On 9th May 2019, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report into the Anglican Church, based on its case studies last year of the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against the former Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball. The 252-page report makes five recommendations about a range of issues.
The report states that the Church of England should have been a place which protected all children, and which supported victims and survivors – the Inquiry’s summary recognises that it failed to do this. It is right to highlight the indefensible decisions made by those that held a position of authority within the Church of England at that time, and their failure to take the right action. It is absolutely right that the Church of England, at all levels, should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report.
Whilst the report acknowledges the progress the Church of England has made in safeguarding, we recognise that our work must continue in order that we can ensure that our churches are as safe as possible for all. We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that we take safeguarding seriously in the Diocese of Peterborough. Our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Team, Bev Huff and Sam Suddery, have vast experience in safeguarding from their previous roles in the police. They are here to listen, hear, support and to refer matters to our statutory partners, who we have excellent working arrangements with. We are also aware of the courage it takes for survivors to come forward, knowing that the effects of their abuse are with them for life. It is important to remember those victims and survivors, who should be at the forefront of our minds.
If you have been affected by this report or have a safeguarding concern, or if you like more information regarding safeguarding, please visit our safeguarding page.
Bishop of Peterborough