Sir – Will “the wrongs done to the name of George Bell” (Charles Moore, Notebook, July 30) ever be corrected by the Church of England authorities who committed them nearly three years ago on the strength of a single, uncorroborated allegation by “a victim”, as they described her, against a great man who died 60 years ago?
They brushed aside the withering criticism of their conduct by Lord Carlile QC in his independent review last December, and then, disregarding his advice, began another secret investigation into a second complaint of sexual abuse which conveniently reached them in January. Its terms of reference remain unknown. Though highly placed Church sources originally gave June as the expected date of completion, it drags on, with a blackout on all news of its progress.
There was a possibility at one stage that the Rt Rev Martin Warner, the current Bishop of Chichester, might take charge of it. That he should even have been considered was astonishing.
It was Bishop Warner who in 2015 said, “we face with shame a story of abuse of a child” after an investigation which Lord Carlile later found to be fatally flawed. The Bishop ordered that his great predecessor’s name should be removed from buildings and institutions in the diocese. Yet, in his maiden speech in the House of Lords in July, he praised the very man to whom he has done such wrong for making Chichester “famous for its contribution to learning and the arts”.
Lord Lexden, London SW1