form of service neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter, together with guidance that no parish should be obliged to host, nor minister conduct, such a service.’

Private members’ motions are only considered for debate if they are signed by at least 100 General Synod members. The process for adding signatures is described here: GS Misc 1166.

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Saturday, 10 March 2018

Opinion - 10 February 2018

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Talking of being progressive and liberal

Sarah Mullally Contemplation in the shadow of a carpark God is Faithful

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Friday, 9 March 2018

IICSA hearings - Friday 9 March

The transcript from Friday’s hearing is now published.

The timetable for next week’s hearings is available here.

Monday includes Bishop Wallace Benn
Tuesday includes Bishop Mark Sowerby
Wednesday includes Bishop Martin Warner and former archbishop Rowan Williams
Thursday includes Bishop Nicholas Reade
Friday includes Graham Tilby

Media reports:

Christian Today
Bishop ‘filleted’ clergy files to remove evidence, abuse inquiry told

Are conservative evangelicals more likely to protect child abusers?

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John Perumbalath to be next Bishop of Bradwell

Press release from Number 10

Nomination of Suffragan Bishop of Bradwell: 9 March 2018
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Dr John Perumbalath.

Published 9 March 2018
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Dr John Perumbalath, BA, BD, MA, MTh, PhD, Archdeacon of Barking, in the Diocese of Chelmsford, to the Suffragan See of Bradwell, in the Diocese of Chelmsford in succession to the Right Reverend John Michael Wraw, BA, who died on 25 July 2017.

The Venerable Dr John Perumbalath (52) hails from the ancient Syrian Christian community in Kerala, India, and trained for ministry at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune. Before his ordination he worked as a youth worker among university students for two years and as a theological educator for three years. He was a parish priest in the diocese of Calcutta (Church of North India) from 1995 to 2001. He served on the General Synod of CNI and on its Theological Commission. Since his move to the United Kingdom, he served in the diocese of Rochester as Associate Priest at St George’s Beckenham(2002-05), Team Vicar in Northfleet & Rosherville (2005-08), Vicar of All Saints, Perry Street & Diocesan Urban Officer (2008-13) before he was appointed the Archdeacon of Barking in 2013.

John also holds a wider role locally and nationally. He chairs the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) and London Churches Refugee Network. He is a member of the General Synod and sits on the Appointment Committee of the Church of England, Mission & Public Affairs Council, and the trustee board of Westcott House, Cambridge.

John is married to Jessy, a Mathematics teacher and they have a daughter, Anugraha, a medical student. John has contributed reflections for Church House Publishing and has taken up speaking engagements in various provinces of Anglican Communion. He holds postgraduate degrees in Philosophy and Biblical studies and a doctorate in hermeneutics.

Chelmsford diocesan press release: New Bishop of Bradwell:
 ‘God wants Essex to flourish’

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Matthew Ineson responds to statement from NST

Updated Friday afternoon

We published late Wednesday evening a statement from the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team regarding Matthew Ineson.

Matthew Ineson has now issued a response:

Call for the Resignation of Archbishop John Sentamu and Bishop Steven Croft

It is confirmed by the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England that in 2013 Archbishop John Sentamu received, and replied to, a letter from me to him disclosing sexual abuse by a priest I had suffered as a youngster. An internal memo which has been acquired via a data protection act request by me and is dated 25th July 2016 confirms this and clearly states ‘I have also a copy of the Archbishop of York’s letter to Ineson, dated 2nd July 2013, which acknowledges that he had read a letter written to Steven Croft, copied to the Archbishop of York, which repeated the disclosure of an alleged criminal offence.’

The letter I sent to John Sentamu was a copy of a letter I had sent to Bishop Steven Croft, dated 1st June 2013, which not only contained details of my sexual abuse, but also complained bitterly of the failure to act on my disclosures by Bishop Steven Croft and Bishop Peter Burrows. By this time Steven Croft had ignored three disclosures from me, two by telephone and this letter of 1st June.

John Sentamu replied saying he had read the letter and assured me of his prayers and best wishes through this testing time. Beyond that I was not offered any care, no support was given, I was not encouraged to report my abuse to the police nor was my disclosure(s) passed to the relevant church safeguarding officer or any other authority by him.

