Survivors’ group targets synod secretary


Two members of the Survivor Reference Group called, House of Survivors, has issued an open letter to the Archbishops regarding a list of complaints they allege against Mr William Nye LVO.  Mr Nye LVO, is the Secretary-General of both the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod. Nye is seen as the Church of England’s most senior ecclesiocrat, having been in position since 2015, after four years as then-Prince Charles’ Principal Private Secretary.

Their letter said in part, 

“Having taken careful soundings with several serving bishops over the past few months, I write to you on behalf of many survivors, victims and complainants of abuse and culpable negligence in the carriage of safeguarding. This letter has been precipitated by the suicides of victims and some falsely accused, together with an extensive catalogue of frequent failings, gross incompetence, misconduct, corruption, deception and cover-ups. The bishops we have consulted with agree that a significant increase in safeguarding related suicides would not result in changes to church policy and practices, and merely prompt repetitions of earlier PR-led empty promises of some further ‘lessons learned review’.

They then asserted, “It is factual to state, and universally acknowledged, that no current senior person from the NST, or in a senior safeguarding role, including the Lead Bishops, responds to serious issues in a prompt, timely or helpful manner. In the vast majority of cases, there is simply no response at all. Plainly, survivors, victims and complainants are therefore left wondering if the church cares. Or if the church is intentionally communicating its lack of care and concern through its ongoing silence and lack of support. Or, does not have the expertise and resources to deal with serious safeguarding issues. Or all of these.

The group says to the Archbishops that “All this has been previously brought to your attention.  We have kept careful records of what has been sent to you, and your sparse responses to serious allegations.”

The group also claims that they have been speaking with serving bishops and other senior church officials—then they allege; 

“All agree there is now a very substantial body of evidence – credible, concrete and serious instances – that Mr. Nye has been engaged in the following:

  • Consistently acting against safeguarding victims, survivors and complainants if he deems this to be in the better interests of the church, bishops and/or himself (as he sees it), whom he purports to represent.
  • Obstructing and preventing Lead Safeguarding Bishops, senior personnel in the NST, and if he can, the ISB, from going about their roles in the manner in which General Synod, the wider church and public might naturally be entitled to expect.

● Wilfully obstructing, delaying, corrupting and interfering with safeguarding investigations, attempts to call the church to account, and audits to change this.

  • Creating and perpetrating a culture of fear, deference and total control, such that individual victims seeking emergency support, proper redress, or some genuine independent investigations into their grievances are informed that this can only be achieved through “a word with William as he will be the person who ultimately has to agree to this…”. This is completely and utterly unacceptable.

The group then went on to request the following five steps in addressing the matter.

“1. The immediate stepping back/suspension of Mr. Nye from each and every sphere of safeguarding within the Church of England, and any organisation or work that is cognate with such activity.

“2. An independent KC or Judge-led Investigation/Inquiry into these allegations of cover-ups, manipulation, corruption, gross misconduct, serial incompetence and deceit that riddles church safeguarding, which Nye is allegedly concealing and/or perpetrating. We repeat, these are only serious allegations at this stage.

“3. A KC or Judge-led Investigation/Inquiry to be normative, commencing with immediate effect, in cases of highly contentious and scandalous allegations, such as the Pilavachi and Percy cases where (once again) Mr. Nye currently retains ultimate control, so are seemingly subject to deliberate and extended delays, along with numerous obstructions, interferences and obfuscation.

“4. That Bishop Steven Croft is treated in the same equal way as Lord Sentamu, and therefore must step back promptly from ministry with immediate effect, so that new evidence which has come to light can be properly tested, either through a CDM or other means. We note again that senior church figures requested to act in this case are informed that this is Mr. Nye’s decision.

“5. The immediate removal of Ms. Munn and Ms. Cole from their roles on the ISB, NSP and Audit Committee – since neither demonstrate any form of meaningful independence from Mr. Nye, and effectively function as subordinate tetrarchs – thereby enabling the bodies tasked to bring critical-independent scrutiny to bear upon these (now frequent) concerns to be freed to do so.”

The House of Survivors website identifies itself as a “resource not only for survivors, but also for the Church.”  Those operating the website identify as victims of Church England based abuse.