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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.


South West religious leaders welcome women bishops

Rt Revd Peter Hancock when he was made Bishop of Bath and Wells in June Credit: ITV West Country

The Bishop of Bath & Wells, who was installed at Wells Cathedral in June, has welcomed the vote by the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, to allow women to become bishops.

Bishops Peter Hancock and Peter Maurice, the Bishop of Taunton, say they are delighted at the news, especially as the last vote caused so much damage to what people thought of the church. The legislation will now go before Parliament and could become law in November.

Bishop of Tewkesbury to retire next year

The Rt Revd John Went will be retiring as Bishop of Tewkesbury in 2013 Credit: Diocese of Gloucester

The Bishop Suffragen of Tewkesbury, the Rt Revd John Went has announced that he will retire at the beginning of March.

He and his wife Rosemary have served under two Bishops of Gloucester. Bishop John says:

“As Rosemary and I approach 17 years in the Diocese of Gloucester we look back with great joy on our time in this wonderful part of the world. We shall both miss the busy and richly varied life of a bishop, but after 17 years look forward to a fresh challenge and fresh opportunities.”

Bishop John will return to parish ministry in Buckinghamshire.

A process now begins to explore whether there should be a new Bishop Suffragan of Tewkesbury.

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