In the statement by The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team issued yesterday (above) it is claimed that the Archbishop did not fail to act on any disclosure made, because the responsibility to respond and act lay with the diocesan bishop, namely Steven Croft. The National Safeguarding Team are clearly stating here that Steven Croft should have acted. He didn’t and my abuser, The Revd Trevor Devamnaikkam, was left 4 ½ years after my first disclosure to Steven Croft and 4 years after my correspondence with John Sentamu to potentially abuse again. He was charged in May 2017 with 6 serious charges of sexual abuse against me. Steven Croft has admitted on several occasions that I disclosed my abuse to him in the media over the past 16 months. I have pursued the complaint against Steven Croft’s failures several times with the church who have blocked any attempt at investigation into his failures. The National Safeguarding team now acknowledge those failures and I call on Steven Croft to resign with immediate effect.

I also call upon Archbishop Sentamu to resign with immediate effect for failing to act on my disclosure to him and again, leaving my abuser for 4 years to potentially abuse again.

Both these bishops failed to act in accordance with Church of England Safeguarding guidelines and left children and the vulnerable at risk of harm for over 4 years. Both bishops neglected their duties regarding safeguarding and John Sentamu neglected his duties by also not exercising his authority in terms of discipline over Steven Croft or Peter Burrows. He is in effect passing the buck and saying ‘not my job’. Is it now the case that clergy, even bishops and archbishops, can ignore disclosures of abuse by simply saying ‘not my job’. There was also a complete lack of pastoral care by both of them.

In the past two days two more people have contacted me to say that some of the bishops I have complained about have also failed them in a similar manner.

Further, the memo addressed to the Archbishop in June 2017 refers to ‘survivors’ of Trevor Devamanikkam in the plural. The National Safeguarding Team dismiss this as being untrue and due to human error by the author of the memo. However, John Sentamu acknowledged, dated and signed this memo as ‘noted’. He therefore read that there were multiple victims of abuse and took no action or questioned this. This again potentially left other vulnerable people open to abuse. It may or may be the case that there were other victims of Trevor Devamanikkam. That is not the issue here. The issue is that John Sentamu was told in writing there was, acknowledged that and did not act as required to do so.

Also, I challenge the assertion that the National Safeguarding Team did not know that Trevor Devamanikkam had previously attempted to take his own life before his suicide. They did know, and no risk assessments or checks were carried out on him by anyone in The Church of England at all including the National Safeguarding team, anyone at diocesan level or by the diocesan bishop himself, Steven Croft.

Once again I call for the immediate resignations of John Sentamu and Steven Croft for breaching safeguarding procedures which they are required to do by virtue of the public office they each respectively hold as bishops of the established church. If they refuse to do so, and the church refuses to hold them to account, we once again have the Church of England complicit and colluding with the abuse of children and the vulnerable and taking no action to prevent it.

Matthew Ineson

Update

Archbishop Cranmer has responded to this with a lengthy article: The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team is either untruthful or incompetent (or quite possibly both)

This article contains a detailed discussion about the various time limits applicable and the procedures for applying for extensions thereof. Its accuracy on these details has been queried. I’ll deal with this initially in the Comments below.

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IICSA hearings - Thursday 8 March

The transcript for Thursday 8 March is available here.

Further links to follow. No documents from this day have yet been posted.

Media reports:

Church Times
IICSA considers whether views on women affected Chichester safeguarding

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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Church of England issues statement about Matthew Ineson

Updated Thursday noon

Statement on Matthew Ineson case

Due to a BBC report this week and comments on social media the National Safeguarding Team has issued a statement to clarify details of the case.

Matthew Ineson’s case has been taken very seriously since it came to our attention. The account of the abuse he suffered as a teenager is harrowing and we are aware that the death of his alleged perpetrator, Trevor Devamanikkan, before he could stand trial, was extremely difficult for Matthew Ineson. We were not aware of any previous attempts by Trevor Devamanikkan on his own life; had we known we obviously would have commissioned a risk assessment. Once the Church was aware of the criminal investigation, the Church made offers of support to Trevor Devamanikkan, which he refused.

We can confirm that the Archbishop of York responded to a letter he received from Matthew Ineson in June 2013, in which Matthew Ineson enclosed a copy of a letter to him from the then Bishop of Sheffield and his own response to the Bishop. The Archbishop did not fail to act on any disclosure made. As the Diocesan Bishop has responsibility for matters such as these in their diocese, this is a matter for the Diocesan Bishop to inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (Protecting All God’s Children - the Policy for Safeguarding Children in the Church of England, section 4.5). For this reason, the Archbishop acknowledged Matthew Ineson’s letter and assured him of his prayers.

