THE appointment of the Precentor of Wells Cathedral, Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, as Dean of St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia, announced last month, has been put on hold while enquiries are made concerning historical Facebook posts.
Canon Jepson-Biddle was due to take up the appointment in the New Year, but the office of the Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy, has confirmed that, currently, she would be unable to license him in the diocese. The inquiries are continuing, the statement said.
According to press reports, the newspaper West Australian referred the 2012 Facebook posts to the Perth Cathedral Chapter after the announcement of the appointment. The newspaper says that one of the posts — “OK, enough with the Boy Seamen already. I say, enough” — was “likely to have fallen especially flat” in Western Australia. The previous Archbishop of Perth, the Most Revd Roger Herft, resigned from his post in 2016 after admitting that he had failed survivors of child sexual abuse when he was Bishop of Newcastle, in New South Wales (News, 8 February).