C of E’s investigation clears Bishop Perham

15 May 2015

DIOCESE OF GLOUCESTER

"Dedicated ministry": Bishop Michael Perham 

"Dedicated ministry": Bishop Michael Perham 

AFTER an independent risk assessment, the Rt Revd Michael Perham, a former Bishop of Gloucester, has been cleared to take up ministry in retirement.

Bishop Perham was on the point of retiring when police began an investigation last year, after historic allegations of indecent assault were made against him (News, 8 August). He was not arrested, but interviewed under caution. In October, the police confirmed that no further action would be taken (News, 17 October), but the Church's own investigation has only just concluded.

The news that Bishop Perham would be able to take up ministry again was welcomed by the diocese of Gloucester on Monday: "We look forward to marking Bishop Michael's committed and dedicated ministry to this diocese, with a service of thanksgiving at Gloucester Cathedral on Saturday 13 June."

A statement from Lambeth Palace said that "the matter was reviewed by the Church of England in accordance with its national safeguarding policy. With the full co-operation of the Bishop, an independent risk assessment has been satisfactorily completed."

Bishop Perham said: "I am glad that the church process has concluded and that the outcome is clear and decisive. The Church has to be rigorous in its approach to safeguarding, and, as I made absolutely clear from the start, its investigations had to be thorough to leave no doubt about its conclusions.

"I am, of course, immensely heartened that I can now return to ministry in my retirement. I have a deep sense of gratitude to all in the diocese of Gloucester, and beyond, who have supported, encouraged, and upheld me, and my family, through a long and testing process."

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