Diocese of Chichester
Notes of week 3 (19th to 23th March 2018)
A8 had known from an early age that he wanted to explore the monastic life. He considered the Benedictines, Franciscans and Peter Ball’s Order of the Glorious Ascension. He decided on Pater Ball’s “Give a Year to God” scheme which was just for a year and he felt it gave more freedom rather than the very serious atmospheres of the other monastic orders. The trainees were also young men to whom he could relate.
He lived at the Rectory at Littlington, sleeping on mattresses on floors, praying regularly from 5am and was encouraged to subjugate himself entirely to Peter Ball. He now recognises that this was a grooming process. He was sexually assaulted three times by Ball.
In 1992 he was called by a policeman about offences committed by Peter Ball but did not confirm he had been a victim. He became ordained but left the priesthood between 1997 and 2012. In 2012 he took on a set of parishes in Shropshire and told the suffragan Bishop of Ludlow about the Ball abuse. He took no action. He later told the Bishop of Hereford who also took no action.
A8 feels abuse is not about sex but about control. He feels the church tries to crush people who speak out. He feels apologies are used as weapons by the church, the actual message being “you’re not on our team any more. It’s a way of saying goodbye. He didn’t find apologies helpful or genuine.
A7 became interested in monasticism after hearing Peter Ball speak at his school in 1981. He thought it would be a good way to “find” himself. He got a lot of attention from Peter Ball and was happy and flattered by this attention from such a holy man.
Peter Ball has been head boy at Lancing College and A8 drew parallels between the boarding school set up and the Littlington scheme arrangements with young men sleeping in the same rooms, communal living etc.
A7 told us Ball wanted to “toughen us up”, getting us out of bed early for prayers and to work all day. “In reality we were snowflakes” A7 could see that most of the schemers were “on the edge”. Ball sexually assaulted A7 between April and August 1985.
A7 is unhappy that over the course of the 10 years subsequent to Ball’s caution the church manoeuvred him back into the position of any other retired Bishop. His theories are either:-
- The church accepted his pleas of innocence and denials, or
- The church had forgiven him, or
- The church allowed him the elevated status because he was old and frail.
Bishop David Walker
Bishop David Walker, a tall thin cleric with white hair and short beard wore a purple shirt, dog collar and a cross. He is Bishop of Manchester and lead on religious communities
He has a role in relation to monastic orders, religious communities. He explained he has no power over them but can carry out a visit to each community every 5 years. The only sanction he has is to remove the Order from the advisory council.
Graham Tilby (GT) wore a suit and tie, is around 50 years old with glasses. He has the manner of a management executive but personable. He tended to drift into vague management speak at times to demonstrate concepts. He is clearly doing a very challenging job in circumstances in which his organisation’s structure closes off possibilities for real and quick improvement.
He pointed out past failings eg that it was not compulsory for Dioceses to follow national policy until 2015, no effective mechanism for punishment of clergy for failing to report until 2015 and couldn’t compel a risk assessment until 2016.
Before he joined there was 0.5 posts in national safeguarding. Now there are 13.5.
His work areas are :-
Policy, training, quality assurance and complex case work.
In addition to his team he has a “network of associates” ie work is outsourced such as the development of the safe spaces project and safeguarding hub website.
There were various conversations on technical issues, in many cases GT acknowledged the present position is not acceptable but he had plans in place to bring improvement such as monitoring PTOs, “structured conversations” arising from SCIE audits, information sharing and the safeguarding hub website, training backlog, and psychological profiling.
The employment of DSAs at a national level to ensure independence is not ruled out by GT.
DSAs improvements are :-
- Now need a Social Work qualification
- DSAs can overrule Bishops on safeguarding
- They can’t be clergy
- They need management experience
GT was unable to adequately respond to the criticism that the give “due regard” to church safeguarding regulations wording was insufficiently imperative. He simply said there are other areas of the guidance which have a “must” wording.
GT was sadly equally woolly on mandatory reporting choosing excuses on thresholds for safeguarding over commitment to the principle.
He acknowledged there was more work to do on whistleblowing, cathedrals, working with survivors, ISVAs, data collection and the safe spaces project.
He managed to avoid a good question from Alexis Jay on whether he had found a diocese failing to report a safeguarding mater in to him centrally.
Ivor Frank describes GT’s flaccid language about future plans and underscores the need for urgency in pushing them through.
Edina Carmi (ED) is a very experienced social worker who prepared the report on failings of the Chichester Cathedral Dean and Chapter arising from the Terence Banks abuse conviction in 2000. She is a middle aged woman with short fair hair and is a very good communicator.
She found Dean John Treadgold to be resistant to allowing her access to employees and volunteers at the Cathedral. He felt there would be reputational damage, it would stir up more complaints and would damage their finances.
The main problem was that Bishop John Hind, the Diocesan Bishop was powerless to force the Cathedral to implement her recommendations.
Overall she found a divergence starting at the end of the 1970s between acceptable safeguarding practice and the Cathedral practices. Overall the Cathedral wanted to deal with everything “in house”.
ED is also the lead on the SCIE audits taking place at present. She acknowledges the shortcomings of the SCIE audit being paper only but feels it will give a baseline of how the church is complying with its own guidance.
ED’s thoughts on the future ?
She identifies that many in the church think they have literally “God-given” power. She questions whether it is possible to change the culture unless the church is de-constructed and re-constructed with in-built checks and balances.
