Former Bishop of Gloucester Cleared over Indecent Assault Claims

By John Bingham
The Telegraph
May 11, 2015

Right Rev Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester. Photo: SWNS

The former Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Rev Michael Perham, has been given the green light to continue serving as a Church of England cleric after being cleared of indecent assault allegations.

Scotland Yard announced in October that the bishop would face no further action after inquiries into allegations involving a woman and a girl dating back to the early 1980s when he was a curate in London.

But he remained suspended from ministry pending an independent review and risk assessment ordered by the Church of England.

Bishop Perham was already set to retire at the time, and the Archdeacon of Hackney, the Venerable Rachel Treweek, had since been named as his successor. But services to mark Bishop Perham’s retirement were put on hold while the review took place.

The next Bishop of Gloucester, the Ven Rachel Treweek

He said he was “immensely heartened” that what he described as a “long and testing process” for him and his family was over.

It means he will be able to continue serving in ordained ministry in retirement.

Lambeth Palace announced the conclusion of the review in a short statement adding: “With the full cooperation of the Bishop an independent risk assessment has been satisfactorily completed and as a result Bishop Michael will be able to take up Ministry in retirement, and the postponed farewells for him in Gloucester can now take place.”

The bishop said: “I am glad that the church process has concluded and that the outcome is clear and decisive.

“The Church has to be rigorous in its approach to safeguarding and, as I made absolutely clear from the start, its investigations had to be thorough to leave no doubt about its conclusions.

Gloucester Cathedral

“I am, of course, immensely heartened that I can now return to ministry in my retirement. I have a deep sense of gratitude to all in the Diocese of Gloucester, and beyond, who have supported, encouraged and upheld me, and my family, through a long and testing process.

“Now I can look forward to a celebration in Gloucester to bring my ministry there as its bishop for 10 years to a proper conclusion and, afterwards, to a new phase of being a priest and bishop in active retirement.”

In a statement the Diocese of Gloucester added: “We are gladdened by today’s news from Lambeth Palace that following the completed review and independent risk assessment, Bishop Michael has been cleared to take up ministry in his retirement.

“We look forward to marking Bishop Michael’s committed and dedicated ministry to this diocese, with a service of thanksgiving at Gloucester Cathedral on Saturday 13 June.”








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