The Church of England has confirmed that Bishop Peter Ball will be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and indecent assault.
Bishop Ball, 82, of Langport, Somerset, will be prosecuted for three offences: Misconduct in public office between October 1977 and December 1992 while a Bishop in the Church of England, by misusing his position and authority to manipulate and prevail upon others for his own sexual gratification; Indecent assault on a boy aged between 12 and 13, in 1978; and Indecent assault on a man aged 19 to 20, between 1980 and 1982.
The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, Chair of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee said: “The church has been working closely with Sussex police throughout this investigation.”
He went on to say that “The Church of England takes any allegations of abuse very seriously and is committed to being a safe place for all. But we can never be complacent.”
Rt Revd Butler urged any victims or those with information to come forward knowing that they will be listened to in confidence.
He added that the Church has put in place support systems for all those affected in anyway by Bishop Peter Ball’s charged.
“Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news the Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline no. 0800 389 5344,” Rt Revd Butler said. “Although we cannot comment on this case any further at the moment, lessons must be learnt and it is our mission that all our churches are places of safety and joy, of justice and the enrichment of life.”