PAST CASES REVIEW AND SINGLETON REPORT – 22nd June 2018

COMMENT ON PAST CASES REVIEW AND SINGLETON REPORT – 22nd June 2018

The past cases review (PCR) published in 2010 was announced with the following declaration in the church press release “We firmly believe that any concerns about a member of clergy or other office holder’s suitability to work with children have now been thoroughly examined in the light of current best practice by independent reviewers”

Contrast this with just one submission from one Diocese in which 390 personnel files were reviewed and 76 were found to have had no checks at all. 114 PTO files reviewed 12 had no checks at all. Of the 390 files reviewed and 24 needed further investigation. 1 person was ordained despite having a conviction for indecent assault; 1 person’s file had been taken by the Metropolitan police Paedophile squad. In another, “nasty” pornography discovered but no action taken. This information does not square with the quote above in bold. To our knowledge none of these cases were followed up, investigated further or reported to the police.

The true story is of vast cover up and avoidance of responsibility on an industrial scale.

The church set out in its review criteria to minimise any damage which could result from opening up the books. The criteria given to reviewers were that they should include (1) The number of files reviewed (2) The numbers referred to statutory authorities (3) The number dealt with formally internally. There seems to have been no concern that these three criteria ignored more detailed but still important safeguarding concerns such as cases where clergy had been arrested without being internally disciplined, retired clergy who still pose a risk, clergy against whom no action has been taken despite allegations against them, clergy with no CRB checks. Parish employees and volunteers were ignored. Non-diocesan organisations such as Cathedrals and monastic Orders were excluded

The question has to be asked what has happened to all these cases which remained very much live but which were ignored and swept under Rowan William’s bulging carpet ?

In the closing weeks of the PCR while the final results were being tallied – there was an extraordinary process in which Archbishop’s Council and senior figures in both Lambeth Palace and Church House were inviting dioceses to whittle their numbers down to zero. So for example in their original return, Chichester returned over 50 cases – but were asked to reduce this to zero on confused criteria that seemed almost to have been invented in closing stages. Chichester’s final return was in fact 3. 3 out of 13. Another diocese returned nearly 40 but this was reduced to zero. This seems to have been the pattern. We now know that Lincoln diocese has sent many files to the police, perhaps as many as 50 – but only within the last two years. Presumably many if not all these files should have led to arrest and potential prosecution at the time of the PCR.

In short the PCR was a whitewash. It was never going to be anything other. It left vast numbers of clergy un-investigated, unreported to the police, free to continue abusing and effectively protected by the church. This amounts at best to misfeasance in public office and at worst perverting the course of justice and harbouring criminals. Church officials’ behaviour should be investigated by the police.

Roger Singleton in his evidence to the IICSA IN March 2018 was critical of the Past Cases Review, its methodology and how it created a false rosy picture about safeguarding problems in the church. He made the point that files are very poorly kept and the press statement on the Past cases review was “under-evidenced”.

Yet we heard this morning on BBC R4 Today Roger Singleton now defending the past cases review by denying there was any cover up by the church. How can we have any faith in the review chaired by him when he has been so soft on the ludicrous charade that was the PCR? His review of the PCR has now been published. It is another attempt to keep things “in house” and persuade IICSA that “they can handle it”. Mr Singleton and his reviewers don’t get it and have been far too lenient with the church.

Mr Singleton’s report amounts to another attempted cover up. He uses loose words, and fails to call the PCR what it was – organised massage of the figures which hid abuse and allowed perpetrators and the good name of the church to be protected. He misses the point which is that the PCR was largely a statistical exercise unconcerned with rigorous assessment of church responses. There was no assessment of whether the church response in each case was appropriate (ie whether the alleged perpetrator had been treated too leniently or whether a case was reported to the police).

The CofE shoehorned a massive problem into an eggcup and hoped to get away with presenting this as a misrepresentation of reality. It has taken 8 years for this story to come to light as Phil Johnson and other members of MACSAS tried to get both the Church and the media to attend to this at the time. And we are seeing now today a whitewash of a whitewash. The church has vowed to introduce limited independent oversight but their idea of independence (for example their use of Roger Singleton) is not our idea of independence.

We need a bold minister to step in and appoint an truly independent reviewer to do a thorough examination of the cases and make referrals to the police of abusers and those responsible for covering up for them – and the church should pay for it.

David Greenwood and Gilo

22nd June 2018

Catholic Nun’s rapes of 13 year old boy covered up.

Catholic Nun’s rapes of 13 year old boy covered up.

The case of William Edward Hayes is a shocking but fairly typical case of the Catholic Church clergy abusing the trust they assumed when looking after children to sexually abuse them. We have seen this pattern emerge in many settings over the last 20 years.

What is extraordinary about William’s case is that he was sexually abused by a Nun who went on to have his child. She was expelled from the church and returned to Ireland. The child of the rape was taken into another convent and spent a lifetime looking for the biological parents. William fought for acknowledgement and redress and after a long fight through lawyers for compensation he eventually succeeded. This was not however without the Catholic Church putting obstacles in his way.

William has been helped in the last decade by Noel Chardon, a founder member of MACSAS (“Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors”), a support organisation for clergy abuse survivors. Noel is a trauma recovery counsellor based in London.

William describes the abuse as follows :

“In June 1951 when I was 10 years old, my sister and I were admitted to the John Reynolds Home at East Beach, Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire. This home was run by the Catholic Order of Religious, The Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph who were in fact nuns. The house itself contained about 30 children both boys and girls and contained three separate houses. The sisters lived in one of the houses, the boys in another and the girls in the other one. What I did notice was that we were then cleaned up and fed adequately whilst in this particular home where I remained until the age of 15.

The nuns could be nice at times but also very strict and we weren’t allowed to get away with anything. I had been at the home for probably a couple of years before I got a job in the laundry room at the back of the house and one of the nuns Sister Conleth (birth name Bessie Lawlor) was in charge of the laundry. I hadn’t been working in the laundry very long when I was taken to the back of the laundry room and sexually abused by her. She would push me to the floor and either lay on top of me or have me lay on top of her and showed me how to perform sexual intercourse with her. She would not undress at his particular time but would just pull her habit up and pull my trousers down and I would have sex with her. Initially I wasn’t sure what to do but she showed me how to put my penis inside her and then on a number of occasions over the next few years we would have regular sexual intercourse, by this I mean probably every day. When I said that I didn’t want to do these things she told me that I would be in trouble if I didn’t and she would tell people that I had been bad and that I would be in serious trouble. 

I honestly believed her and I knew that nobody would believe me over a nun and therefore kept having intercourse with her. The sex was Sister Conleth carried on for probably a couple of years before I was moved to my own bedroom. After that Sister Conleth would come to my room on most nights and come to bed with me. She would take all her clothes off, get into bed and have sex with me. Looking back at it now I realise this was rape when I did try to complain I was told to just get on with it and she would often make jokes and phrases such as “lets have a prop up”. Obviously looking back on this now I know that the prop up for me to put my penis inside of her and have sex with her.

Sister Conleth always threatened me with punishment should I say anything about what was happening therefore I tended to keep quiet. This changed because I noticed that my sister had become very unhappy and I later found out that she had been abused by Canon Moxham. After that we ran away on a couple of occasions but were caught and were taken back to the home. I was running away because of the abuse, at that time I obviously didn’t know about my sister but she came with me as she was also being abused. On return to the home I did mention what was happening with myself and Sister Conleth to the Mother Superior who was called Mary Osmond. I remember telling her twice but nothing was done. I was really frightened and embarrassed about talking to her but she just acted as though everything was okay. It would have been about 1956/57 when I was aged about 16 that I was called to a meeting. There was Sister Conleth, Mother Superior, a priest and I believe Canon Moxham was present. I was told that I was being sent back to Carlisle because I had got Sister Conleth pregnant. I was put on a train with no money and told to keep my mouth closed and told that if I said anything to anyone, nobody would believe me and I was also told in no uncertain terms that if I mentioned about the abuse and the relationship with Sister Conleth I would be in serious trouble.”

What William couldn’t have known is that Sister Conleth had her baby and was returned to Ireland. The baby was brought up in a Convent and now with the help of Noel Chardon and William finally breaking his silence to the Daily Express on 3rd April 2018 the daughter of the relationship as made contact with William. (see web link here) https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/940504/child-abuse-nun-raped-me-and-had-my-baby-schoolboy-victim

William’s counsellor, Mr Chardon, has discovered not only that the church covered up the fact of the abuse in 1957 but has repeatedly ignored William’s attempts to get recognition and redress from them.

In 2001 William made contact with the Catholic Care organisation, Caritas who ignored him. Thinking he would get no help from the church he took no action until 2007 when he asked his local MP to write to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. O’Connor did not help but told William to write to the Bishop of Lancaster’s office. In 2008 William again tried Caritas who tell him that Bessie Lawlor passed away in 2002.

In 2010 William persisted and got a meeting with the Caritas and the head of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph (who ran the children’s home where he was abused), Sister Philomena McCluskey. She told him she’d never heard of this report. William not has the feeling he is being passed around and ignored. No-one in the Church has taken ownership of his case, offered to help and support him, or investigated his case.

In November 2010 William contacts Noel Chardon through MACSAS and Noel provided support, advice and counselling.

In 2011 William, by now age 70 suffers a near fatal heart attack. In 2012 Noel asks for a donation of £1,000 to help William who is struggling financially. The request is denied and Noel is accused of “being on the political wing of MACSAS”. Between 2012 and 2015 Noel provided support and counselling to William. Throughout this period William is “befriended” by a Caritas social worker who works to persuade William that his lawyers are actually his enemy. This causes William great confusion and worry.

On 3rd April 2015 (Good Friday) Noel Chardon, after much research, writes to all 30 Catholic Bishops in England pointing out their breaches of Canon Law in failing to provide help and support to William (Cannons 678, Article 1 and 683 Articles 1 and 2). The 1956 evidence was included in the correspondence to evidence the case.

In 2016 William’s legal case was settled by the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph for a minimal payment.

In summary William and Noel accuse the Catholic Church of :-

  1. The abuse itself committed to William between the ages of 13 and 15 on a boy forced to live in the convent.
  2. Failing to support him after leaving the convent.
  3. Failing to try to find his child.
  4. Ignoring his case from 2001.
  5. Failing to alert the police and social services to the case in 2001. Failing to undertake any investigation in to these serious offences (failing to follow its own safeguarding guidance)
  6. Despite knowing his need for support with housing and benefits in old age, failing to help him.
  7. Actively using Jim Cullen, a Caritas social worker, to try to persuade him to drop his legal case.
  8.  Failing to follow its own Cannon law when it failed to help William.

David Greenwood

28th April 2018

IICSA Anglican Chichester closing submissions 23rd March 2018

IICSA

Anglican Inquiry

Chichester Inquiry

Closing statement of David Greenwood on behalf of Core Participants Phil Johnson, Rev Graham Sawyer, Professor Julie MacFarlane, AN-A1, AN-A2, AN-A5, and AN-A6

1. Over the last three weeks I have been struck by just how inappropriate an organisation the church is to have charge or care of children or vulnerable adults. Personally I would not want my son to spend a moment in the company of a member of this organisation. Its lack of a coherent structure, the possibility of clerics carving out places where they can abuse, the ability to blame one-another, the defensiveness and lack of accountability are just a few criticisms. If this organisation were a school it would have been closed down a long time ago.

2. Issues of the status of the church in the constitution are the province of others and I see no reason why the church cannot continue doing its good work in other sectors but on safeguarding there has to be a case for (to use the words of Edina Carmi) “de-constructing and then re-constructing with appropriate checks and balances”.

3. Whilst I appreciate you must reserve judgement on the Anglican church until the final inquiry scheduled for 2019, it appears to me and the core participants I represent that Anglican church has proved itself incapable of self-governance in the protection of children in its care.

4. We reject the flaccid policies, apologetic language, excuses and promises of action in the future. Myself and members of MACSAS have worked to point out all the issues for many years but have been met with only a listening ear and half-hearted engagement.

