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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

B.2: Chichester Cathedral

19. This case study will adopt a chronological approach, dealing with each perpetrator according to the date of their conviction. Therefore the report begins with the case of Terence Banks, although Chichester Cathedral is not within the jurisdiction of the Diocese.

The Terence Banks case

Convictions for child sexual abuse

20. On 2 May 2001, Terence Banks was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys. The offences were committed over a period of nearly 30 years. All of his victims were under the age of 16 at the time they were abused.[1] He was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment.

21. Banks met all but one of the victims through his activities with Chichester Cathedral, where he had been a volunteer steward until his arrest in 2000. He also played a part in the organisation of the Southern Cathedrals Festival. This was a music festival which rotated on a yearly basis between the cathedrals of Salisbury, Chichester and Winchester. It was attended by various children’s choirs from across the south of England.[2]

22. Of the 12 victims, seven were pupils at The Prebendal School. This is an independent preparatory school for children aged between three and 13 years. It educates both day and boarding pupils, some of whom are choristers at Chichester Cathedral. The Chair of Governors is the Dean of the Cathedral. Members of the Dean and Chapter play a significant role in the governance and management of the school.

Evidence of AN‑A11

23. One of the children whom Terence Banks was convicted of abusing was AN‑A11, who gave evidence at the public hearing. In 1978, AN‑A11 joined a choral school in Winchester at the age of 10. He met Banks through their mutual involvement in the Chichester music festival.[3]

24. During one of the festivals, Banks invited AN‑A11 to stay overnight in his house. They attended a function that evening at a nearby hotel, during the course of which Banks bought him alcoholic drinks. He recalled the older boys jokingly advising him to “watch out, stick a bun up your arse, here comes Terence”.[4] Whilst this remark could be characterised as the crude humour of a teenager, it does suggest that choristers were aware of Banks’ preference for boys.

25. The alcohol caused AN‑A11 to feel queasy and he returned to the house alone.[5] He described waking up later that night to find Banks sitting on his bed. Banks pulled back the covers, took hold of AN‑A11’s penis and began to masturbate him. Banks was masturbating himself simultaneously. AN‑A11 told us that he “froze and didn’t know what to do”. He was 12 or 13 years old at this time.[6]

26. AN‑A11 recalled a second occasion when Banks invited him to visit the BBC studios in London, where he worked as a floor manager. They watched the recording of a popular television programme. Later that day, they returned to Banks’ flat where he again plied AN‑A11 with alcoholic drinks and persuaded him to take a bath. He joined AN‑A11 in the bathtub. Both were naked. Afterwards, Banks got into bed with him and began touching AN‑A11’s penis. He also placed AN‑A11’s hand on his own penis. AN‑A11 was 13 years old when this incident occurred.[7]

27. In April 2000, AN‑A11 reported his abuse to the police. He was subsequently involved in the prosecution that led to the conviction of Banks. He received a letter from the Dean and Chapter at the conclusion of the court case, sympathising with “all those who have been through this long period of acute stress and strain” but failing to offer any apology on behalf of the Cathedral.[8]

28. At the time of Banks’ arrest in 2000, Mrs Janet Hind was the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser in Chichester. She held this role between 1997 and 2002. Following his conviction, she arranged a meeting “to look at what had happened and learn lessons for the future”.[9]  This meeting was to take place in the early summer of 2001, attended by various members of the Cathedral, social services, the police and representatives of Banks’ victims.

29. Mrs Hind’s husband, John Hind, became the Bishop of Chichester in 2001. Concerns were raised by a parent that she might not be sufficiently independent to conduct the planned meeting. Mrs Hind withdrew from her role as Child Protection Adviser because of the potential conflict and was replaced by Mr Tony Sellwood. By the time of her departure in 2002, however, Mrs Hind had set the wheels in motion for what would eventually become known as the Carmi review.

30. The review was to be led by Mrs Edina Carmi, a social work consultant. She was supported by a multi-agency steering group chaired by Mr Peter Collier QC. The group included representatives from the police, Victim Support, West Sussex Social and Caring Services and the Education Department, along with a member of the clergy and the Bishop’s Adviser for Child Protection. Mrs Carmi drafted the review’s terms of reference, which set out that “the starting point for direct contributions to the review will be the victims”.57

31. The Carmi review was designed to imitate the serious cases reviews that were conducted by local authorities in cases of death or serious harm to young people. It was commissioned by Bishop Hind shortly after his appointment. His intention was to understand how Banks “could have been able to perpetrate offences against so many boys over such a long period”.[10]

The Carmi review

Commissioning of the review

32. In September 2001, a letter from Bishop Hind was sent to each of the victims who had been identified during the police investigation.[11]  This letter explained that a review would be taking place. AN‑A11 agreed to participate in the review. Along with another victim of Banks, he met with Mrs Carmi to discuss his experiences of abuse. The victims’ views would form part of the completed report, which was eventually finalised in January 2004.