As regards to a memo addressed to the Archbishop of York in June 2017 which refers to survivors in the plural, the Archbishop of York’s Office have already explained this was simply human error. We have worked closely with the police throughout and we have only ever dealt with one victim. This was double-checked with the police last week.

As we have said before there are currently complaints from Matthew Ineson himself, which are being investigated under the Clergy Discipline Measure. Once these complaints have been dealt with, the Core Group, which is the Church’s response to any allegations of abuse, has already decided that an independent review of the case will be commissioned.

It is not possible to go into any further details of this case.

Update The statement above was issued by publication on the CofE website (with a notification on Twitter) at around 2 pm on Wednesday. Matt Ineson has reported on Twitter that he was not told about this statement by the National Safeguarding Team, and indeed has not been contacted by them for about two months.

The Archbishop Cranmer blog on Thursday published this article by Martin Sewell: Abuse victim: “The cruel and inhuman treatment I have received from the National Safeguarding Team in Church House, and others in the Church of England hierarchy, makes what Peter Ball did to me pale into insignificance”.

It has not been a good week for the Church of England. We were warned as much by our Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Peter Hancock, when he led the safeguarding presentation to General Synod in February. Indeed, he predicted a rocky path for the next two years. Although he did not say so, we probably deserve it after years of institutional neglect and lethargy. This week is perhaps the start of the purging of complacency.

The opening of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) into the deficiencies of the Established Church will take the headlines, but other stories have also arisen. The poor handling of Fr Matt Ineson’s complaints against five bishops was featured in the BBC Inside Out programme, and the substance of it appeared on the BBC website. It was covered by Christian Today, and, as so often, His Grace offered a strong and incisive contribution…

Read the whole article, please.

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IICSA hearings - Wednesday 7 March

Updated

The transcript from Wednesday’s hearing is now available here.

The only witnesses today were former bishop John Hind and former archdeacon Philip Jones.

An index of the documents adduced today is available here. They include

Bishop John Hind’s witness statement
This document is not now available on the website - reason as yet unknown

Media reports:

Church Times Bishop Hind apologises to IICSA hearing over Chichester diocesan safeguarding practices

THE former Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, has apologised for not giving the diocesan safeguarding officers full access to the “blue files” — containing safeguarding concerns about individual clerics in the diocese — at an earlier time in his tenure.

Dr Hind was giving evidence on Wednesday morning to the public hearing conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), in London, on the extent to which the Anglican Church has failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

Christian Today Is this the Achilles heel in the Church of England’s safeguarding approach?

Concerns about the possibility of abuse in the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe are being raised following analysis of an independent report into its safeguarding practices.

An anomaly in that it operates outside of England, the Diocese in Europe covers 42 countries across three continents. However it is still governed by the Church of England and an independent audit published last November laid out concerns about the possibility for abuse to go unreported…

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Conservatives defend Lord Carey

Updated Thursday noon

Olivia Rudgard reports in the Telegraph that ‘An attack on Lord Carey is an attack on us all’, say Church of England figures

A criminal case against Lord Carey would be an attack on us all, conservative Church of England figures have said.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, 10 signatories including the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, former bishop of Rochester, suggested that the former Archbishop of Canterbury was being targeted for his involvement in the Bishop Peter Ball case because of “what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity”.

The letter, also signed by Simon Rufus Isaacs, Marquess of Reading, who is a friend of Prince Charles, former bishop of Woolwich Colin Buchanan, and campaigner Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, says that similar high-profile cases have not resulted in prosecutions for misconduct in public office…

The same story is also reported at Christian Today. And Mark Woods has written this comment article there: Why conservative Christians should stop defending George Carey.

…The signatories to the letter – among them the Marquess of Reading, who chairs the Barnabas Fund, former bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali and Christian Concern chief executive Andrea Williams – represent a particular strain of conservative evangelicalism.

This kind of evangelicalism is fundamentally oppositional. It divides the world into those who hold the right beliefs and those who don’t. But doctrinal orthodoxy is not enough: it’s also a mindset that sees modern society as deeply opposed to the gospel, with culture and church locked not in dialogue but in conflict. Everything from gay marriage to judgments against Christians at employment tribunals – usually, when all the evidence is read, richly deserved – is seen as evidence of a ‘war on Christianity’…

The text of the letter is copied below the fold.

