Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 11 May 2022

Martyn Percy Prospect Why I’m leaving the Church of England
“Mired in allegations of partisanship and incompetence, the Church is now incapable of running its own affairs. After a series of farcical “safeguarding” claims, the former dean of Christ Church, Oxford, no longer feels he belongs”
[This is covered as a news item in The Guardian and Church Times.]

Archbishop Cranmer Bishop of Oxford instructs lawyers to censor Archbishop Cranmer

Diocese of Oxford Dr Martyn Percy has announced he is to leave the Church of England

Felicity Cooke ViaMedia.News Leading, Following, or Forgetting? The Church and the World

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Toby Forward
Toby Forward
10 days ago

I think that many who grew up in the Church of England several decades ago feel that they no longer recognise it, and that the Church of England has left them. But where else to go?

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Toby Forward
10 days ago

I agree entirely. Sadly I think it best to give up going to Church.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  FrDavid H
9 days ago

I think that the people in the pews are mostly the best thing about the CofE. As a church we’re reaping what we’ve sown; the dumbing down of priestly formation is reaching its dénouement. Since I’ve retired I’ve heard so many sermons that I refer to as ‘Jesus and the little bunny rabbits’. Cheesy grins and faux sincerity seem to trump good liturgy these days. At a confirmation service I attended the sermon consisted of the bishop flicking through letters that the candidates had been asked to write to him quoting bits at random. At another the bishop announced to… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Toby Forward
10 days ago

Agreed. I believe the core values and charism of the Church of England will outlast this toxic culture, but we will have to look to the places and people who have not been complicit for hope and renewal.

Rural Revd.
Rural Revd.
Reply to  Toby Forward
9 days ago

I think there are huge numbers of clergy up and down the country who are just hanging on by their fingertips.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
Reply to  Rural Revd.
8 days ago

And even more laity!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Toby Forward
7 days ago

I grew up in that Church of England, where being evangelical or charismatic meant that the establishment saw your Anglicanism as suspect, or at least inferior to theirs.

Nigel Ashworth
Nigel Ashworth
10 days ago

One can only be extremely sorry that so much anguish has been experienced by Martyn Percy as well as others whose lives have been so badly affected by what has happened at Christ Church. One can only be sorry that the College’s and Cathedral’s reputation has been so tarnished. One can only be sorry that the bishop has not succeeded as peace-maker. It is one big personal and organisational “car crash”. So much that is precious has been lost – especially perhaps the trust and positive regard that is needed in a cathedral, a college or a diocese, to make… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Nigel Ashworth
9 days ago

Well said, Nigel

Susannah Clark
10 days ago

On the page you cite – ‘Bishop of Oxford instructs lawyers to censor Archbishop Cranmer’ – there is a comment from Steven Buckley (Oxford Diocesan Director of Communications and Spokesperson for the Bishop of Oxford) in the comments section: “Dear Adrian, I politely asked you to remove the defamatory comments in your blog post at the weekend. Since I did not hear back from you, a solicitor needed to contact you. It is misleading and defamatory to refer to the Bishop of Oxford as a safeguarding risk. Kind regards, Steven Buckley, Diocese of Oxford.” I am not commenting on the… Read more »

Frances James
Frances James
Reply to  Susannah Clark
7 days ago

There’s your answer. No. He would not care to engage. Big important people don’t engage in conversation, or idle tittle tattle as it’s more commonly referred to. They write threatening letters and emails to show how much power they have and to get what they want. One result? An Oxford diocese parish was stunned last week when candidates for their vacant rector role withdrew from the process, citing that they would not want to work in the diocese whilst the Steven ‘the forces of darkness’ Croft remained in role. Surely it has now come time for Oxford to ‘do a… Read more »

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Frances James
6 days ago

Frances,

Which was this parish? I think this ought to be out in the open and Bishop Croft challenged to respond – ideally by offering his resignation.

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  David Lamming
2 days ago

I agree with David Lamming. If a bishop’s conduct is having this effect on parishes in the diocese, then the entire diocese ought to know.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Susannah Clark
6 days ago

Susannah,

Sadly, Steven Buckley doesn’t care to engage, as you will see from my comment (below) reporting his response to my e-mail, asking wholly legitimate questions about a potentially libellous statement on the Oxford diocesan website for which, as Director of Communications, I assume him to be responsible (with the Bishop of Oxford ultimately responsible for what is published on the website.)

