Category : CoE Bishops

(CEN) Abuse survivor calls for senior Anglican bishops to resign over failures

[Matthew] Ineson points out that in the statement by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team ‘it is claimed that the Archbishop did not fail to act on any disclosure made, because the responsibility to respond and act lay with the diocesan bishop, namely Steven Croft’.

“The National Safeguarding Team are clearly stating here that Steven Croft should have acted,”he adds.

He points out that his alleged perpetrator, Trevor Devamanikkan,was charged in May 2017 with six serious charges of sexual abuse against Ineson. However, he committed suicide before the case could come to court.

“Steven Croft has admitted on several occasions that I disclosed my abuse to him in the media over the past 16 months. I have pursued the complaint against Steven Croft’s failures several times with the Church, who have blocked any attempt at investigation into his failures.

“The National Safeguarding Team now acknowledge those failures and I call on Steven Croft to resign with immediate effect,” said Ineson.

He also calls on Archbishop Sentamu to resign with immediate effect ‘for failing to act on my disclosure to him’.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Child abuse inquiry: Diocese of Chichester had a ‘major issue’

The diocese of Chichester had a “major issue” with priests carrying out abuse, an inquiry has heard.

Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Martin Warner, made the claim when giving evidence to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Dr Warner said there had been a “breakdown of trust” between the Church of England and the local council.

He also said he was warned by a senior Church of England official that the area was considered “a basket case”.

The bishop claimed Caroline Boddington, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s appointments secretary, made the remark when he was appointed in 2012.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

The next Anglican Bishop of Lancaster set to take on her new role this summer

The Bishop of Lancaster-designate was introduced by Bishop Julian at Marsh Community Centre, Lancaster, this morning, alongside the Suffragan Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. Philip North. Joining the Bishops were other members of the bishop’s leadership team.

“I am thrilled and humbled to be appointed the eighth Bishop of Lancaster,” said Mrs Duff. “This is a vibrant and exciting part of the Church of England with its Vision 2026: Healthy Churches Transforming Communities. Being born and brought up in Lancashire, the region has been on my heart in prayer for many years.

“Time and again I have seen how, with prayer and perseverance, churches can grow and it will be good to be part of a courageous diocese that is looking to the future with real hope.

The Bishop-designate is married to Rev. Prof. Jeremy Duff, who is Principal of the St Padarn’s Institute in the Church in Wales, and they have two sons, Robbie, aged 13 and Harry, aged 10.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Jillian Duff appointed as the next Suffragan Bishop of Lancaster

Dr Jillian Duff (aged 45) was born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. She was educated at Christ College, Cambridge and Worcester College, Oxford. After working in the oil industry, she trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall Oxford. Dr Duff served her title at St Philip’s, Litherland, in the Diocese of Liverpool from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 Dr Duff took up the role of Pioneer Minister, church planting in Liverpool City Centre till 2011. I

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(ACNS) Former Church of North India priest chosen to be bishop in the Church of England

A former priest in the united Church of North India’s Diocese of Calcutta has been chosen to be the next Area Bishop of Bradwell in the Church of England’s Diocese of Chelmsford. The Ven Dr John Perumbalath already serves in the Diocese, which covers the county of Essex and parts of east London, as the Archdeacon of Barking. He comes, originally, from the ancient Syrian Christian community in Kerala, India, and trained for ministry at Union Biblical Seminary in Pune.

Dr Perumbalath worked as a youth worker among university students for two years and as a theological educator for three years before his ordination in the CNI. In addition to his parish ministry, he served on the CNI’s General Synod and its theological commission. He moved to the Church of England in 2002 and served in three parishes before becoming Archdeacon of Barking in 2013.

He is a member of the C of E’s General Synod and sits on its appointment committee and mission & public affairs council. He is a trustee board of Westcott House, a theological college at Cambridge University, and chairs the national committee for minority ethnic Anglican concerns (CMEAC) and the London Churches Refugee Network.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, India

Food for Thought on a Sunday–N T Wright on the Wrath of God

From there

“The biblical doctrine of God’s wrath is rooted in the doctrine of God as the good, wise and loving creator, who hates–yes, hates, and hates implacably–anything that spoils, defaces, distorts or damages his beautiful creation, and in particular anything that does that to his image-bearing creatures. If God does not hate racial prejudice, he is neither good nor loving. If God is not wrathful at child abuse, he is neither good nor loving If God is not utterly determined to root out from his creation, in an act of proper wrath and judgment, the arrogance that allows people to exploit, bomb, bully and enslave one another, he is neither loving, nor good, nor wise.”

(quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon)

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Theology: Scripture

(Christian Today) Holy Sepulchre closed because Israel’s Christians believe they are under threat, says Bishop of Southwark

The Bishop of Southwark has called on Christians around the world to show ‘solidarity’ over the indefinite closure of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre in protest at a bill affecting church lands and new taxes on churches that are ‘unfair, inappropriate and arbitrary’.

