Tim Wyatt reports for The Telegraph:

The longest-serving bishop in the Church of England is facing calls to resign after it emerged he knew about a paedophile priest in his diocese and did nothing.

The Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Peter Forster, found out Rev Gordon Dickenson had become embroiled in a child abuse scandal decades earlier when the retired vicar wrote a letter about the affair in 2009.

Dickenson was convicted earlier this month of eight counts of sexual assault after pleading guilty to abusing a boy during the 1970s inside a church hall and even his vicarage.

But ten years ago, Dickenson had written to the Diocese of Chester which was conducting a review of past abuse cases admitting he been accused of the abuse during the 1970s and had promised the then Bishop of Chester he would “never do it again”.

… In a statement, the Diocese of Chester said it would conduct a review into its handling of the case and offered an “unreserved apology to the survivor”.

“Information brought to light to the Diocese in 2009, if acted upon then, may have led to the police bringing a prosecution against Gordon Dickenson much sooner. The Diocese apologises for not acting on this information in 2009.”

Bishop Forster said: “I welcome the opportunity to contribute to a review into the handling of the case by the Diocese in 2009, and will do so to the appropriate authority in due course.”

Read on.

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