Bishop George Bell: 2018 publication of review?

Today the Church of England issued the following Press Release which outlines the remaining stages of the independent review prior to its publication. 

Timing of publication of independent review of the processes used in the Bishop George Bell case


A spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said: “We received the draft of Lord Carlile’s report in October and now, according to the Terms of Reference of the review, are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed. This is quite an intensive process and includes issues over factual accuracy and identification of ‘Carol’. As the review website notes, the final version of the report will then be presented to the National Safeguarding Steering Group before publication. This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication.”


Lord Carlile named as independent reviewer in George Bell case


The  Press Release of 22 November 2016 naming Lord Carlile as independent reviewer, above, gives a summary of the investigation, its terms of reference, and links to two previous statements: October 2015: Statement on George Bell; and June 2016: Announcement of independent review. An overview of safeguarding in the Church of England is available here.

Concern has been raised since the timing of the publication of the Review is later than that indicated in the Carlile Review web site Q&A pages. However, a tweet by the Church of England at 2:05pm today stated: “The independent review into the George Bell case will be published once the processes, standard in all reviews, are completed. Nobody is delaying it”.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Bishop George Bell: 2018 publication of review?" in Law & Religion UK, 20 November 2017,

2 thoughts on “Bishop George Bell: 2018 publication of review?

  1. It is worth comparing this press release with the following statements on the Carlile/Bell website (

    From the FAQs page –
    When will the review be finished?
    It is planned that the Review will be completed by end of July 2017 and published as soon as possible after that.
    Who will see the final report? Will I get to see it?
    The report will first be presented to the Church of England, National Safeguarding Steering Group. It will then be published in full.

    However, there is also this on the website:

    When will the review be finished
    It is planned that the review will be completed for submission by the end of July 2017. Consideration will then be given to publication. Some confidential material may have to be redacted but this will not affect the completeness of the report.No reference there to ‘Maxwellisation’ and, as for accuracy, the website has this:

    Lord Carlile will make sure he fully understands and reflects what you tell him. He will make a record of any meeting with you. He guarantees to confirm the accuracy of that record with you.

    In the light of the above, there would seem to be no need or justification for a period of “several months” to elapse between delivery of the report by Lord Carlile last month and its publication.

  2. Pingback: (Law&Religion UK) Bishop George Bell: 2018 publication of review? | TitusOneNine

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