Problems encountered during the Carmi review

The leadership of Dean John Treadgold

33. Between 1997 and 2007, Canon Peter Atkinson (currently the Dean of Worcester[12]) was a residentiary canon and chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. In his view, there was a “failure of leadership” at Chichester Cathedral at the time of Banks’ arrest.[13]

34. Dean John Treadgold[14] was the then Dean of Chichester Cathedral. Under his direction, safeguarding matters were handled as pastoral concerns and nothing more. Canon Atkinson described him as a “rugged individualist” with traditional views, who found it difficult to relate to members of the Diocese and to external agencies.[15]

35. Dean Treadgold appears to have experienced a particularly strained relationship with Mrs Carmi, Mrs Hind and the police. For instance, at the debrief meeting chaired by Mrs Carmi on 12 June 2001, the police raised concerns regarding his response to the criminal investigation of Banks. It was specifically noted that the Dean “appeared defensive and seemed to take the side of the Defendant”.[16]

36. Shortly after his retirement in autumn 2001, Dean Treadgold returned to Chichester Cathedral. He instructed the gardeners to burn a number of files held in the basement of the Deanery. This incident was reported to the police by members of the Cathedral. A police investigation was subsequently conducted, during the course of which the Carmi review was suspended.[17] Ultimately, the police took no further action and the Carmi review continued from early December 2002. Canon Atkinson recalled that no internal investigation took place regarding the burning of these potentially important files.[18] Nobody in the Cathedral appears to have questioned Dean Treadgold about this, nor did the Cathedral carry out any enquiries of its own.

Opposition to the review

37. In a letter to Mrs Carmi dated 3 November 2003, Bishop Hind acknowledged receipt of her completed report. He expressed his apologies for the extent to which her review had been hindered by “members and officials of the Church”.[19] Indeed, Mrs Carmi told us the Dean and Chapter were reluctant both to engage with the investigation and to assist in encouraging further victims to come forward.[20]

38. When the review began two years earlier, Bishop Hind wrote to the Dean and to all members of the Chapter requesting their full co-operation with Mrs Carmi in the completion of her task.[21] The responses to his letter expressed an unreserved willingness to assist, with Dean Treadgold declaring that “I shall be quite happy to assist Mrs Carmi in any way I can”.[22] After he resigned from his post in October 2001, he was succeeded by Dean Nicholas Frayling, who echoed these assurances of support for the investigation.

39. Despite this ostensible show of compliance by the Dean and Chapter, Mrs Carmi said “there was a gap between what we were asking of them and what they were prepared to do”.[23] For example, in addition to proactively contacting those victims whose identities were known to the police, Mrs Carmi planned to offer a chance to contribute to all other individuals who had not previously come forward. She intended to achieve this aim by writing to the wider Cathedral and school communities.

40. Unfortunately, Mrs Carmi faced opposition from the Dean and Chapter when she sought to initiate such communication. Dean Frayling was said to have described her request for information as a “fishing expedition” which was likely to cause distress to many people in its revival of historic events.[24] As chair of The Prebendal School’s governing body, he expressed similar concerns when Mrs Carmi attempted to contact current and former parents of its pupils.

41. The reasons for these concerns were articulated in the minutes of various Chapter meetings. In May 2003, Mrs Carmi and her review team met with the Dean and Chair of Governors. Also present were the headmaster of The Prebendal School, a school governor and the Communar.[25] The minutes recorded an unwillingness to be seen to link the Terence Banks and David Bowring[26] cases by including both in the same letter to parents. It was felt the two-year delay caused by the police investigation had altered things; “what seemed appropriate in June 2001 when the bishop ordered the review might no longer be justified”.[27]

42. At another Chapter meeting, some members protested that the review was adopting the characteristics of an inquiry. The minutes reported that “considerable disagreement had arisen between Mrs Carmi and her governors on the appropriate way to conduct the case review … governors had become alarmed at the risk posed to the school’s reputation by the review”.[28] Mrs Carmi’s view was that both organisations feared the potential legal and financial implications of her enquiries.

43. In July 2003, Dean Frayling agreed to include a short notice in the Cathedral newsletter. The notice introduced the review and invited anyone with information to contact Mrs Carmi. As Mrs Carmi recalled, the notice “did not mention Terence Banks. It did not give any assurance of confidentiality. It did not use the wording that we had suggested”.[29] The newsletter was also published during the summer holiday period. This unhelpful timing no doubt limited the size of the audience that would have seen the notice.

44. In his evidence, Canon Atkinson denied knowledge of any opposition within the Chapter to Mrs Carmi’s proposals. He insisted that Dean Frayling “was wanting to help as much as he could”.[30]

45. However, we have seen a letter sent to Bishop Hind by Dean Frayling on 30 June 2003. The Dean claimed that he was writing on behalf of the Chapter, and set out in some detail “the Chapter’s misgivings” about the case review, which included concerns regarding “the wisdom of raising the public profile of the Banks case again so long after the event”.[31] The letter also referred to the Chapter’s agreement to publish a pew note,[32] which would advertise the review and provide contact details for Mrs Carmi. It stated:

We do not wish to be seen to be dragging our feet but Chapter felt it inappropriate to circulate this pew note around Eastertide and then in the lead-up to the royal visit … in effect we are seeking to be released from our obligation to publish a pew note.[33] 

 

46. The contents of this letter are consistent with the evidence of Mrs Carmi. There was a sharp difference between the promised support for the review and the practical support she actually received. It was entirely appropriate for Mrs Carmi to seek to contact members of the Cathedral community during the course of her investigation. Her efforts to do so were hindered by members of Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.