Speaking to Christian Today from Galilee on the final day of a pilgrimage with 84 people from the south London Anglican diocese, Bishop Christopher Chessun also expressed his disapproval of a bill in the Knesset, or Israeli parliament, supported by Israeli settlers, that would allow the state to expropriate land in Jerusalem sold by churches to private real estate firms in recent years.

‘The bill going through the Knesset is of course at the instigation of particular groups and it is very important that the powers that be recognise the significance of the status quo which governs the relationship formally between the church and the state,’ Chessun said.

‘So if there are actions taken by different groups of settlers or whatever else and that leads to poor leadership by the powers that be then there will be massive consequences.’

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Israel, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Taxes

(Norwich Evening News) From a focus on the disadvantaged of his diocese to chatting to the Queen about corgis – the Bishop of Norwich reflects on 25 years as a bishop

Two places he feels particularly close to God are by the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus lived and worked, and at St Benet’s Abbey in the heart of the Broads. As Abbot of St Benet’s he arrives by boat every August to lead an open-air service beside the scattered ruins.

“I’m not really a sea-going person but there is something about where land and water meet, and an atmosphere hallowed by prayer,” he said.

When he first became a Bishop there was no Google, Facebook, or women priests. Today 35pc of priests in the diocese are female – and one of the first to be 
ordained, the Rt Rev Jan MacFarlane, now Bishop of Repton, will be back to preach at his celebration service.

In 2012 Bishop Graham was tipped as the next Archbishop of Canterbury – and admitted to praying that he would not be appointed. “I love being Bishop of Norwich and having a community, and churches, over which to minister and getting to know a lot of people.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martyn Percy–‘Sorry’ seems to be the hardest word: apologetics and apologies in the Bishop Bell case

Lord Carlile reacted by saying that he was astonished that the Church had gone public with the new claim, when among his recommendations was that people accused of abuse should remain anonymous until the allegations are proven. We note that the decision of the NST to share the information through a press release is a direct breach of article 3.8 of the Practice Guidance 2017 from the House of Bishops, published in October 2017.

So, despite the Church of England saying – begrudgingly – that it had accepted many of Lord Carlile’s recommendations in his report, it appears that this is not the case. For starters, the ‘Core Group’ of the NST that will investigate the alleged “new information” looks set to include some members of the previously discredited group. Members of that original Core Group are seriously conflicted and should not in any way participate in the new investigation. The deficiencies and failings in the process and mind-set of the original Core Group were so extensive that no one who was a member of this dealing with the first complaint (by someone known as ‘Carol’) could be confidently relied upon.

We must remember that Carlile’s report noted that the original Core Group failed to establish a process that was fair and equitable to both Carol and the reputation of Bishop Bell. There was “a rush to judgment”, which failed to give proper consideration to the rights of Bishop Bell. The Core Group was set up in an unmethodical and unplanned way, and became a confused and unstructured process. The ‘process’ – if that can be any meaningful description of the debacle overseen by the NST – was predicated on Bishop Bell’s guilt. The truth of what ‘Carol’ was saying was implicitly accepted without serious investigation or and kind of wide-ranging inquiry. Carlile’s report was effectively a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the NST.

As for ‘proven’, Mrs Barbara Whitley, George Bell’s niece, and now 94 years of age, has made it clear that she wished to be represented by Desmond Browne QC. Yet without consulting with Mrs Whitley or the wider family further, on 8th February 2018, Graham Tilby of the NST informed Bell’s family and friends that he had assigned a Mr Donald Findlater to represent their interests and concerns.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martin Sewell: Church of England bullies George Bell’s elderly niece by denying her choice of lawyer

When Desmond Browne QC volunteered his services to Mrs [ Barbara] Whitley [93-year-old niece of the late Bishop George Bell], she was no doubt pleased that her long-dead uncle would have the previously denied skilled advocate at the table to evaluate and challenge evidence, assumptions and conclusions, and to make submissions as the matter unfolded. In this position, of course, he would not be participating in the making of the decisions, and could legitimately be asked to withdraw during decision-making deliberations. Core groups were once commonplace for me, with familiar modes of operation. Unfortunately, so far as I can ascertain, nobody making and shaping decisions on behalf of the church has any such personal experience of what is all in a day’s work a safeguarding lawyer.

But, inexplicably, Mrs Whitley’s choice of advocate was denied by the church.

Upon hearing of this decision, my fellow Synod legal colleague David Lamming and I presented a carefully evaluated case for letting Mrs Whitley have her wish, buttressed by warnings of the highly predictably adverse PR consequences for failing to do so, enhanced with entreaties and exhortations to ‘do the right thing’.