The evidence of Chichester and the church as a whole

5. We have heard a catalogue of lamentable failures in Chichester and at national level.
6. A15 – A survivor of abuse by Army Chaplain Gordon Rideout (who later worked as a priest in the Diocese of Chichester) explained how she had been abused by Rideout as a young girl. She explained how powerless she felt during a court martial process in 1972 in which Rideout had been acquitted. Rideout was later convicted in 2012 of offending against her and others.
7. Phil Johnson – told us his story of having been extensively groomed by Roy Cotton and others, of safeguarding failures and of the danger caused to others by the police investigation having been starved of evidence by Wallace Benn. He explained his attempts to bring failures to light and how he had to go to extraordinary lengths in search of the truth which was never volunteered by the church.
8. Mr Johnson feels DSAs should be completely independent, an independent system of providing counselling support should be introduced and paid for by the church, that a culture change will only come via legislation and criminal sanctions. Overall his life has been blighted but he has tried to turn his experience into positive change by encouraging the church to behave better towards survivors. On one final note he reflected that he often thinks about the person he would have been if the abuse hadn’t shaped his life and missed opportunities.
9. Shirley Hosgood
10. In relation to Bishop Wallace Benn Shirley Hosgood said she felt it was not safe to appoint a youth worker and Bishop Wallace said he was a personal friend and he tried to change my view. It was a difficult phone conversation. She felt the diocese had not learnt the lessons of the Cotton and Pritchard failures. PTOs were being given without looking at the blue files. There were communication failings. Wallace Benn was very angry with her and this stifled communication. Eventually Shirley Hosgood was denied access to an important safeguarding crisis meeting. She felt so side-lined that she resigned.
11. John Hind
12. Bishop John Hind had 2 area Bishops. He failed to supervise their activities and allowed them almost a free reign in their parts of the diocese (Lewes and Horsham).He confirmed he would not break the seal of the confessional even for child abuse cases. He refused to take responsibility for action or inaction in the area of Wallace Benn (Lewes). He now wishes he’d given DSAs unfettered access to the blue files much earlier (they only got access in 2008). He explained how in 2001 with the Data Protection Act coming into force he organised staff to take “ephemora” out of blue files. It is significant and perhaps not unconnected that there was a 27 year black hole in Roy Cotton’s file.
John Hind told us that “there was definitely collusion and conspiracy taking place among abusing clergy in the East (Lewes). It was clear people were working in concert”.
13. Philip Jones told us there came a point at which he became aware that Wallace Benn had misled him about when he knew about Cotton’s 1954 conviction. Wallace Benn had told him he knew only in 2001 but it emerged he had known during the currency of the earlier police investigation.
14. Alana Lawrence (former chair of MACSAS) set out the work of MACSAS. Her Stones cry out recommendations accord with the ones I make on behalf of the Core Participants I represent.
15. Roger Meekings – I won’t repeat his evidence save to say that he was thorough and meticulous reviewer. The notion that he somehow ‘missed’ the crucial evidence relating to Bishop Peter Ball and Bishop George Bell is inconceivable. If it had been available to him he would have noticed it.
16. Ian Gibson – Worked as Bishop’s Chaplain in 2004. He was responsible for filing. Found files in disarray. PTOs were being granted without blue files being checked. 90% of clergy and staff didn’t have a CRB check. He found in a separate cabinet a file for Peter Ball. He was present when Wallace Benn asked John Hind to hold back the blemished Rideout CRB. Bishop Wallace called Ian Gibson a liar and denied the incident.
17. Janet Hind – was undoubtedly sincere in her evidence and her efforts and admitted making mistakes on some safeguarding matters. She drew up a safeguarding policy in 1996. Mrs Hind was overruled on the issue of Michael Walsh in the 1990s and produced her note of the case. On Robert Coles he had admitted abuse to Nicholas Reade (Archdeacon) who told Mrs Hind. She admits she should have told the police but didn’t. She assumed someone else would have told the police. Unfortunately everyone else presumed that she had.
18. Edmund Hick (Sussex Police) agreed that if he had known of the conviction of Cotton during the first investigation its complexion may have been different. He said it was routine to get previous convictions on arrest. He added that if he had known about the 2003 complainant the file would have been re-opened. He said the Diocese seemed to resent statutory agencies and the police and other safeguarders had to drag them into the 21st Century. It has been hard at times. He later worked on the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group which was disbanded (he suspected he and others on the group were being a nuisance). He was effectively sacked for trying to bring his professional expertise to bear and being involved in the disciplinary action against Wallace Benn.
19. Wallace Benn – complained bitterly that Roger Meekings had turned speculation into fact. When it was put to WB that he had agreed with a chronology setting out his knowledge of Cotton’s activities which included him knowing about the 1954 conviction in 1998 he said “I was busy at the time and only gave it a cursory look. I corrected it later in 2008. WB maintained he didn’t know about Cotton’s conviction until he saw Cotton’s declaration in 2001. He maintains any paralysis from the diocese was self-induced. He said he had inherited a paedophile ring of priests. Overall he said “I could have done some things better but I was cleared of the CDMs made against me”. He regarded the Safeguarding Adviser’s criticism of him as ‘Nit-Picking”.
20. Rupert Bursell – was a commissary for the Arch Episcopal Visitation. Its findings were in summary that :-
· The Diocese of Chichester was slow to identify abuse taking place.
· Dysfunction caused mainstream reports of abuse to be sidelined.
· Safeguarding was not at the forefront of the Diocesan agenda
21. Julie Macfarlane – Survivor and law professor recounted her abuse and the difficulties she faced with the adversarial civil justice system. She and many of the other Core Participants I represent found the process retraumatising, especially the ‘hostile’ adversarial psychiatric assessments.
22. Bishop Mark Sowerby – identified a sub culture which accepted sexual abuse of children around Lewes. There are basic patterns involving Anglo-Catholics mainly not married. Most abusers were single and looked out for each other. They were a “tribe”. If threatened they responded by defending one another, regardless of the threat – even if it was an allegation of child sex abuse.
23. Bishop Martin Warner – MW doesn’t want to see safeguarding go to an independent body on the basis that he wants Parishes to take responsibility. MW would like to see a laminated card with the top 10 safeguarding issues rather than a long book. He thinks he should explore what can be done with a website. He doesn’t think Mandatory Reporting is the way to protect children. On the confessional he wants to keep it in its present form as it enables disclosure and the unburdening of survivors.
24. Former Archbishop Rowan Williams – confirmed that despite the abuse allegations emanating from the Catholic Church he mistakenly thought the problem was far smaller in the Anglican church. The Past Cases Review press release read to the effect “We have done a thorough review and are certain that the church has no problem cases”. RW admitted this was “an ambitious statement” (In our view it was entirely misleading). On the confessional he is in favour of preserving the seal as he says it allows vulnerable people to use the space. He admits we can’t know how big a problem it is due to the secret nature of the conversations. Under his watch, The Church appears to have wasted over £2m on an ill-conceived review that only identified 13 problematic cases from 40,000 clergy. Even a fraction of this figure could have provided significant amounts of support for survivors.
25. Bishop Nicholas Reade – On Roy Cotton he told Wallace Benn about the police investigation in to him in Dec 1997. NR personally took no further action until 12 months later when Cotton told him his ordination had been postponed due to earlier trouble (organ loft issue). He didn’t say there had been a conviction. NR said “It didn’t occur to me to ask (about a conviction) I take priests at their word. The idea of a priest telling lies to a Bishop horrifies me”. This typifies how the present system relies on trust and why reporting should be mandated. On the issue of Robert Coles he tried to minimise the seriousness of a serious sexual assault of a boy by Rideout as a way of justifying not reporting the confession Coles had made to him to the police despite him being aware that Coles had made a “no comment” interview to the police. “He never admitted rape” was Bishop Reade’s declaration. He felt Eric Kemp should have made the decision.
26. Colin Perkins – was clearly getting on with his work within a flawed system. We had the impression that his system works because of him taking the issues seriously whereas in other dioceses with weaker DSAs or more forceful Bishops the same mistakes as in Chichester can occur. Chichester is often now held up as a beacon of good practice. This has not happened out of the desire for the church to change and improve. It is a reaction to the crisis and has been driven by the pressure and determination of the survivors in their fight for truth and justice.
27. Sir Roger Singleton – was critical of the Past Cases Review, its methodology and how it created a false rosy picture about safeguarding problems in the church. He made the point that files are very poorly kept and the press statement on the Past cases review was “under-evidenced”.
28. A8 and A7 described in detail how they were groomed and abused by Bishop Peter Ball and again the difficulties faced in the civil justice process.
29. Bishop David Walker – explained that there is no outside control over religious communities.
30. Graham Tilby – explained in great detail (and sometimes in management speak) the efforts being made to improve the system in the church notably on training and the ability of DSAs to overrule Bishops. There was criticism that improvements were very slow and that following guidance is still not mandated.
31. Edina Carmi – recounted her findings that there were unacceptable practices at the Cathedral and then a resistance to allow her to do her work, then attempts to destroy all copies of her report.
32. A11 – the boy chorister who had been abused by Terence Banks and suffered with debilitating mental health issues. He complained again of the harmful nature of the compensation process.
33. Dean Peter Atkinson – 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.”
34. Elizabeth Hall – (former national safeguarding adviser) gave her opinion that :-
· This can happen anywhere (not just in 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 clergy remove and keep documents in their attics after retirement.
35. Justin Welby – agreed that he has no real power and can only use his influence. He was non-specific about his views on many of the suggested changes.
36. Bishop Peter Hancock – 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.
37. For structure I return to the four essential ingredients which have prevented good safeguarding responses.

a. Internal rules (including disciplinary rules, secrecy and rules on the confessional and lack of mandatory reporting);
b. The limitations of Hierarchical structures;
c. Church Culture;
d. The Church’s Unincorporated status.

INTERNAL RULES
We have heard that the development of internal rules within dioceses was hap hazard, with Janet Hind committing them to paper in 1997 and not until 2004 did we see basic national rules. Over the last 2 years we have seen a torrent of new internal guidance. We question whether DSAs actually have the power to overrule a Bishop due to the employer/ employee relationship.
Mandatory reporting is still a long way off for the church. Even the October 2017 rules still only require “due regard” to be taken to the guidance.
It should be noted that at every turn you have heard Bishop after Bishop find ways to keen oversight structures in house. There has been strenuous resistance of external oversight in the face of the evidence.
Colin Perkins is held up as a model of how things are alright now. The reality is that the church does not have a Colin Perkins in each diocese. Systems have to be designed to be operated by mediocre or even poor employees. In our view the church’s systems are inadequate on almost all levels.
The CDM has been exposed as a hopelessly cumbersome instrument with impenetrable rules. No-one has been successfully disciplined for failing to report abuse. It has been shown to be ‘Not fit for purpose’ in safeguarding matters. Some changes have been made but a vulnerable complainant has to be aware of it in the first place, be able to interpret the rules. There is a need for independent arbitration and a child abuse procedure. PTO is still open to abuse.
The lack of Mandatory reporting has allowed the Chichester cover ups and failures to happen. All the bishops and DSAs would have been required to report yet we have heard or repeated failures to alert the police.
Centralised Rules on records need to be stringent and there needs to be document retention. Again these need to be fully mandated. We have heard of files being filleted, that safeguarding reports could have been thrown away. We have head of at least two bonfires of papers and that this may have been a widespread practice at the end of Bishops’ times in office.
Hierarchical structures;
38. The Church of England operates a highly hierarchical structure with the Diocesan Bishop sitting at the top of the pyramid and having the last say on all matters relating to safeguarding. Whilst an attempt has been made at diluting this structure with the implementation of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers and allowing them to overrule a Bishop it will still take a brave and self-confident person to do this as they still owe their actual employment to the Bishop and can find themselves bypassed if the Bishop does not agree with their decisions.
CHURCH CULTURE
We have heard of cultures of deference, factional cultures, anglo-catholics, evangelicals, tribes, middle ground being shut out. We have certainly seen Egos on display. Wallace Benn, Philip Jones and Nicholas Reade were certainly not shrinking violets. These differing cultures created conflict in Chichester and they are no doubt causing problems right now elsewhere in the country.

However the most important culture in the church is the defensive culture. None of our complainant witnesses have described having been welcomed and assisted at any point by church officials. Instead there are attempts at all levels to minimise the seriousness and volume of cases. For instance Rowan William’s evidence on the past cases review which was in fact an attempt to minimise the problem. Julie Macfarlane’s legal claim was resisted on the basis she was out of time and consented to it. There have been repeated attempts to resist Phil Johnson’s questions to get to the truth. The church at National level was prepared at one point to sacrifice Bishop John Hind to minimise the spread and protect Rowan Williams. We have heard some of the skulduggery around Peter Ball which we will hear more of in July, particularly around the Tyler report. The Halliday and Waddington cases elsewhere have demonstrated this is happening elsewhere.

The church and Justin Welby may have you believe that most of this is caused by having a hapless disorganised and disjointed structure. In reality the evidence demonstrates the church institutions have worked in concert to resist cases. It could be said that the Catholic Church’s more brazen approach to resisting cases due to their written rules on secrecy is actually less malign than the Anglican resistance which has requires conscious effort to treat survivors badly.

UNINCORPORATED STATUS
We have heard that the church is a very loose structure of unincorporated bodies and individuals with no strict system of control. They are not corporate and so not accountable. Better responses and serious attention to good safeguarding practice will only be achieved through serious sanctions such as fines, withdrawal of charitable status or closure of the offending organisations. Our recommendations to remedy this issue are set out below.
Recommendations

It will be for the panel to decide on the evidence but on behalf of the Core Participants I represent we will be asking the panel to agree the following :-

1) That the Anglican Church is unable to effectively respond to child sexual abuse risks. What is required is legislation to introduce mandatory reporting. Legislation is also required to introduce an independent statutory body to enforce basic standards of safeguarding. This statutory body would establish:
2) A Register of Institutions fit to look after children.
3) It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.
4) To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure.
5) The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding regulation.
6) The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children.
7) All complaints would be passed to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.
8) The body would gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.
9) The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.
10) The body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof. There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.
11) Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded.
12) The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

Report potential offences
Having read through a great deal of the evidence gathered so effectively by the lawyers to the Inquiry we see that there are individuals whose conduct may require referral to the police. I ask the panel to consider referrals.

Commission of Inquiry
I do also ask the Panel to consider a recommendation that a permanent Commission of Inquiry is set up to carry out investigations elsewhere in the church and in other bodies similar unregulated bodies.

David Greenwood
23 March 2018

IICSA Anglican Chichester week 3 summary

IICSA

Anglican Inquiry

Diocese of Chichester

Notes of week 3 (19th to 23th March 2018)

A8

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

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

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

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

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

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:-

  1. Use his influence
  2. Provide leadership
  3. Make resources available
  4. 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.

IICSA Anglican Chichester Inquiry Week 2 summary

IICSA

Anglican Inquiry

Diocese of Chichester

Notes of week 2 (12th to 16th March 2018)

 

Wallace Benn

Wallace Benn (WB) was an elderly man wearing a purple shirt and dog collar. He spoke with a soft Scottish accent. His manner was of self-confidence in his belief that he had no responsibility on safeguarding matters.

WB was Bishop of Lewes between 1997 and 2012. His boss was the Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp then Bishop John Hind.

He felt he had inherited some poor appointments in terms of clergy in the Diocese of Lewes, being individuals appointed by Bishop Peter Ball, who had been B of Lewes for 17 years.

He complained that he hadn’t been given enough safeguarding training. He had 4 days in 15 years.

If there were safeguarding issues he saw his responsibility as being to report to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or the Bishop of Chichester. He had access to only some Blue files. He said even the DSA procedures drafted by Janet Hind had required her to do the reporting to the police.

On Shirley Hosgood he commented :”I think she had a chip on her shoulder from her previous safeguarding job (Catholic). She and Roger Meekings were overly aggressive saying “We’re the professionals and you’re the amateurs”. She was nit-picking. He gave the example of her criticising his delay in passing on the Nov 2007 blog on to the police until Feb 2008. It is disputed whether that would have helped the police to prosecute Pritchard earlier.