47. According to Mrs Carmi, the internal opposition from both bodies resulted in the premature termination of her review in 2003. A number of planned interviews did not take place and the decision was made by Bishop Hind that Mrs Carmi “should just write up where we’d got to”.[34] If the same review process was undertaken now, Mrs Carmi would “expect to receive more cooperation from the various organisations involved in contacting those who wished to participate in the review”.[35]

48. Canon Atkinson complained the Carmi review was not sufficiently thorough. He highlighted the “embarrassing and inexplicable omission of Dean John Treadgold from any part of the case review”.[36] It is correct that the Dean was not interviewed until after completion of the report, and his evidence was included as an addendum in December 2003. According to Mrs Carmi, her initial failure to interview the Dean was due wholly to the fact that “we, as a group, were being told that we had to end the serious case review”.[37]

Lack of diocesan authority

49. Behind the scenes, members of the Cathedral were voicing protestations to the bishop about the review process. Bishop Hind confirmed “there was a certain amount of resistance on the part of the Dean and Chapter to what they felt was some interference by the bishop”.[38] Although he tried proactively to obtain support from both the school and Cathedral on Mrs Carmi’s behalf, Bishop Hind lacked the power to compel their full co-operation.

50. As Mrs Carmi said, “there was no command and control management style. The bishop had no power to do anything and seems to have just stepped back”.[39] This observation was endorsed by Mrs Hind, who remarked “the diocesan bishop could not order the cathedral to do anything but had to rely on working in cooperation with them and exerting moral authority”.[40]

51. When asked to describe his own powers within the Cathedral, Bishop Hind conceded “the diocesan bishop is responsible for everything, but without any resources or power to effect that”.[41] Recalling his initial commission of the Carmi review, he said:

I was rather pushing the boat out. It was one of those issues where you exercise the authority you wish you had got, rather than the one you have actually got.[42]

52. The absence of diocesan authority over the Cathedral presented a barrier to the improvement of safeguarding at that time. It exposed what Mrs Carmi identified as the central challenge to her investigation, namely the fragmented organisational structure of the Church. This made it difficult to attribute accountability for failures and to introduce solutions to the problems identified.

The structure and governance of cathedrals

Relationship between cathedrals and dioceses

53. Since 1999, cathedrals have been governed by the Cathedrals Measure.[43] This created three bodies which together form the body corporate of a cathedral: the Chapter, the Council and the College of Canons.

54. The Chapter runs the cathedral, and is formed of both clergy and lay people. It is chaired by the Dean.[44]

55. The Council supports the work of the cathedral and advises the Chapter. It is chaired by a lay person who is appointed by the diocesan bishop. The diocesan bishop does not have the right to vote at the Council, although he is permitted to attend and speak at meetings.[45]

56. The College of Canons consists of the Dean and residentiary canons,[46] suffragan bishops, archdeacons and honorary and lay canons. It assists the Council with cathedral affairs, and is responsible for electing a new bishop in accordance with the Appointment of Bishops Act 1533.[47]

57. The Chapter has a high degree of independence. The diocesan bishop has no executive role and is not involved on a day-to-day basis in the administration of a cathedral’s affairs. Bishop Martin Warner explained that “cathedral clergy, although licensed by the diocesan bishop, are officeholders, subject to the constitution and statutes of the cathedral which the bishop is required to respect”.[48]

58. Bishop Hind summarised the situation neatly:

“Cathedrals are in a very anomalous position in relation to the diocese in which they are set. The dean has his own ordinary jurisdiction within the cathedral and the bishop has no direct responsibility for the life of the cathedral.”[49]

59. He described the relationship between Chichester Cathedral and the Chichester Diocese as “opaque”, as the connection between the two bodies is blurred.[50]

60. In our view, this structure directly resulted in the inability of Bishop Hind to secure full co-operation from Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School.

61. If safeguarding reviews are commissioned, then there must be a clear line of oversight. The Church may consider that clerics or other office holders subject to internal Church discipline could be subject to disciplinary penalties for failing to co-operate with such reviews.

62. We consider it is essential that such reviews have the widest possible reach. They should be advertised not just within the parish and cathedral communities, but in the local press and on social media so that individuals can come forward. Appropriate support services must be in place for such individuals if they wish to access them.

Relationship between cathedrals and diocesan safeguarding advisers

63. At the time of Terence Banks’ arrest, the diocesan arrangements for safeguarding did not apply in the Cathedral. Child protection in the Cathedral was run by the Dean and Chapter, advised by the Council.[51] The Cathedral had no direct obligation to report allegations or concerns to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Indeed, Bishop Hind described the role of the safeguarding adviser as “very much a grace and favour matter in relation to the Cathedral, which ran its own affairs as far as safeguarding was concerned”.[52]

64. Canon Atkinson stated that, prior to the arrest of Banks, he did not recall any existing relationship at all between the Chapter and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. He added the relationship changed profoundly after Banks’ conviction and the subsequent Carmi review. In his words, “there was no going back on a close working relationship between the Cathedral and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser”.[53]

65. Until 2016, there was no national guidance within the Church advising that cathedrals should liaise with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Some dioceses have an agreement with cathedrals to provide joint safeguarding arrangements, but it is not necessarily written into a service level agreement and it is certainly not consistent across every diocese.[54]

66. Mr Colin Perkins has carried out annual reviews of safeguarding arrangements at Chichester Cathedral since his appointment in 2011. He also decided to include the Cathedral as part of the overall safeguarding picture within the Diocese. He negotiated a service level agreement between the Diocese and the Chapter, which enabled the Cathedral to be monitored in the same way as any parish. Under the terms of the agreement, the Chichester Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Officer has also recently become the Cathedral Safeguarding Officer. Her role contributes to the provision of direct oversight and close co‑operation.[55]

67. Cathedrals should be included in the formal safeguarding systems of all dioceses. Despite the failures exposed by the high-profile case of Terence Banks, the Church did not take immediate action to ensure close communication between cathedrals and Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers.

