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WILLIAM NYE: A Shadowy figure behind Child Sexual Abuse in the Church of England

WILLIAM NYE: A Shadowy figure behind Child Sexual Abuse in the Church of England

PRIVATE EYE -- NO. 1533 -- 23 OCTOBER -- 5 NOV 2020
The Bell Society
October 26, 2020

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report on the Church of England two weeks ago, sending a chill wind up many a cassock.

It found that "the church's neglect of the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of children and young people in favour of protecting its reputation was in conflict with its mission of love and care for the innocent and the vulnerable".

The church duly pre-emptied the report with a flurry of announcements designed to, er, protect its reputation. Besides establishing a fund to help survivors, it launched a "Safe Spaces" helpline to counsel victims -- which was first promised in 2014, has been endlessly delayed ever since but was somehow magically ready for lift-off in the very week the IICSA report was published (Eye 1511).

Alas, the course of true reputation management never did run smooth. The survivors' support fund was agreed under the name Pilot Interim Survivors Support, until someone pointed out the unfortunate acronym. It was also announced before there were any mechanisms or criteria for claiming -- and before any actual funds were available to draw on.

The Safe Spaces helpline, which is only funded for another 18 months anyway, went live this month with broken links, untrained staff and an answerphone message saying that the service would be up and running in September. Some calls to the live phoneline on the launch day went unanswered.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Justin Welby reacted to the IICSA report by issuing the customary press release saying he was even more appalled/ashamed/determined to do better than he had been the last time he was appalled/ashamed/determined to do better, and the time before that.

But although it is Welby who fronts the apologies, behind the scenes the ecclesiocrats in Church House are directed by a shadowy figure unknown to most church members and even most clergy -- William Nye, who became secretary-general of the Archbishops' Council in 2015 after four years as Prince Brian's PPS [Principal Private Secretary to Prince Charles -- Ed]

The publicity-shy ex-courtier, who used to run the National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, now earns north of £170,000 plus bonuses, well over twice Welby's wad, though staff say he would struggle to organise a consecration in a cathedral.

The church's management of safeguarding has descended into chaos, but spending on it has ballooned from £50,000 to around £20m, without a single penny of redress being delivered to survivors of abuse.

Nye recently survived a complaint about the leadership of the church's safeguarding, but there is pressure for a full review of its governance.

The Archbishops' Council, which he leads, is currently being investigated by the regulatory compliance division of the Charity Commission


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