The Bishop of Lincoln is due to face disciplinary action over his alleged failure to respond to safeguarding disclosures. Christopher Lowson, who was suspended from his duties in May of last year, is the first Bishop to receive the punishment since 1577 and will now face a further investigation into his actions.
In a statement on the matter, a Church of England spokesperson revealed that "formal proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure have been instituted by the national director of safeguarding" in relation to the allegations lodged against Lowson. The church has also sought to clarify that there is no evidence or allegation that the bishop "committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult."
At the time Lowson was suspended, the CofE launched an inquiry to determine whether the Bishop presented a "significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people." He was suspended after it became apparent that two former bishops of Lincoln had also failed to act when informed of alleged abuse.
In their recent statement, the Church of England spokesperson added that they "cannot comment further while the process runs its course."
Responding to the disciplinary measures brought against him, Lowson said he was "bewildered" by his suspension and wished to see the investigation brought to a "swift conclusion."
Lincolnshire Police have investigated allegations of historic sex abuse cases in the diocese since 2015 as part of Operation Redstone. During the course of their investigations, 53 names of clergy and staff were passed to officers and three people have been convicted.
In Lowson's absence, the Bishop of Grimsby, David Court, continues to provide episcopal leadership of the diocese.