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Bishop sex abuse victim speaks exclusively to regional daily

A woman sexually abused by a Church of England bishop has spoken exclusively to a regional daily, seven decades on from her ordeal.

The woman told The Argus, Brighton, how she was abused repeatedly by Bishop of Chichester George Bell over the course of four years in the 1940s.

Her decision to speak out came after the Diocese of Chichester announced before Christmas it had settled a case against a person who claimed the Bishop had abused her.

Bell, a friend of Mahatma Ghandi who was the subject of BBC Radio Great Lives profile last year, was a leading figure in the Church of England in the 1940s and 50s and was once tipped to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

In its interview, the victim claimed Bell would touch her while telling her God loved her. She was five years old at the time the abuse started.

Her testimony in The Argus, which carried the story on its front page last week, was praised by the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner.

Brighton Bell

Editor Mike Gilson said: “This was the result of first class journalism by our reporter Joel Adams.

“He stuck to the story, produced a string of exclusives reports and finally was able to tell the victim’s story against the background of a high-profile campaign of doubt over the actions of the church in this case.”