Bishop Victor Whitsey – Another dead one…
Review to begin into alleged sexual abuse by late Bishop of Chester Victor Whitsey
22 May 2019
AN inquiry into reports of sexual abuse by a former Chester bishop will begin imminently – two years after it was first promised.
The Church of England has today (Wednesday, May 22) disclosed details of a ‘learning lessons case review’ into the actions of the late Hubert Victor Whitsey.
Cheshire Police began an investigation in 2016 after a church safeguarding adviser in Chester passed on details of alleged abuse by Whitsey.
A year later detectives revealed that they would have spoken to him in relation to 10 of the witness allegations if he had been alive.
Whitsey died in 1987.
The review will be carried out by His Honour Judge David Pearl, an independent reviewer commissioned by the Church’s National Safeguarding Team (NST).
Documents outlining its ‘terms of reference’, shared with this newspaper by the Diocese of Chester, reveal it intended to cover a timespan of alleged abuse from 1974 to 1982.
However, specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer, who represents nine of Whitsey’s alleged victims, said the abuse began earlier and he had requested to have the timeframe extended to 1966.
He told The Standard today: “I welcome the fact that the review has been announced. It is important that the reviewer leaves no stone unturned in investigating what was known within the church, by whom and at what point in time.
“These issues have to flushed out and the reviewer needs to be determined and forceful in his pursuit of answers to these questions.”
Mr Scorer had previously been critical of the way the Church and the Diocese of Chester had handled the Whitsey case, alleging a cover-up had taken place.
His suspicions were reaffirmed earlier this year when it emerged the Diocese had missed two opportunities to report paedophile Warrington vicar Charles Gordon Dickenson who was jailed in March.
A separate NST review is expected to begin shortly to investigate these failings and to determine whether the current bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, was aware of any cover-up.
Mr Scorer, who works for Slater & Gordon, said at the time: “The church cannot be relied on to police itself – we urgently need all these instances of possible cover-up to be investigated independently, and until that happens victims will have no confidence that the church is serious about rooting out abuse.”
A Church spokesman has since apologised for the delay in starting the review into the Whitsey case.
He said: “We apologise for the length of time this has taken to sort and for any distress this may have caused survivors.
“A separate ‘lessons learnt review’ will be carried out into the case of the Revd Dickenson.”
The terms of reference for the Whitsey review state that a total of 19 people have come forward with allegations of abuse by the late bishop.
Outlining its remit, the document states: “This review (“the Review”) will allow those individuals who have indicated that they have sustained harm at the hands of Hubert Victor Whitsey or another Church body or officer to describe their experiences.
“The Review will identity both good practice and failings in the Church of England’s handling of the allegations relating to Hubert Victor Whitsey, including its safeguarding practice, in order that the Church of England can take steps to enhance and improve its response to allegations of abuse and, thereby, ensure a safer environment for all.”
It will focus on two questions: what the Church of England knew about alleged abuse perpetrated by Whitsey and what the Church of England’s response was to those allegations.
The reviewer will investigate whether any further abuse could have been prevented and will pledge to be “transparent and open” about information collected, the document states.
The news comes as the Church faces continued scrutiny over its safeguarding processes in the wake of the Dickenson case – first reported by The Standard and sister paper the Warrington Guardian – and the BBC Panorama investigations team which broadcast a programme on church-related abuse last month.
Victor Whitsey, who died in 1987, would have been interviewed over allegations if he were alive, police say
Law firm says the late Victor Whitsey was ‘almost certainly a prolific abuser of children’
17 October 2017
St. Andrews Scout Troop 1971
“Once again we were called upon to provide a guard of honour for the Bishop of Chester Victor Whitsey who came to confirm 22 candidates. Many of them Scouts.”
They look after their own kind
It was Heath’s prompting that led to the appointment of Whitsey to the see of Chester; who was the first choice of neither of the two archbishops though they both put him on their list; a spare time …
Thus Edward Heath Whitsey will appoint the Bishop of Chester and Robin Woods, the future Bishop of Worcester, as deacon of Windsor. In these . https://books.google.com/books?id=soAZBWVfutMC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=heath+and+whitsey&source=bl&ots=DqcR6adGzY&sig=HbWgcNGC0eSjRZtFLa4xsRWLvTQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY7bC6t_zWAhVGSSYKHaY2ApgQ6AEIRTAI#v=onepage&q=heath%20and%20whitsey&f=false
In these two cases Heath marked a preference, habitual at home, for dynamic and smiling men capable of making ardent bishops. Heath also attached himself to the social origins of future prelates. Whitsey – of working-class origin in Lancashire – was a part-time macon and a football player – an unusual profile in the Anglican elite.
