The Archbishop of Canterbury has been reprimanded for his remarks in the General Synod about an ongoing consistory-court case: whether to remove the Tobias Rustat Memorial from the chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge. Rustat (1608-94) was a significant benefactor of the college who had financial links with a slave-trading company.
Speaking during an impassioned debate on racial justice last week (News, 11 February), Archbishop Welby asked: “Why is it so much agony to remove a memorial to slavery that sits in front of the Dean of a college — Jesus College, Cambridge – who has to look at it every time she sits in her stall?” He said that the Church needed to change its practices on faculty jurisdiction.
The case is currently being considered by the Deputy Chancellor of Ely diocese, Judge David Hodge QC, who heard evidence and gathered submissions from representatives of the college and objectors in the week before the Synod met.
In a letter to the Church Times this week, a former Dean of the Arches and Auditor, Charles George QC, and a former Chancellor of Derby and Blackburn, John W. Bullimore, write that Judge Hodge “was, and is, preparing his judgment, in which he will give detailed reasons for his decision. His Grace’s clear indication that the result should allow the relocation is a breach of the sub judice rule that forbids discussion of matters under active consideration in the courts.
— BMH – 3.5% (@ArakapasHash) February 18, 2022