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Bishop of Lincoln to be investigated under CDM

03 June 2020

Roger Harris / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

A portrait of the Bishop of Lincoln in 2019

A portrait of the Bishop of Lincoln in 2019

THE Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, who has been suspended for the past 12 months over a safeguarding issue, is to be investigated under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM), a spokesperson for the Church of England confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

The Bishop continues to be suspended while he faces allegations that he “failed to respond appropriately to safeguarding disclosures. There is no allegation that Bishop Christopher has committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult,” the spokesperson said.

Their statement continues: “The Bishop was originally suspended last year and an investigation was commissioned to consider whether the bishop would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people, if the matters were found to be proven.

“We cannot comment further while the process runs its course. The Bishop of Grimsby, David Court, continues to provide episcopal leadership of the diocese.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said at the time of Bishop Lowson’s suspension: “If these matters are found to be proven I consider that the bishop would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people.”

The Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, who took a voluntary leave of absence around the same time as the Bishop, returned to work in March after the conclusion of a separate investigation commissioned by the Church into a non-recent safeguarding matter (News, 20 March).

The Canon Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, the Revd Dr Paul Overend, has also been on leave since April. He appeared at Cardiff Crown Court in January charged with indecent assault against a woman between April and July 1997, when he was a chaplain at Cardiff University (News, 10 January 2020; 29 November 2019). He has been granted unconditional bail. A trial date has been set for 29 June.

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