The abusive incidents are said to have occurred when Whitsey was in office, including assaults at Bishop’s House in Chester, and when he was in retirement and living in Lancashire.
The former bishop of Chester, Victor Whitsey, is being investigated 30 years after his death over allegations of sexual abuse in the latest scandal involving high-profile figures in the Church of England.
A lawyer representing four of the alleged victims has claimed the abuse was covered up by the C of E and has called for a independent review.
The allegations date from the late 1970s when Whitsey was bishop of Chester, and in the 1980s after he had retired and was living in the diocese of Blackburn.
The C of E said it had supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults. The police told the church that, had Whitsey still been alive, he would have been interviewed in relation to 10 allegations. Whitsey died in 1987.
In a statement, the archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and the bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said: “We are deeply sorry and apologise to those individuals who have come forward to share their account of abuse by a bishop in the Church of England who was in a position of power and authority. We appreciate that it is very difficult for individuals to come forward and to give their account.
“Sexual abuse is a heinous crime – and is an absolute and shameful breach of trust. We acknowledge that for survivors the effects of sexual abuse are lifelong. We are offering pastoral support to all those who have come forward and continue to hold them all in our prayers.”
It added: “The church will consider what lessons can be learned from this case and whether any action needs to be taken as a result of what these inquiries have shown.”
Cheshire police said the allegations related to 13 people, five males and eight females. “The abuse is alleged to have taken place whilst the bishop was living and working in Chester and one incident is reported to have taken place outside the county,” a statement said. The police investigation had spanned 13 months, it added.
Richard Scorer, a specialist abuse lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents four of Whitsey’s victims, said: “The abhorrent and disgusting abuse perpetrated by Bishop Whitsey destroyed many lives, driving some to attempt suicide. What is equally abhorrent is that the Church of England knew of his abuse, did nothing to stop it and covered it up. It is crucial that there is now an independent review into Whitsey abuse and who failed to act when they learnt of his heinous behaviour.”
The law firm understands that a complaint was made to the C of E while Whitsey was still serving as bishop of Chester, but it was not passed to police. The church was believed to have been made aware of further allegations following Whitsey’s retirement, but no action was taken.
Slater and Gordon released a statement from one of Whitsey’s alleged victims. It said: “When I met Victor Whitsey I was young, innocent, and naive. I longed for his blessing to achieve my wish of a future as a vicar, serving God and the community. He told me he agreed I had a calling from God. He also told me he had the power to give me everything I wanted in life and the power to take it all away. He then proceeded to abuse me sexually and psychologically. I was powerless to stop him.
“I blamed myself, though I was the only victim and rationalised that it was my fault … I told no one; who would believe a teenage boy’s word against a bishop of the Church of England? I became reclusive and came to the ultimate conclusion. The prospect of ever seeing Victor Whitsey again was so abhorrent to me that I turned my back on my beloved church and my calling to serve God. I self-harmed and have spent a lifetime focusing on resentment and bitterness.
“Twenty years after my abuse, I suffered a complete mental nervous breakdown which included attempted suicide. Because of the sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of Victor Whitsey I lost my faith, my chosen life as a vicar, my self-belief, my freedom from worry and my dignity. Child sex abuse is a crime which stays with you for a lifetime. As a child you don’t understand why or what is happening, but as you grow older you realise the enormity of the abuse and it hurts you all over again – you blame yourself for allowing it – you hate yourself for being weak.
“Since my abuse, not a day has gone by that I have not thought about what happened to me.”
The author of the statement said he hoped there would be a public inquiry “to understand not only what Whitsey did to his victims but to also learn who knew what he was doing, to what extent his actions were intentionally covered up, and who else was complicit in the crimes that he committed, and for which, I continue to suffer every day of my life”.
The church has faced a number of high-profile cases of sexual abuse.
Peter Ball, a former bishop of both Gloucester and Lewes, was jailed in October 2015 for the grooming, sexual exploitation and abuse of 18 vulnerable young men aged 17-25 who had sought spiritual guidance from him between 1977 and 1992. He was released from prison in February after serving 16 months.
A damning independent report, published in June, found that senior figures in the C of E had colluded over a 20-year period with the disgraced former bishop.
The report made harrowing reading, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said. “The church colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward. This is inexcusable and shocking behaviour,” he said.
