The Prince of Wales has been asked to give a witness statement to the child sexual abuse inquiry regarding Peter Ball – former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester – who was sentenced in 2015 for 32 months for charges relating to 18 teenagers and young men between the 1970s and 1990s.
Prince Charles used to be in correspondence with Peter Ball with the former Bishop describing Prince Charles as “a loyal friend.”
The former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester admitted to one count of misconduct in public office and two counts of indecent assault relating to two young men. The Anglican Church is being examined by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse over the way it handled the allegations against Ball.
A full hearing on the case will begin on July 23rd though a preliminary hearing took place on Wednesday. According to the inquiry’s transcript, Fiona Scolding QC told the inquiry chair, “Prince Charles’s solicitors have indicated their client’s willingness to assist us and have raised a number of important issues for us to consider.”
Scolding continued, “This has led to lengthy and complex discussions and we are currently considering the latest points they have raised. We hope to be able to provide an update to core participants on this in the next couple of weeks.”
Peter Ball was ordained in the Church of England as a Deacon in 1956 and as a Priest in 1957. He became the Bishop of Lewes in 1977 – a post he held until 1992 when he became Bishop of Gloucester, a post he held only for one year.
Peter Ball served just sixteen months in prison and was released in early 2017. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, ordered an inquiry into the way the Church of England dealt with the claims made against Ball.
Prince Charles’s Highgrove estate lies within the Gloucester diocese.