Gloucestershire

Former Bishop of Gloucester "lost confidence" after sex claims

The Right Rev Michael Perham Image copyright Diocese of Gloucester
Image caption Bishop Michael said he had lost weight following the allegations of sexual abuse

The former Bishop of Gloucester said he has "lost confidence and weight" after being cleared of alleged sex assaults.

The Right Reverend Michael Perham said "only time will tell" how the episode will affect him in the long term.

He was questioned by police over two allegations of offences dating back 30 years but was cleared by both the Church of England and police.

The Bishop's farewell service took place at Gloucester Cathedral on Saturday evening.

It was due to have taken place in November but was cancelled when the allegations of offences came to light.

'Horrible'

The Metropolitan Police and the Church of England carried out separate inquiries and no action was taken.

Bishop Michael said: "It was very difficult because there was a very public series of allegations and an instant withdrawal from a ministry I was fulfilled in and building towards retirement.

"It was, and has continued to be, horrible."

He said he never felt "isolated and abandoned" because of "huge support an encouragement" from friends, family and people in the diocese.

"I'm sure it has [changed me], but I'm not sure how yet. I suspect I have lost confidence in some respects, but only time will tell.

Bishop Michael added that he had also "lost a bit of weight".

The Venerable Rachel Treweek was appointed as the new Bishop of Gloucester in March.

You can listen to the full interview with Bishop Michael as he speaks to BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Richard Atkins on Sunday 14 June.

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