On the issue of him failing to report Cotton’s previous conviction to police or B of Chichester he said “Looking back I could have queried things a bit more but it was Janet Hind’s job and I didn’t have to tell the police and there was fear of litigation from the priest himself… It looked like it wasn’t that serious as it had been dropped by the police…I thought (Cotton) was a villain. There had been a false accusation that had stopped him being ordained. What I did was refer him to my then boss, Eric Kemp…who said @in my opinion he’s alright – give him PTO’…I did tell Nicholas Reade and Janet Hind…I only found out about Cotton’s 1954 conviction in 2001.”

WB denied that when he said “You can’t write off a good guy because of a bad day” it concerned safeguarding.

WB complained bitterly that Roger Meekings had turned speculation into fact. When it was put to WB that he had agreed with a chronology setting out his knowledge of Cotton’s activities which included him knowing about the 1954 conviction in 1998 he said “I was busy at the time and only gave it a cursory look. I corrected it later in  2008. WB maintained he didn’t know about Cotton’s conviction until he saw Cotton’s declaration in 2001. He listed his reasons for this and it is only fair to reproduce them here :-

  • Nicholas Reade mentioned “something” in the past – not a conviction
  • If either of us had known we’d have told Janet Hind
  • The conviction was news to me in 2001
  • Type of services he was allowed to take were consistent with his conviction having been discovered after 2001 (their nature changed after that date).
  • WB had a very unpleasant conversation with Cotton after altering his PTO in 2001.
  • The allegation was mentioned in the staff meeting in 1997. If it had been a conviction I’d have mentioned it.

WB agrees he should have stopped Cotton’s PTO altogether in 2001.

There were numerous inconsistencies in his recollection put to his and the way in which his recollection does not marry up with the evidence of others but WB continued to assert he had done nothing wrong if failing to report Cotton earlier to the police or his Bishop.

On the subject of Colin Pritchard WB was accused of failing to suspend him when in 2007 he knew of his activities. He agrees in hindsight he should have suspended Pritchard.

He feels traduced by the Meekings report which criticises him. On the subject of his threat of legal action he maintains that although he discussed legal action against the diocese if it published the Meekings report he denied threatening proceedings. He maintains any paralysis from the diocese was self-induced.

He said he had inherited a paedophile ring of priests.

By way of comment – a pattern seems to have emerged around WB. He fell out with almost everyone in the Diocese – Janet Hind, Shirley Hosgood, John Hind, Philip Jones, Roer Meekings, E Butler Sloss, and Rupert Bursell.

On the subject of Robert Coles who had been engaged in sexual relations with a young socially inadequate parishioner he admitted knowing and said he thought the police knew about it and in any case it was Janet Hind’s responsibility to report it. He assumed it had been done. WB was unwilling to accept any responsibility.

On Gordon Rideout, despite evidence to the contrary and a letter supporting Rideout and he has “affection for Gordon and concern for his welfare” WB denied he did anything wrong when he asked John Hind not to forward a blemished CRNB check to Shirley Hosgood. He explained it didn’t show anything new and a later return would give the full picture. At this point he called Ian Gibson a liar for giving evidence to the contrary.

Overall he said “I could have done some things better but I was cleared of the CDM s made against me”.

Ivor Frank of the panel in questioning rebutted WB’s assertion that his “standard letter” in response to Cotton’s request for PTO was standard as it had been tailored by WB.

In further response to Mr Frank WB said “Saving my skin wasn’t the predominant issue.”

Rupert Bursell

He was a commissary for the Arch Episcopal Visitation.

Its findings were in summary that :-

  • The Diocese of Chichester was slow to identify abuse taking place.
  • Dysfunction caused mainstream reports of abuse to be side-lined.
  • Safeguarding was not at the forefront of the Diocesan agenda
  • Colin Perkins (new DSA) was doing well but with limited finance.
  • There was a tendency to believe the cleric rather than the abused because the accused was a colleague.
  • The CDM against WB demonstrates the dysfunction.
  • The area scheme could have worked if the personalities had co-operated.
  • Eric Kemp believed in forgiveness.
  • Training for senior clergy was not good.
  • Until the church deals with the past and acknowledges ongoing complaints there can be no reconciliation.
  • Apologies need to be genuine.

On the CDM his concerns are :-

  • It is too cumbersome
  • Individual Bishops shouldn’t participate (due to conflict of interest)
  • The “trivial” threshold should be removed (at present CDMs only go forward if the priest could be removed from office if found proven.

On the confessional he said “It is a considerable problem” and believes there should be an exemption to the seal of the confessional for child abuse crimes.

He commented “The church won’t do this voluntarily so we need legislation for Mandatory Reporting”.

He discussed Spiritual abuse and exorcisms and feels they need more regulation. Good behaviour contracts are unenforceable. Fairness is needed in dealing with posthumous allegations. Provision of Therapy support should be centralised. On the October 2017 guidance he criticised the use of the words “Due regard” as being unclear to non-lawyers.

Professor Julie Macfarlane

Julie Macfarlane is a professor of law at Windsor University, Ontario. She has written books on conflict resolution.

She became an evangelical Christian in the 1970s and was converted by listening to Billy Graham. F12 was a priest in her area and age 16 she was beginning to have doubts about her faith so went to him for spiritual guidance. He told her God would want her to engage in sexual activity with him there and then in his study and believing he was truly being told this by God she did this. It led to him taking her out regularly under the pretext of learning to drive and regularly sexually assaulting her. This turned into stalking and she was finally able to escape his clutches by moving to University.

She wasn’t able to tell anyone about the abuse until her Father died. Then she told her Mum who didn’t appear to react with any distress. The professor found F12 was still a priest in a country abroad and raised a complaint about him. A hearing was set but F12 resigned before it took place and moved to work in a church of a different denomination in the same city.

Professor Macfarlane complained to the police in 2014 after hearing there was another complainant. Throughout she has been unimpressed by the police who seemed to take her complaint begrudgingly.

Professor Macfarlane was so unhappy with how the Defendants in her civil case had tried to resist her case that she wrote an article for the Church Times. This met strong opposition from the police but with a lot of effort it was published.

As part of Professor Macfarlane’s settlement it was agreed that the insurance company EIG would not treat other survivors the same way. She and David Greenwood, her lawyer, set out standards they wanted the insurance company to adhere to which were :-

  • Limitation defence never to be used
  • No use of a defence of consent for under 18s
  • No use of consent for adult abuse by clergy
  • Not to discontinue pastoral support when a civil case starts

Her overall reflections are :-

Adversarial system is totally inappropriate for these cases as it causes trauma by 1) having to hear defence assertions, 2) Unwillingness by defence to talk about settlement, 3) examination by Maden too long and traumatic.

Her view is that an independent redress system like Canada’s residential school process is needed. Australia looks at these cases from the starting point that there are very few false claims.

Overall she believes :-

  • Better measures of compensation to make people feel whole again are needed.
  • The test should be balance of probabilities.
  • There are low false reports so a basic clear and competent investigation only is needed.

Bishop Mark Sowerby

A youthful looking man clean shaven with short grey hair and wearing a purple shirt and dog collar.

Mark Sowerby (MS) is the Bishop of Horsham. He confirmed the area scheme has been revoked. In terms of safeguarding in Chichester the Diocesan Bishop deals with recruitment and departures. The two suffregan Bishops deal with granting PTOs and licencing readers. The principal point of contact with statutory agencies is the DSA Colin Perkins.

MS has found an unwillingness among parishioners to believe allegations. Older people have a lot of deference for clergy. Long tenures in parishes allowed different customs to become the norm. MS has identified a sub culture which accepted sexual abuse of children around Lewes. There are basic patterns involving Anglo-Catholics mainly not married. Most abusers were single and looked out for each other. They were a “tribe”. If threatened they responded badly.

Bishop Martin Warner

Bishop Warner (MW) is a thin man with a bald head and round glasses wearing a black shirt and a dog collar.

He arrived to a situation in Chichester where there was pressure to remove Bishop Wallace Benn. The local authority were requiring his removal from office. Various perpetrators had been convicted during WB’s time in office.

When he arrived he found paralysis. He detected a culture of deference to clergy and a defensiveness. Many people thought Peter Ball had been badly treated. He is trying to give parishes direction. His aims for parishes are Safeguarding, Growth, and Giving. He has visited every parish in the first 18 months.

On the files – the DSA has full access to files now.. He undertook a Visitation to the Cathedral in 2016 and required them to put together an updated safeguarding policy and to defer to the DSA. Chaplains now need a licence from him.

MW doesn’t want to see safeguarding go to an independent body on the basis that he wants Parishes to take responsibility.

MW would like to see a laminated card with the top 10 safeguarding issues rather than a long book. He thinks he should explore what can be done with a website.

MW is opposed to the ordination of women and won’t accept the sacrament from them but he thinks sexism is unacceptable. He thinks there is a danger of missing paedophiles when the church focusses on equating being gay with being a paedophile.

Me doesn’t think Mandatory Reporting is the way to protect children.

On the confessional he wants to keep it in its present form as it enables disclosure and the unburdening of survivors (and possibly abusers, Martin ?).

He wanted to register his sorrow for the abuse and how it was subsequently handled.

On questioning by Alexis Jay he confirmed he would welcome examination by another diocese but does not support entirely external independent oversight.

On questioning by Druscilla Sharpling MW confirmed the church also needs to be alert to domestic abuse in the community.

Overall MW wants to preserve the status quo.

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams (RW) was Archbishop of Canterbury between 2002 and 2012. Now a master at Magdalen College, Cambridge. He has wiry grey hair and a beard reminiscent of a folk singer, wore glasses and a black shirt and dog collar.

He confirms he knows little of safeguarding and had little involvement.

In answer to a question from David Greenwood he confirmed that despite the abuse allegations emanating from the Catholic Church he mistakenly thought the problem was far smaller in the Anglican church.

On the question of the past cases review he admits a few high profile cases caused him shock and he had to make a visible gesture and a willingness to examine his own back yard. Hence he took part in designing and implementing the Past Cases Review (PCR). He the measurements made in dioceses failed to look at cases where there had been arrests but no further action by police, where the clergy had died or retired, where there were no allegations made by actual complainants and whether there were CRB checks.

The PCR press release read to the effect “We have done a thorough review and are certain that the church has no problem cases”. RW admitted this was “an ambitious statement” (In fact it was entirely misleading). He agreed the PCR was inadequate in three respects :-

  • It failed to do justice to victims
  • The stats produced gave us a clearer bill of health than was justified
  • It looked too much backwards and not to the future.

On the confessional he is in favour of preserving the seal as it allows vulnerable people to use the space. He admits we can’t know how big a problem it is due to the secret nature of the conversations.

On Peter Ball he is sorry he didn’t do enough for victims. He launched the Arch Episcopal Visitation as Wallace Benn’s CDM had not succeeded in removing him. An e mail from Andrew Nunn to George Pitcher at Lambeth was revealed that showed a strategy of “throwing Bishop John Hind to the press as a sacrifice to avoid it getting to the Archbishop” RW denied knowing about the strategy.

There came a point at which the head of Education at Sussex Council wrote a 7 page letter to RW to demand measures in schools run by the Church. RW replied with what Fiona Scolding describes as an “impossibly weedy response” (a 2 paragraph letter thanking the council and assuring them that all was in hand). RW said “What I wanted to say was that Wallace Benn had no contact with children, was not an abuser, was just possibly incompetent and we were trying to negotiate his exit. WB didn’t have the confidence of his colleagues or the wider world. I could have initiated a CDM but that would have been cumbersome. There needs to be something akin to an employment law type measure.”

On peter Ball RW explained that PB was pestering him for rights to officiate and had to repeatedly turn him down. The Northants police investigation was launched and the Mellows report recommended waiting before taking further action until the outcome of the police action. This ended with no action so Kate Wood reviewed the papers and found letters. We contributed to a risk assessment of Ball, and brought the file together (at this point the famous e mail from Chris Smith to RW setting out the plan was quoted “So much has been swept under the carpet for so long that we are in peril of the furniture tumbling over.” The plan was to gather all files on Ball together and be prepared for press intrusion. This took almost 3 years from 2009 to 2012 before the police were involved and RW regrets the delay.

Retired Bishop Nicholas Reade

Nicholas Reade (NR) was a bald man wearing a black shirt and dog collar. He has an incredibly “posh” accent and his mannerisms had an air of caricature. He was confident and self-assured, willing to admit he had not taken safeguarding seriously. He had a strong personality which was almost domineering.

NR was Archdeacon of Lewes 1997-2003. He described himself as “a trouble-shooter”.

On Roy Cotton he told Wallace Benn about the police investigation in to him in Dec 1997. NR personally took no further action until 12 months later when Cotton told him his ordination had been postponed due to earlier trouble (organ loft issue). He didn’t say  there had been a conviction. NR said “It didn’t occur to me to ask (about a conviction) I take priests at their word. The idea of a priest telling lies to a Bishop horrifies me”.

“Bishop Eric should have checked the file and found the 1954 conviction in 1997. Cotton later told Cotton in 2001 about his conviction. WB told me in 1999 he thought Cotton was a villain and I was always personally uneasy about him. When the police closed their case I thought that was it. I now know his PTO was abused after retirement.”

There was discussion about Cotton’s PTO and whether WB knew that he was actually ministering after retirement outside the care home where he was said to be (he was actually in his own house in Seddlescombe). In summary Nicholas Reade only knew of Cotton being in a nursing home from 2003. Wallace Benn declaring that NR had told him this information in 1999 cannot be a genuine memory.

On the issue of Robert Coles NR’s pathetic attempts to defend him removed what credibility he had until this point in his evidence. He tried to minimise the seriousness of a serious sexual assault of a boy by Rideout as a way of justifying not reporting the confession Coles had made to him to the police despite him being aware that Coles had made a “no reply” interview to the police. “He never admitted rape” was NR’s declaration. He felt Eric Kemp should have made the decision.

Colin Perkins

Colin Perkins was a smartly-dressed man wearing a tie with short hair aged around 50.

He has been the DSA since 2011 in Chichester. He explained how collaborative working with other agencies has been a vast improvement in Chichester. He agrees the diocese was in a state of paralysis when he arrived. Things became so bad that he and others on the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) launched a CDM against WB.

