LETTER: Church disclosure

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The Independent Online
From The Rev Roy Arnold

Sir: As the person responsible for the release of the Nine O'clock Service story to the press - tabloid and respectable - I have to say that I found Bryan Appleyard's article ("A church in psychedelic chaos", 28 November) ill-informed and unfair. He implies that the tabloid press was responsible for the story coming to light. This is simply not true.

The Church of England uncovered the story when people in the NOS community began to talk to each other and to others in the Church of England hierarchy. Once it was established that a systematic abuse had been going on, the Diocese of Sheffield took rapid steps to look after the victims, to establish precisely what had gone on and to make a full and comprehensive statement to the media.

Mr Appleyard's contention that "but for the prurient nosiness of our tabloid press" the story would have gone undiscovered, amounts to a clear imputation that the first disclosure did not come from the church when, in fact, it did.

Yours faithfully,

Roy Arnold

Sheffield

28 November

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