We had a prompt meeting with those who made and defended the refusal. We appreciated their willingness to listen, putting the case I now share, without success. It should not have been necessary. We can over-intellectualise these matters, but the man on the Clapham omnibus could have advocated the case for Mrs Whitley having her free choice of lawyer succinctly. It was, in John Cleese’s succinct if not-quite-biblical phrase, ‘bleeding obvious’.

George Bell’s niece is an elderly lady. She has suffered and continues to suffer prolonged anxiety as her long-dead relative has been and continues to be publicly traduced by the Church of England on the basis of a single uncorroborated allegation brought 60 years after the event, all as a result of inadequate process that need not be restated. You might have expected a compassionate and contrite church to have been on its mettle, but, as usual, the consideration of the little people gave way to what can best be described as institutional bullying – which will come as no surprise to the many dissatisfied victims of abuse at the hands of the church, some of whom gathered outside Church House the following day.

I am puzzled that so many sincere and ethically-aware Christians cannot see that one of the best ways of honouring past victims is not to create new ones.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Church Times) Choose bishops more openly, Synod members urge

The O’Donovan review of the workings of the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) was approved overwhelmingly by the General Synod on Thursday afternoon.

The report, prepared by eight theologians led by the Revd Professor Oliver O’Donovan, called for more theological depth among those chosen to be bishops (News, 19 January).

Introducing his review, Professor O’Donovan described it as “on the revolutionary side of evolutionary”, meaning that it was “neither bland nor bloody”.

As well as boosting the number of theological heavyweights on the bishops’ bench, Professor O’Donovan said he wanted to undo a culture of “excessive secrecy”.

This found considerable backing in the Synod. Anthony Archer, a lay member from St Albans diocese who had served on eight CNCs, welcomed this. He was “not proud to be associated with a body that has a reputation to be secretive”.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(Church of England) House of Bishops Response to the Independent Reviewer’s report on See of Sheffield

When we wrote to Sir Philip to ask him to undertake this review, our first concern was whether the Church had done enough to inform and educate clergy and laity about the 2014 settlement and the effect of the House of Bishops’ Declaration within it. We regret that, as Sir Philip concluded, not nearly enough was done to create an understanding of what the Declaration and Settlement would mean in practice. Sir Philip’s recommendation to form “a group with balanced membership to review what has been done; distil examples of good practice within dioceses; and provide resources to help dioceses, deaneries and parishes, and theological training institutions to engage in further consideration of the issues” has led us to establish an Implementation and Dialogue Group. The Bishop of Rochester has agreed to Chair this group, with the support of the Bishop of Aston. As Chair of the Steering Committee in charge of the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops that the Synod approved in 2014, Bishop James will bring significant experience to the Implementation and Dialogue Group along with others who sat on the Steering Committee with him. We have taken very seriously the call from Sir Philip to make this a diverse and balanced group….

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Archbp Welby under pressure as General Synod members asked to back motion of ‘regret’ over Bishop George Bell case

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be under renewed pressure at the Church of England’s ruling General Synod this week to renounce his claim that a ‘significant cloud’ remains over George Bell, a highly-respected bishop accused of sex abuse.

Members of synod, which acts as the church’s parliament, are today being asked to back a motion expressing ‘regret’ over Justin Welby’s handling of the case and calling for Bishop Bell’s ‘reputation as one of the great bishops of the Church of England is restored untarnished’.

The motion, seen by Christian Today, will be published as synod opens on Thursday after being approved by the church’s lawyers. It will not be debated at this week’s sessions but could be discussed at the next synod in July, if it receives enough support….

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martin Sewell–Did Lambeth Palace know the ‘fresh information’ about Bishop George Bell before Lord Carlile published his report?

So, we may have endured considerable turbulence based upon a hearsay delayed allegation which cannot be corroborated and which no authority took seriously when it was first published.

It could still be true, of course: one of the victims could come forward with credible testimony, but this is not what we are currently being told. If it changes, we start all over again.

Meanwhile, victims of more contemporary and proven abuse will be standing outside General Synod asking us to support their quest for justice with just a fraction of the time we are currently expending arguing about events of 60 years ago. The sooner we get all this out into the open and settled, the faster we can turn our attention to their long neglected current needs.

To do that quickly we need real transparency, and the sooner the better.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture

(Premiere) Bishop from New Zealand joins diocese of Leeds with Maori ceremony

[The] Rt Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley was welcomed into the Church of England as the new Bishop of Ripon on Sunday with guests flying in from New Zealand to conduct the ceremony.

Speaking to Premier, Hartley said she was “excited, it’s [been] quite a time preparing for it since I knew about the appointment last year so it’s at that point where I’ve moved in and ready to get started!”

Describing the service she said: “It’s going to be probably a bit different in the sense that, because I’m moving from another part of the Anglican communion, from New Zealand, some Maori priests from New Zealand have made the journey to England, which is amazing and they’re going to start the service off by handing me over to the diocese of Leeds.”

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Posted in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops