A bishop facing bullying allegations has been accused of trying to alter the content of an independent report on her conduct to be in her favour.
The Right Rev Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, was recently urged to resign after an independent investigation uncovered accusations of her “bullying” church members.
Commissioned by the bishop herself, the review is being conducted by former moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Torrance.
Now, an HR investigation revealed she had acted in an “unchristian” manner by attempting to change the contents of it.
The report, which was brought to light by the Times, but remains confidential, was commissioned by church trustees in Aberdeen amid growing discontent.
HR specialist Sarah Grey has confirmed she had been urged to make her findings more favourable to Mrs Dyer.
Speaking to the Times, she said the bishop and Graham Robertson, the Diocesan chancellor, wrote to trustees indicating they disagreed with some of what she had written.
She said: “The trustees then asked if I wanted to revise my report and my response was no.
“What they (Dyer and Robertson) were trying to do was change the tone of the report in a way that made it potentially less damaging to the bishop.”
Ms Grey added that Mrs Dyer appeared to be surprised that the document was critical of her.
“I don’t think my report was what the bishop wanted it to be,” she said. “I think I was expected to toe the line.”
‘No evidence’ of threatening behaviours or actions
It is alleged the bishop gave evidence as part of the report process that she locked herself in the vestry at St Andrew’s Cathedral, convinced she was going to be attacked by the church’s musical director Christopher Cromar.
However, following an investigation into her testimony it was found there was “no evidence” of threatened violence and her statement was not supported by witnesses.
Ms Grey added: “I have found no evidence of any actions or behaviours by Christopher Cromar that would have posed a threat to Bishop Anne.”
Following the publication of The Times article on Wednesday, the College of Bishops released a statement saying “certain voices” within the Diocese have not been “adequately heard” in the Torrance report.
They added that, “unhelpfully”, the confidential information that has been “leaked” to the public “has only exacerbated tensions” within the Diocese.
The college now intends to move to an independent process of mediation and launch a further review.