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Police charge Jonathan Fletcher with indecent assault

11 July 2024

JONATHAN FLETCHER, Minister of Emmanuel Proprietary Chapel, Ridgway, from 1982 to 2012, has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault and one of grievous bodily harm, for alleged offences dating between 1973 and 1999.

He appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and was bailed to appear at Kingston Crown Court on 7 August.

Mr Fletcher, now 81, retired in 2012. His permission to officiate was removed by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, in 2017, and he currently has no authority to minister in the Church of England.

A statement from the diocese on Wednesday said that it had cooperated with an independent investigation by charity Thirty-One Eight, published in 2021. “The diocesan safeguarding team continues to offer support to those affected by this matter and has liaised with the police in the course of their investigations.”

The 2021 review drew attention to Mr Fletcher’s influence in the wider constituency of conservative Evangelicalism, which included Iwerne camps, the Proclamation Trust, ReNew, the Church Society, and GAFCON.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: “We encourage anyone who has been a victim of abuse to come forward and speak to us. We have specialist officers who will listen and support you through the investigative process.”

Apology: an earlier version of the photo of Mr Fletcher that accompanies this article carried the logo of Moore College, Sydney, and was taken from an online seminar without permission. It was not our intention to associate the subject of this case with the college, and we are sorry if this was inferred. We are grateful for permission to continue to use an unwatermarked version of the image.

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