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Crosby parish defends against 'distorted' report

31 January 2014


THE churchwardens of the Liverpool parish that was put into "special measures" by its diocese after an episcopal visitation by the former Bishop of Hulme, the Rt Revd Stephen Lowe (News, 24 January), have this week defended their church, describing the report as "grossly distorted and one-sided"

The former Priest-in-Charge of St Faith's, Great Crosby, the Revd Dr Simon Tibbs, stood down from the parish. The report suggests that he was effectively forced out by "a culture of bullying".

The result of the inquiry was revealed at a meeting of the congregation earlier this month. This week, the churchwardens issued a statement questioning Bishop Lowe's independence, and calling his report "clearly subjective and opinion-based".

They say that "the overwhelming majority. . . felt that his was a grossly distorted and one-sided view of the situation. His report made sparse reference to the carefully considered answers submitted by the PCC to the diocese's Articles of Enquiry."

They are compiling their own report, detailing the congregation's responses to the visitation's findings, and say: "We shall be requesting that this is also published on [the diocesan] website as a matter of public record."

In response, a spokesman for the diocese said on Tuesday that it was "committed to being open and accountable in this process. . . We will carefully consider, but are open to publishing the wardens' response on our website as part of the ongoing process. However, the Bishop of Warrington is keen to meet them to discuss these issues in person. Until that happens, we will not be able to comment further."

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