As for a solicitor “need[ing]” to contact Adrian Hilton, I trust that the Bishop personally is paying the solicitor’s fees, not the parishioners of Oxford parishes via the parish share and the DBF, or the Church Commissioners.

Susannah Clark
10 days ago

Felicity: “The Church is out of step, and all the principles and exhortations to disagree well will not bring us to be the fully inclusive, loving, compassionate church which Christ longs for us to be.” So what will? After all, for 50 years the Church of England has been divided on LGBT issues, and the impasse continues. Apart from magic wands, what exact methods do people propose to bring about this absolute inclusion in all churches? I keep asking this question, because otherwise the statement above is just a sentiment. I agree that the present status quo on sexuality is… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susannah Clark
10 days ago

They have a conscientious right not to have gay or lesbian sex: they do not have the right to prevent others from doing so or having same sex weddings. Rights are personal: they don’t extend to removing rights from others and one thing we should do is stress that.   As to how change can be achieved? Vote in a progressive Government and get them to remove the exemptions the Church of England has in the Equality Act so that same sex couples get a right to marriage in their local church. I think that the goal in General Synod… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Thanks Kate – those are constructive proposals in your second and third paragraphs. Your opening paragraph involves more complexity. It’s not just about individuals opposing gay sex is it? Parish church communities are collective, and conscience on this matter accumulates collectively. Personally, as a ‘national Church’, I believe all CofE churches should ultimately be made available for gay or lesbian parishioners to be married in (although obviously, not by dissenting priests). However, in terms of teaching from the pulpit and the views and practice of a local church community… you can’t kick them out… you can’t get them arrested by… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

But these are not the rights in question. The discussion about same-sex marriage is not the same as a discussion about same-sex sexual activity. Opponents of same-sex marriage claim the right to hold, and express, the opinion that same-sex marriage is either impossible as a contradiction in terms, or that it impermissibly constitutes endorsement of a form of sexual activity which they think sinful, or both. If rights are personal, then you presumably don’t have the right to remove from them their right to hold and express those opinions. But marriage is not a purely personal thing. It creates social,… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

Your last paragraph is in error – a right to marry even in a specific building does not mean a specific priest is obliged to conduct the ceremony. Such a situation already exists wrt the remarriage of divorcees.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Jo B
7 days ago

If secular law, in the form of the Equality Act, is made to apply, then ministers are in the same position as registrars, who can be sacked for refusing to marry same-sex couples.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

I think here you’re conflating an institutional responsibility in law with an individual one which an organisation may (and arguably should) choose to enforce on its employees. If an organisation chooses to accommodate homophobia among its employees or officer holders then, so long as this doesn’t result in it discriminating in employment or the provision of goods and services, it probably can do. Of course, in the event that equal marriage eventually arrives in the CofE, it’s highly unlikely that the religious exemption from some provisions of the Equality Act will be rescinded. Nobody wants to give homophobes the opportunity… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

I suppose you are referring to a hypothetical situation “If secular law, in the form of the Equality Act, is made to apply”. But, as the law now stands, isn’t the Equality Act 2010 disapplied in this situation: specifically see Schedule 23, paragraph 2 and particularly sub-paragraph (7) which permits a restriction relating to sexual orientation only if it is imposed because it is necessary to comply with the doctrine of the organisation, or to avoid conflict with strongly held convictions (a) in the case of a religion, the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 days ago

Thank you for this, Rowland. Useful having legal training and experience to hand! 7, with (a) and (b) seem to cut to the quick, and mitigate against any prosecution of priests who in sincere and widely held conscience prefer to hand marriage or blessing services to another priest in the future.

That way, everyone’s conscience is protected.

Of course at present this is posited on hypothesis.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

As Jo has just said, the right of a gay couple to be married (or blessed) in their own parish church, would not necessitate an incumbent there being forced against conscience to marry them. Another priest could be brought in. I believe the precedents over divorce and remarriage are being looked at already by some bishops (because they have told me). Of course, that is an option further down the line, because we are not there yet.

