I continue to be disillusioned by the way church leaders form a protective cordon around wrong-doers in their circles. This mistaken belief that protection of Christian reputation is somehow achieved by ignoring challenges and hoping they will evaporate is at best misguided. The church is supposed to stand for truth and justice, I want to see it do so even if that is a challenge to its own.
My latest experience comes at the hands of Churches Together in Camberley . Now please don’t get me wrong, this is no umbrella organisation and it holds no regulatory or disciplinary responsibility for its members. But its Chairman’s summary dismissal of my concerns about not only one of its member churches but one of its own trustees smacks again of both protectionism and denial.
The issues are serious – mistreatment, mismanagement and misuse of funds, serial dishonesty and possible false accounting, all subject to consideration by the regulator, yet the Chairman seems to consider me not a victim or a whistleblower but a deceiver and a troublemaker. Perhaps I misunderstand the tone of his missive.
I am well aware of the sophistry of the investigated to which they have no doubt listened but perhaps church organisations may one day examine both sides of a story before reaching conclusions.
It remains to be seen how this one will play out. Don’t hold your breath, it’s 29 months since I first raised the issues. It took until last September before the regulator finally agreed to examine them and that enquiry hasn’t yet reached its conclusion.
I will publish outcomes both here and to appropriate media outlets when information is finally received.