Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 11 September 2021

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Whither the Church of England – London diocese an exemplar?

Church Times ‘Focal’. ‘Oversight’. The C of E of the future
Madeleine Davies begins a two-part examination of the Church’s future

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley The Minister is Tired

Gilo and Tony Surviving Church Award for Investigative Journalist supporting Abuse Survivors: Issues for the Church of England

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
12 days ago

Gilo and Tony Surviving Church Award for Investigative Journalist supporting Abuse Survivors: Issues for the Church of England

Perhaps this investigative journalist would consider investigating the pivotal role played by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group [and ‘associates’] in the long-running Bishop Bell scandal?

Last edited 12 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
12 days ago

As an insurance journalist working within the industry, Jen Frost would be unlikely to investigate the Bell case…. much as her investigative acumen might unearth interesting facets of the Church’s response. What is embarrassing for the Church though is that three agents employed in that review – Ecclesiastical, Jefferson, Maden – all come off looking pretty dodgy from her reports about their practices regarding survivors. I list her main reports below August 2021 https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7868456/abi-publishes-child-sexual-abuse-claims-handling-code-in-response-to-inquiry Sept 2020 https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7681106/former-broadmoor-psychiatrist-faces-investigation-for-role-in-ecclesiastical-abuse-claims July 2020 https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7652861/briefing-ecclesiasticals-child-abuse-claims-shame-ceo-hews-admission-too-little-too-late July 2020 https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/4276536/revealed-leaked-emails-show-ecclesiastical-staff-using-callous-language-over-child-abuse-claims Feb 2020 https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/4602976/ecclesiastical-faces-fresh-allegations-of-unethical-treatment-as-case-of-suicide-watch-claimant-comes-to-light Maden, where he features in her investigative reporting does not I think come across… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
Reply to  Gilo
12 days ago

Correction:
What is embarrassing for the Church though is that three agents regularly employed by the Church…

(EIG were not involved in the Bell case)

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

Richard: Did EIG have an involvement? I understood that the claim was uninsured and for that reason was ‘handled’ wholly in house by the C of E. I no longer have a copy of the Carlile report. That investigation was so thorough and catalogued in detail all the shortcomings of the investigation, but I don’t remember any reference to EIG in an advisory role. I’m happy to be corrected if I am mistaken.

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

David Bonehill of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office EIO [parent company Ecclesiastical Insurance Group EIG] had much to say at the IICSA in his criticism of Lord Carlile’s recommendations regarding Bishop Bell.

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

Richard: Thanks for that link. It makes depressing reading.

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

From the George Bell Group:

“The original statement by the Archbishops’ Council in October 2015 claimed that none of the expert independent reports had found reason to doubt Carol’s veracity. But Lord Carlile discovered that the only expert consulted by the Church [Professor Maden – Ed] thought it very likely that Carol’s experience of abuse in her first marriage had affected her recall, and that the possibility of false memories was a real one”

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

Professor Maden comes in for much criticism – much of it justified – but it seems his analysis of ‘Carol’ in the Bishop Bell case was right.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago
Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

From the Carlile Report: Paragraph 178, pages 46-48. Professor Maden, an expert on ‘false memory syndrome’, comments extensively on the case. He closes his remarks by stating that “I have no doubt that [the complainant] is sincere in her beliefs. Nevertheless it remains my view that the possibility of false memories in this case cannot be excluded. The facts are for the Court to determine. I do not believe that psychiatric or other expert evidence is likely to be of further assistance in establishing whether or not these allegations are true…”. Some members of the ‘Core Group’ did not read… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

But if you read Gilo and Tony’s blog on Ecclesiastical Insurance (above), you will see that Prof Maden has been criticised for not taking sufficient trouble to ensure his expert opinions are soundly based.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 days ago

I’m sure the criticism of Prof Maden is justified in the ‘Gilo and Tony’ cases, but in the case of ‘Carol’ and Bishop Bell [in which Ecclesiastical Insurance was involved] that criticism does not, in my view, apply. Prof Maden was consulted as an expert in ‘false memory syndrome’ and he gave his expert opinion in the case of ‘Carol’. The trouble was Prof Maden’s expert opinion was ignored by the Church of England Core Group, resulting in a miscarriage of justice which still has not been resolved after six long years. Prof Maden may well have been wrong in… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Richard W. Symonds
Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

Richard: if you analyse the articles from Insurance Post linked by Gilo you will find that they are largely criticism of EIO. As far as I can see, only two cases involving Professor Maden are mentioned and both complaints have been dismissed by the General Medical Council. The link I added below in reply to Janet Fife, from March 2021, should be included in the list for fairness.

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

Thanks for this Rowland.

The last sentence in one of the Insurance Post’s articles is significant – ‘Professor Tony Maden cleared on two counts in insurance expert witness complaints’:

“The GMC further noted in this case: ‘Dr Maden’s fitness to practise is not called into question by a decision made by the legal firm who had instructed him'”

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

“Prof Maden may well have been wrong in many cases, but in the case of ‘Carol’ and Bishop Bell it seems he was right.” There is no ‘right’ confirmation of Bishop Bell’s guilt or innocence. Stating that some memories can be defective does not mean that ALL memories are defective. Carol’s allegations were ‘credible’ but I think we have to face the fact that we shall probably never know whether he was guilty or innocent (though technically in legal terms that means he remains legally innocent – which is not the same as factually innocent). As Maden says, ‘There is… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

“No doubt there will be people who are going to think there is no smoke without fire. I can do nothing about that except to say such an attitude would be wrong”

[Judge David Clarke in December 2000 – when dismissing the ‘sexual abuse’ case brought against the Southampton football manager David Jones]:

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 days ago

To restore some balance here, this is a further article from ‘Post’. It merits careful reading, especially what the GMC’s Expert Examiner said about medical experts reporting without meeting a patient face-to-face.

https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7813796/professor-tony-maden-cleared-on-two-counts-in-insurance-expert-witness-complaints

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
11 days ago

The alleged abused [and their defenders] are not always in the right.
The alleged abusers [and their defenders] are not always in the wrong.
That’s one reason why we have Courts of Law [and their defenders].
Thank God for them.

Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
10 days ago

In the unending quest for justice and defeating injustice in abuse cases, it is critical to understand that the abused and those falsely accused of abuse are both victims of abuse.

Anne
Anne
10 days ago

Re Colin Coward and the difference in numbers between the Diocese of London and other Dioceses. The Diocese of London has a large number of black churches. Many of these churches have new immigrants as members and have a 100% attendance on a Sunday. Church is not only a place of worship, but a place to meet with members of their own community for help, sustenance and support. Take the black churches out of the figures and I think you will find that the Diocese of London has similar levels of decline to other Dioceses.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Anne
10 days ago

The dramatic contrast with Southwark suggests that this can’t be the sum total of the answer.

Southwark and London have very similar demographics, but Southwark has declined and London has grown. Maybe immigration is part of the story, but why hasn’t it helped Southwark?

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Anne
9 days ago

I wasn’t aware the CofE had any black churches. There are parishes attended by some people who are black. Are there any Caucasian people in these congregations or has apartheid been reintroduced?

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