Jo B
Jo B
10 days ago

I wonder if Dr Percy might be amenable to being poached by one of the Anglican provinces not falling within the Church of England.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

Very good point. After all, Martyn is still an ordained priest, and has a huge amount to offer the Church… maybe after a time of rest and recovery. Wales… Scotland… further afield. But then again, he and his family live in England. This is a sore loss for the English Church. Anyway, I do pray God gives Martyn’s whole family grace and peace. It’s amazing how paths open up, sometimes very unexpected.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Jo B
10 days ago

Which of those provinces do you think would welcome Dr. Percy? He has made his views on women’s ordination and LGBTQ issues known. They are not consonant with the (self-styled) “orthodox” provinces.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Richard
9 days ago

I was rather thinking Scotland or Wales (he’d make a fine candidate for Bishop when the current incumbent of Edinburgh or St A, D&D retires in the not-too-distant future), but equally TEC or ACC might find a place for him.

Last edited 9 days ago by Jo B
John N Wall
John N Wall
Reply to  Richard
9 days ago

I am sure that the Episcopal Church in the USA would be happy to welcome with open arms a priest of his standing and commitment to women’s ordination and LGBTQ issues.

Alan Jeffries
Alan Jeffries
10 days ago

The response of the Diocese of Oxford is absolutely desperate. Going to law over an expression of opinion signifies (to me, at least) how jittery Steven Croft is, particularly as he has form in this regard, as repeatedly testified by Matthew Ineson. If he was confident in his stance throughout this abysmal episode, he would be ready to demonatsrate that to be the case – not least in providing examples of the ‘care’ he extended to Martyn throughout this long saga. The list of accusations he lays at Martyn’s door are completely meaningless, especially as Martyn had every right to… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Alan Jeffries
10 days ago

“…lack of episcopal accountability is becoming more and more evident. First Winchester, then London, followed by Oxford, and now Truro…”

And Chichester, of course.

The parallels between the Martyn Percy case and the Bishop Bell case are beyond question and beyond disturbing.

The Dean and Chapter of this West Sussex Cathedral City are still, astonishingly, unable to admit they were wrong and wilfully refuse to reinstate George Bell House.

Perverting the course of justice by obstructing it?

Dark forces indeed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
8 days ago

Richard: You remind me that when the C of E first decided against Bishop Bell, someone from Church House contacted Martyn Percy wanting to know what he intended to do about the Bell memorial at Christ Church. One hopes that Archbishop Welby’s retraction and apology will be sufficient protection for the memorial after the Dean’s leaving. No doubt the Bell Society already has this in mind.

Tim Chesterton
10 days ago

Clare Hayns on Twitter:

On a day when other Christians call me and my colleagues a ‘force of darkness’, I will continue to pray, lead services, meet with students, and give thanks for the privilege of working at @ChCh_Oxford and @ChChCathedralOx

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
10 days ago

I fear this is unnecessarily adding fuel to the fire of a most unfortunate and undignified response by the Diocese of Oxford to Martyn Percy’s valedictory statement (which I believe was the source of the offending words). Surely the stage has now been reached when the line should be finally drawn under this matter. I’m not sure that any public statement at all on the part of the Diocese or the Bishop was called for as Martyn Percy has left office. Sometimes silence is the appropriate response in a situation and I suggest that it would have been here.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
9 days ago

I am myself a model of poise, prudence and perspicacity, but I wonder oif the Bishop of Oxford remembers Psalm 39: “I will keep my mouth as it were with a bridle: while the ungodly is in my sight. I held my tongue, and spake nothing: I kept silence, yea, even from good words; but it was pain and grief to me.”

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
8 days ago

Stanley you’re such a silly sausage: at their consecration bishops are given the authority to pick n mix. Though my most recent encounter with a bishop was on the Sunday when the lectionary gave us Jesus instructing us to chop off offending limbs and pluck out offensive eyes. The bishop stood there with floppy Bible in hand and not only did not refer to the readings at all; he made not one reference to Scripture. His ‘message’ was you too can be as successful as I’ve been. This was in a church on one of the toughest council estates in… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Fr Dean
7 days ago

You’re not the first to describe me so. The thing is, Father, that I read Scripture with the mind of a silly sausage, and it all makes so much more sense that way. I think himself was quite often a silly sausage in order to provoke a reaction. When I were a lad we lived next door to t’butchers and I often helped out wi’t’sausage making. I became quite adept at making them into bunches. There is something atavistically satisfying about letting the sausage skins slither through your hands as they fill with the mince squeezed out pf the machine.