On reporting to statutory authorities he confirmed “We no longer ask the Bishop’s permission to report out. We just get on with it.”

A number of cases were examined and CP explained how things on reporting had gone wrong.

On the adequacy of the CDM mechanism he confirmed its failures are :-

  • There was a 1 year time limit until 2016 and now you have to justify an exemption
  • There is power to suspend clergy only when arrested (Bishop now has a discretion to suspend)
  • All CDM complaints have to be made in writing
  • The standard of proof was high until the late 1990s
  • It is not possible for a complainant to speak only to a woman
  • A CDM could not be pursued if someone was acquitted before 2013
  • Penalties can only be by consent
  • There is no monitoring of statistics
  • There is no central record of complaints or the type of complaint

Overall Colin Perkins was clearly getting on with his work within a flawed system and was complacent about how well the system was working. I had the impression that his system works because of him taking the issues seriously whereas in other dioceses with weaker DSAs or more forceful Bishops the same mistakes as in Chichester can occur.

Roger Singleton

Sir Roger Singleton (RS) id a grey-haired man with a pleasant manner in his 60s. He sits on the national Safeguarding Advisory Panel. He complains it doesn’t decide anything.

He was critical of the Past Cases Review, its methodology and how it created a false rosy picture about safeguarding problems in the church. He made the point that files are very poorly kept and the press statement was “under-evidenced” (presumably a euphemism for “a lie”).

The most significant problems he saw were :-

  • Work on Culture
  • Appropriate responses to survivors
  • Prevention
  • Forgiveness is too entrenched
  • Recording quality and standards must improve

He said there is a serious case for having serious allegations investigated outside the church.

On Mandatory Reporting he agrees we need MR but more clarity on triggers to reporting.

Lord George Carey

(Archbishop of Canterbury 1990-2002). His statement was read. He essentially says he can remember nothing and will have to consult the records before he can give a statement for the Peter Ball Inquiry in July 2018.

End

IICSA Chichester Inquiry Summary week 1 (5-9th March 2018)

IICSA Anglican Inquiry

Diocese of Chichester

Summary notes of David Greenwood

Monday 5th March 2018

Counsel to the Inquiry, Fiona Scolding QC, (“CTI”) opened by saying that a series of allegations were made of child sex abuse by clergy in the 1990s and that these escalated, engulfing the Diocese in the 2000s. She would be asking whether the responses to complainants were adequate, whether lessons had been learnt and changes implemented. She explained that some complainants lives had been blighted, some had become activists to compel the church to look at uncomfortable truths.

CTI explained that the Church of England is the Established Church of GB. It is important and powerful. It is seen as a leader of ethics but its management of abuse shows how badly things can go wrong.

She listed problems of a tendency to make children feel responsible for the abuse, a disbelief that clergy could harm children, failing to spot grooming behaviour, misguided loyalty, a culture of amateurism, patchy training and poor record keeping. She highlighted the emphasis on forgiveness, putting the church’s reputation before the welfare of children, internal fall outs getting in the way of good safeguarding practice, having a problem with women, being slow to change and being a collection of autonomous bodies. The church runs 4000 primary schools and 227 secondary schools, youth groups, scouts and Sunday schools. There are 12,000 parishes, 49 dioceses, 7,253 full time paid clergy, 3,000 part time or voluntary priests, 6,000 are retired but still have permission to officiate.

CTI explained the almost impenetrable structure of the church and the myriad of organisations. She explained that 2004 was the first time clergy had to have CRB checks and that until 2013 Bishops had no basis to suspend someone unless they are arrested by the police. Clergy could only be formally disciplines through the Clergy Discipline Measure in 2009 but can only be removed from office if imprisoned. 2016 brought powers to suspend if an allegation is made. Until recently no training was required to get Permission To Officiate (“PTO”).

Overview of events in Chichester

1997-2001 Janet Hind Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (“DSA”). She was informed of abuse by Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard in 1997. Police investigate but no action is their decision in 1999. Unhappy with the poor response, Philip Johnson (survivor) published a magazine to publicise his abuse in 2000. 2001 Terence Banks is convicted of abuse of choir boys at Chichester Cathedral. 2005-2010 a growing number of individuals make complaints. 2007 Shirley Hosgood starts work as the new DSA. 2008 Roger Meekings is commissioned to do the past Cases Review work. He produces an addendum dealing with the safeguarding failures he has identified. It proves controversial as Bishop Wallace Benn, is criticised and having lied about the extent of his knowledge of convictions of and allegations against Cotton. In an attempt to bring an end to any controversy Bishop John Hind commissions Elizabeth Butler Sloss to prepare a report. The problems identified lead to an Archbishop’s visitation and more criticism between 2011 and 2013. Wallace Benn retires in 2013. Richard Jackson replaces him. More information about failures concerning Bishop Peter Ball results in his arrest along with Vickery House. Moira Gibb reported in 2017 on the handling of the Peter Ball case and was highly critical of Former Archbishop George Carey.

Perpetrators:-

Noel Moore

Convicted in the 1950s of child sex offences but allowed to be a priest (his conviction was no bar to the priesthood).

Roy Cotton

Convicted of Gross Indecency in 1954. Expelled from the scouts as a youth leader, opened a school and ordained by the Bishop of Portsmouth in the knowledge of the conviction. Cotton conspired to abuse children with Colin Pritchard, another Chichester priest. Cotton retired in 1999 but was granted a PTO. It is alleged that Wallace Benn and his Archdeacon Nicholas Reade knew about his conviction but despite a police investigation in 1997 failed to tell the police, went on to allow him PTO ignored another complainant in 2003 and lied about his knowledge to John hind, Philip Jones and Roger Meekings.

Colin Pritchard

Pleaded guilty in 2008 to some child sex offences. Found guilty of Indecent assault and conspiracy to commit indecent assault with Roy Cotton in 2018 and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. He had been granted PTO in 2003 despite having been arrested for child sex offences.

Robert Coles

This priest retired in 1997 and despite having no PTO continued to take services and took over 100 in retirement. He had been taken on one arrest to the police station by Wallace Benn, a fact not declared in his file. He had to be prevented from going on a school trip abroad and eventually pleaded guilty to child sex offences in 2013.

Jonathan Graves

Worked closely with Robert Coles and convicted of offences in 2013. A suspicion of illegal activity but not suspended until a 2009 CRB revealed an offence.

Gordon Rideout

Convicted of 32 indecent assaults and 2 rapes in 2016. Acquitted in a court martial n 1972 and allowed to continue in ministry in Chichester. Wallace Benn had ben aware of allegations against him in 1998 but took no action. He even drove him to the police station to answer a further allegation in 2002 but failed to declare this. Wallace Benn even asked John Hind not to report a blemished CRB check in 2010.

Keith Wilkie Denford

Also convicted of abusing 2 boys in his choir.

Michael Myton

Also a choir master convicted

Christopher Howarth

Priest imprisoned for 16 years in 2016.

Peter Pannet

Pleaded guilty in 2012 to sharing indecent images – 32 months imprisonment.

Former Bishop Peter Ball

Accepted a caution in 1992 for offences against a 17 year old trainee monk. Protected at the time by a concerted campaign by establishment figures with evidence suppressed at Lambeth palace. He leaves his post as a House of Lords Bishop but continues to enjoy the hospitality and favours from the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey. A file containing evidence of offending at Littlington whilst he was Bishop of Lewes is discovered and leads to his arrest and conviction in 2015.

Vickery House

Peter Ball’s right hand man in the “give a year to god scheme” convicted in 2015 of indecent assaults on boys.

Michael Walsh

Choirmaster, husband of an organist. Allegation of abuse and Janet Hind was overruled by Bishop Eric Kemp in the 1990s when she asked for him to be prevented from taking choirs.

Terence Banks

Choirmaster at Chichester Cathedral. Convicted of abusing choirboys in 2001 and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

Many more allegations have been the subject over the years of varying degrees of action from Bishops or DSAs.

Former Bishop George Bell

Alleged abuse late 1940s. George Bell died in 1958. Despite a letter of complaint having sat on file for an extended period a survivor “Carole” repeated her allegation in 2016. A core group was set up and compensation of £16,000 was paid. Controversy emerged and Lord Carlile wrote a report which criticised this church response. Another allegation has since been made.

The inquiry has read 200,000 pages of documents and has assessed 64 witness statements.

Core participant representatives were able to make opening statements. David Greenwood’s opening statement is published in the next blog.

The Bishop’s Council representative essentially argued for the status quo to continue.

Tuesday 6th March 2018

AN-A15

 

A survivor of abuse by Army Chaplain Gordon Rideout (who later worked as a priest in the Diocese of Chichester) explained how she had been abused by Rideout as a young girl. She explained how powerless she felt during a court martial process in 1972 in which Rideout had been acquitted. Rideout was later convicted in 2012 of offending against her and others.

Phil Johnson

 

Mr Johnson explained how he had been befriended by a priest, Roy Cotton in his home town, groomed by Cotton and taken away on trips and to Cotton’s house. Physical contact then sexual contact was initiated by Cotton who supported Mr Johnson through Grammar school. He was plied with alcohol regularly and taken to a party in Northamptonshire after which he was sexually assaulted by a friend of Cotton, Rev Colin Pritchard.

Mr Johnson described complaining to the Sussex police in 1996 but being poorly treated by Sussex police. Despite Cotton having a conviction for indecency with children in 1954 the police decided to take no action in 1999. Mr Johnson’s world fell apart in 1999 but he was determined to achieve justice so published a magazine article in 2000 explaining his story which was distributed in the parish area where Cotton had worked. This strategy worked as complainants came forward in 2002 and 2003. Despite being aware the Diocese staff failed to pass this information on to the police. This new corroboration would have caused the original allegations to be re-investigated.

Phil Johnson kept trying to raise work out why Cotton’s activities had not come to the attention of the Diocese officials before. He tried to meet with senior clergy but was rebuffed. In 2006 just by chance the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (‘DSA”), Tony Sellwood died in a car accident. His computer was recovered and the a letter from him to Phil Johnson was noticed by the caretaker DSA, Janet Hind. By this time Northampton Police were investigating Colin Pritchard for his activities in Northampton and the letter found its way to them. Northants police contacted Mr Johnson and this led to Pritchard pleading guilty to child sex offences in 2008. Despite this new information Mr Johnson discovered that the police file from the earlier Sussex investigation had been destroyed. Meanwhile Phil Johnson had corresponded with Bishop Wallace Benn, the Bishop of Lewes who had responsibility for Eastbourne where Cotton had been operating. Mr Johnson wanted to find out what Wallace Benn had known and when (as it may have led to a more positive outcome to the first police investigation). He managed to meet with Wallace Benn and Shirley Hosgood (the new DSA) in 2008 and at that meeting Benn told them that he had known about “something from Cotton’s past” at that time and told the meeting that he had “pushed him into retirement” in 1999. Wallace Benn’s account of what he found out and when is questionable as we shall see in later evidence to IICSA.

Around this time the church nationally was putting together a review of their safeguarding figures called “The past cases review”. A social worked called Roger Meekings put the figures together for Chichester and was in theory allowed access to all files (there are doubts about his access to some files and documents namely Peter Ball, Vickery House and Gordon Rideout files).

Mr Johnson raised the controversy about what Wallace Benn knew when with Roger Meekings and pushed for a review of the position on this and other cases which had been flagged up by Mr Johnson and Shirley Hosgood. Mr Meekings embarked on a further report. This report, now best known as “The Meekings Report” was critical of Wallace Benn, accusing him of knowing about Cotton and Pritchard much earlier but of failing to pass on his knowledge to either the DSA, his bishop or the police.

It seems Wallace Benn was so unhappy with the Meekings Report that he threatened libel proceedings and created a state of catatonia in the diocese. The Meekings Report was not published until much later. To try to break the impasse Baroness Butler Sloss was brought in to work out whether the Meekings Report was accurate (she concluded it was). Mr Johnson incidentally was suspicious about Baroness Butler Sloss as she was a supporter of the church and not independent. He worked out that two Bishops had lied to her and she had to correct her report as a result.

Mr Johnson talked about the Arch Episcopal visitation (essentially an inspection by the Archbishop’s staff). He was content with its findings (essentially that Chichester had become dysfunctional on safeguarding due to poor systems and disagreements at the top).

Mr Johnson feels DSAs should be completely independent, an independent system of providing counselling support should be introduced and paid for by the church, that a culture change will only come via legislation and criminal sanctions. Overall his life has been blighted but he has tried to turn his experience into positive change.

On one final note he reflected that he often thinks about the person he would have been if the abuse hadn’t shaped his life and missed opportunities.

Shirley Hosgood

Was the DSA between 2007 and 2010. She is a qualified social worker. It was a part time post and whilst she had support at the parish level she felt unsupported by the Bishops.

She describes arriving to find files very disorganised. There were 3 different types of files in 3 different locations.

She criticised a lack of a counselling protocol.

She had specific criticisms that Gordon Rideout’s Permission to Officiate (“PTO”) had not been suspended after he had been arrested in 2008. She discovered that Wallace Benn had driven him to a police station to be questioned in 2002 and yet had still not suspended his PTO in 2008.

Shirley was concerned there was an un-monitored covenant of care for Pritchard known about by Philip Jones, the Lewes Archdeacon, yet this wasn’t passed on to the police and could have affected his 2008 trial. A 2008 blog regarding Pritchard passed to her by Phil Johnson was not passed to the police.

She was concerned about when Wallace Benn had found out about Cotton’s conviction as no action had been taken to suspend or discipline him in the late 1990s during the police investigation. She was taken to a transcript of a covert recording of the 2008 meeting between herself, Wallace Benn and Phil Johnson. She felt it was clear Bishop Wallace Benn had known about Cotton’s conviction in 1999 and despite this he’s been given a PTO. She added that she tried to work with Philip Jones, the Lewes Archdeacon, but he failed to respond and didn’t give sufficient weight to her concerns.

She felt the Meekings report was positive and explored the facts adequately. She felt it should have been shared with survivors (even if it had been redacted).

