KCL alumnus Lord Carey resigns from Church of England role

King’s College London alumnus Lord Carey has resigned from his Church of England position, following an independent report investigating alleged church “collusion” in concealing historic child abuse undertaken by disgraced and convicted bishop, Peter Ball.

The window Lord Carey once held on the Strand / Roar News

The review, which follows the 2015 conviction of Mr. Ball, concluded that the church hierarchy took measures to cover up paedophilia within its ranks over a period of 20 years. Church leaders were said to have ‘mishandled’ Ball’s case by failing to suitably deal with the allegations made by victims.

Lord Carey, who obtained his Bachelor of Divinity from the College in 1962, held the most senior role in the Church of England – the Archbishop of Canterbury – when allegations of Peter Ball’s sexual abuse of young men first came to light. However, the 2017 review undertaken by Dame Moira Gibb stated that although Lord Carey was aware of six letters sent by members of the public making allegations against Mr. Ball, he failed to take action and did not hand them to the police.

In addition, the report’s findings showed that Carey failed to place Ball onto the ‘Lambeth List’, a detailed report of the names of people whose suitability for ministry is brought into question. This is something which Carey later went on to state he ‘regretted’.

After speaking with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, Lord Carey has withdrawn from his last remaining public ministry as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Oxford. Additionally, he has strongly opposed the actions of Mr. Ball whilst acknowledging the criticisms made in the report: “I apologise to the victims of Peter Ball. I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind those allegations.”

In a statement made by Dean of the College, The Revd Canon Prof. Richard Burridge FKC, the long-standing relationship between the College and Lord Carey was clarified: “Lord Carey has always made it clear how grateful he was that King’s College London gave someone like him, from a poor background, not only his undergraduate education but also his theological training and his later doctorate…While we completely accept the criticisms made in this report and agree that his failure to act in this matter failed the victims of Peter Ball’s abuse, we continue to value the good relationship we have with Lord Carey…We will continue all we can to assist those who are survivors of this and other forms of abuse, which, as the Bishop of Oxford says, must be the focus of our attention going forward.”

Lord Carey’s association with the College has often caused debate. The bishop was once pictured on the famous Strand windows which display some of the College’s most notable alumni. However, following statements at a Tory party fringe that some students believed to be “anti-gay”, Lord Carey’s photo was later removed after a Liberation campaign.

Moving forward, the Church of England is said to be putting the recommendations of the review “into practice”.