Thinking Anglicans

Christ Church shenanigans: update

Following on from our last update, More Christ Church shenanigans,  Surviving Church now has a detailed discussion of  the involvement of the CofE National Safeguarding Team, see The Martyn Percy affair – further comments. As usual, this article needs to be read in full, but here’s the last two paragraphs:

…Another question that is being asked by many of us is this.  If Martyn Percy deserved investigation over safeguarding issues with apparently such flimsy evidence being offered, then why not are other more pressing cases given attention?  There are several outstanding CDM claims against serving bishops which lie on file.  Presumably these can now be activated by victims and complainants? There is the case of Jonathan Fletcher which seems to be ignored by central church authorities, even though it reached front-page headlines of the Daily Telegraph.  If the allegations against Fletcher are even half-true, he still poses a safeguarding threat which should be a priority for the NST.  To focus on Martyn, who poses no such threat, and ignore Fletcher can only be described as a deeply political choice.

Unless someone explains the real basis for NST involvement in the Christ Church factional disputes, Martyn’s supporters will conclude that the NST has become a political tool at the service of certain unaccountable factions within the Church of England.  If that surmise is correct, one would hope that the General Synod would wake up to this fact and vote the NST out of existence.  We cannot afford to have a rogue structure within the Church which operates with so much secrecy, factionalism and sometimes overt bullying.  Whoever authorised the unleashing of the NST on Martyn Percy has been responsible for taking an enormous gamble with the Church’s assets and reputation.  They have gambled on an outcome which, even if successful at one level, does no credit to the Church.  If the anonymous power brokers are, however, unsuccessful in what they are doing in Oxford, this may have the effect of destroying the NST structure altogether and their future ability to exercise power through it.

And the Telegraph reports on the financial implications for the college: Christ Church loses more than £3m in donations in row over Dean, it is claimed

Christ Church has suffered losses of more than £3m in bequests and donations due to an ongoing “farce” over the Dean’s tenure, it is claimed.

A row between the Oxford college’s governing body and the Very Rev Martyn Percy has become increasingly bitter, fuelled by accusations that the latter’s critics will stop at nothing to have him deposed.

Rev Jonathan Aitken, one of Dr Percy’s allies, has now claimed that the dispute is costing the college dearly, not just in legal fees and tribunal costs but also in lost donations as alumni take action to make their voices heard.

He accused the Censors, dons who take on responsibility for the academic life of the college, of becoming “financial alcoholics” who could not stop pouring away the charitable funds of the college on legal fees.

“The failed coup and the continuing attacks by the Censors and their allies on the Dean have been a financial catastrophe for Christ Church,” he told the Telegraph.

“The majority of the governing body have not been told what the costs are and do not know, to the nearest million, what they might be.

“But as a conservative estimate, legal bills are already in excess of £2.5m.”

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Paul Waddington
Paul Waddington
19 days ago

The Telegraph is right to describe this as a farce. Can anyone work out who would be in a position to sort the matter out?

Anne
Anne
19 days ago

The Visitor. For Christ Church the Visitor is the Queen. Presumably she would be able to appoint somebody. But I have no idea what the protocols would be.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
19 days ago
Reply to  Anne

They were quoted verbatim on the previous thread last week in two replies to Mark Bennet. Or, for fuller details, go to the Christ Church Statutes: Statute XXXVI – The Visitor, (pages 37-39) accessible from the Christ Church, Oxford website.
 
 

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
19 days ago

If the Church accepted either that it has no jurisdiction, or, in the absence of specific complainants it has no triable issue, the matter ceases to be our problem and will be resolved in the Employment Tribunal.   The latter point is important.   In evidence to IICSA the Church’s senior lawyer Stephen Slack correctly flagged up that the Church’s guidelines must be followed unless there are “ cogent reasons” for not doing so.   The guidelines do not even require the fact and substance of them to be contemporaneously recorded.   In this case the complainants say the Dean… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
19 days ago

Stephen Parsons:   “Unless someone explains the real basis for NST [National Safeguarding Team] involvement in the Christ Church factional disputes, Martyn’s supporters [and others – Ed] will conclude that the NST has become a political tool at the service of certain unaccountable factions within the Church of England. If that surmise is correct, one would hope that the General Synod would wake up to this fact and vote the NST out of existence. We cannot afford to have a rogue structure within the Church which operates with so much secrecy, factionalism and sometimes overt bullying”   Yes, there are clearly “rogue… Read more »

ACI
ACI
10 days ago

A further tragic development on this doorstep are the French police charges against Jan Joosten, Regius Professor of Hebrew.

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