CofE Statement on Enoch Powell

On 30 March 2015, the Church of England issued the following statement:

Statement on Enoch Powell

30 March 2015

In June 2014 one of the Church of England’s safeguarding advisers contacted the Police with information concerning individuals against whom allegations had been made to a priest in the 1980s. The allegations concerned Members of Parliament who were alleged to be members of a Satanic cult in connection with the trial of Derry Mainwaring Knight who was convicted for fraud in 1986.

References to these allegations had been in the public domain as part of the trial of and also in a book by Tim Tate “Children for the Devil: Ritual Abuse and Satanic Crime” (1991).

These allegations were passed to the police in 2014 following correspondence between Dominic Walker, the former Bishop of Monmouth (and before that of Reading), to whom the allegations had been made and the lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Bishop Paul Butler. Dominic Walker was clear that he had no evidence relating to the allegations. The allegations referred to membership of satanic cults rather than direct  criminal activity.

Consequently it is incorrect to suggest, as Simon Heffer does in the Daily Mail online 30 March 2015 that the Church of England is conducting a review into historic sex abuse in this matter.

Further it is untrue to say that the Church of England proactively placed these allegations into the public domain. Rather this occurred through a story published by the Mail on Sunday on 29 March 2015. Continue reading