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‘Dysfunctionality’ in Chichester

14 September 2012


From the Revd Bernard Coote

Sir, - The Archbishop of Canterbury apologised to the nation for the grave consequences of the dysfunctional leadership of the Chichester diocese (News, 7 September).

It is to be noted that no sign of dysfunction appeared in the online job specification for the new Bishop, made public earlier in the year. The diocese was presented to the world as a well-managed organisation needing "a revisit" of some communication issues. There were no major concerns for the future.

Many experienced and wise lay people serve on the diocesan boards and committees. It is difficult to believe that they were unaware of the plight of the previous Bishop, Dr John Hind, who described himself as "paralysed". Counsel and support would surely have been available.

Assuming that they were not aware of the gravity of the senior-leadership dysfunction, there must have been some state-of-the-art briefing to committee and board members. This could be happening anywhere in the "ecclesiastical culture"!

For those of us in our sixth decade of ministry, who knew Chichester in the years of Bishop George Bell, and hear the present bewilderment of congregations, this is the saddest of times.

6 Coxham Lane, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3LG


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