On Gordon Rideout in 2010 a blemished CRB arrived. She recommended the withdrawal of his PTO immediately. Bishop John Hind asked the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group to look at it again. She said in evidence “I was amazed at his response”. The DSAG did but unanimously decided his PTO should be immediately withdrawn.

She felt Bishop john Hind was initially good but that after the Meekings Report he prevented an open and honest discussion of the Report’s findings. She had no confidence that the bishops had learnt anything from the Meekings Report.

In relation to Bishop Wallace Benn Shirley hosgood had these observations :-

I felt it was not safe to appoint a youth worker and he said he was a personal friend and he tried to change my view. It was a difficult phone conversation.

The diocese had not learnt the lessons of the Cotton and Pritchard failures. PTOs were being given without looking at the blue files.

There were communication failings. Wallace Benn was very angry with her and this stifled communication.

Eventually Shirley Hosgood was denied access to a meeting at which 4 cases would be discussed between Wallace Benn, Philip Jones and the Diocesan Secretary, Clive Dilloway. Shirley was not invited. She did however write a letter to explain her view on each case. She felt so side-lined that she resigned.

The panel Chair, Alexis Jay asked whether senior clergy were aware of their duty to report to which Shirley Hosgood replied that they did, that senior clergy chose to ignore the requirement. She mentioned that one member of clergy told her he wouldn’t tell her about concerns as she’ll tell the police. No one checked to see how procedures were being implemented.

In questioning from panel member, Ivor Frank, Ms Hosgood confirmed that she ran all contacts with survivors past EIG, the insurers, first.

In questioning from panel member, Sir Malcolm Evans, Ms Hosgood confirmed that she knew the 1954 Cotton conviction was there in 2007 on his blue file but also that Wallace Benn knew about it in 2001 and she presumed it had come with him from the Diocese of Portsmouth in the late 1960s.

Wednesday 7th March 2018

Bishop John Hind

He confirmed he was the Diocesan Bishop of Chichester. He had 2 area Bishops. He failed to supervise their activities and allowed them almost a free reign in their parts of the diocese (Lewes and Horsham).

He confirmed he would not break the seal of the confessional even for child abuse cases.

He refused to take responsibility for action or inaction in the area of Wallace Benn (Lewes).

He now wishes he’d given DSAs unfettered access to the blue files much earlier (they only got access in 2008).

He explained how in 2001 with the Data Protection Act coming into force he organised staff to take “ephemora” out of blue files. He did some of the document removal himself. He referred to guidance from Lambeth Palace. He agreed he did not closely supervise this and that some records of a safeguarding nature may have been destroyed. He said “ It is possible that child protection matters could have been removed. We didn’t have trained staff”.

There had been an internal inquiry into what went wrong at the Chichester Cathedral written by Edina Carmi. It was not published as reports were not published back then. He and Shirley Hosgood had no jurisdiction to look into the Cathedral.

He recalled the conflict which arose between Roger Meekings and Wallace Benn and also Shirley Hosgood. Wallace Benn threatened to sue him. The Butler Sloss report was intended to break the impasse but failed.

He remarked that no children were harmed as a result of the internal struggle but it got in the way of good responses to survivors.

John Hind eventually delegated responsibility for safeguarding to Archdeacon Philip Jones and the implementation of the Meekings recommendations was done piecemeal.

He agreed with 4 of the 5 findings of Butler Sloss :-

  1. There was a lack of understanding about child abuse and its seriousness in the Diocese (agreed).
  2. The Diocese was slow to recognise the importance of DSAs even though one had been in post since 1997 (not agreed).
  3. There were failures by Bishops to communicate important information to DSAs (agreed).
  4. There was no access to blue files by DSAs until 2004 and then only open access after 2008 (agreed).
  5. There was a failure to respond well to victims (agreed).

On Gordon Rideout Bishop John Hind knew of his 1972 court martial and that Wallace Benn had driven him to the police station yet despite this he wrote to Rideout when he was arrested in 2008 “It goes without saying that you have my full confidence and I hope so mush everything will soon be resolved”.

Why did he write this ? “I thought the matter was closed when the police took no action”.

Rideout went on to be appointed an acting Archdeacon. Things then got much worse as a blemished CRB check was received. Wallace Benn asked john Hind not to disclose it to Shirley Hosgood as Rideout was a friend. John hind refused to hold it back.

John Hind eventually agreed that “there was some sort of collusion and conspiracy taking place among abusing clergy in the East (Lewes). It was clear people were working in concert”.

John Hind advocated a more systematic approach and independence of safeguarding from institutional structures.

Archdeacon Philip Jones

He was a trouble shooter for the Bishop of Chichester.

He was critical of the lack of independence of Roger Meekings as he had been Shirley Hosgood’s supervisor. Jones felt he was an intermediary between Wallace Benn and Shirley Hosgood. The impasse affected the diocese’s response to survivors. Wallace Benn’s threat of legal proceedings.

There came a point at which he became aware that Wallace Benn had misled him about when he knew about Cotton’s 1954 conviction. Wallace Benn had told him he knew only in 2003 but it emerged he had known during the currency of the earlier police investigation. Philip Jones felt this was unedifying, he personally was embarrassed and realised Shirley Hosgood had not been treated well.

There was discussion about a lack of proper checks on Cotton’s PTO. He was said to have been spoken to by Nichols Reade about restrictions on his PTO but there was in fact no trace of a PTO and it emerged that conditions cannot be placed on PTO.

Philip Jones feels Wallace Benn is a believer that wrongdoers can get forgiveness even on safeguarding matters. This went to the extent that in the eyes of God the event hadn’t happened.

Ivor Frank pressed Philip Jones on the standards of proof he used to decide issues of safeguarding and pointed to a document in which Jones (ACE022267_375-8) in which Mr Jones said there was a need for absolute certainty (which as a lawyer he knew was a very high standard).

Thursday 9th March 2018

Alana Lawrence

 

Former MACSAS chair. MACSAS is the support organisation which supports survivors of clergy abuse (Christian churches). It advocates on survivors behalf, supports and signposts them. It runs a helpline which has 400+ calls per year and 500+ e mail contacts. These have increased over the last 5 years.

She and MACSAS were shocked in 2009 with the past cases review which under-reported the scale of clergy abuse.

Alana tried to help on the group which was putting together guidance for the church but left as she was being sidelined in 2010. She criticises the 2011 “Repsponding Well” document for being a pastoral support document only.

She participated in the Stop Church Child Abuse campaign after the pope’s visit.

She felt motivated to respond to the Past Cases Review by putting together MACSAS’s own study from real cases “The Stones Cry Out”.

Alana helped Elizabeth Butler Sloss write her recommendations.

There came a series of meetings with the C of E head of safeguarding, Paul Butler, to try to improve the church’s systems. This resulted in opening up places on the National Safeguarding Panel for Phil Johnson and Jo Kind and the Safe Spaces project and MACSAS tried to make safe spaces independent of the church but the church wanted to control it and keep it in house.

Her recommendations are :-

  1. Mandatory reporting
  2. Guidance won’t work as good people do wrong things not only abuse but failing to report it.
  3. Independent support to be provided (therapy etc)
  4. Balance of probabilities should be the test.
  5. Mandatory risk assessments for all reports.
  6. Mandatory suspensions.
  7. Abolish the seal of the confessional.
  8. Stricter reports to Disclosure and Barring Service
  9. Where convicted abusers should be permanently removed.
  10. All records must be kept.
  11. Parish safeguarding officers should be told of those with conviction so they can monitor at parish level.
  12. There should be a national safeguarding monitoring system which is independent of the church.
  13. There should be national guidance on conduct, investigating and managing allegations. NB 75% of cases are non-recent.
  14. An independent body to award compensation in cases where there has been an allegation but no court determination.

Roger Meekings

Mr Meekings was initially asked to collate the information for the national past cases review but went on to review files due to concerns of Bishop John Hind that issues had arisen in safeguarding.

He had access to files. He thought he was being given access to all files. It transpires that some files and parts of files were withheld.

He found there was no consistency with files, few CRB checks, a policy of not keeping CRB checks on file, files had been inconsistently filetted (some papers taken out).

For instance the Pater ball file he saw at the time was much thinner than the 440 page file produced to the inquiry. Robert Coles had admitted an assault on a young boy but Mr Meekings didn’t see any record of this. On Rideout there was no information about the 2002 arrest despite Wallace Benn having driven him to the police station. Vickery House was simply not named by Bishop John hind as being a person of interest.

On the issue of Wallace Benn’s knowledge of Cotton’s conviction he spoke to Bishop Wallace and prepared a chronology of what he knew and when he knew it. This included entries to cover being aware of the conviction in 1998. Bishop Wallace agreed the chronology (ACE022270_12). He had concluded that Cotton told Nicholas Reade in 1998. Reade told Wallace Benn in 1998. Cotton told Wallace Benn in 1999.If the police had been told at the time it might have changed the course of the investigation.

Later Bishop Wallace disagreed with the report and threatened to sue for libel.

Roger Meekings reccomendations are :-

  1. End the Church’s exemption from the Equalities Act.
  2. Implement an independent safeguarding body.
  3. A national database of allegations.
  4. Clergy Discipline Measure requires a complete overhaul.

Ian Gibson

Worked as Bishop’s Chaplain in 2004. He was responsible for filing.

  1. Found files in disarray.
  2. PTOs were being granted without blue files being checked
  3. 90% of people didn’t have a CRB check.
  4. Found in a separate cabinet a file for Peter Ball
  5. He was present when Wallace Benn asked John Hind to hold back the blemished Rideout CRB.
  6. Bishop Wallace called Ian Gibson a liar and denied the incident.

Friday 10th March 2018

 

Angela Sibson

Was the diocesan Secretary. Started Feb 2011. Communicating well can built confidence but lack of clarity can reduce confidence.

The diocese didn’t pay Wallace Benn’s bill for legal advice.

The structure of the organisations in the diocese meant it was hard to work out who was accountable in Charity Commission terms.

This witness came across as unconvincing in her attempts to defend the organisation.

Janet Hind

She was a social worker. After social work she worker half time for the diocese of Chichester and half time for the Diocese of Guilford. She withdrew from the Chichester role when her husband became the Bishop of Chichester.

She was undoubtedly sincere in her evidence and her efforts and admitted making mistakes or some safeguarding matters.

She drew up a safeguarding policy in 1996.

Mrs Hind was overruled on the issue of Michael Walsh in the 1990s and produced her note of the case.

On Robert Coles he had admitted abuse to Nicholas Reade (Archdeacon) who told Mrs Hind. She admits she should have told the police but didn’t. She assumed someone else would have told the police.

It is worth noting that her own 1996 protocols require the DSA to report to the police.

She became the National Safeguarding Adviser orking 2.5 days per week.

She recommends :-

  1. Arbitration on an appeal process is survivors are unhappy with processes.
  2. General child protection should be done within dioceses.
  3. The balance of probabilities test should be used.
  4. A culture of informed vigilance needs to be developed with parents and congregations.

Edmund Hick

He is the former police officer in charge of the police child protection investigations in Sussex.

He agreed the first investigation into Cotton was very slow.He agreed the police destroyed the file in around 2005/6 because it had been categorised as an offence against an adult (Philip Johnson) rather than against a child.

He agreed that if he had known of the conviction of Cotton during the first investigation its complexion may have been different. He said it was routine to get pre-cons on arrest.

He added that if he had known about the 2003 complainant the file would have been re-opened.

The Diocese seemed to resent statutory agencies and the police and other safeguarders had to drag them into the 21st Century. It has been hard at times.

He later worked on the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group which was disbanded (he suspected he and others on the group were being a nuisance).

Resumes on Monday 12th March 2018

IICSA Opening statement on behalf of Chichester Core Participants 5th March 2018

IICSA

Anglican Inquiry

Chichester Inquiry

Opening statement of David Greenwood on behalf of Core Participants Phil Johnson, Rev Graham Sawyer, Professor Julie MacFarlane, AN-A1, AN-A2, AN-A5, and AN-A6

  1. I would like to start by paying tribute to the brave survivors of clergy sex abuse who have dared to emerge from their own communities (sometimes in the face of hostility from their families or other congregants) and to tell their stories. Without them this Inquiry would not be possible. As well as all those who have contributed directly to this Inquiry the input of all brave survivors deserves recognition. It takes real grit to speak to anyone about sex abuse and when one is brought up in a religious environment there is an element of disclosure being a gamble against losing friends and family.
  1. In the context of the Chichester Inquiry, the efforts of Phil Johnson from whom we will hear later have been significant. With the help of Colin Campbell, a BBC reporter at BBC South East, Mr Johnson has documented and investigated the criminal activities of a series of abusers operating in the Diocese of Chichester.
  1. I have been asked whether there is something peculiar to the Diocese of Chichester that so many paedophiles were operating there. My response has been that Chichester is probably not unique. We have actually seen the potential for unlawful activity on the same scale being uncovered in other dioceses which have yet to be fully examined. Note the current large police investigation into failings at the Diocese of Lincoln, Operation Redstone. The inquiry into Robert Waddington in Manchester assisted by Archbishop David Hope. The catalogue of failings around Rev Garth Moore of Cambridge, of Rev David Smith in the Diocese of Bath and Wells and the Peter Halliday failure to report. These are just a few examples of appalling lack of positive action to protect children, each assisted by senior members of the Clergy.
  1. What we will hear in this Inquiry is a series of systematic, cultural and personal failures which have created places to which paedophiles are attracted in the knowledge that they are unlikely to be reported to the authorities, unlikely to be disciplined internally and importantly unlikely to be investigated by the police. Chichester attracted Peter Ball, Vickery House, Roy Cotton, Colin Pritchard, Robert Coles, Gordon Rideout, Ronald Glazebrook, Christopher Howarth and Noel Moore all of whom abused children in their care.
  1. I am instructed by Phil Johnson, Rev Graham Sawyer, Professor Julie MacFarlane, AN-A1, AN-A2, AN-A5, and AN-A6, all survivors of clergy sex abuse in this Inquiry. Each has felt affronted not only by the abuse they endured children or young adults but by the church’s shambolic and at times malevolent response to the allegations they raise.
  1. As part of my work with survivors of abuse I have studied in detail the structures, internal disciplinary codes and cultures of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England including the Methodist Congregation.
  1. I have found that poor responses revolve around four broad themes :-
  • Internal rules (including disciplinary rules, secrecy and rules on the confessional and lack of mandatory reporting);
  • The limitations of Hierarchical structures;
  • Church Culture;
  • The Church’s Unincorporated status.
  • Internal rules

