The Bishop of Southwark, a regular contributor to Thought For The Day on Radio 4, is under pressure to explain a bizarre set of events that ended with claims that he drunkenly got into a stranger's car.
The Right Rev Tom Butler returned home from a Christmas reception at the Irish embassy with wounds to the head. He later reported some belongings missing to the police, and told a congregation that he had been mugged. But the Daily Mirror, under the headline "He Mitre had a pew too many" , reported that a couple found the bishop in the back of their car outside a bar. When they asked him what he was doing, he replied "I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do."
Nicola Sumpter and her partner Paul had heard their car alarm going off from inside Suchard Bar, on Crucifix Lane, Southwark. The couple claimed the Bishop was throwing children's toys out of the car. Ms Sumpter said Paul and his friend pulled the stranger away from the car and he fell over, hitting his head. A barman then asked him if he wanted an ambulance, but the Bishop declined and "stumbled off down the road."
Scotland Yard said yesterday that they were not treating the investigation as robbery. However, on Wednesday evening at a service in All Saints Church, Dulwich, the Bishop told the congregation he could not wear his mitre as usual because of the injuries he had sustained in a mugging.
A spokeswoman for the diocese of Southwark said the father of two had " several lumps and cuts and bruises, including a nasty cut to the back of the head. He doesn't remember anything about it."Reuse content