Letter: Bullied clergy

Sir: Your report on the bullying of Church of England priests ("I was bullied by my flock", 8 December) highlights an apparent unwillingness by diocesan bishops to support clergy who encounter difficulties in their parishes.

I know of several cases where a diocese has left a parish priest high and dry in the face of the disruptive activities of some of the congregation. In one case, the diocesan bishop has even licensed an alternative monthly service in the village hall to satisfy the rebellious elements, while the vicar carries on with the official services in the parish church.

The church would have much greater success in attracting the right people to the priesthood if dioceses were to show they can back existing parish priests in carrying out their ministry.

S J DELANY

Alton, Hampshire

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