Posted 1 Jul 2019
Response to the news concerning allegations made against Jonathan Fletcher
Many of you will already have heard that Jonathan Fletcher has had his permission to officiate removed by Southwark Diocese. Emmanuel Church, where Jonathan ministered for many years, has released this statement concerning the matter. Jonathan was, of course, a former trustee of Reform and was also previously involved in the Church Society Trust, though not as a Director. He was removed from this role after we saw this letter. We are not in a position to comment on or make judgements about the allegations that have been made.
Vaughan Roberts and Sarah Hall spoke about this issue at EMA last week, giving more details about the timeline of the allegations and responses, as well as more information about the nature of the concerns. The video of this and links to a number of other important responses can be found on the Walking With website, which has been set up as a way to help all those who have been adversely affected to come forward for pastoral support. This includes information about an independent listening agency, as well as support via Robin Weekes and Sarah Hall at Emmanuel. Any safeguarding concerns should be reported via the Southwark diocese safeguarding team, whose details can also be found there.
If you have any safeguarding concerns regarding Church Society, we encourage you to report them. Details of who should be informed are in our policy here.
Please pray for all those who have been affected, and for those seeking to minister to them. Pray especially for Bishop Andy Lines and for AMiE. Pray for current and former members of Emmanuel and for Robin Weekes as he ministers to them through this difficult situation. Pray for those who have no one safe to turn to, and for those whose faith has been shaken.
Christopher Ash’s article, ‘How to Respond When Church Leaders Fail’ gives very helpful advice for those of us not directly affected. John Telford’s piece on Spiritual Abuse helps us understand what this is and what steps we can take to protect our churches from it. Ian Paul has posted some excerpts from a useful booklet on bullying in church. Lee Gatiss has written about Serving the Truth in Scandal and Duncan Forbes has some valuable thoughts about what not to say in response to an abuse story.
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