Ex-Bishop helped cover up abuse by colleague


By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 29 Oct 2015

A disgraced bishop who was jailed earlier this month for sexually assaulting a string of young would-be priests also helped cover up abuse by one of his closest aides, it has emerged.

Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes in the Church of England diocese of Chichester, wrote to apologise to one young man who had been abused by the Rev Vickery House in 1984, claiming to have taken steps to ensure that “nothing like it happens again”.

House, now 69, was jailed for six and a half years at the Old Bailey for a series of sex attacks on boys and young men, including one victim aged just 14, over a 16-year period from 1977 to 1992.

A former vicar in Berwick, East Sussex, he served as Ball’s deputy running a church gap-year scheme called “Give A Year For Christ” where he targeted young men testing out a possible “call” to ordination.

Three of his House’s victims were also abused by Ball, who was also jailed three weeks ago after admitting indecent assaults on 18 young men in the 1970s and 1980s.

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