68. Documentation published from 2016 onwards made it clear to cathedrals that they must have a formal safeguarding arrangement with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. It was only as a result of the Cathedral Working Group Report in June 2018, and the changes it proposed, that a substantive system of safeguarding process was put in place. This system recognises the requirement for cathedrals to be put on the same canon law footing as other parts of the Church in respect of their safeguarding responsibilities.

Relationship between Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School

69. The Carmi review identified strong links between Chichester Cathedral and The Prebendal School. It highlighted the dangers presented by this close relationship, including the consequent inability to ensure the existence of “a system of independent checks and balances, with constituent parts able to act independently to challenge worrying behaviour within their own and each other’s domain”.[56]

70. This danger became a reality insofar as child protection was concerned. In 1991, two young men separately alleged they had been abused by a member of clergy whilst pupils at the school. The matter was referred to the Dean of Chichester Cathedral and the head teacher of The Prebendal School. However, both failed to inform police or social services of either allegation.[57]

71. Mrs Carmi suggested the efficacy of the school’s response was limited by its deference to the Cathedral, to which it surrendered responsibility for addressing child protection concerns. One victim told Mrs Carmi of his feeling that “the two organisations were one and the same … when he wanted someone with whom to discuss his concerns, there was no one that he felt was sufficiently independent of Terence Banks”.[58]

72. When Mrs Hind visited The Prebendal School after Banks’ arrest, she was concerned to find many of its governors were also members of the Cathedral Chapter. She advised the headmaster that the school’s governing body should include people who were independent of Chichester Cathedral.[59]

73. Indeed, one of the criticisms in the Carmi review was that the Dean of Chichester Cathedral was also the chair of governors of The Prebendal School.[60] In addition, there were two clergy members of the Cathedral who acted as school governors.

74. Mrs Carmi was right to emphasise the school required freedom to respond effectively to child protection issues, notwithstanding its relationship with the Cathedral. At present, the Very Reverend Stephen Waine is both the current Dean of Chichester and the Chair of Governors of The Prebendal School.[61]

75. When there are any safeguarding concerns which require oversight or intervention by the governing body, such oversight must be independent and be seen to be independent. For example, the Dean as Chair of Governors should not investigate safeguarding concerns raised by the school regarding the Cathedral, clergy and staff as this lacks independence.

Publication of the Carmi review

76. Mrs Carmi delivered her completed report to Bishop Hind in January 2004. She recalled she was “put under a certain amount of pressure by the Dean and Chapter to modify some of the recommendations”.[62]

77. This pressure is evident from a letter to the diocesan bishop dated 30 March 2004, in which members of the Cathedral expressed their dissatisfaction with the report.[63] In particular, the letter raised concerns about the recommendation that an apology should be provided to victims. The Dean and Chapter claimed this recommendation had been fulfilled three years earlier, through the letter circulated to victims by Dean Treadgold. Bishop Hind was asked to “consider removing recommendation 10.13 from the list when the recommendations are made public”.[64]

78. Similarly, whilst the letter expressed sorrow for past events, it failed to offer any apology on behalf of Chichester Cathedral. There is no evidence to justify the suggestion that “the action recommended has in fact been carried out to the best of our ability”.[65]

79. Even before the report was finalised, attempts were being made to avoid its future publication. In Dean Frayling’s letter to Bishop Hind dated 30 June 2003, he said that to publish the report “would be more likely to damage our efforts to restore the cathedral’s reputation just as these efforts are bearing fruit”.[66] Restoration of the Cathedral’s reputation seemed to be the main concern for the Dean and Chapter at this time. As the Archbishops’ Council noted in its submissions to this Inquiry, “the needs of victims repeatedly came a poor second to the Church’s wish to protect its reputation and the reputation of abusers”.[67]

80. The terms of reference provided that a summary report would be made available to all those who participated in the review process, and that the recommendations of the review would be made public. Moreover, the statutory guidance at that time upon which the methods and processes of the Carmi review were based, Working Together to Safeguard Children, made clear that:

“In all cases, the ACPC overview report should contain an executive summary that will be made public, which includes as a minimum, information about the review process, key issues arising from the case and the recommendations which have been made.”[68]

81. However, “nothing was published” in 2004.[69] Indeed, the report would not be published for another 10 years.

82. The report was not sent to The Prebendal School but the recommendations were sent to the governing body. In a meeting during March 2004, the Governors noted:

“Although the bishop intended for the recommendations ... to be made public, the full report would remain confidential and the school would not be given the opportunity to view a copy.”[70]

83. The report concerned offending against pupils of the school and those involved in choral activities on Cathedral premises. It was evident that changes to safeguarding practice were required and on that basis, the full report should have been made available to the school.

