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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

Annex 3: Chronology relating to the Chichester Case Study

Date Event
1958 Bishop George Bell dies shortly after his retirement.
1995 A complainant writes to Bishop Eric Kemp, alleging that she was abused by Bishop George Bell in the 1940s as a seven‐year‐old girl.
May 1997 Sussex Police arrest Reverend Robert Coles on suspicion of child sexual abuse. He admits the assault to Bishop Wallace Benn and Archdeacon Nicholas Reade, but declines to answer questions in his police interview. No further action is taken against him.
December 1997 Sussex Police arrest Reverends Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard on suspicion of child sexual abuse.
March 1999 Sussex Police discontinue the investigations against Reverends Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard. Reverend Robert Coles retires and joins a new congregation. He engages in public ministry despite being without permission to officiate.
May 1999 Reverend Roy Cotton is granted permission to officiate by Bishop Wallace Benn.
May 2001 Reverend Roy Cotton completes a Confidential Declaration Form, in which he discloses his 1954 conviction.
September 2001 Bishop John Hind commissions the Carmi Review. This is an independent review into the Church’s handling of the Terence Banks case.
2002 Sussex Police arrest Reverend Gordon Rideout on suspicion of child sexual abuse. No further action is taken against him.
2004 The Carmi Review is completed. It is not published at this time.
2005 Sussex Police arrest Reverend Jonathan Graves on suspicion of child sexual abuse. No further action is taken. During the police investigation he is granted permission to officiate by Bishop Wallace Benn.
September 2006 Reverend Roy Cotton dies. Reverend Colin Pritchard is interviewed under caution by Northamptonshire Police.
Early 2007 Reverend Gordon Rideout and Reverend Colin Pritchard are granted permission to officiate by Bishop Wallace Benn.
September 2007 On the advice of Mrs Shirley Hosgood, Bishop Wallace Benn suspends Reverend Colin Pritchard’s permission to officiate.
September 2008 An enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) disclosure reveals that Reverend Jonathan Graves was arrested. His permission to officiate is suspended.
Early 2009 Mr Roger Meekings finalises his review of past cases. He is instructed to conduct a further review relating to the cases of Reverend Cotton and Reverend Pritchard.
December 2009 Following a meeting with Archdeacon Philip Jones and Mr John Stapleton, Mr Meekings produces an amended version of the Cotton and Pritchard report. Bishop Wallace Benn suggests that its criticisms of him amount to libel.
May 2010 The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) is formed. Its members are not provided with a copy of the Cotton and Pritchard report.
September 2010 A CRB check discloses the history of allegations against Reverend Gordon Rideout. On the advice of the DSAG, his permission to officiate is suspended.
May 2011 Lady Elizabeth Butler‐Sloss completes her review of the Reverend Roy Cotton and Reverend Colin Pritchard cases.
October 2011 Sussex Police reinvestigate the allegations against Reverend Rideout, Reverend Coles and Reverend Graves. The investigation is titled ‘Operation Perry’.
November 2011 The DSAG submits a complaint against Bishop Wallace Benn under the Clergy Discipline Measure.
January 2012 Lady Elizabeth Butler‐Sloss produces an addendum to her report into the cases of Reverend Roy Cotton and Reverend Colin Pritchard.
March 2012 The DSAG submits a second complaint against Bishop Wallace Benn under the Clergy Discipline Measure. It also submits a complaint against Archdeacon Nicholas Reade. Both complaints are ultimately dismissed.
August 2012 The Interim Report of the Chichester Visitation is published.
April 2013 The Final Report of the Chichester Visitation is published.
July 2014 The Carmi Review is published with a foreword by Bishop Martin Warner.
October 2015 The alleged victim of Bishop George Bell receives monetary compensation from the Church for her abuse.
December 2017 The independent Carlile review into the Church’s handling of the Bishop George Bell case is published.

 

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