The Bishop of Oxford has publicly asserted that the Dean was accorded good pastoral support by the Diocese and Cathedral during his suspension. Furthermore the Cathedral congregation was constantly assured of the solicitude of the Cathedral Canons for the Dean and his wife. Personal friends and supporters of the Dean don’t agree with the claim made by Bishop Steven. To clarify the position on a matter of importance to all undergoing the pressures of future investigation will the Bishop of Oxford please comment on:
- A retired Bishop, Colin Fletcher, has met the Dean about once every three weeks or so to walk the dog and have a coffee for about 45 minutes. They are expressly prevented from “discussing the case” by the NST, etc. Does the Bishop consider this to be adequate “pastoral care”?
- Did the Bishop of Oxford at any stage from March 2020 to the present – personally, or through an intermediary – ask Colin Fletcher how the Dean was faring? Colin Fletcher has no record or memory of any such enquiry over this 27-month period. Yet the Bishop regularly told his Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, and issued media statements too, that the Dean was being “well-supported pastorally”. How did he know this, given that nobody with any knowledge was informing him? Is the Bishop not telling the truth, or just mistaken? Or is Colin Fletcher not telling the truth, or just mistaken?
- The Sub-Dean at the Cathedral made similar claims in public, asserting that the Dean was “well-cared for” and not being deliberately isolated. The Sub-Dean claimed that “a special group had been set up” to provide and monitor the care being given to the Percy’s. The Cathedral congregation were repeatedly assured of this. Yet the Percy’s have never had any contact with such a group, and know nothing of its existence, who is on it, or what it does. The Sub-Dean has not spoken to the Dean in over 30 months. How did the Sub-Dean know the Percy’s were being well-cared for? Did +Croft think such assertions are truthful, given that the Sub-Dean had never spoken to Colin Fletcher either?
- The total contribution made by the Diocese of Oxford to the Percy’s counselling and therapy bill from 2020 to the present is 3.5% of the total outlay for that care. Does the Bishop consider that to be an adequate contribution that expresses the care and concern of the Chief Pastor for the Diocese?
- Is the Bishop aware that the Sub Dean posted on the Christ Church Cathedral website a pleasing account of a Farewell Tea laid on for the Dean and his wife, implying that this event had some support from him, when in fact the Dean was banned from being at any event in College? Is the Bishop aware that the Cathedral and its clergy played absolutely no part in the farewell tea, did not attend and had nothing to do with the initiative in terms of preparation, organization, invitations, catering or management; and that accordingly the report was cynical, deceptive and conduct unbecoming by clergy who perpetrated the hi-jacking of the event for presentational purposes?