Last edited 7 days ago by Stanley Monkhouse
Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Fr Dean
7 days ago

Speaking of sausages, this wonderful Michael Palin film, uncomfortably true to my childhood memories, has a sausage sizzle as part of the beach mission led by a parson in his cassock. 1950s fresh expressions I guess – then as now so effective.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
9 days ago

I’ve been following Clare on Twitter for some time now. As far as I know, this has been her first public statement on this issue. Meanwhile, there have been literally hundreds of statements by people on this forum, including some damning words about the chapter at Christ Church. “Silence is the appropriate response.” Yes, well…

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
9 days ago

Tim: You have many times alluded to the over-exposure of events at Christ Church on TA. Martyn Percy has now gone. Time to draw a line. I stick very firmly to what I have said here. There are times in life when one must rise above the instinct to fight back. Dignified silence on the part of the Bishop and Diocese (I’m not referring to the separate issue of the solicitor’s letter) would be preferable. I was astonished by the language of the Oxford Diocese public statement which I would not have expected to see from any diocese.

Toby Forward
Toby Forward
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
9 days ago

Excellent idea. I’m sure that Clare will have remembered her Sunday School teaching on the ACTS of prayer. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. All four, Clare. All four, please.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
7 days ago

The Chaplain is not a member of the Governing Body. It is a particular subgroup within that body which some people, and I am one of them, would describe as under the influence of the Forces of Darkness. I mean that literally, incidentally.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

According to the Telegraph article, Alannah Jeunne told Clare Hayns about the sexual harassment incident within half an hour. I’m sure Ms. Hayns has been fully supportive of her, as a pastor would and should be. ‘Believe the victim’ – unless the accused is a hero of the liberal catholic establishment, it seems.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
7 days ago

Tim, I’m not sure that’s quite fair. You are right: when listening to an abuse allegation, it’s important to afford it credence, and foster a safe environment for the individual complainant to make clear their narrative. At the same time, that should always be done in the context of justice (in other words due process and evidence) and equivalent credence towards a defendant until proven guilty (which will not happen in this case). I suspect that approach is adopted by most people in this sad case, whatever their religious tradition (if any). As I’ve said elsewhere, we cannot know what… Read more »

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 days ago

But she did not report it formally until a week later after being encouraged to do so by Hayns who, in the meantime, had seemingly mentioned the matter to the Sub Dean, Richard Peers. As recorded by Dame Sarah Asplin in her CDM section 17 decision of 28 May 2021, “The incident itself was extremely short, the alleged hair stroking was even shorter and the language and the conduct as a whole was not overtly sexual. If this is put together with: the fact that Ms Jeune accepts that she was not upset in any way; stated originally that she… Read more »

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
9 days ago

Quite what the Bishop of Oxford thinks he is playing at (and I choose those words carefully — for the younger element, I might say LARPing) is something of a mystery. I am not a lawyer, but I have professionally had to deal with letters like this, as well as somewhat scarier things from the police; I have dealt with defamation, confidentiality and privilege issues in both criminal and civil proceedings. It is a truism that there is no such thing as a solicitor’s letter, there is merely a letter which happens to be written by a solicitor. The Bishop… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Interested Observer
8 days ago

Many thanks for this very astute analysis of the current state of defamation law, a branch of jurisprudence which developed in the ecclesiastical courts prior to 1860, which might account for how unsatisfactory it had become, especially before its reform in 2013 (https://utorontopress.com/9781442679856/sexual-slander-in-nineteenth-century-england/). However, the 2013 Act did not clamp down on ‘gagging’, perhaps because the Law Commission had taken a fairly indulgent view of it: https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/lawcom-prod-storage-11jsxou24uy7q/uploads/2015/06/Aspects_of_Defamation-2.pdf

Also, I think you might also have provided TA with its Tynan (13/11/65) moment!

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
9 days ago

In his recent article in Prospect magazine, Martyn Percy distils the malaise at the heart of the C of E. ‘A nervous, declining church, losing its way, quickly collapses into being a members-only club, in which deference to episcopal authority and loyalty to patronage are the only ways to get on.’ His decision to leave the C of E, coupled to episcopal relief being widely felt, not only in Oxford, tells you all you need to know about the hierarchy’s view on the dispensibility of people in this ‘Christian’ institution. Meanwhile, I’m curious as to why are people giving sacrifically… Read more »

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
9 days ago

Would you be in favour of withholding the parish share in Oxford diocese in protest at the actions of Bishop Croft and others?

