My first open blog on the subject of myself and the Diocese of Winchester.
I write this on pain of once again being arrested by the Diocese of Winchester for being an abuse victim who spoke up.
Hi, pleased to meet you, I am HG, I am named in a very skewed and inaccurate report called the ‘Korris report’ as someone who suffered abuse at the hands of a churchwarden in Jersey and bad handling of my complaint.
I was so badly punished by the church for speaking up, that I now live on the streets, destitute and with a police record that the church themselves gave me.
For publishing this blog and for protesting to the Bishop about this matter, I expect to possibly be brutalized and detained by the police on behalf of the Diocese of Winchester, as this has now happened to me a number of times. The Diocese do not like me speaking up. And though I am being no less honest than the Jersey bloggers, I am much more vulnerable, the Diocese would not dare to set the authorities on any of the Jersey bloggers. The Diocese thought that I, a lone, disabled poverty stricken woman, would be easy to brand as mad and silence. Which makes me wonder, how many silent sufferers are there? and how many others get branded as I did for speaking up, sadly I know of a few, I have been alongside fellow church abuse survivors in the last few years, and using mental illness against us is a common ploy.
I am not going to be untruthful or slanderous or abusive in this blog, but I remember, and there is evidence in the Korris report, that a certain person in the Diocese wanted to keep me quiet for the sake of the church’s reputation. That may well still be the case
For publishing this blog I also expect threats and abuse from Jersey, because other bloggers in Jersey are treated like that and I am certainly not very popular in Jersey! 🙂 but believe me, I would rather be hated and rejected by the church and establishment there than be one of them.
I have the greatest respect for the Jersey bloggers. For me, discovering them and their blogs and the support they have shown, has been the best thing to come out of this matter
I was blissfully unaware of the whole Jersey vs. the Diocese when it broke earlier this year, at the beginning of March, and although, sadly, people around me recognized my description from the Korris report and rejected me, I remained unaware of the situation for some weeks. That is one of many many hurts in this seemingly pointless war between the Diocese and Jersey, which I have been dragged into.
I was getting emails from Jersey and people in my past but I ignored them. I had finally started to put the matter behind me, and, resigned to life on the streets, I had come to like my life as it was, and was at last getting a fews days a week free from flashbacks and terrors and was enjoying new friendships and writing about my life as a homeless person.
It was the police contact that alerted me to the fact that the Diocese were up to their old tricks.
Using the police to try and force me to do things their way, which has never worked because I am autistic and see no reason to bow to badly behaved people in offices.
The use of the police, after all their previous brutal and one-sided police actions against me was a horrendous shock.
I had a collapse.
The Diocese had my email addresses and it was only the unpleasant safeguarding director who I had blocked, so if the Diocese had been genuine or had wanted me to be interviewed by Jan Korris, they could have contacted me. But undoubtedly, to protect herself, the safeguarding director didn’t want that, she wanted her bad behaviour exonorated, and it was.
Thankfully a friend at church was able to sit with me in the initial shock of the police coming after me, and then the priest also came to offer pastoral support, but I suffered badly in the following week, reliving what the Diocese had done to me previous to me going on the run from them in 2011.
I had no idea why the Diocese had launched on me again in March this year, I did not understand the police contact until a week later when the press articles came to my attention. I only read the first few lines of the email from the police, and was horrified that they had found me under my new identity. I remain horrified as I am left feeling vulnerable.
I had been on the run from the Diocese for two years since the Bishop and safeguarding official had had me brutally detained in 2011 because I went and begged the then retired Bishop to bring justice and to withdraw the safeguarding official’s continued interference in my life and I continued to answer back to the safeguarding official for her continued violation of my privacy and interference in my life.
The Bishop and safeguarding did not give the full picture to the courts in the last police intervention in 2011, making out that they had only been helping me, and omitting that their ‘help’ had involved slandering me and making my life hell in every way possible driving me from my home city, they tried yet again, to use the standard excuse that I am insane, and they failed, because I am not. Being once again voiceless in a one sided trial against me traumatized me beyond repair and keeping myself alive after that was a grim battle indeed.
In my two years alone on the streets, I had been screaming silently day and night because I was so hurt and traumatized, and flashbacks and nightmares were as frequent as daily and nightly. Having no voice was intolerable, so I did a blog, all names and places changed to protect identity, and that helped me, I shared my blog with fellow church abuse survivors and survivors groups, friends I made along the way, and the general public via blogger. Although the sheer complexity of my story made it hard for some to understand.
My blog did well for statistics, and had regular readers and followers but I remained anonymous and still suffering.