84. Ofsted would have been responsible for inspecting the school in respect of its welfare provision for residential pupils from 2004 onwards. Helen Humphreys, an inspector of education and children’s services, made a statement to the Inquiry on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) and Ofsted. She confirmed that “neither the 2004 report of, nor recommendations made by, Mrs Carmi were passed by the Prebendal to Ofsted … it appears that the reports and its recommendations were never drawn to Ofsted’s attention”.[71]

85. Shortly after his appointment as Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in May 2011, Mr Perkins met with senior diocesan and Cathedral staff. At the meeting, he argued that the Carmi review should be published. He was informed that the review could not be published for legal reasons, which had supposedly been agreed at the time it was completed in 2004.[72]

86. In 2013, however, it came to light that no legal reasons existed to prevent publication of the Carmi review. Graham Tilby, the current National Safeguarding Adviser, confirmed that he too was “not aware of any specifically documented reasons for non-publication on receipt of the full report in 2004”.[73] Bishop Warner instructed Mr Perkins to prepare the report for publication. It was finally published in July 2014.

87. At the time of publication, there was in place a national panel of independent experts on serious case reviews. The relevant guidance – Working Together to Safeguard Children – stated that final serious case reviews should be published (contrary to the guidance in force in 2004) and sent to the national panel for further consideration by them.[74] The Department for Education confirmed the panel was not sent a copy of the Carmi review, despite the fact that it contained recommendations about the organisation and governance of The Prebendal School.[75] Those recommendations had been shared with the forerunner to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (the Area Child Protection Committee) in 2004.

88. The Department was unaware that such a report had even been commissioned until it received the Inquiry’s request for information. Whilst not a regulatory requirement, it was nonetheless essential for the governing body, the Dean and Chapter or the Diocese to have informed those responsible for regulating the school. This would have enabled them to check that recommendations had been implemented.

89. Neither the report nor any extracts from it were sent to the victims of Terence Banks. AN‑A11 described this as “absolutely astonishing”.[76] Furthermore, the Church did not alert the victims to the report’s publication. It was only by chance that AN-A11 learned it had been published, on seeing a national news report online.[77] This was highly insensitive, particularly in light of the assurance given to Mrs Carmi and to victims during the course of the review.

Findings of the Carmi review

90. The Carmi review considered events that occurred over a period of 30 years, over which time “the perceptions and recognition of child abuse have dramatically changed”.[78] The Cathedral gradually fell out of step with society in its approach to child protection. It failed to put in place adequate policies or procedures that would have enabled the swifter identification of Terence Banks as a child sexual abuser.

The 1970s

91. In 1974, the public inquiry into the death of seven-year-old Maria Colwell exposed a serious lack of communication within child protection agencies. It also highlighted a persistent failure to provide sufficient training for social workers.[79]

92. During this period, The Prebendal School was aware of concerns relating both to Terence Banks and David Bowring, a teacher at the school. The head teacher responded to the allegations by banning Banks from school premises in 1973.[80]

93. In 1976, the head teacher advised the Department of Education that Bowring had been dismissed because of misconduct with a 12-year-old boy. He confirmed that Bowring had “admitted the offence and gave me his assurance that this incident was the only one of its kind in which he had ever been involved”. It went on to describe him as a “talented and dedicated teacher, who has served the school with unswerving loyalty and devotion”.[81]

94. The head teacher appears to have accepted too readily Bowring’s claim that this was an isolated incident. He chose not to pursue any independent investigation into the veracity of that claim and neither perpetrator was reported to the police. Bowring would plead guilty 30 years later to no fewer than six charges of indecent assault against four boys, all of which were committed in the 1970s when the victims were pupils at The Prebendal School.[82]

95. We have seen no evidence to confirm whether or not the Governing body were told about Bowring’s dismissal, nor whether they were advised of the relevant reasons. However, it is likely that the Chair of Governors was informed but no investigation took place either within the school or Diocese.

96. Mrs Carmi concluded the behaviour of both organisations was consistent with existing societal norms of the day.[83] However, regardless of the era in which the abuse occurred, The Prebendal School should have informed the police.

The 1980s

97. In 1987, Lady Butler-Sloss chaired a public inquiry into child abuse in Cleveland. Work undertaken by the Law Commission led to the passing of the Children Act 1989, which placed a duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. A 1988 Home Office circular specified the appropriate approaches for investigating child sexual abuse, and created a clear direction for specialist child protection units within the police.[84]

98. These developing societal attitudes were not mirrored by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral. There was an absence of effective record-keeping, which led to confusion about why Banks had been banned from school premises. According to Mrs Carmi, the new headmaster of The Prebendal School believed that the ban was due to his disruptive influence on pupils’ behaviour. Such misunderstandings resulted in the ban being only partially enforced, with Banks continuing to enter the school and engage with its pupils.[85]

99. Mrs Carmi noted that, in the meantime, rumours continued to circulate that Banks was sexually attracted to children. For example, a report was made to the vicar that he had been seen embracing a young boy on Cathedral grounds. No action was taken by the Cathedral.[86]

100. Michael Walsh was a teacher at Bishop Luffa School in the 1980s. He was also head of music at an Anglican church in Chichester, and was heavily involved with musical activities in Chichester Cathedral. In 1986 and 1987, several members of clergy received allegations that Walsh had raped a child. These allegations were not reported to the police. It was not until 1990, after a fourth victim contacted the police, that Walsh was convicted of five offences of unlawful sexual intercourse involving pupils at the school. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.[87]

The 1990s

101. The 1993 Home Office document Safe From Harm contained 13 good practice guidelines for all voluntary organisations about their safeguarding of children.[88] In 1995, the Church of England’s response was to publish the House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse. This was the Church’s first national child protection policy.[89] It recommended that each diocesan bishop should appoint a representative to advise on matters of child protection.

