The Blog Post That Disappeared

NothingYou know the one.

I named nine people that had left Winchester Diocese in the past year or so. Gosh, what a response I got.

To the people who wrote telling me that X had retired and not resigned, my response is “Yes, at what age and with what arrangement?”

To the person who thought I was suggesting I was impugning their actions around their departure – I am sorry. In fact I believe that person has been the victim of a gross injustice and comes out of this looking like the one moral person involved.

To the person who suggests that I have my facts wrong and asked “Will you be changing your piece based on the above information?”, my response is “What I could do is detail the exact reasons around someone’s departure in minute detail or name the specific people banned from going to Jersey or Guernsey (or a Cathedral for that matter) to say farewell to those they have tried to nurture and help for years. Would you like me to change it to that?” I think that person, given that you’re reading this, that we understand each other perfectly well and that you would be well in mind to not trust everything you are told.

To those who say “The budget deficit isn’t that big”, my response is “Have you seen the one forecast for next year?”. Oh no, wait they haven’t because Synod won’t get a sight of the budget for three years.

So instead of responding to all the complaints, inquiries, legal threats (oh yes!) and the like, I just took the post down and enjoyed a weekend away with my church. It’s done it’s work (the post and the weekend away). We know there are issues in Winchester Diocese that need to be addressed. The question is whether that will happen.

To those of you who are angry that I am rocking the boat over stuff like this, that I am making waves, I say only this. If I *really* wanted to make waves I would name the Bishop who used to go cottaging or the ones living in hypocrisy. If I was really wanting to make waves I would name the Bishops who knowingly, willingly, ignore the sexual misconduct of those clergy in their midst. Or perhaps you would like the name of the Bishop who gave a licence to a man who walked out on his wife without any hint beforehand of what he was about to do? Indeed, maybe we should identify the Bishop who tried to send one of his priests off to a rehabilitation centre for paedophiles despite the fact that no allegation of this kind had ever been made against him? The list is endless and what people have told me over the past few years is extraordinary.

I’m not interested in a witch-hunt, or a perfect church for that matter, all I’m interested in is a bit of accountability. If you do something wrong, don’t complain that someone tells other people about it. A little bit of Ephesians 5 wouldn’t go amiss y’know.

Now, who’s going to be announced tomorrow morning as the new Bishop of Lewes?

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  • Wolf Paul

    Legal threats? In the church? I am shocked …

  • Rhibeor Taurlhann

    This is what happens when you try your hand at hard-hitting investigative journalism without the requisite training and all the resources of a media giant’s legal department to back you up.

    Perhaps this blog’s pretensions of being the orthodox Christian version of the Washington Post, boldly and fearlessly revealing all the underhand tricks of the evil liberal hegemony, may take a knock after this episode ?

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      Interesting idea. Thanks for that.

      • Rhibeor Taurlhann

        Glad to be of service. I look forward to the day you receive your first Pulitzer Prize. I hope I get a mention in your acceptance speech.

      • http://u-church.blogspot.com/ David Shepherd

        Oh well, Peter. That’s telling you, eh? I guess you’ll just have to ‘appeal unto Caesar’ as St.Paul did when he responded to the chief priests’ accusations before Festus without the benefit of a top-flight litigation team.

        Thinly-veiled attempts to inveigh the curses of legal strife upon your blog will no more derail your mission than it did St.Paul’s.

        Keep calm and carry on.

    • Jonathan Lancaster

      ooooh, snap!

  • mattwardman

    Missed all of it, I’m afraid.

    Clearly demands Private Eye and a Superinjunction.

    Is there a metaphor in Winchester Cathedral being built on water?

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      No comment (though I’m dying to).

  • Rhibeor Taurlhann

    I want to know who the cottaging bishop is.

    Knowing the Church’s aversion to washing its dirty laundry in public however, it seems unlikely I’ll ever find out. When blabbing vicars get their wrists slapped and respond with a “sue me and I’ll spill some really juicy beans and then you’ll be sorry”, you can be sure that a blanket of thick and impenetrable fog is about to descend on the situation.

    Ah well, I’ll just sit here and mentally run through the list of the possible candidates then. It’s long enough to keep me amused for some time, although one balks at some of the images it conjures up.

    There’s never a dull moment in the Church of England.

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      That’s really interesting.

      *Yawn*

      Sorry, don’t know what came over me there.

      • Rhibeor Taurlhann

        Here in France we call it “ennui feint”, M. Ould. I’m sure you have a more creative name for it Outre-Manche.

  • gerv

    Peter: I appreciate your blog, but didn’t you have a go at Changing Attitude a while back about them threatening to “out” bishops, but never quite doing so, and their brinkmanship in this matter? Your third-last para seems not like you, and unnecessary to make your point.

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      I have no intention to out anyone. Neither will I be threatened by folks who think they can play all the cards.

  • Christopher Whitmey

    Peter, you say, “Oh no, wait they haven’t because Synod won’t get a sight of the budget for three years.”. As a DBF director elsewhere I was intrigued !

    The Winchester website correctly proclaims (a few minutes ago):

    “The role of the Diocesan Synod is set out in the Synodical Government Measure 1969:

    (d) to consider proposals for the annual budget for the Diocese and to approve or disapprove them;
    (e) to consider the annual accounts of the Diocesan Board of Finance of the Diocese.”

    [SGM 1969 s.4 as amended 2003]

    2+2=3 ?

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      The Synod voted to delegate budget oversight to Board of Finance for three years. This is now seen as a mistake. No kidding.

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