Investigation into ‘bullying’ by female bishop set to cost church £500,000

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The cost of investigating complaints of bullying and financial impropriety made against Scotland’s first woman bishop is on track to reach more than £500,000.

The Right Rev Anne Dyer was suspended as the Anglican bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney in 2022, a year after priests and church staff came forward to claim that she was a bully who had made their working lives intolerable.

The charity watchdog is also reviewing allegations that Dyer presided over five sets of “misleading and untrue accounts” and went “as far as to fabricate records of meetings that did not actually take place”.

Dyer, 67, is set to face a Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) disciplinary tribunal over three complaints of alleged behaviour said to have been likely “to bring the church into disrepute”.

The Sunday Times has seen documents which confirm that the SEC, Scotland’s third largest Christian denomination, spent £325,000 on “legal and other related fees” related to the investigation last year.

The sum represents almost half of the £685,000 that individual churches donated to the SEC last year in quota payments. In 2022 it spent £134,000 on legal fees, more than double the estimated figure of £48,000, and projects that it will spend a further £175,000 this year.

It is believed that significant amounts of those totals were used, and have been set aside to be used, in connection with the continuing disciplinary process.

Read it all in The Sunday Times