In the end there were two blogs, one of my day to day life on the streets and one of my life and church story.
But, as I said, I was still suffering. And at the end of March this year, when I finally heard about the Dean being suspended and the supposed apologies by the Bishop and Archbishop, I was not joyful, because I am too badly damaged for what people though was ‘good news’ for me, to have made any difference to me.
Apologies in theory will not mean that I am heard, that I am redeemed or recompensed, it wont mean that the wrongdoers will learn lessons, what it meant to me, when it all came to light, was that ‘too little too late’ was disrupting my life in a horrifying way.
Because although I was still suffering, I had begun to heal and had started to bond with a church and community before the news of all this broke.
The articles in the press, upset that bonding and left me ashamed and broke some of the healing and bonding, especially as people connected to me read the rather inaccurate and damaging Korris report before I was even aware of the Korris report. I only became aware of the Korris report through Bob Hill’s blog.
In the weeks and months after the news got through to me, I was distressed and read only the bites of information on the internet without accessing any blogs or sites as I was overwhelmed and aware that people and Clergy in Jersey were furious and slanderous towards me. as they have increasinlgy been, the Grouville meeting was a shocker! But the Diocese very obviously couldn’t care less, and tried to tell me that I wasn’t suffering. They haven’t changed in the last few years!
I contacted Wolvlsey (The Bishop’s Office) a number of times over the months and received no answer for a number of weeks, I then got a few vague replies from the Bishop’s chaplain, and because I did not know him and was scarred by the safeguarding director’s treatment of me, I didn’t want to speak to Diocesan staff and repeat the suffering, I waited for the Bishop to reply to me.
He never did and never has. He has never spoken to me directly, only through his chaplain.
I only got vague responses from the chaplain, who disbelievingly asked me ‘how was the backlash in Jersey affecting me?’ and so on. Nothing helpful. It reminded me of of the safeguarding director trying to tell me I wasn’t suffering in the Jersey community for reporting EY. Which is ludicrous.
I was becoming increasingly distressed, remembering the safeguarding official’s intervention into my life in Jersey and then again on my return to Winchester, my home town, and because of the Diocese having had me traced by police and then not adequately responding to me.
So I begged the Diocese to confirm that they would leave me alone, they replied with vague threats, veiled as concern, making references to court orders, with no clarification of what they meant or why, after they had caused me such distress, they were not responding and were threatening me.
It remains unclear.
As does the origin of the claim that the Bishop has apologized to me personally. He has recently re-iterated that through his PR Company!
Finally, on the day that the Dean was re-instated on claims that he had ‘acted in good faith’, the Bishop’s chaplain sent an email titled ‘no unsolicited intervention – confirmed’.
A number of years too late.
What a shambles.
At some point in April, I plucked up the courage to open Bob Hill’s blog and read it as it was coming up most frequently on the internet. I expected him to be an angry old Jerseyman protecting the Dean and the establishment! Sorry Bob!
I was surprised and overwhelmed by the support for me on his blog, although I was also shocked to learn of the Korris report and the damage that was doing by causing speculation and incorrect views based on the incorrect reporting in that report. The main body of incorrect information is to do with the safeguarding director and the way her harmful involvement which caused me to ‘go mad’ is omitted.
I replied to some of the comments on Bob’s blog, and Bob put a message up saying that someone claiming to be HG had sent in comments and could that person contact him personally to confirm their identity. I contacted Bob, and ever since then he has been a tremendous support and an excellent mediator for me.
I also learned about the other blogs through Bob’s blog, and have been comforted by the support and amazed at the courage and tenacity of the bloggers, who are like David against Goliath in going up against the corruption and dishonesty in Jersey.
And remember, David won against Goliath despite the odds, (because God was with him).
The bloggers and the many questions I have been asked through the comments sections on the blogs led me to launch this blog, to help people to hear my side.
I have no doubt that the launch of this blog could anger people both in Jersey and in Winchester, but I have lain on that cold ground alone with my silent distress for more than two and a half years now, isn’t it time I spoke? They have put me through hell.
I also still have to put up with that unqualified and inaccurate Korris report being circulated, so what say I keep up this blog and the next and the next until the Bishop removes the Korris report and establishes an independent enquiry, as the current one is a conflict of interests for which he refuses to release the terms of reference and refuses to withdraw?
Don’t kid yourselves that anything that the Diocese of Winchester says or does is about my welfare. if it was, I would have met with them, there would be open dialogue and there would be no inaccurate report published on the internet to glorify the diocese (only it hasn’t).