Update
Richard Bartholomew has published a further analysis of the letter: Conservative Christians Denounce “Bizarre” Consultation Between CPS and Police on Lord Carey.

SIR – Operation Yewtree and its successor Operation Hydrant have investigated hundreds of cases of suspected misconduct in public office and have yet to bring a case to trial.
For example, no one has been charged with any offence in relation to the misdemeanours of Jimmy Savile. The cases against Lord Bramall, Leon Brittan, Edward Heath and Cliff Richard were all dropped. Why is Lord Carey being targeted at this time? Certain public leaders appear to be being attacked by insinuation without due process.
The notion that a criminal case could be brought against Lord Carey is so bizarre that we can only surmise that the object of the persistent pressure that brings these public attacks is not only Lord Carey but what he represents of biblically faithful Christianity. An attack on him is an attack on us all.

Marquess of Reading
Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali
Rt Rev Colin Buchanan
Canon Dr Vinay Samuel
Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Anglican Mainstream
Sarah Finch
Member, General Synod
Andrea Williams
Christian Concern
Canon Andrew Wingfield Digby
Mrs Valerie Nazir Ali
Rev Paul Perkin

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Opinion - 7 March 2018

Richard Peers Quodcumque New Wine: a gift for the whole church

David Ison ViaMedia.News Divine Headship Meets Woman Bishop
[The ceremony referred to at the start of this article is the confirmation of Sarah Mullally’s election as Bishop of London which will take place on 8th March at 4.00 pm at St Mary-le-Bow.]

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

IICSA hearings -Tuesday 6 March

Updated again Thursday

The transcript of the second day of Anglican Church hearings can be found here.

Update: a number of additional documents referred to in Tuesday’s hearings are now available on the IICSA website. There is now an index available. They include witness statements from
Shirley Hosgood 1
Shirley Hosgood 2

Media reports:

Church Times
IICSA hears calls for independent safeguarding body to hold Church to account

Survivors tell IICSA hearing of child abuse by Church of England clerics

Christian Today
Paedophile priests passed vulnerable teenage boys between them, inquiry hears

Did the Church of England’s divisions over homosexuality contribute to child sex abuse cover-up?

The Times
Church hit by 48 child abuse claims in one diocese, inquiry told [£]

In relation to the other story reported yesterday, there is this blog article: Sentamu ordered ‘no action’ against paedophile priest – leaving him to abuse again and commit suicide.

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Monday, 5 March 2018

Update on IICSA hearings - 5 March

Updated Tuesday morning

The transcript of the first day’s proceedings is now available here. It contains opening statements by:

Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry
Fiona Scolding, Counsel to the Inquiry,
Richard Scorer, representing survivors
David Greenwood, also representing survivors, and also MACSAS
Nigel Giffin, representing the Archbishops’ Council
Rory Phillips, representing Ecclesiastical Insurance
Richard Smith representing Peter Ball

The Church of England has issued this: Opening statement in IICSA hearing

Media reports:

Witness statements have been published by IICSA from numerous individuals, all listed by name here and accessible (but only by reference number) over here.

They include written statements from these Archbishops’ Council staff:

William Nye
Stephen Slack
Julian Hubbard
Hannah Foster

In a separate development, the BBC’s Yorkshire regional news programme Inside Out has broadcast an interview with Matthew Ineson who says senior clergymen ignored his disclosures of sexual abuse by a parish priest. Link to the TV programme here, is available for 29 days only.

See also BBC news article, Police look at bishops’ ‘failure to act’ over sex abuse claims.

Other media reports on this:
Archbishop of York could face police investigation for failing to act over abuse allegations
Church of England sex abuse victim to tell his story on TV

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Update on IICSA hearings - 4 March

IICSA has published the timetable for the first week of hearings.

The CofE has published this page, with links to material about the IICSA hearings. Those links includes this Q and A for parishes. This in turn links to another document: Church of England Safeguarding Overview.

Earlier, the CofE published this Church of England statement on IICSA’s Child Migration Report. The IICSA press release about that report is here.

Mandate Now is a pressure group that seeks the introduction of law requiring staff who work in ‘Regulated Activities’ to report concerns about the welfare of children [and vulnerable adults] to the Local Authority. Mandatory reporting of suspected or known child abuse is a vital component of a functioning child protection system in institutional settings.

Mandate Now is supported by the largest coalition of survivor charities in England, Wales and Scotland which are members of ‘The Survivors Trust’.