George Carey, a former archbishop of Canterbury who was criticised in the report, resigned as honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford.
Two years ago, the church issued a formal apology for alleged sexual abuse committed by one of its most senior figures, George Bell, the late bishop of Chichester, who died 57 years ago. It also settled a civil claim brought against Ball by a survivor.
However, critics accused the church of acting improperly and without sufficient evidence, saying Bell’s “condemnation as a paedophile” had irreparably damaged his reputation.
An independent report into the church’s handling of the case is expected to be published next month.
J Holland @Giantkiller173
You have only to look at the Archbishop of York..John Sentamu…and recall: 1) he was personally picked by IDI AMIN. 2) IDI AMIN was involved in Genocide of up to 500000 3) AMIN used the law in UGANDA to achiev his aims.
name 1 person u helped in UGANDA..only 500000 were killed….surely u saved someone.
Matthew Ineson @InesonMatthew
I’m in Private Eye …! Or more accurately the bishops and appalling
@c_of_e safeguarding is. Thank you!
PIE leader Lieutenant Peter Righton 1944-48
Major William van Straubenzee 1943-47
Edward Heath 1941 -47
Trevor Denby Lloyd-Hughes 1945
Reginald Prentice 1943
Victor Whitsey 1939-1942
Brigadier M.A. Carthew C.B.E., DSO, Royal Artillery 1945 – 1947 married to Beryl Muir, aka Bee Carthew
Cyril Smith, Ted Heath and Baron Reginald Prentice
Whitsey – a Royal Army chaplain
The force identified 13 adult and child alleged victims – five male and eight female – of the late Bishop of Chester Victor Whitsey between 1974 and 1981.
Its report said two victims were aged 13 to 17 and the alleged abuse was carried out in Chester and Lancashire.
A relative, Rachel Whitsey, told the BBC she had no comment to make.
Bishop Whitsey, who was married with children, retired in 1981 and died in 1987.
‘I’d never let him near children’: Leading child sex abuse expert who investigated said she would not trust former Prime Minister Ted Heath were he alive today
- Dr Elly Hanson says Ted Heath would not meet ‘modern safeguarding criteria’
- She hit out at the ‘hostile’ response to police enquiry into the late Prime Minister
- Compared it to the Harvey Weinstein scandal in being late to surface in media
One of four ‘independent scrutineers’ given full access to secret details of child sex allegations against Sir Edward, Dr Hanson praised the ‘professional, thorough and sensitive’ inquiry.
Dr Hanson said: ‘The hostile response by some to the inquiry into Sir Edward Heath is disappointing. To label everyone who comes forward as fantasist is unfair and unhelpful. It sends completely the wrong message to all victims of sexual abuse.
‘As we have seen in the Weinstein case, if they feel they won’t be listened to they will remain silent.’
Runcie – As a lower-middle-class boy from Liverpool he at first had a hard time of it, but quickly learned form. His platoon and his fellow-officers – among them names like William Whitelaw – soon discovered that he was good company and an amusing and talented mimic.
After returning to Oxford, where he gained a first class degree in Greats and learned a classical liberalism which shaped his thought for the rest of his life, he went to Westcott House, the theological college in Cambridge. There the other ordinands – trained by Kenneth Carey – included Hugh Montefiore, Simon Phipps, Patrick Rodger, Graham Leonard, Stephen Verney and Victor Whitsey
Lord Runcie in same platoon as WIllie Whitelaw and was trained by Kenneth Carey who also trained Victor Whitsey
1975- the 210th Anniversary
After lacking much ceremony for the 200th birthday of the Church, Mr Denton organised a long programme of special events, with special services and musical presentations in the church.
The Parish Festival series of events was launched on 27th April 1975, with a special service at which the Bishop of Manchester (Rt Rev Patrick C Rodgers) was present. The Poynton Band (now the Vernon Building Society Brass Band) accompanied the organ for a communion service. Other services later were attended by the band and songsters of the Salvation Army, the Choir of St Winifreds (RC) School, and choirs from other local junior schools and the Hazel Grove Male Voice choir.
To remind us that our church was initially consecrated by the Bishop of Chester (when Manchester was a mere parish), the 210th Anniversary Service held on 13th July was conducted by the Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Victor Whitsey. The Bishop first spoke to the children on temptation, and thanked the congregation for their work and witness.
THE death of society photographer Lord Lichfield has evoked happier memories dating back to when he married Lady Leonora Grosvenor at Chester Cathedral 30 years ago.