 

    1. We will hear in evidence in the coming days that the Church of England has failed repeatedly to act on independent report recommendations..
    2. The pace of providing guidance from the centre of the church has been lamentably slow. The Nolan report centring on the Catholic church safeguarding procedures was seen as an intended watershed and whilst the Roman Catholic church embraced its recommendations, at least on paper rather than in practice, the Church of England took no steps until 2004 with the publication of “Protecting All God’s Children” which itself amounted to weak guidance which maintained the complete discretion of each Bishop on safeguarding. All this is of course set against the background of the clear guidance given by the “Working Together” document to which all bodies should have been working from the early 1990s.
    3. The Past Cases Review of 2009 was billed as an audit of safeguarding cases but its public incarnation relied on reporting dishonestly low rates of “problem cases” in order to publicly whitewash over the problem.
    4. 2010 saw the implementation of the euphemistically-named “Responding Well” document which again provided non-mandated guidance, mainly around pastoral care issues, leaving responses again in the hands of untrained Bishops.
    5. The Church has insisted throughout on pet projects to keep responses “in house” such as the listener and safe spaces projects, each of which appear to be designed to perpetuate secrecy around clergy sex abuse.
    6. The October 2017 Church of England Guidance entitled “Responding to, Assessing and Managing Concerns or Allegations against Church Officers”, whilst being detailed lacks independent oversight and does not mandate any action. The seal of the confessional is maintained. Inadequate support procedures are provided and Bishops still decide on sanctions or actions following risk assessments.
    7. There are a number of fundamental systemic flaws in the approach of the Church of England and Methodist Church in England and Wales:
    8. Any system operating without mandatory reporting imposed through legislation is reliant on the discretion of Bishops as to what action to take.
    9. There is no recourse for complainants who are dissatisfied with church responses.
    10. Internal guidance is operated at the discretion of each Bishop of the Diocese and good responses are therefore dependent on personal preferences, allegiances and protection of reputations.
    11. Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors are appointees of Bishops and are beholden to the Bishop’s views on certain issues. Each individual Bishop has differing views on the robustness of safeguarding responses he or she wishes to operate.
    12. Support offered to complainants is not independent. The provision of therapeutic support is not guaranteed and its duration is negotiable at best.
    13. Meanwhile the Church continues to insist on the inviolability of the confessional.

Hierarchical structures;

The Church of England operates a highly hierarchical structure with the Diocesan Bishop sitting at the top of the pyramid and having the last say on all matters relating to safeguarding. Whilst an attempt has been made at diluting this structure with the implementation of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, they still owe their positions to the Bishop and can find themselves bypassed if the Bishop does not agree with their decisions. We will hear more of this when we examine the relationship between the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Shirley Hosgood, and Bishop Wallace Benn. This ultimately led to Ms Hosgood leaving her position due to insurmountable differences of opinion.

We will hear however that Shirley Hosgood (an experienced social worker) has the following criticisms to make of safeguarding in the Diocese of Chichester. They appear to be linked to the in-built deference to the Bishop as the ultimate decision-maker :-

      1. She felt unsupported by Bishop John Hind
      2. She found that the Bishop’s discretion often overrode good safeguarding advice
      3. Bishops were reluctant to accept her advice
      4. The management of allegations were not centralised
      5. There was no centralised standard of record keeping
      6. Bishop Wallace Benn had made subjective decisions about allegations against Cotton and Pritchard in the early 2000s
      7. She discovered that Bishop Wallace Benn had actually taken Gordon Rideout to the police station to answer an allegation in 2002 but this was not recorded on Rideout’s employee file, and was not included in the past cases review return in 2009.
      8. When she later discovered a blemished CBR check on Gordon Rideout, Bishop John Hind was reluctant to suspend Rideout’s Permission to Officiate certificate and Bishop Wallace Benn intended to deal with the situation outside the normal protocol. He stated in a letter this was due to his “affection and concern for Gordon”.
      9. Shirley Hosgood suspects that a declaration made by Gordon Rideout in 1998 acknowledging an arrest at that stage (which she read in 2010) had been temporarily removed from his employee file during the period that Roger Meekings was examining the files for his report. She feels Mr Meekings would not have missed such a significant document. She is alleging deceit by someone at or close to the top of the Diocese.

Cultures;

We will hear in this Chichester Inquiry of a culture in which burning paper files in the Cathedral yard was tolerated. Bishops ignoring past convictions and allegations was common place. We will see that there was a hopelessly dis-jointed system for dealing with allegations meaning that Clergy employee files did not contain reports of past allegations. We will hear of the removal of documents from files. We will hear of Bishops granting Permission to Officiate certificates to convicted paedophiles and to those facing criminal allegations. There is a strong suspicion of an organised conspiracy between clergy and Bishops in the Diocese of Chichester to enable children to be abused and it will be painful for all involved to hear. On behalf of the Core Participants I represent it is submitted that the poor practices you will hear about is a result of weak guidance, a lack of mandatory reporting and independent oversight.

We will hear evidence of highly subjective assessments of risks by Bishop Wallace Benn who at one point decided that Rev Roy Cotton was probably guilty of offences against Philip Johnson but that Rev Colin Pritchard had persuaded him that he was innocent.

There will be some questioning of whether Bishop Wallace Benn actually told the police of the allegations that were reported to him.

We will hear of disagreements between Bishops and a Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and of Bishops providing untrue accounts to another records examiner, Dame Elizabeth Butler Sloss.

We will hear of refusals by successive Bishops to publish the findings of the Carmi and Meekings reports and of Bishop Wallace Benn taking legal advice about potential defamation.

All this evidence points towards a rotten culture pervading safeguarding activities in the Diocese of Chichester, a culture enabled and perpetuated by weak safeguarding rules, an unaccountable structure, and of misguided allegiances among fellow clergy.

Unincorporated status

At present the Diocese of Chichester like all Church of England Dioceses does not have external accountability built in to its system. Diocese do not punish members for poor performance. Instead they rely on vows, promises and loyalty to motivate good behaviour. Secular laws can only catch up with individuals or corporate bodies.

Bishop John Hind in his statement to the Inquiry acknowledges the issue. He says :

“A diocese has no clear identity in law. It is easy to speak about “the diocese” but this is not a clearly defined institution, but rather a number of interlocking entities each with a distinct corporate personality – for example its constituent parts, the Bishop, the Diocesan Board of Finance, the Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, the Diocesan Board of Education. The issue is further compounded by understandable but incorrect assumptions about the power of a Bishop and his inability to command access to funds and counselling”.

Bishop Hind is of course referring only to the Diocesan level of complexity. Nationally the position of even more dis-jointed yet operationally inter-woven. There is no central promulgation of rules and ideas as we have seen in the Catholic Inquiry so far. The Church of England’s legal structure is so opaque that many advocates are calling on Government (via this panel’s recommendations) to bring enforcement mechanisms to bear on the Church of England’s structures.

Church organisations are actually legally simply groups of individuals like a cricket club. They are not corporate and so not accountable. Better responses and serious attention to good safeguarding practice will only be achieved through serious sanctions such as fines, withdrawal of charitable status or closure of the offending organisations.

Recommendations

It will be for the panel to decide on the evidence but on behalf of the Core Participants I represent we will be asking the panel to agree the following :-

  1. That the Anglican Church is unable to effectively respond to child sexual abuse risks.  What is required is legislation to introduce mandatory reporting. Legislation is also required to introduce an independent statutory body to enforce basic standards of safeguarding. This statutory body would establish:

a.     A Register of Institutions fit to look after children.

b.     It would be an offence to look after children without being on the Register.

c.    To be on the Register the institution will have to introduce a corporate structure.

d.     The registered institution should be forced to adhere to the minimum standards of safeguarding regulation.

e.    The independent body would have the power to prosecute organisations for breaches of regulations. Fines would be imposed for breaches. Organisations could be prevented from working with children.

f.    All complaints would be passed to this independent body by any receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.

g.    The body would gather information from complainants, regulated institutions and third parties. It would have the power to compel disclosure of material.

h.    The body would liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the Police and Social Services. The body would ensure that police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescale.

i.    The body would investigate complaints using a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof.  There would be no statute of limitations under this scheme. The independent body would have the power to make awards of compensation similar to the CICA. It would have the power to decide on the support to be offered to a complainant and a scheme would be established to provide adequate compensation taking into account the effects on quality of life and a series of factors.

j.     Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution to legal costs would be awarded.

k.     The cost of the body’s work would be paid from a levy on institutions and those culpable would pay for the costs of dealing with individual cases in which they are involved.

Report potential offences

Having read through a great deal of the evidence gathered so effectively by the lawyers to the Inquiry we see that there are individuals whose conduct may require referral to the police. I ask the panel to be vigilant and to be willing to make such referrals.

Commission of Inquiry

Finally, whilst no other Diocese has been subject to this level of scrutiny to date and recognising that this Inquiry is not designed to find all wrongdoing in the church, I do ask the Panel to consider a recommendation that a permanent Commission of Inquiry is set up to carry out investigations elsewhere in the church and in other bodies.

David Greenwood

03 March 2018

New book on church responses to child sex abuse allegations – Responding Badly by David Greenwood

Click here to see the book cover


All royalties from this book go to the support organisation which helps support and signpost survivors of clergy sex abuse, MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors).

Click here for the link to Responding Badly on Amazon

Numerous isolated examinations of particular clergy child sex abuse cases have been published but this book digs deeper than the narrative and explores the cultures of churches, their internal dynamics and self-protection mechanisms. It isolates failings and suggests positive and achievable solutions ahead of the Independent inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (“IICSA”). This book looks at the issue from an institutional perspective as opposed to the individual case. For the last two decades we have seen countless clergy abuse scandals covered in the news. Year after year there have been clergy in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches prosecuted. Suspected cover-ups have been exposed. Case reviews have taken place yet the UK Government has allowed the churches to continue to govern themselves on safeguarding issues. This book opens up publicly:- • the scale of the problem, • the cost to individuals and society of child sexual abuse (“CSA”), • the obstructive attitude of both churches, • the internal culture of the churches, • the dynamics of power relationships in churches, • The legal and psychological barriers against reporting, • Case studies of cover ups in both churches, • The failures of our criminal and civil justice systems with solutions, • Plans for reform and independent resolution of CSA reports, The state has repeatedly failed to intervene and has allowed religious organisations to police themselves with dire consequences. This has led abusers to feel relatively safe to commit sex crime without being brought to account. Organisations have put their good name before the protection of children. Abusing clergy have been moved between parishes, dioceses, and countries when discovered. The book sets out to demonstrate the effects of abuse, how they have festered and what is needed for the future. The Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England are singled out although the power relationships and lack of effective responses apply to almost any institution from which vulnerable individuals from time to time seek help. Decision makers in schools, other religions, social services, caring professions, young offender institutions, and youth movements should look with introspection for parallel bad practice in their organisations. This book sets out some of the issues to be examined by the Inquiry in digestible detail. The book concludes that an entirely independent body should be established to receive and deal with all institutional allegations of CSA, providing uniformity of approach and establishing trust with disaffected survivors. This conclusion and references throughout to the proposed approach being suitable for schools, detention centres, children’s homes and youth groups, broadens the appeal of the book to institutions responsible for children’s’ welfare. Clergy in both churches and those with interest institutions to be examined in the IICSA are likely to be readers. Survivors of Clergy abuse will read with interest.

Catholic Church – Benedictine Inquiry oral submissions

CLOSING SUBMISSIONS

From C18-C19

William Chapman (counsel)

David Greenwood (Switalskis)

Switalskis act for C18 and C19. Both were sexually abused by Benedictine monks: not, as it happens, at Downside or Ampleforth. It does not matter. The experience was the same. The reasons for it are the same.
Our submissions are:
The EBC has proved itself incapable of self-governance to protect children in its care. We reject the reasons why offered by the Benedictine monks who have appeared before you. We emphasize the impediments to self-governance presented by:
Catholic teaching; Canon Law; The rules of the Benedictine Order;
Its hierarchical structure;
Its culture;
Its unincorporated status.
We recommend, in summary:
. The creation of a ‘failure to report’ offence with no exception for the confessional.

i. The creation of a ‘failure to protect’ offence.

ii. The extension of ‘position of trust’ offences.

iii. The creation of a new statutory body with powers to police and enforce basic standards of child protection. We envisage a body similar to the Health and Safety Executive.

iv. A review of the powers of the Charity Commission.

Items i) to iii) are recommendations made by the Australian Royal Commission in its ‘Criminal Justice Report’ published last week.

There are real obstacles to the effective enforcement of external regulation that are peculiar to the EBC for the reasons given in a).
d. So long as the EBC is engaged in the care and education of children the EBC may, even with the measures we recommend, pose an unacceptable risk to children. This raises a wider question of the extent to which faith-based education is conducive to the safety of children. We reserve our position on this wider question until the conclusion of the further investigations relating to the Catholic and Anglican church.

The EBC is incapable of self-governance

3. The EBC has failed to implement appropriate child-safeguarding over decades. Those failures have persisted post-Nolan (2001), post-Cumberlege (2011) and post-Carlile (2011). In 2010, on a review of the Downside files concerns were raised in relation to 16 out of the 23 monks at Downside.

4. Those failures persist now even in the face of this Inquiry. Children are still at risk at Downside & Ampleforth according to their own former Abbot and headmaster, Aidan Bellenger. Writing as recently as 1 July 2017, in a letter he never expected to be made public:

‘RC-F77’s attitudes are perverse and criminal and he should not be allowed to reside at Downside. His case parallels that of RC-F18 at Ampleforth’.