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Bob
8 days ago

If I lived there, Bob, I would certainly not be putting another penny in the collection plate of any parish in the Diocese of Oxford until (a) the Diocesan Synod held its bishop to account for the misuse of diocesan resources; and (b) there was a fully independent (ie not initiated by the Bishop or Christ Church) judge-led enquiry into what looks for all the world like the persecution of Martyn Percy.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
8 days ago

Thanks for your reply, but should a parish withhold its parish share?

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
9 days ago

Perhaps the Diocese of Oxford is not going after The Times because it realises that they have considerable resources to defend any claims made against them? They might also direct their investigative journalism in the Diocesan direction? As to Private Eye’s blunt response to an entirely separate threat of litigation; they have published a whole series of articles criticising the Bishop and Diocese of Oxford, yet I doubt that they will hear from Steven Buckley for fear of an equally blunt rebuttal.

Frances James
Frances James
Reply to  Fr Dean
7 days ago

A ‘Buckley’s Chance’, perhaps?

Rev Colin C Coward
9 days ago

Felicity Cooke’s post for ViaMedia news helps me identify the question that is haunting me in the context of Changing Attitude England’s campaign within the Living in Love and Faith process. Felicity ends: “All the principles and exhortations to disagree well will not bring us to be the fully inclusive, loving, compassionate church which Christ longs for us to be.” But we do not agree, and even those campaigning for the full and equal inclusion of women, LGBTQIA+, black and brown people, and people with disabilities do not agree that followers of Jesus Christ believe the Church should be 100%… Read more »

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
9 days ago

I’m not quite so sure why there is so much hubbub about the Bishop of Oxford’s having his solicitor write a letter to Archbishop Cranmer, claiming that Archbishop Cranmer’s statement that the Bishop of Oxford was “colluding with the forces of darkness” (among other things) was defamatory. . The Bishop of Oxford was merely following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. You of course remember the story when Jesus healed the demoniac and the Pharisees retorted, “It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.” . Jesus then went to his… Read more »

mark
mark
8 days ago

does this include maidstone “Sees of Maidstone and Ebbsfleet” as metioned in the HoB report

Jeremy
Jeremy
8 days ago

I’m a bit perplexed by Steven Buckley’s implication that a bishop, or anyone else for that matter, can somehow provably not be a safeguarding risk. To my understanding, key to managing risk is the principle that risk can never be reduced to zero. It can only be, and must be, assessed, mitigated, and minimized. Doesn’t safeguarding training make plain that risks can arise from the most unexpected quarters? Aren’t we all sinners, and therefore safeguarding risks to one degree or another? Or is there some binary yes/no, risky/risk-free categorization in the safeguarding realm that I’m not aware of? Is the… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
8 days ago

Two points about the Bishop of Oxford’s solicitor’s letter.

He denies that there are any outstanding ‘unresolved safeguarding cases’ relating to Croft. Presumably, therefore, the Bishop regards the Ineson/Devamanikkam case as resolved. I wonder what he regards as the resolution of this case as far as the complaints against him are concerned?

The press release about Percy criticises him explicitly for bringing forward claims of safeguarding failure which were supposedly unfounded. Is this the policy of the Diocese towards people who bring forward safeguarding complaints: to criticise them in a public forum as “spurious”?

Last edited 8 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Simon
Simon
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

There is much material publicly available on Stephen Croft’s record in safeguarding, most of which does him very little credit. In addition to the many years of the Percy and Ineson/Devamanikkam cases I remember him restoring George Carey’s PTO in flagrant disregard of a specific public request from the then Bishop responsible for safeguarding. Croft then refused to meet survivors to hear their concerns over his decision. I have never advocated withholding parish share for any reason at all on the basis that the entire C of E is ‘all in this together’. PCCs in the Oxford Diocese would do… Read more »

Simon
Simon
Reply to  Simon
1 day ago

Some more questions for the Bishop of Oxford to address may be found here: https://nineveh.live/?page_id=29

David Lamming
David Lamming
8 days ago

In the statement on the Diocese of Oxford website, the link to which is given above, the name of Steven Buckley (Director of Communications) is given for ‘Media enquiries’ above the statement that “The woman who raised a complaint of sexual harassment by Martyn [Percy] has been identified online and lied about to journalists.” Bearing in mind the assessment of that complaint by the President of Tribunals, Dame Sarah Asplin, in her CDM section 17 decision of 28 May 2021 (published on this website in a redacted form to preserve the complainant’s anonymity), I sent an e-mail to Mr Buckley… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  David Lamming
8 days ago

The complainant has now provided details of her story: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/13/exclusive-victim-breaks-silence-reveal-alleged-sexual-harassment/. Of course, this does not necessarily answer the questions you have posed.

