BISHOP LUFFA school will be urged to change the name of one of its houses by a charity supporting victims of rape and sexual abuse.
Maggie Ellis, director of Chichester-based charity Lifecentre said she would ask the school to change the name of ‘Bell’ house and would also be asking Chichester Cathedral to rename George Bell House, a former archdeaconry now used as a venue for away-days, meetings, quiet days, residential weekends, and conferences for up to 40 people.
The Diocese of Chichester has today apologised to a victim of the former Bishop of Chichester George Bell, who was abused as a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
“As a charity supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse, we shall be writing to Bishop Luffa school to urge them to no longer name one of their ‘houses’ after Bishop Bell,” said Mrs Ellis.
“It is now clearly entirely wrong to have such a bishop held up as a person to be honoured by the school and as a figure head for children.
“We shall also be writing to the cathedral to urge they rename George Bell House, which is in the lane just before the entrance to the cathedral gardens.
“Our city needs to have the courage to own up to the hypocrisies of the past and work together to make this a place where hypocrisy is no longer covered up and allowed to exist.”
Nick Taunt, head teacher of Bishop Luffa, said: “At this moment we’ve only just heard the news and we’re not in a position to say (if the house will be renamed).”
He said he echoed the words of current bishop Martin Warner in condemning any form of abuse.
Mrs Ellis added: “This is an opportunity for Bishop Luffa school to create an open culture where adults are not afraid to talk publicly and privately with children about sexual abuse.
“This is at the heart of creating a new society that truly safeguards our children if we as adults can model how to talk about this human rights atrocity that is affecting one in four girls and one in eight boys.”
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