Anglican Watch

Spotlight on abuse: Episcopal priest William Cecil eccleston

In August 2021, an adult victim sued the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York and the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania for sexual assault by Episcopal priest William Cecil Eccleston between 1965 and 1971, when the plaintiff was 13 to 18 years old. The suit named the former St. Mary’s on the Hill Episcopal Church in Buffalo where Eccleston was rector from 1949 to 1975.

Eccleston was ordained in 1927 by the Anglican Bishop of Quebec and also worked as rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Niagara Falls from 1947 to 1949. He died in May 1984 in Buffalo.

Bishop Sean Rowe filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania for lack of jurisdiction.

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