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George Bell: A Statement by the Cathedral Chapter (posted Thursday 22 October 2015)

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George Bell: A Statement by the Cathedral Chapter, Thursday 22nd October, 2015

'We hear today that the Bishop of Chichester has issued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim against the Right Reverend George Bell, regarding sexual abuse.  George Bell was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until shortly before his death in 1958.

This news is shocking and deeply saddening.  First and foremost, our thoughts are with the survivor of the abuse.  It has clearly taken enormous courage and persistence for this person to speak out - particularly against a man who was so influential in the Church nationally and internationally.

The abuse of children can have no place in our communities.  We strongly encourage anyone who has suffered abuse, however long ago, to feel able to come forwards - they will receive our full support.

Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline on 0800 389 5344.'

Further details are available in a statement by the Church of England - please click here.  A Pastoral Letter written by the Bishop of Chichester is also available by clicking here.

Update 27/10/15: 'As we come to terms with this deeply troubling news we will be reflecting on George Bell's legacy here, and as part of this we will be renaming our Centre for Vocation, Education and Reconciliation that bears his name: George Bell House.  As a temporary measure, until a new name is decided upon, we will be referring to the house as 4 Canon Lane.'

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