Letter from the Bishop of Tewkesbury

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The following is a letter from the Bishop of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, to members of the Diocese:

You will by now have seen the statement issued by the Diocesan Communications Department last Friday indicating that Bishop Michael has stepped back from his ministry as Bishop of Gloucester. I know that, like me, you will have been deeply saddened by this news.

Various news outlets are carrying a story that this is an investigation by the Metropolitan Police into allegations of indecent assault on a child aged under 18 years and indecent assault on a second female aged over 18 years. The police have confirmed that no arrest has been made. You will all realise that this is therefore  a traumatic time for Bishop Michael, his family and for those who have made the allegations. Please hold them in your prayers.

I am sorry that we have not been able to say more until now. I know many people have found this frustrating but I hope you will understand our reasons for this and will appreciate that we have been liaising very closely with Lambeth Palace.

Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury signed an Instrument of Delegation that allows me to act as diocesan bishop. I am working closely with senior colleagues in the diocese to ensure diary commitments are covered in the coming weeks. We will communicate to you directly where this is not possible, but please do contact my office with any queries you have. The Dean, the Archdeacons and I also want to make ourselves available to you for conversations either by phone or in person.

I am thankful to God that we already have three occasions planned when the diocese is due to gather: the partnership service on Sunday 7 September; the clergy training day on Thursday 4 September; and the Readers' and SSMs' evening on Wednesday 3 September. I will write you again with further details of these but please can I ask you to make these events a real priority so we can gather as a diocese at this difficult time?

I will write to you again before the end of the week.

Please be assured of my prayers for you and please pray for me, one another and for the whole diocese, that we may have wisdom and gentleness as we journey together.

Yours in Christ

+MT


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