It kicked off, as these things often do, with a browse on the internet. A debate at Westminster;
“Are religious leaders in the twenty first century doing enough to protect the most vulnerable members of society from abuse, in all its forms?”
The speakers were not a surprise; Peter Greenwood et al. Then a biography of a most unusual Bishop who claimed to have been arrested three times. That was enough to make me lose interest in the debate. You don’t get many Bishops arrested, not even in the silly season. Not and still get invited to speak at a child protection conference, anyway…
He was arrested for writing a biblical text outside the Houses of Parliament during a peaceful protest against the Gulf War. Fairly predictable. Taking an interest in matters of ecclesiastical law, as I do, I tried my hardest to find evidence of this case, particularly since the writer claimed that it had ‘delineated the boundaries between religious conviction and jurisprudence.’ Wow! – and he had won on appeal. No luck, I could find no trace. Must be my poor research, I muttered. This is a man of God speaking…
Then arrested again for nailing his own ’95 Theses’ to the door of Canterbury Cathedral. Again I could find no evidence of this occasion beyond the many articles written by the man of God himself.
The final arrest was for tethering two of his five small children to a pair of large terracotta pots. Look, people tether children and goats to all manner of outlandish objects, the only way to stop them becoming free range sometimes – but these two pots were doing sterling duty directing smoke upwards – 45′ above ground on the roof of the family home…needless to say, I had more luck finding something outside of the good man’s own writing this time.
“It was a total shock and my family were traumatised by the arrest. The children were weeping as they watched their father being frogmarched to a police van.”
Mr Blake and his wife Annette, 49, may face a social services investigation over the incident.
That was in 2009. In 2003, six years earlier, the family had figured in an even more extraordinary story. As with many people of a caring nature, they had offered to foster young unaccompanied children taking refuge from the war in Kosovo. Thus, Rifan Hoxha and Nazmi Drizi, then believed to be 16-year-old children, came to live with the ‘Blake family’. The ‘Blake family’ then comprising the toddlers who came to be tethered on the rooftop, and a 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son ‘from Mr Blake’s previous marriage’.
It did not go well. The foster children turned out to be 20 year old Albanian ‘conmen’ who stole substantial amounts from the family ‘and tried to seduce our daughter’.
“He would go into her bedroom in the middle of the night and ask her to come and help him make his bed. She is quite an emotional young girl and she opened up to him. She felt sorry for him and he played on that talking about his dead mother. Thankfully she emerged unscathed. If he had violated my daughter, I would be incredibly angry.”
We’re down a rabbit hole, remember? You’ll get the relevance of all this eventually…
So the Albanians were kicked out, and the family continued on their Christian, but unusual, way.
Now, ‘Mr Blake’ had actually been the Rev. Blake, a priest in the Church of England, since 1982. There was a reason for the snide newspaper comments regarding him ‘wearing a dog collar’ but referring to him as ‘Mr Blake’. In 1994, he had thrown off the tiresome dog collar, severed his ties with the Church of England, and was operating as an ‘independent priest’. Apparently this coincided with the breakdown of his first marriage, which included adultery on his part with a ‘parishioner’……
Hence the unusual biography I had initially come across.
Tear gassed in Tehran, seized in Kabul, worked with Mother Teresa, escaped a murderer, raised £300,000, ordained 1981, 12 yrs an Anglican, slept on the streets, travelled to Auschwitz, Kenya and Pakistan to promote peace, opened the first inter-faith NHS chapel, wrote a biblical text on Parliament, arrested, relinquished his office within the CofE to pioneer independent ministry, baptised 1000’s in homes, even on Mount Snowdon + in a circus ring, conducted a wedding underwater, published ‘For God’s Sake Don’t Go To Church’, nailed 95 Theses to Canterbury cathedral, arrested, co-founded the Society for Independent Ministry, was consecrated a bishop, co-founded the Open Episcopal Church, did the first gay wedding on prime time TV, sued Associated Newspapers for defamation, co-consecrated the first women bishops for England. Wales and Scotland, accommodated the homeless, took Mass to sex workers, posted it too, was elected Archbishop, arrested for taking his kids onto a roof, not charged – they were harnessed, founded ‘When No One’s Watching’, became an ICV, conducted the wedding of the star Jade Goody, was invited to Downing Street, published ‘That Old Devil Called God Again’.
‘Sued Associated Newspapers”? Ouch! Well, it seems that Associated Newspaper had indulged in a bout of bashing the Bishop which had come to a sticky end. It seems that they had taken one look at his appearance on the ‘Richard and Judy show’ conducting a wedding between two homosexual men live on Valentine’s Day, dressed in a Bishop’s cloak and mitre, and described him as a ‘self-styled Bishop’.
Naturally the Bishop was most offended. Didn’t the Daily Mail do any research? Didn’t they know that two years beforehand he had teamed up with another Bishop – Richard Palmer a ‘refugee’ from the Liberal Catholic Church, and that together they had formed their own church? The initial ordination, involving much laying on of hands, caused some consternation given that a ‘Bishop’ was present, and there was some argy-bargy around the question of women priests and homosexuals…in the end, Mr Blake, sorry the Right Rev.d Blake and the Bishop Palmer left and started up their own church – the Open Episcopal Church.
Bishop Palmer promptly ordained Mr Blake as Bishop Blake. As the articles of the new church fully permitted him to do so.
