The widely circulated Church Society report about me and my husband in August 2021 is full of untruths, misleading statements, inaccuracies, misrepresentation, and distortion throughout.
It is not my intention to provide a companion guide to Church Society’s 45-page document. However, it is easy to show that as a report, it lacks basic integrity.
The voice of the congregation. Church Society suggests that they are giving voice to the congregation in their report, but this is not true. Church Society has merely amplified the voice of the group that bullied us out, the group whose complaints about us were not upheld. The voices that have not been heard are those of the wider congregation – those who were aghast at the way we were treated by the group in question, those who were themselves mistreated by the same group that bullied me and my husband. Some of their comments are below, redacted in order to hide their personal information and identity.
It would be concerning enough if a Christian organisation such as Church Society had omitted the extensive evidence below through ignorance in their published report – it would be totally unacceptable for an organisation to ruin the reputation of two private individuals simply because basic fact checking and research had not been done. But in fact Church Society was well aware of the voice of the congregation apart from those who drove us out. Many emails and letters (including a number of the ones which appear below) from first hand witnesses in the congregation who had observed the campaign of bullying towards me and my husband were sent to Church Society senior leaders on 13th and 14th October 2018. Those who received the documents were Lee Gatiss (Church Society Director), Dick Farr (Church Society Trust Chair), Jason Ward (Church Society Council member), William Taylor (who was on the Church Society Council at this time), and Paul Darlington (both a Church Society Council member and a Director of Church Society Trust). Therefore, Church Society have published and circulated a report which they know to be misleading and distorted.
Some in the parish chose to stop coming to church because of the behaviour of the group who were bullying us.
Some members of church observed the behaviours and attitudes of the group and that even if my husband left the church, the problems of their behaviour would remain.
Some members still consider Stapenhill as their parish church but have found it impossible to attend recently because of the actions of the group who engaged in bullying behaviour.
Some members still attend the church, but do not share the views of Church Society or indeed the group who drove us out.
It is clear from the sample of emails and letters above that Church Society has knowingly suppressed the views of the congregation which seek to give a more honest picture of what happened at Stapenhill. Church Society has done this in such a way that continues to bully us.