Frances James
Frances James
Reply to  Froghole
7 days ago

Sadly behind a paywall.

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Frances James
7 days ago

Frances: “Sadly behind a paywall.”

If you ‘right click’ > ‘view page source’… you can find the whole article.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Froghole
7 days ago

Well, of course, we won’t be told, nor are we entitled to know, the details of the settlement which if properly drafted would be binding on all parties, but I am making the basic assumption that neither Martyn Percy nor the lady in question is now saying anything different from what they previously told Thames Valley Police and Dame Sarah Asplin. If that assumption is correct, what is all the fuss about – other than media excitement?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 days ago

What I suspect is that the release of this article and (as Prof. King has noted) its timing, may not be wholly unconnected with the triangulated ‘politics’, ‘war of words’ or ‘settling of scores’ going on between Dr Percy (and his supporters, including Mr Hilton), the college (and its supporters) and the bishop (and his supporters), together with some of their respective advisers. This is mere conjecture, of course. It is a dispiriting coda to this long-running saga. You have counselled silence, but the wounded left upon this legal and reputational battlefield still cry out, although many of the combatants… Read more »

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
6 days ago

Rowland, there was no NDA or confidentiality clause in the settlement.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  David Lamming
8 days ago

Stop press news: the woman concerned has now identified herself as Alannah Jeune in an exclusive interview given to the Telegraph and published online at 9.00 pm this evening, 13 May:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/13/exclusive-victim-breaks-silence-reveal-alleged-sexual-harassment/

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  David Lamming
7 days ago

A sympathetic interview and a photshoot: four pictures, to be precise, credited to “Rii Schroer for the Telegraph”, taken at various locations round Christ Church. Most people don’t get that without the help of somebody who knows who to work the media to their advantage. Somebody like Luther Pendragon, for example. None of which has any bearing on the veracity of Ms Jeune or her story, of course. A story may be true even when it is slickly presented by the media. But Cranmer’s blogpost is not about trying to determine what did or did not happen in the vestry:… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
7 days ago

‘In this case, the narrative is Percy bad: Percy’s friends bad; bishop good’

Except on Thinking Anglicans, where it’s ‘Percy good; cathedral chapter bad; Hannah Jeune a naive dupe being used by the evil media and the forces of darkness.’

Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
7 days ago

In reply to Mr Chesterton:

Who has been trying to control the agenda for years: a vindictive cabal of very powerful people with more money than moral sense, or a diverse group of free-thinking contributors in ‘Thinking Anglicans’?

I am reminded of the words of philosopher and political analyst Noam Chomsky:

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
6 days ago

In further reply to Mr Chesterton:

I wouldn’t go as far as accusing the mainstream media – in this case The Telegraph – of being party to “evil” dark forces, but I would accuse them of being party to obfuscation and ‘muddying the waters’ of truth.

‘Thinking Anglicans’ – with its diverse contributions and contributors – cannot be accused of this. Truth is many-sided and difficult to find, and TA is a reflection of that.

Last edited 6 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
8 days ago

Daily Telegraph’s ‘exclusive’ headline is incorrect – “‘Victim’ breaks silence to reveal alleged sexual harassment at hands of Christ Church dean”.

The ‘victim’ has “waived anonymity” – that is all. She – and significant others – have been far from silent in the concerted character assassination of Martyn Percy

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
7 days ago

Indeed, on 4 February, when Christ Church announced the agreement that led to the Dean resigning, they chose to accompany it with a long statement by Ms X, reiterating her position on the incident. They chose not to publish the Dean’s statement made at the same time. That statement by Ms X is still on the Christ Church website.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
6 days ago

It’s to be noted that the Telegraph put the word ‘Victim’ in quotation marks in their front page headline on 14 May.

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