Thinking Anglicans

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’


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


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


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.


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.

1 Comment

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


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.


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


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?


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’


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


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.


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

1 Comment

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.


IICSA hearings – Wednesday 7 March


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…


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.

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



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.]

1 Comment

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.


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


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.

1 Comment

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