The Vicar and churchwardens of Wymondham Abbey have complained of “unrelenting” pressure exerted by the diocese of Norwich, accusing the diocese of “unremitting criticism of a church community doing its best in very difficult times”.
Their statement, published on the Abbey’s website on Monday of last week, is a defiant response to directions issued to them by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, after a visitation of the benefice of Wymondham with Silfield and Spooner Row (News, 19 November 2021).
Bishop Usher ordered Ms Relf-Pennington to apologise without reservation to those who had brought complaints against her, after the report spoke of multiple problems in the benefice, including her “authoritarian style”, the termination of a longstanding choral tradition, and the non-payment of parish share.
In their response, Ms Relf-Pennington and the churchwardens write: “We have been harassed. For three years the pressure here has been unrelenting. We believe the intention has been to break the vicar, break the PCC people and to break the worshipping community: all this for the preferences of Bishop Graham Usher and Bishop Alan Winton to the detriment of the whole of the parish and indeed to the whole of the town.” The behaviour of the Bishops was “unethical, immoral and self-serving”, they write.
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"The Bishop is very keen to resolve matters in Wymondham for the benefit of the whole community.” https://t.co/aAOes4iNEd
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