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Monmouth Enquiry and Review Report

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The Church in WalesNews ReleaseDecember 13 2021In May 2020 the Bench of Bishops and the Representative Body of the Church in Wales established an Enquiry and Review into the events surrounding the retirement of the Rt Revd Richard Pain as Bishop of Monmouth in April 2019, and to review the procedures followed and decisions made by all those involved.The Enquiry and Review Panel was chaired by the Rt Revd Graham James and the other members were Lucinda Herklots and Patricia Russell.The Panel’s report has now been published, together with an overview of it written on behalf of the commissioners by the then Senior Bishop, now Archbishop, the Most Revd Andrew John, and the former chair of the Representative Body, James Turner. The overview explains that the report has been partially redacted in order to protect the anonymity of some of those involved.The Commissioners commit to implementing the report’s recommendations quickly and comprehensibly. They also apologise profoundly for the Church’s failures highlighted in the report and, in particular, to those whose reputations, ministries and working life were damaged as these events unfolded.In December 2018, the Church in Wales issued a statement which was included in an article in the Western Mail on 22 December and subsequently reused in a number of media reports. This statement had not been agreed with the members of the Diocese of Monmouth senior team and caused them considerable distress. It was misleading. The Church in Wales formally withdraws the statement and unreservedly apologizes for the hurt and distress it caused.The Review PanelGraham James was Bishop of Norwich from 1999 to 2019. He chaired the independent Paterson Inquiry which reported to Her Majesty’s Government in February this year.Lucinda Herklots was Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Salisbury for nearly 15 years until November 2018. She is currently a Chapter member of Salisbury Cathedral and a governor of the local NHS hospital trust.Patricia Russell is an ecclesiastical lawyer specialising in human resources and safeguarding matters. She was deputy registrar to the Dioceses of Winchester and Salisbury from 2014 to 2019.For more information, please contact: Anna Morrell, Director of Communications 07919 158794

Welsh content

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Read the Report and the Commissioners Overview here

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A Statement from the Bishop of Monmouth The Rt Revd Cherry VannI am pleased that the Monmouth Enquiry and Review has at last been published. I know that this will be a relief to many in the Diocese of Monmouth who were left confused and dismayed when their former Bishop, Richard Pain, stood back from his role and eventually retired. The report will go a long way to answering their questions and explaining much of what happened and why.I am particularly pleased that the Report exonerates the current Archdeacon of Newport, Jonathan Williams, and the former Dean, Lister Tonge and the former Archdeacon of Monmouth, Ambrose Mason. I want to pay tribute to them and to the office staff, clergy and people of the diocese who continued faithfully with the work of Church whilst feeling left bereft and abandoned.The Diocese of Monmouth has moved on since then and much has been achieved in the last two years. The publication of this report will enable us to draw a line under this unhappy time and look forward with renewed faith and hope to all that God has in store for us.A statement from the Very Revd Lister Tonge, the Venerable Ambrose Mason and the Venerable Jonathan WilliamsWe welcome the publication of the Monmouth Enquiry and Review and would like to thank Bishop Graham James and his team for the thorough and pastoral way in which they approached the complex task of investigating the events surrounding the retirement of Bishop Richard and outlining the lessons that must be learned. We regret that some sections have been redacted but hope that what has been published will help a better understanding of everything that occurred and the consequences of various decisions made. We totally accept the report in full.We are extremely grateful to Archbishop Andy and James Turner for the apology they have issued to us and for the retraction of the misleading and damaging press statement issued in December 2018. These steps will help us greatly in moving on from the traumatic events detailed in the Enquiry & Review although we shall continue to live with the deep scars those events have caused us. We are also grateful to Bishop Cherry for her support and understanding during the long process of the Review.We hope that the publication of this report will allow the Diocese of Monmouth both to heal and to move forward from what has been a very difficult and damaging period and also allow the wider Church in Wales to reflect on and learn from the events described.