After “prayerful consideration,” the name of the Chichester Cathedral building was reinstated from 4 Canon Lane to Bishop George Bell.
A Chichester building originally bearing Bishop George Bell for his consideration in the 20th century as one of the most important figures in the history of the Church of England but was announced in 2016 by the Chapter of Chichester Cathedral to be changed to 4 Canon Lane following an investigation into the Bishop’s sexual abuse of a young girl by the Church of England in the 1950s has been restored to its original name after a 2017 review found the investigation had been “deficient.”
The review contends the church’s investigation is unfair to both sides and they had “rushed to judgment” when they concluded Bishop Bell had allegedly abused the girl.
The investigation was closed the following year by Sussex Police after fresh information was passed on to them by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team.
“The information was assessed, and a proportionate investigation has been carried out to clarify the circumstances. This was done thoroughly and sensitively, although, of course, further police investigation or action is not possible as Bishop Bell died 60 years ago,” Sussex Police said.
Archbishop of Canterbury however apologized the following year “unreservedly” for “mistakes made” during the investigation.
Chichester Cathedral announced in July 29 statement that after “prayerful consideration” George Bell’s name would be reinstated from 3rd October.
“The Chapter recognizes that the decision to remove Bishop Bell’s name from 4 Canon Lane in 2016 was a response to a serious allegation and was motivated by a desire to do the right thing by the complainant.”
“The decision was made in good faith under deeply sensitive circumstances. However, the Chapter acknowledges that this decision was deficient and apologizes for this.”
The title 4 Canon Lane will continue to be used for some commercial activities.