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Dr Warner apologises to abuse survivor

26 April 2013

A SURVIVOR of child abuse perpetrated by a priest in the diocese of Chichester has welcomed a letter of apology from the diocesan Bishop, Dr Martin Warner, as "a clear signal that he's trying to sweep in a change".

Gary Johnson and his older brother, from Eastbourne, were abused by Roy Cotton, a former Rector of Brede with Udimore, near Rye, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dr Warner met Mr Johnson earlier this month, and sent him a private letter the day after. It was "a genuine statement of apology" that "comes from me personally", Dr Warner said, "but also from me as the person who bears responsibility for representing the diocese of Chichester as its Bishop. I am deeply ashamed of the way that you have been treated by us."

Mr Johnson told BBC South East this week: "I've been validated, and I've been met at a level where I don't feel like a victim or a survivor. I feel like I'm a party worth talking to."

He said that Dr Warner "needs to be applauded" for his efforts to engage with survivors of abuse: "I think his choice of diction in the letter is very carefully put to send a clear signal that he's trying to sweep in a change, and really put the deception and cover-up behind the Church that he now represents."

Diocese to pay compensation.

On Tuesday, the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, agreed that the diocese would pay compensation of £200,000 to a former choirboy who suffered years of abuse in the 1970s by a priest on the Isle of Wight, The award follows the imprisonment of the Revd Max Halahan, a retired priest, two years ago. Mr Halahan was Vicar of St Faith's, Cowes, from 1970 to 1977.

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Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

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