102. As part of the implementation of this policy, the Diocese of Chichester appointed Mrs Hind in 1997 as its first Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. She drafted a set of diocesan guidelines entitled The Protection of Children, which were accepted at a diocesan staff meeting later that year.[90] The Dean of Chichester Cathedral attended this meeting, as did the Archdeacon of Chichester who was a member of the Cathedral Chapter.

103. The diocesan guidelines produced by Mrs Hind were more comprehensive and detailed than national policies of the Church of England at the time. As she explained in her evidence, the House of Bishops’ policies of 1995 and 1999 were produced by the legal department of Church House in Westminster; neither had any input from child protection professionals.[91] In contrast, Mrs Hind had a professional background in child protection and remarked that “reading my 1997 policy, it is obvious to me it is written by a social worker”.[92] The national policy focussed heavily on abuse by clergy. The diocesan guidelines were of wider application, covering both clergy and volunteers.[93] It is unclear why the Church, given its lack of relevant expertise, did not seek assistance from external professionals when drafting the policies of 1995 and 1999.

104. Mrs Hind emphasised to us that the guidelines were intended to apply equally to Chichester Cathedral and to other congregations in the Diocese. Her understanding was that cathedrals were firmly within her professional domain. She therefore sent copies of the document to all clergy for implementation, operating in the expectation that the Cathedral would follow diocesan policy. Each congregation was asked to appoint a child protection representative to implement the policy in parishes and to receive training.[94]

105. There appears to have been some confusion about whether Church policies applied equally to the Cathedral. Canon Atkinson accepted that the Cathedral was “very slow” in implementing the 1997 guidelines. However, he added that “it was not a time at which cathedrals automatically, spontaneously assumed that what bishops were putting out to apply to parishes was to be implemented in cathedrals in exactly the same way”.[95]

106. Meanwhile, Walsh was released from prison in the 1990s and returned to the Diocese of Chichester. He applied to sing in the mixed-age Cathedral choir. As Canon Atkinson explained, this application “was resisted by the Chapter on more than one occasion, out of consideration for the continuing feelings of the families involved in the case; though eventually it was agreed that Mr Walsh could be allowed to sing on a very occasional basis”.[96] It is difficult to see how it would ever be appropriate for someone convicted of these offences to sing in this choir, at least without a very specific safeguarding contract in place.

107. Shortly after the diocesan policy was introduced in September 1997, Mrs Hind was informed by a parish priest that Walsh conducted the choir only occasionally during church services. She later discovered that this was incorrect. Walsh was in fact regularly rehearsing the Cathedral choir, which included child members. He was also providing private music tuition to some of those children.[97]

108. Canon Atkinson conceded that allowing Walsh’s application to sing in the choir “was a complete mistake. We shouldn’t have done that”.[98] He confirmed that no formal agreement, or indeed any safeguarding procedure at all, was put in place to protect against the risk that Walsh may have posed.

109. The House of Bishops’ Policy on Child Abuse and the updated 1999 Policy on Child Protection both set out the presumption that a convicted child sex offender would not be allowed to return to active ministry. However, as Mrs Carmi identified, neither policy provided guidance on such an individual’s wider involvement in the Church.[99] It is likely that this failure led to some confusion within the Church regarding the management of convicted individuals and may well have contributed to the Cathedral’s inadequate response in the case of Michael Walsh.

110. This case occurred before the arrest of Banks and, according to Canon Atkinson, “before Chapter had been fully sensitised to the subtlety and insidiousness of abuse”.[100] Indeed, Mrs Carmi observed that the gap between the safeguarding approaches of the Cathedral and the rest of society had “widened to an unacceptable level”.[101] However, lessons should have been learned from the Walsh case. This might have enabled the Dean and Chapter to avoid some of the mistakes made with Terence Banks.

Events leading to Terence Banks’ arrest

111. During the 1990s, further concerns were voiced within the Cathedral about the behaviour of Terence Banks. In 1991, the Canon of Chichester Cathedral received an allegation that Banks had shown pornographic videos to a 12-year-old boy. According to the boy’s parents, they were spoken to by the Canon who made them feel “they were making too much of a minor incident”.[102] No adult should show pornographic images to a child. It is reprehensible that no steps were taken at this time.

112. On 29 March 2000, a victim visited Dean Treadgold and reported that he and another boy had been sexually abused by Banks. Dean Treadgold did not report these allegations to the police, the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser or social services. Instead, he said he would discuss the matter with the victim on his return from a trip abroad. He advised the victim to “act on his conscience as the Dean could not act on mere allegations”.[103]

113. It was not until the father of another victim reported abuse to police that Banks was finally arrested in April 2000.[104] This delay followed a series of concerns spanning nearly three decades, during which time both the Cathedral and The Prebendal School failed to act on the emerging worrying pattern of abuse. They did not recognise that such matters should be reported to the local authority or to the police, or indeed that children in their care were being exposed to risk.

