George Bell Group

Apr 6, 2016 by

We are an independent group whose members represent a concentration of experience in public life, in the fields of law, policing, politics, journalism, academic research and church affairs. This group began to meet in response to the 22 October statement issued by the Church of England about Bishop George Bell.  See this BBC report for the full story.

We are now publishing our analysis of the way in which the allegation against Bishop Bell has been handled by the authorities of the Church.

We note that the public has been consistently assured that the process by which the Church of England reached a view on Bishop Bell was ‘thorough’ and ‘objective’, and that it commissioned ‘experts’ whose ‘independent reports’ found ‘no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim[s]’ of sexual abuse made by the complainant.

However, although the nature of this process has never been publicly disclosed, we have discovered enough to establish its severe limitations which render it quite inadequate as a basis for assessing the probability of Bishop Bell’s guilt. The scope of the independent experts’ inquiries was limited to a degree that made a proper analysis of the complainant’s allegations virtually impossible. Our criticisms of the investigation are highlighted in paragraphs 15 to 17 of the enclosed Review. What is more, little or no respect seems to have been paid to the unheard interests of Bishop Bell or his surviving family – a serious breach of natural justice.

In view of the evidence that we have gathered and examined we have concluded that the allegation made against Bishop Bell cannot be upheld in terms of actual evidence or historical probability.

Our review sets out our concerns at length.

Read here

Read also: Credible and True: the evidence against Harvey Proctor and Bishop George Bell by Archbishop Cranmer

Related Posts


Share This