5. James Whitehead, the departing headmaster of Downside said in his statement,

“The real reason for my impending departure, in my interpretation, is the fact that, on a number of occasions, I have had to challenge the poor management of Dom Leo as Chair of Governors which extends to a range of areas of School life, including safeguarding.”

6. Those failures have not only exposed children to the risk of abuse: they have in a number of cases been directly responsible for further abuse [give e.g.s]. [Richard White and Gregory Carroll]

7. The EBC has failed for reasons that may prove common to other institutions you will investigate. But is also clear that it has failed for reasons that are peculiar to the English Benedictine Congregation.

8. Let me first reject the various explanations offered by the clerics who came before you:

i. That times were different and social standards were different;

ii. That they were naive;

iii. That we are judging them with the benefit of hindsight;

iv. That child safeguarding measures were not as highly developed in the past as they are now.

v. That record keeping and filing in the past was poor.

9. All those things may be true, but they are not the reasons why the Benedictines failed. A good case study is that of Anselm Hurt because it is a case that spans decades. We know from that case:

a. Social standards were not different then:

. We know that the headmaster in 1970 reacted immediately to the disclosure of Anselm Hurt’s abuse by:

Dismissing him
Reporting him with full details to the statutory authority
i. We know that a parent at the time wrote to the Abbot in these terms because she was concerned that Hurt was preying upon her 15 year old son in 1970 even after his dismissal:

“We were…. told by Father Watkin the real reason for the dismissal…. This man is amoral and evil. He is a member of your community and you must take some responsibility for him…..Father Passmore, if harm comes to [my son] I shall find it very hard indeed to forgive you.”

These offences were as repugnant to right-thinking people then, as now. There were no elaborate safeguarding protocols in 1970. Yet a statutory authority was informed and at least one parent was told why he had been dismissed. The views of the headmaster were clear: that Hurt

‘should not work in a school or youth club or anything of that character in future”.

The monks in charge were not naive then. They were not naive later. They are not naive now.
i. Over the course of the next 40 years, the monastery re-integrated this monk into society and finally into monastic and priestly life. This process of reintegration took place at the same time as child safeguarding awareness and policies developed. Even though Hurt had been kicked out of the monastery, he was looked after. It was a cradle-to-grave service.

ii. The Abbot provided references for various jobs Those jobs included ‘Trainee Child Care Officer’ and ‘probation officer’ a job that involved ‘supervision of offenders of all ages as well as young people who, because of their home circumstances, need special care’. Hurt wrote to the Abbot thanking him for one such ‘glowing’ reference’. He felt bold enough to ask that he would ‘be grateful if you did not raise the matter of the ban [on teaching], as this could naturally complicate things, and possibly weigh against me in a competitive selection’.

iii. Hurt was provided with money. His last letter to the Abbot was in 1974 to ask for money to buy a house. With the support of a Catholic psychiatrist, Dr Seymour – commissioned and paid for by the Abbot – he eventually overturned his ban on teaching. It seems he got a job in Liverpool, married and had children. Stage 1 was completed: he was reintegrated into society.

This was not naivety. The Abbot knew full well that the headmaster’s view, as clearly communicated to the education department

Stage 2 began again with Abbot Charles and Hurt’s reintegration into monastic life in the 1990s. It is particularly telling that the chief reason – when you piece together the correspondence – that Hurt was prevented from returning to Downside was the continued presence of Father Aelred Watkin at Downside – the same man who had said Hurt should not be let near children. That tells you that the much vaunted change of atmosphere at Downside heralded by Abbot Charles was as much about tolerating known paedophiles in their midst than it was about common humanity.
d. Nor was the Abbot of Glenstal naive. He wanted to know about Hurt’s past for the sake of the Abbey and their potential civil liability, not the safety of children. He wrote in 1994: “I have just attended a series of meetings on the whole topic of child-abuse by the clergy, and the insurance implications – quite apart from more exalted considerations – are horrendous” Abbot Charles reviewed the file and sent it. In reply, the Abbot of Glenstal said he would ‘destroy that which was specifically damaging to Anselm as some letter from Rome recommends’. That was pure cynicism, a cynicism that did not receive any reproach or comment from Abbot Charles. On the contrary, Abbot Charles sought to suggest to you at this Inquiry that the proposed action by the Abbot of Glenstal was entirely appropriate.

e. The baton passed to Abbot Yeo. Yeo remembered Hurt from his school days and then as postulant as someone with an ‘engaging personality’. On 11/4/01 he supported his return to the priesthood: Hurt was free to perform all the sacraments and would be most welcome to visit Downside. He did so without any knowledge of what Hurt had done for the last 30 odd years. On 14/7/01 Yeo was elected Abbot President. In September 2001 the final Nolan report was published with its final recommendations:

i. Recommendation 69: It is important to treat current allegations about abuse that took place some years ago (‘historical allegations’) in exactly the same way as allegations of current abuse.

ii. Recommendation 70: Bishops and religious superiors should ensure that any cases which were known in the past but not acted on satisfactorily (‘historic cases’) should be the subject of review as soon as possible, reported to the statutory authorities wherever appropriate, and that there is appropriate follow-up action including possibly regular continuing assessment.

f. Those were recommendations which Yeo said he supported. He said this did not cause him to reflect on what he’d just done for Anselm Hurt. We invite you to reject that. He clearly did reflect on it. He knew what he should do. He deliberately failed to do it.

g. And so we see how over the course of 40 years a known abusive monk, that had been kicked out of the monastery was gradually reintegrated back into the fold, in an Abbey with a school, and with no restrictions on his activities.

h. What happened with Anselm Hurt was not naivety. It was cynicism. It is not judging them with the unfair benefit of hindsight. Father Watkin knew Hurt was a danger from the start until his death. The monks that came after knew what they should have done at the time and flatly refused to do it. It wouldn’t have mattered what safeguarding guidance was in place or how much training they had. They would always have refused to follow it.

i. We reject the excuse that the filing system was inadequate. Abbot Charles told you,

“I think monasteries generally are rather keen on archives, so things don’t get thrown away…..I would say the files are pretty complete, at least with what has been given to be filed.”

He had no difficulty finding Hurt’s records from 20 years before. It contained the relevant information. The problem with the records is that the filing system was opaque to outsiders.
k. Of course, there is not much to be done if records are deliberately destroyed or if the filing system is opaque to outsiders. No one is unlikely to forget the evidence of Leo Davis and how he barrowed loads of monks’ files to a distant wood to burn them over the course of several days.

11. These are highly educated men, all from very similar backgrounds: top public schools, top universities, white, upper middle-class. They ran large estates and large enterprises. These are not unworldly men who could not have been expected to know better. These were monks, who should as a body, have helped lead the way. In many cases they did not even follow. They were following a script of their own. Some, like Yeo, paid lip-service to child-safeguarding. Some like Timothy Wright, did not even do that. Some like Cuthbert Madden made seeming efforts. But as Adrian Child said in respect of essentially voluntary guidance,

“a lot of this seems based on the integrity of individuals….[even where progress was made] it was dependent on the skills and expertise of the coordinator and the doggedness in the endeavour of the abbot”.

11. What Abbot, with any sense of responsibility, in relation to a known abuser in his community, would write (Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard, 18/6/97)

“I am hopeful that the climate among our national witch-hunters will be sufficiently muted for him [Nicholas White] to take up a strictly monastic residence again”.

12. If that is what they are prepared to put in writing or to outsiders, to what depths of cynicism do they descend between themselves on the telephone and in the refectory?

13. Fitzgerald Lombard, Yeo and Wright did not act with integrity. Men of faith, they acted in bad faith. Better men may come. But what if they do not? Had it been left to men like Yeo and Wright, the perpetrators would have avoided criminal justice. The consequence of avoiding criminal justice is that i) the perpetrator goes unpunished ii) there is no public record of the offence iii) he is not subject to any of the restrictions the criminal law then imposes iv) children remain at risk. These monks have sought to create – with some success – a latter-day Benefit of Clergy.

The real reasons for the failings

14. The primary reasons for EBC’s failure is a) the lack of accountability of those responsible for the welfare of children and b) the conflict of interest that inevitably arises when those in charge are responsible for the welfare of children and potential perpetrators.

15. Those reasons are likely to be typical for a number of the institutions you investigate. But there are features of this particular manifestation of the Catholic Church that show how intractable the solution is likely to be.

16. The first is what these men believe in: the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Rule of St Benedict.

a. According to the rule of St Benedict, the Abbot is ‘believed to hold the place Christ in the monastery’ and ‘..the Abbot must never teach or decree or command anything that would deviate from the Lord’s instructions’. Abbot Charles said that ‘apart from the Almighty’ he did not answer to anyone. Even the Abbot President was limited in his power over the Abbot.

b. Abbot Wright wrote, ‘An Abbot’s first task, before all else, is the care of his monks….each of the brethren offer their obedience….Their home is the one place to which they can always return, regardless of what has happened, because their home is defined by an enclosure from which externs are excluded.’

c. When Abbot Wright had the temerity to challenge the paramountcy principle, he was merely stating his truth: monks came before children.

d. The power of the Abbot is qualified only by the necessity of election by the monks every 8 years, the teachings of the Catholic Church, Canon Law and instructions from Rome. The Holy See could remove an Abbot. The Holy See could issue instructions in individual cases. We have seen how powerful that allegiance can be:

i. By Canon 489:

§1. In the diocesan curia there is also to be a secret archive, or at least in the common archive there is to be a safe or cabinet, completely closed and locked, which cannot be removed; in it documents to be kept secret are to be protected most securely.

§2. Each year documents of criminal cases in matters of morals, in which the accused parties have died or ten years have elapsed from the condemnatory sentence, are to be destroyed. A brief summary of what occurred along with the text of the definitive sentence is to be retained.

Abbot Dillon of Glenstal appears to have received a standing instruction from Rome to destroy documents damaging to a monk.
iii. The seal of the of the confessional is absolute: even where a child tells a priest in confession that he/she has been sexually abused. The seal of the confessional protects abusers and encourages them to abuse further by granting absolution. You can infer from A221’s (the boy at Downside abused by Richard White) evidence and that of Richard Yeo that these monks confessed their sexual abuse to their fellow monks and did so repeatedly as they carried on abusing.

iv. Richard Yeo himself told us that there was sufficient concern that there were elements of Catholic theology that ‘might tend to encourage abusive behaviour’ that the EBC sponsored a conference about it. His own particular concern was that:

‘there is something in the nature of the priesthood deriving from the fact that, according to Catholic theology, there is an ontological effect on the person on becoming a priest, does this have an effect in creating an atmosphere where child sexual abuse is — I won’t say facilitated, but made less unlikely.’

This begs the question: if there is a conflict between Catholic theology, teaching and practice, and the abuse of children, what will the Benedictines do about it? The answer has, we say, been demonstrated in the evidence. The safety of children comes second.
f. This is the same concern raised by the United Nations when it wrote in 2014:

“the Committee reiterates its concern about the Holy See’s reservations to the Convention which undermine the full recognition of children as subjects of rights, and condition the application of the Convention on its compatibility with the sources of law of Vatican City State”.

17. The second reason is the hierarchical structure of the EBC.

a. The harmful concentration of power in one individual – the Abbot – was demonstrated by the evidence of George Corrie. Even as Prior and safeguarding officer, he was unable to persuade the Abbot to adopt a child protection procedure.

b. The person with power at Ampleforth, Abbot Timothy Wright, was able to resist outside interference for an extended period by refusing to hand over or name individuals against whom there had been complaints. He recruited a lawyer to help with the resistance (and may have avoided full disclosure – we will never know as the police didn’t pursue a search warrant. See the evidence of Barry Honeysett of North Yorkshire Police.

c. Both Eileen Shearer and Jane Dziadulewizc made it clear they were frustrated that guidance by the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service was simply that: advisory only.

18. The third reason is the culture and traditions of the EBC.

. This was an old boys’ club. Once in, you were catered for, for life. These were almost exclusively, public-school (usually Ampleforth/Downside), Oxbridge-educated, upper middle-class, white, men. They often knew each other from school or university days. They lived literally, and not just figuratively, like brothers. They worked together, ate together, prayed together, celebrated mass together – and heard each other’s confessions. A clear case of the operation of this old boys’ club was the case of Anselm Hurt. Even after estrangement lasting over 20 years he was levered back to full monastic life.

a. It’s a club that came with very worldly benefits. Jane Dziadulwicz: “Downside Abbey is absolutely beautiful. It really is beautiful, as is the school, and it has beautiful facilities, it is a beautiful environment. The monks’ rooms are well furnished and they are very comfortable. Their private spaces are comfortable. There are plenty of private rooms within the abbey that are very comfortable.”

b. A job as an EBC monk also came with high status. You were not just a priest, but a well-to-do pillar of the community. Deference came automatically from parents who were, effectively, lay members of this club. We heard how A221’s father a) sought an injunction to prevent publicity as much for the Church’s sake as his son’s and b) was prepared to shake the hand of Father White even after he had learned that White had abused his son.T

c. To outsiders this is often intimidating. It played its part in inhibiting decisive action and the full use of their powers by, for example, Barry Honeysett (who acknowledged some reluctance to embark on a search of the Ampleforth premises) and DC Mark Smith (who was on the verge of arresting Aidan Bellenger for obstructing his inquiries) and even Elizabeth Mann who hesitated before disclosing the contents of her risk assessments.

19. The final reason is the legal status of the EBC.

. Religious organisations do not have a corporate structure and so cannot be held accountable. In law these organisations are simply groupings of individuals who by their nature can leave the organisation, disappear or die. They are simply unincorporated associations. It is a point raised by Richard Yeo himself: ”The only juridical persons associated with religious congregations in this country are the charitable trusts which hold the property of most of our congregations.”

a. As unincorporated associations the EBC (and many other Church organisations) are not, and cannot be, subject to effective external regulation.

b. The absence of a corporate structure leads to confusion and non-standard practice.

c. The internal working of religious communities is not based on sanction for poor performance. It is based on trust that each individual is performing well.

20. We agree with Adrian Child when he said:

“..I don’t see any value in tinkering around the edges and saying, “Here you are. Here is a third opportunity [post-Nolan, post-Cumberlege]. Go away and sort this out yourself….there needs to be accountability and some kind of mandatory enforcement.”