Aftermath of Terence Banks’ arrest

114. Mrs Hind was unaware of the Terence Banks case until the day of his arrest in April 2000, when she was contacted by the Communar of Chichester Cathedral. At the time of his arrest, the Cathedral was yet to implement the diocesan child protection policy, appoint a child protection representative, or request training for its volunteers.[105] Canon Atkinson openly acknowledged that “child protection was not an issue high on the agenda of the Chapter … we were not implementing or articulating explicitly a child protection policy”.[106]

115. By 2000, clear child protection procedures existed both in West Sussex and in the Diocese of Chichester. The Protection of Children stated unambiguously that, on the making of an allegation, “the parish priest will discuss the concerns with the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser who will decide … what action to take”.[107] Dean Treadgold’s failure to take any appropriate action was therefore inconsistent with existing parish guidance.

116. Canon Atkinson described the arrest of Banks as “the watershed. It was the wake-up … things began to move very quickly at that point”.[108] Mrs Hind worked in collaboration with Chichester Cathedral, reviewing its draft child protection policy and encouraging the appointment of an independent child protection representative.

117. She offered similar assistance to The Prebendal School, advising about the inclusion of independent people on its governing body who had no association with the Cathedral. A note was added to Protecting All God’s Children, clarifying that the responsibilities of parishes apply equally to cathedrals.[109] This guidance was introduced by the House of Bishops in 2004. It made a number of changes to the 1995 policy, including setting out the professional skills required of Diocesan Child Protection Advisers. It also clarified that the Diocese was responsible for appointing a suitably qualified Diocesan Child Protection Adviser and for providing appropriate support.

118. In October 2000, the Chapter explicitly adopted its own safeguarding policy titled Cathedral Child Protection Policy and Guidelines.[110] This policy was amended and revised in May 2003. Its provisions included regular child protection training, vetting of all staff and volunteers, and arrangements for reporting child protection concerns. Convicted child sex offenders were prohibited from holding any position that would bring them into contact with children.

119. However, as Mrs Carmi correctly observed, this policy was deficient in several respects. Although it provided for regular training, it failed to specify which staff and volunteers must receive the training and the frequency at which it should be provided. It also omitted the nature of the training required.[111]

120. The policy also stated that staff and volunteers should be provided with copies of the document only “where appropriate”.[112] There was a failure to recognise the need for a general awareness of its contents amongst all individuals involved in the life of the Cathedral, regardless of whether or not they had unsupervised access to children.

121. Before resigning as Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind drafted a further child protection policy entitled The Care and Protection of Children, which was published in 2002.[113] It made plain that “any suspicion, allegation or disclosure that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, must be referred to the local Social Services Department”.[114]

122. In contrast, the Cathedral’s policy provided merely for the reporting of “allegations”.[115] This was a significant omission by the Cathedral. Many of the concerns regarding Banks involved matters such as his provision of alcohol to under-age children and overnight trips. Neither of these would fall into the category of specific allegations, but they were obviously inappropriate and of clear contextual importance. The Cathedral should have widened its guidelines to allow for the referral of suspicions and concerns, in accordance with diocesan procedures at the time.

123. In addition, Cathedral guidelines required the reporting of allegations to the Cathedral’s child protection officer.[116] Many individuals would prefer to make disclosures to a person who is independent of the Church, an option that was set out in Mrs Hind’s updated diocesan guidelines. In our view, it is important that all safeguarding guidelines should include the option of alternative reporting routes.

124. The Care and Protection of Children also contained a significantly higher level of detail than the 1997 diocesan guidelines. Unlike its predecessor, for example, the 2002 policy introduced guidance about the reporting of historical allegations.[117] It specified that all such allegations must be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, although it did not include a requirement to inform the police. As Mrs Carmi pointed out, neither diocesan nor Cathedral procedures addressed the issue of anonymous allegations.[118]

The provision of pastoral support to victims

125. One of the key findings of the Carmi review was the provision of pastoral support to victims. There is no dispute that during the course of his trial, Terence Banks was accompanied at court each day by a member of clergy. In contrast, neither the Diocese nor the Dean and Chapter offered pastoral support to the complainants who had attended to give evidence against their perpetrator. AN‑A11 described this situation as “just astonishing, a slap in the face. There was no support offered to us whatsoever”.[119]

126. As Diocesan Child Protection Adviser, Mrs Hind had no role in providing or arranging support for the complainants at court. She had mistakenly believed that assistance was being offered by Victim Support, although it does not appear that any efforts were made to verify this.[120]

127. Canon Atkinson claimed that the Chapter relied on advice from Dean Treadgold, that it could not provide pastoral support to complainants whilst the allegations were being investigated.[121] He also noted that the Chapter could not provide pastoral support to a number of complainants as their identities were unknown to the Dean and Chapter.[122] We do not consider this to be an adequate justification. Their identities would certainly have been known to the police and the prosecutorial authorities, via whom pastoral contact could have been offered.

128. It was acknowledged by the Diocesan Child Protection Advisers in post, both prior to and at the time of the Carmi review, that a letter offering diocesan support could have been forwarded by the police. Other than the letter circulated by Dean Treadgold at the conclusion of the trial, Canon Atkinson was not aware of any support having even been offered to the complainants during or after the criminal case.[123]

129. The Dean and Chapter and the Diocese failed to respond effectively to victims’ needs, and demonstrated a lack of concern for their welfare. In its submissions to this Inquiry, the Archbishops’ Council described the shortfall in support as “appalling” and “extraordinary … it is critical to recognise the harm that this caused to survivors”.[124] It also recognised that the absence of an appropriate pastoral response, as identified by Mrs Carmi, was not remedied for far too long.

