On 12 March 2020, the Church of England issued a Press Release concerning a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Dean of Lincoln, Christine Wilson, made by the national director of safeguarding. A joint statement has been issued Acting Bishop of Lincoln and the Dean which indicated that a Bishop’s Visitation is to be initiated and a fuller statement is to be issued within the next week. Links to these two documents are here and here, respectively.
Dean of Lincoln update
A complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Dean of Lincoln, Christine Wilson, made by the national director of safeguarding has now been determined by the Bishop of Sheffield. The complaint related to the way in which the Dean dealt with a safeguarding disclosure made to her.
The Bishop took into account that the Dean had admitted misconduct and had expressed genuine regret in not immediately following the correct process when handling and reporting the disclosure that was made to her. He also took into account that she had agreed to undergo further safeguarding training.
On that basis, and with the Dean’s consent, the Bishop directed that the matter was to be recorded conditionally and remain on the record for four years (“conditional deferment”). The result is that if another complaint is made against the Dean, the conditionally deferred complaint may also be proceeded with together with the new complaint.
During consideration of the complaint, the Dean had voluntarily stepped back from exercising ministry.
Melissa Caslake, national director of safeguarding, said: “The Church takes all safeguarding issues very seriously and it is vital lessons are learnt, and in this case further training undertaken, when our policies and procedures are not followed, to ensure the Church is a safer place for all.
The following is a joint statement from the Acting Bishop of Lincoln and the Dean of Lincoln
A complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against the Dean of Lincoln, the Very Revd Christine Wilson, made by the national director of safeguarding, regarding how a safeguarding allegation was reported, has been determined by the Bishop of Sheffield.
The majority of the complaint has been upheld and it was determined to be out of character and unlikely to be repeated. The dean has completed further safeguarding training and is now returning to ministry in the Cathedral and the Diocese.
Dean Christine Wilson says she has learnt important lessons in responding well to survivors and understands the importance of making apologies when the church gets things wrong. She is looking forward to resuming ministry in the Cathedral, serving the city and the county.
The Acting Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Dr David Court is aware of a range of issues that have been raised with him that are connected to the life of the Cathedral. Therefore, he is planning to initiate a Bishop’s Visitation and will issue a fuller statement on this within the next week.