She also identified there is a need for a more targeted spread of funding between dioceses to meet the needs of the particular diocese. She also worries for DSAs as they are appointed by Bishops and it would take a particularly strong DSA to challenge a Bishop. She advocates DSAs being recruited and employed nationally but operating locally. She also advocates an independent scheme for redress and decisions on cases.
A11 was a chorister at a choral school. He was befriended by Terence Banks, his parents were proud of him and were taken in by Banks who persuaded them to let A11 stay overnight with him. During the overnight stay he was sexually assaulted at age around 11 by Banks. Banks worked at the BBC in London and took A11 to his flat in London where he again sexually assaulted him. A further incident when he was 13 happened when an adult member of a choir took him to a flat in Richmond and sexually assaulted him. A11 told him Mum but she didn’t believe him. There was another more minor incident of over clothing touching by a teacher.
A11 reported all this to the police in 2000 and was treated well by the police. He had to fund his own counselling and suffered with mental health difficulties, preventing him working for an extended period. He criticised the cathedral’s provision of support for Banks but none for him.
A11 was never given a copy of the Carmi report despite being one of the complainants.
He has felt very strongly that the church has handled him very badly. He was invested very heavily in the church being a boarder at a chorister’s school and the behaviour of these men and the Cathedral afterwards has shattered his faith. He described the rottenness of the men and the complete absence of any kind of good response.
He criticised the use of a psychiatrist who did a desktop report without seeing him which led to an offer of compensation being withdrawn.
The second abuser described is by the way still working at the Cathedral.
Dean Peter Atkinson
Dean Peter Atkinson (PA) is the present Dean at Chichester Cathedral. He wore a grey suit with a dog collar, was very considered with his words and vague at times.
He described the arrest of Banks as a wake up call and found it shocking. He also mentioned the conviction of Michael Walsh who was imprisoned for 5 years for indecent assaults on girls. He admitted the chapter’s mistake in allowing Walsh back into the Cathedral – he racalls the discussion being about forgiveness and whether he was entitled to a fresh start after prison.
He admits John Treadgold handles the Banks disclosure and parents badly.
PA said “I can see John Treadgold would have been defensive with the police. At the time of his retirement he burned a number of files. He had left the Deanery and returned, removed files from the basement and had a bonfire in the garden. I don’t know what the files were. They might have been Chapter files but could have been his own. We found it odd and told the police.”
PA resisted the suggestion that the Cathedral was a closed community.
He regrets putting together an indignant document criticising the Carmi report.
Elizabeth Hall (EH) was the national safeguarding adviser (NSA) 2009-2013. In her 50s, she wore glasses and had collar length hair.
EH has worked in many posts throughout her career before taking the role of NSA which was 2 days a week.
She felt handicapped by a lack of funding, no national guidance on interrelation of dioceses to the centre, and feeling “outside the church house family”.
She describes her work supporting DSAs and the KATE Wood discovery of the Tyler report in April 2012. She felt the cover up of Ball had been managed and Sussex Police should be told.
She thinks :-
- This can happen anywhere (not just Chichester).
- People can abuse in plain sight
- These men are obsessed with creating safe places for them to abuse and take care to carve out spaces.
In questioning Ivor Frank asked about document ACE006654_002 which relates to the Bishop of Peterborough having a massive bonfire of documents when he retired. She said there is a theological underpinning to this – to give his successor a fresh start. She is also aware that people keep documents in their attics after retirement.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Justin Welby (JW) wore round spectacles, was clean shaven and had short grey hair and wore a grey suit, black shirt and a dog collar and cross.
His aims on safeguarding are to:-
- Use his influence
- Provide leadership
- Make resources available
- Use discipline
He acknowledged he can’t compel any Bishop to do anything. His only tool is visitations which are cumbersome and rare. He complained the church took a long time to change things and that causes frustration. He wants to eradicate a culture of deference to bishops by working as teams, he hopes to pick up bad management before it becomes catastrophic. He’d advocate psychometric testing if its proven to help. He commented on integrating “tribes” and feels the Oxbridge class bias at the top is breaking down.
On the issues of forgiveness he used biblical quotes and theology to explain what the church should do.
On the issue of an independent redress system he said “we need justice therefore if we can’t find it in the present system we need to find a better one”
On the Bishop George Bell case he stressed the need for transparency and his principled avoidance of non disclosure agreements.
He agrees data collection is not good enough, that DSAs need outside supervision and nore ASVAs are needed. He also agreed the CDM process needs a separate strand for child abuse cases.
He learned that he’s become ashamed of the church, the insanity of a deferential culture, that Parish safeguarding officers are the front line, and the church has got to find ways of implementing change more quickly.
Bishop Peter Hancock
Peter Hancock, a fair haired man of around 60 wore a grey suit, purple shirt, dog collar and cross. He spoke with excitement about safeguarding.
He agreed the man in the street won’t know what giving “due regard” means legally and thinks there should be a change to clarify this.
He agreed there should be a separate procedure on capability in the CDM.
He agreed DSAs should be recruited nationally and work locally.
Discussions are starting on a redress scheme.
He agrees the seal of the confessional should not apply to child abuse.
He is working on improvements to monitoring PTOs including a register with Crockfords.
He refused to agree the church should implement Mandatory Reporting, instead stating it is the responsibility of everyone in the country to report. He feels the church is as close as it can get to MR.
He’s learnt its not enough to listen. The church needs to act and make policies visible and credible.