Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

An Important Message from Bishop Singh

Earlier this year, St. Mark’s Church in Newark and the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester were served in a lawsuit brought under the New York State Child Victims Act, accusing the late Rev. J. Edward Putnam with sexual abuse while he was Rector of St. Mark’s in the mid 1970’s.

The Rev. Putnam left St. Mark’s in 1983 to accept a call in another diocese and transferred his canonical residence out of the Diocese of Rochester. In 2007, the then retired Rev. Putnam was suspended for 20 years by the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, after admitting to inappropriate conduct with minors while serving as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles, NY between 1986- 1993. Rev. Putnam died in 2016, while living in Rhode Island.

The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester and St. Mark’s view each and every allegation of sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness. Allegations involving children and youth are especially painful and deserving of the greatest sensitivity. We believe it is a disservice to all parties to comment further on this matter, until all investigations are complete and legal proceedings concluded.

Loving God,
your Son told his disciples
to become like little children. Lead us to work for the welfare and protection of all young people. May we respect their dignity that they may flourish in life, following the example of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Church of England)

Click for more on our Model Policy for Safeguarding All People