The Church of England is carrying out a second nationwide review of potential cases of abuse within the church, for the first time focusing on both children and vulnerable adults. This review will be making sure that all recent and non-recent safeguarding concerns have been dealt with properly.
Within the Diocese of Newcastle, the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman has appointed two independent reviewers to study all cases where safeguarding concerns about anyone in the church have been reported, and whether the appropriate measures were taken as a result. In addition every clergy file is being reviewed.
The independent reviewers are keen to hear from anyone who may have experienced abuse within the church and their contact details are further down this page.
The Church of England wants to make churches and church related activities as safe as possible for everyone, particularly children and vulnerable adults. It wants to learn from past mistakes by listening to those who have experienced abuse.
The House of Bishops has ordered the Church of England to launch Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) and as part of this, all clergy are being asked if any and all concerns raised with them about anyone in their parish in the past have been reported and if these concerns were investigated in line with national guidance.
Bishop Christine said: “A previous Past Cases Review by the Church of England in 2008 focused on non-recent cases involving children, but this current review is far more wide ranging, looking at both children and vulnerable adults. Where any safeguarding concerns have been raised about anyone holding a church office, we’re making sure they were handled and dealt with properly. If we find that they weren’t, we will act accordingly and learn from any mistakes.
“We want our churches to be safe and trusted places for everyone. This current review is about being transparent and honest, learning if and where mistakes were made and listening to those who have suffered as a result. To those who have experienced abuse and do not wish to engage with the Church of England anymore, we appeal to them too to contact our independent reviewers or the NSPCC Helpline and help us learn from their experiences.”
Anyone wishing to contribute to this PCR2 process or who may wish to come forward and make disclosures regarding church-related abuse should contact the Diocese of Newcastle’s independent reviewers: