Updated 25 November
The following is a record of a penalty imposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury with the consent of the respondent bishop under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003:
Name: The Right Reverend Peter Hullah
Penalty: Prohibition for life
Date Imposed: 1st August 2022
Brief Summary: Sexual misconduct involving two different women on two separate occasions.
The two offences occurred (according to the Mail) in 1985 and 1999. Peter Hullah was Bishop of Ramsbury (suffragan in Salisbury) from 1999 to 2005. From 1992, he was headmaster of Chetham’s School in Manchester, where there were multiple complaints of sexual misbehaviour by staff, but not by Hullah.
The new complaint, regarding these offences, was dealt with in the Province of Canterbury, during the summer of this year, but was not made public at that time.
The Telegraph reports
A spokesman for Mr Hullah said he had agreed to the sanction in August instead of contesting the allegations before a Church tribunal.
A Church of England spokesman said: “We can confirm that Peter Hullah has now been prohibited from ministry for life following a complaint under the clergy discipline measure brought by the national safeguarding team.
“We would like to acknowledge the courage and offer an unreserved apology on behalf of the Church to those who came forward to share their experience; support has been offered to all involved.
“The Church expects the highest standards from those in leadership and there can be no excuses when this does not happen.
“We will continue to listen to all those who come forward and to work together to make the Church a safer place for all.”
It. is very disappointing that this decision was not published at the time, as the relevant procedures were amended only this July at the General Synod, to ensure this would happen. However, even before this change, the procedure said
“Where a penalty by consent has been agreed with a bishop brief particulars of the misconduct should be made public by a notice placed on the diocese’s website.”
GS 2281X (dated May) contains the following:
9. All penalties imposed under the CDM are made public. Penalties imposed by a tribunal are published on the Church of England tribunal webpage, administered by the NCIs.
10.The current guidance provides that where the respondent admits misconduct and the bishop imposes a penalty by consent brief details of the case should be placed on the diocesan website. Further, it states that penalties imposed other than by a tribunal – i.e. under sections 30 and 31 CDM 2003 – should be made public.
11.To ensure a consistent approach to the publishing of penalties the proposed amendments to paragraph 312 provide that publishing penalties by consent and penalties imposed under sections 30 and 31 will no longer be the responsibility of the diocese or province. Upon a penalty being agreed the diocesan or provincial registrar will send the relevant details to the President of the Tribunals, who will cause them to be published on the Church of England website. The name of the respondent, the date penalty was agreed or imposed and the statutory ground of misconduct (e.g. “doing an act in contravention of the laws ecclesiastical”, “neglect or inefficiency in the performance of the duties of his office”, “conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders”) -but not any details of the particular misconduct – will be published.
12.Paragraph 311 is deleted as being no longer being necessary consequential upon the amendments to paragraph 312.
The Church Times reports this explanation of the delay (emphasis added):
On Thursday, a notice of the sanction was posted on the website of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In July, the General Synod voted to amend the CDM Code of Practice to require that “brief particulars” of a penalty against a bishop that is agreed by consent are posted “on the Church of England website” (News, 15 July).
Before this, only penalties by consent against a lower-ranked cleric were required to be published, not sanctions agreed between a bishop and an archbishop.
Because the case against Bishop Hullah was settled after the Synod had voted to amend the Code of Practice but before the Clergy Discipline Commission rubber-stamped the changes, it was unclear whether, when, and where, the notice had to be posted.