The protection of favouritism in the Methodist Church.


Over the summer of 2020, the Methodist Church executives  disciplined Rev Peter Timms O.B.E. and removed him from the Ministry. 


Their reasons for doing this are that Peter Timms  has refused to shut up about the procedures, used against him by Mr. Chris Kitchin  - the man who led the connexional complaints panel in late 2016, which was  detailed to report on complaints lodged by Rev Timms.


Rev Timms claims that the procedures used were not in accordance with the standing orders of the Church. He claimed he was sent a false confession to sign.


The fuss, however, is actually over the exposure that this scandal has had on this website - over which Peter Timms has no control at all  - something that was made clear to the disciplinary panel.



Prior to the disciplinary hearing, which was conducted on ZOOM in Summer 2020 during the Covid pandemic,  Rev Timms was taken aside and told that if he simply dropped his objections to the way in which Mr. Kitchin had run the complaints process, he would be welcomed 'into the fold' and no further action would be taken against him. All he had to do was agree that Mr. Kitchin had acted  correctly.


The procedure in 2016, you will recall, involved three complaints against ministers in the South East District  - and the complainant had been Peter Timms. Now he must pay the price for daring to complain against improper procedures.


Mr. Kitchin’s unprecedented manner of handling Peter Timms’ complaints was to immediately accuse him, without any sign of evidence,  of having breached confidentiality – and to send him a document to sign in which he would admit to having committed that misdemeanour.


We must ask why the Church has backed such an outrageous action by Mr. Kitchin.


The answer may lie in the composition of the disciplinary panel that issued the order to remove Peter Timms from the Ministry. This remains a secret – but,  according to some who attended the hearing, the leader of the panel was Mr. Graham Danbury.


Mr. Danbury is a close friend of Mr. Kitchin.


Documents from the Church records show that they attend the same church – Hatfield Road Methodist Church in St. Albans.


They are prominent members of that Church. Both are on the Church council there.


In addition they are both managing trustees of the Hatfield Road Methodist charity.


Until Mr. Kitchin recently retired, they were also close legal colleagues. Mr. Kitchin sat as a magistrate in buildings close to the old Hatfield Police station – whilst Mr Danbury sat as Deputy Coroner in his court just down the road. They could easily discuss church affairs over lunch.


And yet Graham Danbury sat in judgment on Peter Timms who was objecting to the document that Chris Kitchin sent him!


We can only wonder why such a clear possibility of favouritism could be allowed by the Methodist Church. Why would the executives go to such lengths to shut Peter Timms up?


Some might speculate that they must be hiding something very big if they will go to such extreme lengths to cover it up.


Is the Hailsham incident bigger than anyone thought?