Recommendations

Mandatory reporting

21. The panel should make it clear that the moral obligation is to report known or suspected child abuse to the police.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1b8ROVtFjmUG8DTnBlxnXsKzbY-egGYiF0S9ryVhMMeAIvQa1CfFZDtBfuScjvFyc5IZ6t3gpiYrTNmeDV-w1rkkoqDroSN1xRl0q1bLiIBSSFSYL1hOm5zKgI8MNqXLNFXb1M7J

22. The panel recommend the creation of a failure to report offence targeted at institutions where the relevant person:

a. Knows or suspects that a child is being or has been sexually abused or

b. Should have suspected (on the basis that a reasonable person in their circumstances would have suspected)

By a person associated with the institution.

23. We appreciate that this would impose criminal liability for failure to report a suspicion that the person did not form.

24. A law which requires professionals who work with children in ‘Regulated Activities’ to inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (‘LADO’) or in appropriate circumstances children’s services the professional knows, suspects, or has reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting child abuse. Failure to inform would be a criminal offence. Presently this is only guidance which is all too frequently ignored.

25. This legislation would introduce a much stronger culture of abuse prevention as well as supporting and protecting mandated staff. In the absence of law those staff who do report presently are, by default, whistle-blowers with very little protection. Law can be a catalyst for behavioural and cultural change. The aim of the proposal is not to criminalise staff but to support them when they are faced with the most challenging circumstances – concerns of potential or known child abuse. Being legally mandated to report removes an enormously challenging set of decisions staff are currently being asked to make. We have seen in this case study the effect of the absence of mandatory reporting.

26. We are satisfied that, where the elements of the reporting obligation are met, there should be no exemption, excuse, protection or privilege from the offence granted to clergy for failing to report information disclosed in or in connection with a religious confession.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/TdZPUWYtdMBJxwiMlUunSy_eUIWn70T0slYFSPXzytZiW0c4bB2dYpw3xVqMG2CVCfx1FdWl3RPmY9w_aisQSaVLvBUVSy-Edix3Nag-MPv2wuxhOT1YUq10oJeGPLRzfVlGc6Cj

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hEB5yFxmp2fhZjk-S71bP-QgY63qp6pmORSUOUS_p5khjA7sUNDu03Xw9AdXgkUe9NboZIDmtnpotOMen_1ec_ffrjf2_k8x_iwUbOPpFdViATzCAGK_uTwiPqXO9WoLJrKYdL2D

Failure to protect offence

27. The panel should consider introducing an offence of failing to protect a child from the risk of sexual abuse. Such a law has already been enacted in the Australian State of Victoria in 2015. Under the Victorian offence in section 49C, persons in authority in an organisation are required to protect children from a substantial risk of a sexual offence being committed by an adult associated with that organisation if they know of the risk. They must not negligently fail to reduce or remove a risk which they have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove.

28. “Many of our case studies reveal circumstances where steps were not taken to protect children in institutions. These include examples where persons were allowed to continue to work with a particular child after concerns were raised, and they continued to abuse the particular child. They also include examples where persons who had allegations made against them were allowed to continue to work with many other children and they went on to abuse other children. In some cases, perpetrators were moved between schools or other sites operated by the same institution.”

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Bn-EQqcknPeylzKWehto1fCewhQYx3CyU80GRHLUr2co9qIAjarMPluAQtl8jOGG40uJN5kO1MRC6Ab0rmYufeySPXRcXRe9lpRBBxYgEvsLhsFzKq9A1XroVAUY1oc5Z1LCSBeg

The extension of ‘position of trust’ offences.

29. The panel should review the criminal offence of ‘abuse of position of trust’ under sections 16-24 of the Sexual Offences Act 2005. It should consider whether the existing categories of forbidden relationships with 17 & 18 year olds should be broadened. It might be broadened to include the case where the offender has an established personal relationship with the victim in connection with the provision of religious, sporting, musical or other instruction to the victim. We make this suggestion following the evidence of A117 who was abused by F80 when she was 17 and wheelchair-bound and he was 52 and a senior monk at Downside. We make the suggestion whether or not it proves possible to capture the described behaviour of F80. The categories as they currently stand are too narrow.

30. We note this was a recommendation made Australian Royal Commission in the recently published Criminal Justice Report.

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The creation of a new statutory body to police and enforce regulatory

31. We invite the panel to consider the creation of a new statutory body to police and enforce minimum national standards of child-safeguarding. We envisage such a body having similar powers to the Health & Safety Executive. The Health & Safety Executive operates for the safety of workers. Children are an even more vulnerable group. The absence of a powerful statutory body dedicated to their protection is a serious defect.

32. Such a body will:

a. Establish a register of relevant Institutions that look after children.

b. It will be an offence to look after children without being on the register.

c. To be on the register institutions have to introduce a corporate structure.

d. “regulated” institutions will be forced to adhere to minimum safeguarding regulations.

e. have the power to prosecute regulated organisations for breach of this guidance (similar to HSE prosecutions). Fines will be imposed.

f. All complaints are to be passed to the independent body by a receiving institution with a criminal sanction for failing to do so.

g. The body will gather information from complainants. It will have the power to compel disclosure of material.

h. It will liaise with and assist civil authorities such as the police and social services. It would ensure the police and other statutory organisations are taking appropriate action within reasonable timescales. It will have the power to compel the police to investigate and refer cases to the CPS.

i. For the purposes of making an award of compensation and support It will investigate the complaint using the balance of probabilities as the standard of proof.

j. The body will decide on reparations and support to be offered to the complainant.

k. Complainants will be allowed to take advice from lawyers and a contribution towards legal costs will be awarded.

l. The cost of the body’s work, support, reparations and legal costs are to be paid from a levy on the institutions.

m. It will provide to Government and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child with regular reports on progress of UK organisations in fulfilling their obligations at the UN conventions.

Charities Commission

33. Both Ampleforth and Downside schools have charitable status. The panel should:

a. review the powers of the Charity Commission to change that status when serious child safeguarding concerns are revealed;

b. Consider whether the ‘advancement of religion’ should remain a charitable purpose given the conflict between that purpose and child safety.

34. Should the State be subsidising institutions that, in the words of Aidan Bellinger, tolerate and encourage paedophiles or where, in the words of Richard Yeo, there are elements of the promoted theology that encourages child abuse?

35. it is a wonder any parent would feel confident sending their child to these schools, let alone those who, because they are necessarily rich, have a choice. As it is, these schools have long enjoyed charitable status and the tax relief that follows. If these were state schools with a less august history and a lesser sense of their own importance – if they were not, in short, pillars of the Catholic establishment – they would have been closed.

36. What happened was beyond mere negligence, a lack of understanding of proper procedures or a naivety that is excused by their cloistered existence. The evidence is that these monks deliberately put children at risk to protect paedophile monks and the institutions in which they lived. They fomented an environment that promoted abuse and tolerated it when discovered. Given the requirement for confession to fulfill their priestly function, discovery was almost immediate. They have behaved like this not just in the dim and distant past but recently: post-Nolan, post-Cumberlege. I should like to say the Benedictine Order have at least paid lip-service to modern reforms. In the case of Abbot Timothy Wright, you could not even say that.

37. Stripped of the religious cloth that has hung like a heavy pall over all these proceedings there is nothing left but an unincorporated association. One whose care of children should not be tolerated in any walk of life. To the extent you hesitate at such a suggestion I would invite you to consider that the reason for your hesitation is simply the power and influence of these revered institutions.

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I would like me to record my gratitude for the tenacity and bravery of those victims of abuse who have given evidence. I would also like to give credit to organisations such as the Ministry and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group for their support and ideas.

Week 3 of the English Benedictine Congregation Inquiry – Crass Disregard for Children and Burning Records

The evidence started this week with former headmaster, Aidan Bellenger, who was complacent and slightly evasive in his evidence. He agreed there was a conflict between the best interests of children and having the monastery in the control of the governors and finance. He admitted being involved in the decision-making on allowing a serial abuser, Richard White, back into the monastery. He told the Inquiry he wasn’t aware that DC Mark White considered that he was obstructing the police investigation and was close to being arrested. He denied being slow to reveal documents to the police. He was aware that monks who had abused were appointed in 2006 and 2007 to the board of governors and board of trustees. He agreed he took no steps to remove them.

Mr Bellenger agreed he wrote two letters in 2016 and 2017 setting out what he felt were the failures at Downside and pointed out that previous Abbots had protected abusers and that 3 abusers were still being harboured by the monastery. He is in the process of leaving the Benedictines.

The deputy Head, Andrew Hobbs, gave evidence that child protection at Downside had not been good enough. He recounted the failed Ofsted inspections of 2010 and 20011 and the steps taken to retrieve the situation. Changes now include better recruitment checks, physical separation between the school and the monks quarters, training for all on safeguarding, and better information sharing. he agreed there was more to do.

“Prior Administrator” Leo Davis gave evidence in an uncertain way. He was a man in his late 60s with white hair. He recounted disastrous dealings with Anselm Hurt and Richard White, both of whom had been known offenders but who were allowed back into the monasteries and into contact with pupils. He agreed publicity was a principal concern and advice from a barrister QC to disclose abuse of Richard White to the police was rejected. An interesting statistic arose that 16 of the 23 monks at Downside had safeguarding complaints lodged against them. He confirmed that RC-F77, another monk against whom a complaint had been lodged, was still living at Downside under a “behaviour covenant”. He had been made a trustee in 2007. RC-F77 breached his covenant in 2012 by walking across the school playing fields and attending a church service which boys attended. Not all parents have been told about his presence on site. Another monk accused of persuading a pupil to give him oral sex was moved from Downside to a parish in Turvey but the monastery didn’t tell Turvey of the risk he posed to children. F Leo denied knowing about Dunstan O’Keefe downloading pornography in spite of a letter from one monk to the Abbott that “We all knew he was downloading images”. An internal note was produced which set out steps to be taken to clear O’Keefe’s position up. The note included the words “destroy hard drive and floppy…computer destroyed…theft”. O’Keefe was even told by the Abbot Richard Yeo to “lie low and keep out sight” at the school. He was in fact allowed to be a novice master and has access to boys.

Most of the evidence we have heard is characterised by a systematic disregard for safeguarding good practice but evidence given by Leo Davis on 12th December 2017 was the height of crass disregard for the law by these monks. Leo David was the headmaster at the time but in July 2012 he set about moving large numbers of documents from the Headmaster’s basement and carting them over the space of 4 days off site in a wheelbarrow through the woods surrounding Downside and burning them. He claimed he didn’t know what they contained. This was two years after the police had asked for documents but felt they had been held back. He agreed the monastery had employed a PR consultant, Tony Domain, to “avoid hazards and advise on what to say to parents”. Leo David agreed he wanted to avoid media interest.

Richard Yeo, the former Abbott of Downside and former Abbott president agreed that the status of priest creates a risk of child abuse by creating an atmosphere where priests feel protected. He confirms that an abuser who was allowed back in to the priesthood, Anselm Hurt, had been a childhood friend of his and that he helped him gain position at Downside. He admitted failing to report Richard White or Dunstan O’Keefe in 2002 after the Nolan report recommended he should. Richard Yeo went on to help the Abbott of Ampleforth to introduce a secret safeguarding code. This had been kept secret from CSAS, the Catholic church’s central safeguarding advisory body.

It appears to have been standard practice for Abbotts and headmasters at Downside to interfere with and try to undermine boys who had complained. There came a point in his evidence where he had described the fact that a complainant was alcoholic and asking his Mother for money as “that little nugget” – as if it would help to defeat the allegation made by the former pupil. Did he not question the root cause of his alcoholism ?

It was put to him that Canon 489 requires a secret archive to be kept for complaints about priests. Yeo said this referred to Bishops and not Religious (the term for heads of religious Orders such as monks, brothers and nuns).

When questioned about the confessional he could not recall if any monk had confessed child abuse to him. He agreed that if a child told him it has experienced sexual abuse in the confessional he would be bound by sanctity of the confessional and would not be able to report it to the police. Overall Richard Yeo came across as extremely evasive and failed to give a straight answer to any of the questions posed.

Adrian Child, former Assistant director of COPCA and CSAS (the national body advising Catholic organisations on safeguarding) gave evidence.

  • He found that not all Dioceses adopted the centrally agreed safeguarding guidance.
  • He had put together a dispute resolution procedure for cases where there was an allegation but no conviction but 50% of dioceses and orders rejected it, including CCIA, the Catholic Insurance office. To quote his evidence “To say ‘my hands are tied or my insurer won’t let me settle the case’ is not moral or adequate”.
  • He criticised the lack of money put into safeguarding.
  • He criticised the seal of the confessional for getting in the way of safeguarding.
  • He described Ampleforth as a microcosm of the Catholic Church.
  • He criticised the fact that safeguarding depended on goodwill between Bishops and Religious leaders.

He summarised by saying that the system needed legislative oversight for all religious bodies, sport, drama, music, etc where children are looked after. Legislation is needed that has teeth and can deliver sanctions for breaches of safeguarding. To quote his words to Professor Jay and panel “Don’t tinker around the edges. We need accountability and mandatory enforcement”.

Claire Winter, The Somerset County Council LADO (“Local Authority Designated Officer”), gave evidence to confirm she was involved with overseeing Downside between 2010 and 2016. She counted allegations against 16 of the 23 monks at Downside.

She recommended a safeguarding audit as the state of record keeping was poor. There were CRB/DBS check missing for staff, records missing and files were separated between school and monastery records.

She found that she couldn’t entirely rely on the Abbott telling her about which monks or priests were a concern. She was not confident that restrictions on monks activities were being monitored. One monk forbidden to have access to the internet was discovered to have unlimited access .

Evidence from Helen Humphries, HM Inspector of Education was heard. She explained the nuts and bolts of school inspections. Kate Richards of the Independent School Inspections body explained the standards the schools should have attained.

I will be working on oral closing submissions with William Chapman and will post a copy once it has been handed in to the Inquiry. A full written submission will be posted here next Friday.

David Greenwood

Wednesday 13th December 2017