Mandate Now has issued a critique of Church of England safeguarding: Church of England Safeguarding is Dysfunctional and Can Have No Reliance Placed Upon It | A Review by Mandate Now.

The full text of the review (224 pages) is available here.

The BBC regional television programme Inside Out for Yorkshire will broadcast an item tomorrow evening, Monday, which relates to the IICSA hearings:

…Inside Out hears from a man who says senior clergymen ignored his disclosures of sexual abuse by a parish priest.

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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Opinion - 3 March 2018

Anna Norman-Walker ViaMedia.News Disgrace by Association

Mark Clavier The Living Church Schools for the Imagination

Church Times God’s gift, not priest-lite cherry-pickers
Self-supporting ministers do not receive the recognition or status that they deserve, says Jenny Gage

Church Times Women in ministry: the next steps
In response to Women’s History Month, Johanna Derry looks at issues faced by women clergy

Sarah Mullally Contemplation in the shadow of a carpark Accelerating Change – Safe and Open Churches

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Friday, 2 March 2018

CofE Safeguarding statistics: corrected data

The Church Times has a report this morning, which mentions (scroll to end) that:

Ongoing safeguarding allegations. It was revealed this week that The General Synod was misinformed last month about the number of safeguarding allegations being handled by the dioceses, it was revealed this week.

There are in fact about 2600 cases ongoing, not 3300, as previously reported by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, in a written question to a Synod member, Kat Alldread, last month (News, 16 February).

More than half of these 2600 cases involved children, and more than a quarter related to church officers — not 18 per cent as previously reported, the clerk to the Synod, Dr Jacqui Philips, confirmed in a letter to Mrs Alldread this week.

Harriet Sherwood in the Guardian today has a news report: Church of England faces ‘deep shame’ at child abuse inquiry which includes a link to the full text of the letter from Dr Jacqui Phillips, Clerk to the Synod, which corrects the statistics:

…At the General Synod on 8 February 2017 the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding answered your question no 47 about the scale of safeguarding casework. I very much regret to say that part of this answer was incorrect, owing to a human error in compiling the data from which the answer was drawn. The Lead Bishop has asked me to convey his apologies to you for this error and to express his hope that neither you nor other members of Synod will have been misled by this incorrect information…

The corrected answer reads:

“Each diocese is asked to complete an annual self-assessment circulated and collated by the National Safeguarding Team for the previous year’s activity. Our current data relates to 2016 activity. Reporting methods used by the dioceses may vary so the numbers given are an approximate figure.

“In 2016 dioceses reported that they were dealing with around 2600 safeguarding concerns or allegations. Concerns are different from allegations of actual abuse and may cover less serious matters but may include raising issues of neglect or potential vulnerability of children or adults. 53% of concerns or allegations relate to children, and 47% to adults. Around 27% of concerns or allegations raised relate to a church
officer.

“The National Safeguarding Team has commissioned further work to analyse data for safeguarding concerns or allegations. The results of this analysis will be reported to the National Safeguarding Steering Group in due course.”

The main part of the Church Times news article by Hattie Williams, which is headlined IICSA hearing likely to prompt more disclosures of abuse, C of E safeguarding officials say previews the IICSA hearings that start next week, as does the Guardian article. The latter contains quotes from survivors Graham Sawyer and Gilo and from Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon.

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IICSA hearings into the Anglican Church

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will start three weeks of hearings into the Anglican Church [in England and Wales] on Monday 5 March.

There is voluminous information about IICSA, its other strands of investigation, and its other work, on its website.

IICSA summarises this investigation on its website thus:

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church.

The Inquiry welcomed the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Inquiry to investigate, as a matter of priority, the sexual abuse of children within the Church. Allegations of child sexual abuse within the Church of England, the Church in Wales, and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales (‘the Anglican Church’) are matters of ongoing public concern.

This investigation will assess the appropriateness of safeguarding and child protection policies and practices in the Anglican Church. It will consider the adequacy of the Past Cases Review of the Church of England and the Historic Cases Review of the Church in Wales. As a case study, we will consider the experience of the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse, and numerous investigations and reviews. We will also consider the case of Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, and investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences.

A further page gives more detail of the Scope of Investigation and this is also available as a pdf file.

Documentation relating to this particular investigation starts here.

Transcripts of the preliminary hearings can be found here, and this page will be updated with information daily throughout the next three weeks.

We will endeavour to report on its progress regularly.

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