Calls for Scotland's first female Bishop to be removed after a report claims culture of 'systematic dysfunction' and 'bullying'

Scotland's Episcopalian church is facing calls to remove the country’s first female bishop following a report which has disclosed a culture of “bullying” and “systematic dysfunction”.

The review was commissioned by the SEC College of Bishops following a number of church employees and priests raising concerns of discontent claiming that the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, the Right Rev Anne Dyer, had made their working lives unbearable.

The report by former moderator of the Church of Scotland, Professor Iain Torrance, 72, was due to be published following completion but this action has failed and a petition has now been launched to reveal the findings.

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The petition on change.org claims that by refusing to release the report as promised the Episcopalian church has “breached the terms on which participants agreed to offer confidential testimony to the review.”

Almost 500 signatures have been secured arguing that the SEC college of Bishops must “honour their own commitment”.

As reported by The Times the report states that Rev Dyer, 64, who was appointed in 2018 directly by the College of Bishops led by Bishop Mark Strange, should “step back permanently from the diocese.”

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Prof Torrance wrote: “I cannot recommend the continuation of a tenure in which I fear that more people will be made to feel diminished and discouraged.

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“Consequently, I recommend that, for the good of the diocese, she be immediately granted a period of sabbatical leave and step back permanently from the diocese.”

More than 100 people came forward to give evidence and Prof Torrance wrote that a number said they had been bullied by Rev Dyer and almost all of them were “afraid of retaliation in some form or another.”

Within the report Prof Torrance said that Rev Dyer’s position in suspending a respected priest with no explanation was “irrecoverable”, describing the actions as a “scandal”.

One church member who was cited in the report said that they were “stunned by the lack of care and protection offered within the SEC.”

They said: “It seems intent to protect the hierarchy and its own reputation, while people lower down the pecking order are expendable.”

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