The court concluded that the issue was non-justiciable as it could not rule on the validity of a bishop…
If you really want to lose a day of your life, follow my footsteps through the life of the Open Episcopal Church. Or save time and accept when I say that by the time they had anointed 12 Bishops, including Blake, they appear to have had 73 different opinions on everything…people stormed off left, right and centre, quoting Revelations, Genesis, and all psalms in between. Eventually Bishop Blake was the only Bishop left. He revised the rule book to allow for just one Archbishop. Guess who that was? Yep, Archbishop Blake, and let no man say different.
All this made Archbishop Blake a busy man, not a lot of time for the ‘new family life’ you might think? But lo! he is now the Father of 5 children, though his Facebook page eulogises at length about ‘his three wonderful boys’ there is no longer much word of the 14-year-old son or the 16-year-old daughter.
He is busy zooming around the country in his Godmobile, which has ‘amber beacons and reflective chevrons fitted‘ as befits a busy ‘on-call’ Bishop ‘available to anyone in a crisis’, conducting Jade Goody’s wedding, underwater weddings, weddings up Mount Snowdon, Last Rites, Extreme Unction and Viaticum – and the helpful ‘Post a Host‘ service whereby you send your money to ‘Bishop’s Haven’, not forgetting to:
‘Let us know if you need more than 50 Hosts and you would like to receive the consecrated wine (or non-alcoholic alternative) and if you require the gluten free Hosts.’
Have you got bored yet? If you haven’t, I’ve got loads more Archbishop Blake stories up my sleeve, but if you have, I’ll get to the point…
You see, the Archbishop’s 16 year old daughter, remember her? Grew up to become Heidi Blake. The Sunday Times journalist, and now investigative editor for Buzzfeed. You may feel that was a minor miracle in itself, given the somewhat manic household, what with Albanians trying to seduce her at sweet 16 and all. She appears to be remarkably well balanced. I feel for her, given what came next.
She married a man who had been a teacher at her school, a very respectable public school. Sadly, the marriage didn’t last, they divorced.
Whether her ‘two children’ belong to that marriage or not, I do not know. Regardless, they are Archbishop Blake’s grandchildren.*Post edited 02.08.2016 to withdraw this sentence, I am reliably informed that Heidi Blake does not have any children.
Which makes his extraordinary outbursts over a 48 hour period last week all the more extraordinary.
It seems that Archbishop Blake is no fan of Heidi’s ex-husband. He has – for some years – been telling anyone who would listen (and who wouldn’t listen to an Archbishop?) some very unchristian thoughts of his. So much so, that he is, he claims, under a restraining order…
Archbishop Blake is Kato Harris‘ ex-Father-in-law. Remember Kato Harris from a few days ago? The geography teacher who found himself accused by the daughter of mega wealthy parents who had sent her to New York every week-end to see a psychiatrist until she ‘confessed’ that Kato had allegedly raped her in the busy lunchtime period in a room with glass doors….and the jury took all of 26 minutes to find Kato innocent?
Some of us wondered how come Alison Levitt was retained by the parents, and Sue Akers, ex-Assistant Commissioner was involved? So many high powered people, why?
This may be why. Archbishop Blake’s ongoing campaign. (I have a copy if he takes it down!) If this is the ‘restrained’ version, I’d have hated to read the unrestrained version.
I was charged and convicted in December 2015 and given a restraining order preventing me from exposing the corruption that was involved in silencing me.
“Kato Harris groomed a member of my family”, he says.
A MEMBER OF MY FAMILY ABUSED BY A TEACHER FROM AGED 15.
“THE ABUSER, MRS BLAKE, HER CHILD AND THE SCHOOL HEAD”.
Despite what happened, despite the abuser capturing the heart of his pupil, abusing and sleeping with the child, even despite Mrs Blake and the Head knowing that they went on holiday, slept under the same roof alone together and went out for times together alone, while still at school, she did nothing, the Head did nothing and the teachers did nothing.
Given that Archbishop Blake only has one daughter, I can only conclude that his campaign against Kato Harris is equally a campaign against his own daughter, the daughter who was once happily married to her ex-teacher.
What in God’s name did she do to deserve this man for a Father?
I have thought long and hard about publishing this; both Kato and Heidi have suffered enough for their young love affair. I wish them well in their new lives.
Sadly I have discovered this afternoon that others have found his blog, and will be using the words of this man of God to further their own agenda.
The last word goes to Archbishop Blake:
“Journalists have no fire in their belly to pursue a story. Digging behind the obvious is too much trouble and investigation is for others.”
Duly dug and investigated. Your children didn’t deserve you. Especially Heidi.
*Post further edited @ 13.06 02.08.2016 to include the information that Archbishop Blake has a December 2015 criminal conviction for harassing two members of his family and a restraining order preventing him from writing about them further. He removed much of the scurrilous material from his blogs, but has breached this order on several occasions. Not least of all last week, whereupon he was arrested again this last week-end.
Sadly, as the wonderful team at Hoaxstead Research have learnt to their cost, it takes an inordinately long time to actually get any action taken when the on-line ramblings of the ‘delusional, obsessional, irrational and odd’ individuals who see paedophiles and satanic abusers under every bed, start making specific allegations against specific people – without a shred of evidence.
There is no point in me taking the link to his ramblings down at this point. Those who would make mischief with it are already aware of it, and those who haven’t found it yet, would do so with two seconds googling.
However – the court will make him take it down, and further punish this ‘man of God’ for inflicting so much pain on innocent people and imagining that wearing a Bishop’s mitre gives him the right to judge individuals without a shred of evidence.
I will be leaving the blog post up here though – as a warning to any others who might take the ‘Barking Bishop’ seriously.