130. The public display of clerical support undoubtedly fuelled the perception that the Cathedral Chapter rallied around Terence Banks rather than his victims. It is not surprising that the victims were left with the impression this was a system which favoured the abuser rather than the abused.

The Chichester Cathedral community

131. The Carmi review went further. It concluded that victims and their families were often ostracised by the Church after coming forward with their allegations. When the father of one victim told his local village vicar about what had happened, the vicar did not respond and subsequently appeared to avoid contact with him.[125]

132. The mother of another victim reported she was rejected by the Cathedral community after disclosing an incident of abuse. She was forced to deal not only with the fact that her child had been sexually abused, but with the social isolation she suffered as a consequence of her disclosure.[126]

133. Mrs Carmi characterised Chichester Cathedral as a “closed community” which encouraged the occurrence of incidents such as these and, in turn, posed a serious risk to safeguarding.[127] The culture she described was a hostile one, in which individuals who chose to criticise the Cathedral community were shunned. Mrs Carmi remarked that “although it was acceptable to disclose issues to individuals within the community so that they could be dealt with internally, disclosing the issues to external parties was discouraged as this brought the institution into potential disrepute and was perceived as a betrayal”.[128]

134. On 7 June 2005, Canon Atkinson drafted an internal response to the Carmi review on behalf of the Dean and Chapter. His view was that it represented a “fundamentally flawed judgement on what went on at the cathedral”.[129] He specifically denied that the Cathedral was a closed community. Rather, he described it as being “a series of different organisations, involving different groups of people, with some overlap but much discontinuity”.[130] In his view, Mrs Carmi had insufficient evidence to conclude that the families of victims were ostracised by the Church.

135. By contrast, as Mrs Carmi observed, the accuracy of her characterisation depends on the perspective of the viewer. As a matter of common sense, a person who is inside a closed community is able to see and appreciate the various factions contained within it. A person who is outside a closed community does not have that benefit. His or her perception may simply be of a group that puts forward a solidly united front, through which it is seemingly impossible to break.[131]

136. For example, one congregation member explained to Mrs Carmi that a select group of individuals existed in Chichester Cathedral who would socialise with the senior clergy and the Dean. From her and others’ viewpoints, Terence Banks was a member of that elite inner circle. Regardless of whether or not this was factually correct, it was the perception that created the problems with which we are concerned. His victims found it difficult to report their abuse, in the knowledge that others who had done so felt rejected by the Cathedral community.[132]

137. The status enjoyed by Banks has been the subject of some debate. There is no dispute that, following the death of his parents, he was provided with Church-owned property in 1994. The Carmi review described his role as Head Steward of Chichester Cathedral, a title which previously attributed to his father. According to Mrs Carmi, it was perceived to be a powerful position, through which, for example, Banks was able to control the provision of privileged seating.[133]

138. In Canon Atkinson’s internal memorandum, he dismissed this title as “entirely incorrect ... even as a description of the role of Head Steward, this is ludicrously overstated”.[134]

139. In Canon Atkinson’s evidence to the Inquiry, he reasserted that Banks “was not this immensely important figure, this personage of high importance. I’m quite convinced about that.”[135] Yet he did acknowledge that Banks’ victims perceived him as a person of great influence.[136]  However, Bishop Hind referred to Banks as a steward “with a very, very small ‘s’ ... it simply meant he was somebody who stewarded people to their pews”.[137]

140. As Mrs Carmi commented, perhaps from Canon Atkinson’s “position on the pyramid it wasn’t all that high, but certainly for victims Terence Banks had a high status”.[138] Banks’ ability to provide preferential seating within the Cathedral to those families with whom he was friendly, for instance, only served to reinforce his position of perceived power and prominence.

141. In reality, the precise nature of his job does not matter. The widely held perception of Banks was as a distinguished member of the Cathedral. This enabled him successfully to influence, groom and abuse his victims. Indeed AN‑A11 recalled that at his young age, he would have had “no concept of who was a volunteer in that kind of environment. He was part of the religious establishment to me”.[139]  His parents allowed him to visit Banks with naivety about what his intentions may have been, purely because “they hung on every word of anybody within that establishment. They were incredibly proud of me being part of it.”[140]

142. In declining AN‑A11’s request for a contribution towards his counselling costs, Dean Frayling advised “Terence Banks was not at any time an employee of the Dean and Chapter. He was, on occasions, a volunteer steward who assisted in showing people to their seats before services.”[141]

143. This attitude was problematic for effective safeguarding. It shows a belief existed within the Cathedral that the title of ‘volunteer’ minimised both the person’s role in the Church and the Church’s responsibility for their actions. That is fundamentally flawed. It suggests volunteers do not represent a key pillar of the Church’s structure, yet the reality is the Church would collapse without their contribution. As Bishop Hind pointed out, “the church is primarily a voluntary body”.[142]

The implementation of Mrs Carmi’s recommendations

144. Bishop Hind said the recommendations of the Carmi review “made a significant difference to our practice”. He added that, despite the reservations expressed by the Dean and Chapter, they did accept the recommendations which led to a “marked change of culture within the cathedral”.[143]

145. Shortly after completion of the Carmi review in 2004, the Chichester Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser produced an implementation plan. This plan identified the tasks to be undertaken and the resources required for the achievement of each objective set by Mrs Carmi.[144] According to Mr Tilby, all recommendations were accepted except one; namely, the recommendation that the position of Cathedral Dean as Chair of Governors of The Prebendal School be reconsidered.[145]

References

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