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Great Empathy in Local Deanery Meeting

Roy catchpole

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I spoke to a 'Mens Breakfast' in one of the villages yesterday morning. There were ten local Church of England rural priests present. The topic was F.A.C.T, - one of the funders of "We Believe You" of which I am a board member. I spoke about false allegations of sexual abuse and was able to tell them for over half an hour all about our situation as victims of FA.
I was greatly encouraged by their unanimous response of empathy and expressions of willingness to help.
Three of them approached me after the meeting and shared their own experiences of knowing people who had been FA'd. Friends, colleagues, neighbours. Teachers, priests, social workers.
I am greatly encouraged to press on telling the story. This is the way forward. The institutions are incapable of change. But the men and women on the ground - good people who really do care - are on our side.
I have come away from that meeting very much encouraged and inspired, and I am so glad to be able to make this report. It was only a tiny, rural meeting. But it was local people, who know me well. And they understood how it is with us, and are keen to know more. I am encouraged to start to believe that perhaps, in the end, there is a way forward for us all. Not all priests are scheming bastards - some of them (perhaps even the vast majority?) are genuine, caring people who just want to be given the tools to do a brilliant job for us.
 

franticwithworry

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Glad to hear this Roy. You're right, most people are caring and genuine. It seems to be when officialdom and organisations get in on the act that the rot sets in - when people have careers and such to consider. My father used to say that it takes a particular kind of character to want to climb the ladder of authority and it's rarely a pleasant one; even more rarely that an organisation is completely unsullied. He was a very wise and astute man.
 

Patrick

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good to see some balance restored - the people who will make good society survive can do so without needing to be a part of the backward and clumsy institutions that can wreck so many lives.
 

Roy catchpole

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Thank you. I do believe we can change things. There are plenty of us around. I think a lot of the problem is ignorance - combined with overwork - especially among ordinary parish priests who have the impossible task of keeping up to a dozen or more parishes on the go, and trying to respond to the pastoral needs of the people whilst have a diary filled with organizational and beaurocratic crap. I'm hoping to inspire and encourage my local clergy to get on board and discover the excitement of finding a real cause worth fighting for, and one which could not be more contemporary and relevant to their ministries. I think many of them are up for it. By the way, these clergy were sent a copy of "We Believe You" a week prior to my address. They came to the meeting very well prepared and ready to listen, learn abd contribute. Thanks, Matt and Patrick. Blessings.
 
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