THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Michael Perham, will face
no further police action about historic allegations of indecent
assault (News, 8
August), the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Tuesday.
The Bishop withdrew from ministry in his diocese in August,
shortly before being questioned by police about the allegations. He
was not arrested, but interviewed under caution on suspicion of
indecent assault on a child aged under 18 years; and indecent
assault on a second female, aged over 18 years. The alleged
incidents were said to have occurred between 1980 and 1981, when he
was Assistant Curate of Addington, then in the diocese of
On Wednesday, Bishop Perham said: "It was right that the
allegations should be fully investigated, and I am gratified that
the police have completed the investigation and concluded that
there are no grounds for further action to be taken. My family and
I are profoundly grateful for all the support and affirmation we
have received through this very difficult time. I stepped aside
from my ministry as Bishop of Gloucester during the investigations.
I was sad to do so, but I accept it was necessary to step back for
"The Church must now proceed with its own process, following its
standard procedures when allegations are made against one of the
clergy. I hope the process will conclude in time for me to return
to my post to complete my ministry before I am due to retire, as
planned, in November."
On Wednesday, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler,
said that the C of E took any allegations of abuse very seriously.
"As in any case where allegations of this nature are made, any
police investigation is followed by a rigorous process to assess
whether there are any ongoing safeguarding issues." He asked for
continuing prayers for all those affected.