Up to 20,000 on-lookers turned out to witness the arrival of the bride and groom at the west door in March 1975 along with guests including Lord Lichfield’s cousin, the Queen, the Queen Mother, and Princess Margaret.
Lord Lichfield’s photographic subjects such as actress Joanna Lumley and model Britt Ekland also attended.
Lady Leonora’s father, Sir Robert George Grosvenor, was the fifth Duke of Westminster while her brother Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, was then Lord Grosvenor.
Lord Grosvenor, who inherited the title aged 27 on the death of his father in 1979, was given the task of escorting his sister to the cathedral. His younger sister Lady Jane was also present.
Lichfield, famed for his trendy dress sense, wore a traditional grey morning suit and tails while Lady Leonora, looked beautiful in a Christian Dior gown.
Later the happy couple left by helicopter to spend the night at a London hotel before jetting off to the Caribbean for a 19-day honeymoon. On their return they lived together at Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire.
Lord Lichfield, then aged 35, and Lady Leonora, who was just 26, had three children together, but the romantic dreams of that day did not last and they divorced 11 years later in 1986.
Canon Lawrence Skipper, of Handbridge, who was then the Rector of Eccleston, has a long association with the Grosvenor family and played a supporting role during the service which was taken by the Archbishop of Dublin and also assisted by the Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Victor Whitsey.
1998 Police last week confirmed that the late MP Peter Morrison had been picked up twice and never brought to trial. There appeared to be no trace of either incident in official records.
The Guardian (London, Greater London, England)
02 Jun 1998
The wedding assisted by Whitsey – Lichfield – Wheelyboat director
(Peter’s brother) Charles Morrison acted as deputy lieutenant for Hereford from 1995
CHARLES Morrison was on the left wing of the Conservative Party and a firm supporter of Edward Heath.
The new wheelyboat Sir Charles Morrison
An appointment that gave him special pleasure was chairman of the Handicapped Anglers’ Trust, which provided “wheelyboats” to facilitate wheelchair access, later called the Wheelyboat Trust
Sir Charles Andrew Morrison, of The Wheelyboat Trust
Leonora Anson, Countess of Lichfield
born as Leonora Mary Grosvenor, a daughter of the 5th Duke of Westminster
attended Shernborne school
Since 1979, the Countess has been an extra lady-in-waiting to The Princess Royal.
Leonora, once touted as a contender in the Prince Charles sweepstakes
Lord Lichfield Focuses on Two Loves—wife Leonora and His Photography
As one of London’s resident rakes in the swinging ’60s, Patrick, the fifth Earl of Lichfield—and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II—loved beautiful women, glittery nightlife and himself almost as much as he loved photography. He was linked to jet-set beauties such as Britt Ekland, Jane Seymour, Gayle Hunnicutt and Dewi Sukarno; his premarital manifesto concluded that “fidelity is not essential. I’m sure I shall never be completely faithful to one woman.”
Lichfield has always led a somewhat charmed existence. Born in London, he was evacuated during World War II to Scotland’s Glamis Castle just north of Dundee. (His maternal grandfather was the elder brother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the 83-year-old Queen Mother.)
A few months back he made headlines when several models complained that he had asked them to strip for video auditions so that he could choose subjects for a nude calendar he was planning.
Holiday home on mustique
Whitsey was good friends with Canon Vanstone…
At Halliwell and Kirkholt, Vanstone established a strong influence over the boys’ clubs and his summer holiday camps in Wales, the Western Isles of Scotland and Ireland became famous.
Dame Alun Roberts @ciabaudo
Jonathan Denby, cousin of Barbara Hewson, is a convicted FRAUD and close friend of convicted paedophile Harvey Proctor.
After an incident in Central London involving a gunpoint attack on policemen, Denby went on the run.
Whilst on the run, Hewson’s cousin maintained close contact with Proctor and Enoch Powell, often using Bea Carthew as intermediary
It now transpires that Carthew’s husband Brigadier Carthew was a member of the Royal Artillery.
This was at the same time as Bishop Whitsey, Ed Heath, Peter Righton and Straubenzee were all in the Royal Artillery.
His Far East stint was during Royal Artillary two years bet. 42-47. Probably in Hong Kong.
Paedophile Sir William van Straubenzee is in Jeffery Epstein’s Black Book
Former Tory MP for Wokingham, Sir William van Straubenzee (pictured), who died in 1999, is also among the key figures named
It’s all a matter of public record…You cannot be silenced for discussing something already in the public domain. … research and form your own conclusions.