Response to Daily Telegraph article from 10th July 2020

On 10th July 2020, the Daily Telegraph published an article entitled ‘Church of England accused of turning blind eye to priests’ abuse of their wives’ – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/10/church-england-accused-turning-blind-eye-priests-abuse-wives/ – in which the Church of England was accused of ignoring serious complaints from the spouses of priests about the conduct of their husbands.

In this diocese, there have been no allegations of the sort mentioned in this article for at least ten years. However, 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 Samantha Jackson, have previously worked as detectives in the police, and have vast experience in safeguarding matters. They are here to listen, hear, support and to refer matters to the police and appropriate local authorities, whom we have excellent working arrangements with. We are also aware of the courage and bravery it takes for survivors to come forward, knowing that the effects of their abuse are with them for life.

If anybody needs to raise a safeguarding concern or make a disclosure, then please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team on 01733 887040 or 01733 887041. They can also be emailed via bev.huff@peterborough-diocese.org.uk or samantha.jackson@peterborough-diocese.org.uk.

We recognise that this option may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church. A dedicated telephone helpline, operating independently from the Church, has therefore been set up. The number is 0800 80 20 20 and is being run by the NSPCC Helpline for Children and Adults.

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