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  1. West Country (E)

Jail for former bishop who exploited young men for 'selfish sexual motive'

A retired bishop has been jailed at the Old Bailey for 32 months for abusing his power to exploit young aspiring priests for his own "selfish sexual motive" over a 15 year period.

Peter Ball, who lives in Langport in Somerset, is a former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester.

Ex-bishop who admitted sexual assaults to be sentenced

Peter Ball admitted sexually assaulting young men. Credit: PA

A retired Church of England Bishop is due to be sentenced today after admitting sexually assaulting two young men during the 1980s and 1990s.

Peter Ball, who lives in Langport in Somerset, is a former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester. The 83-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault at the Old Bailey via video link from Taunton. He also admitted misconduct in a public office between 1977 and 1992.

The Church of England has launched a review into how it handled complaints against him.


  1. Bob Constantine

West Country clergy dismayed at rejection of women bishops

West Country clergy have reacted with dismay to the decision by the governing body of the Church of England not to allow women bishops. One bishop told us he was depressed by the outcome, which he said made the church look foolish.

Although a majority of delegates voted for the change, it didn't receive a big enough majoirty among congregation members. Today a West Country MP raised the issue in Parliament.

Plymouth vicar: No vote 'very good news' for CofE

Rev Prebendary Rod Thomas, the chairman of the conservative evangelical grouping Reform - which recommended a no vote - concluded the General Synod's decision on women bishops is "very good news for the Church of England".

The Plymouth vicar said, "We have avoided what could have been a disastrous mistake for our unity and witness".

The defeat came in spite of a series of appeals from senior Bishops in the Church for the Synod to back final approval for the legislation.