*** DEBUG END ***

Archbishop Herft to retire early

22 December 2016


Retiring: the Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft

Retiring: the Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft

THE Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft, will leave office a year before his planned retirement, vacating the see in July next year.

Archbishop Herft has not returned to duty since he stood down in October while the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was hearing evidence concerning his former diocese of Newcastle, New South Wales (News, 14 October). Archbishop Herft was Bishop of Newcastle from 1993 until his translation to Perth in 2005.

He will not return to office before he retires, but take accrued leave.

In September, he told a Royal Commission hearing in Newcastle that he had let people down badly in the light of the “sacred trust that the people of this region placed upon me” (News, 2 September). He admitted to failing to deal with some allegations of abuse against both clergy and lay church workers.

He also admitted failing to inform the police after he was told on several occasions that senior clergy had sexually abused children, a possible infringement of NSW law.

Several days of evidence revealed a long-running saga of clerical abuse in the diocese which included the former cathedral dean, who was subsequently unfrocked. Witnesses claimed that the now closed dio­cesan theological college, St John’s, Morpeth, was a centre of paedophile activity.

At the end of his testimony, Archbishop Herft apologised to the people of Newcastle, and thanked the Royal Commission for holding him “personally accountable”. He ad­­mitted to having had an unreal­istically high view of clergy, which he had now had to question.

Sri Lankan-born, Archbishop Herft was Bishop of Waikato & Taranaki, New Zealand, before his translation to Perth.

The diocesan administrator, the Rt Revd Kate Wilmot, will convene the elected committee to appoint a successor early next year.

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.