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Complaints Against Churches

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

The Petition of Patricia Anne Davies,

Declares that the Christian Churches in the United Kingdom show enmity to those who have cause to complain against its’ Ministers; asserts that the Methodist Church would not hear her complaint of mental abuse by a Methodist Minister; that upon appealing to the Minister herself for reconciliation, she was threatened by the Minister with legal action if she did not drop the matter, and that her subsequent complaint was ignored and that it was only after much correspondence and time that she was eventually heard through the churches quasi-judicial system.

The Petitioner further declares that the hearing refused to show the complainant evidence put forward by another Minister from her own church denomination (The URC) even though she was entitled to see it and in doing this breached Methodist Church rules, but that the Methodist church, to this very day, refuses to enforce those rules.

Further declares that she has twice called upon written submissions through the rules of the Data Protection Act but has never received a response to her request for personal data; has made two complaints about the church to the Information Commissioner’s office and they have advised the church of their breaches of the Act, but that the church still refuses to disclose the required documents.

Further declares that she has evidence to support her claim that the churches hold ‘secret files’ and that they refuse to disclose these under the Data Protection Act.

Further declares that the law has proved ineffective and an inappropriate tool for resolving this case, and that the law is daunting and expensive and therefore out of reach of most normal people.

Further declares that abuse of any nature is damaging and abusing a mentally ill depression patient is dangerous and can push a sufferer to suicide; this being borne out by the suicide figures showing that seventeen people die of suicide caused by depression every day.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to make time for a debate in the House on the subject and further gives consideration to the establishment of an independent body to hear complaints against the churches.

And the Petitioner remains, etc. [P000177]