Man who claims he was abused by Bishop: "He told me he agreed I had a calling from God."

Bishop Whitsey
Bishop Whitsey

A senior clergyman at the centre of an abuse scandal allegedly told a teenage boy he had the power to give everything he wanted in life and the “power to take it all away”.

It comes as a police investigation concluded the late Bishop of Chester Hubert Victor Whitsey would have faced questioning were he alive today in connection with abuse claims by five men and eight women.

Whitsey grew up in Lancashire. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn and was a choirboy at St Silas, Blackburn, before attending theological college.

He was a curate at St Laurence’s, Chorley from 1949 to 1951, and a vicar at St Paul’s, Farington, Leyland, until 1955.

He returned to Lancashire to St Leonard’s, Downham, near Clitheroe, from 1968 to 1971 before becoming a Bishop.

Cheshire Police said it has looked into allegation of abuse of boys and girls dating from the 1970s and 80s, which covered both the time he was bishop and his retirement in Lancashire.

Legal firm Slater Gordon released a statement from an alleged victim which said: “When I met Victor Whitsey I was young, innocent, and naïve. I longed for his blessing to achieve my wish of a future as a vicar, serving God and the community. He then proceeded to abuse me sexually and psychologically.

"I was powerless to stop him. If he was acting with God’s will, I should have enjoyed and welcomed what he did but I didn’t; if he was acting against God’s will, I should have rejected and reported him but I didn’t. Whichever way I rationalised it, I was a failure and not worthy of God’s love.”

Whitsey died in the Ribble Valley in 1987 aged 71.

Cheshire Police released details of its probe and ACC Nick Bailey said he 'would have been spoken to by police’ if alive today.

In the meantime Rt Rev Julian Henderson, of Blackburn Diocese, where Whitsey spent much of his career, said: "

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We are aware of the report but have no previous or on-going investigations relating to Mr Whitsey.

“Lancashire Constabulary remains committed to investigating sexual offences, no matter how historic, and no matter what the role, position and status of the alleged offender, and we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward safe in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and professionally.”

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