Message from The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
The Past Cases Review 2 Process has been very valuable for us as a Diocese. We were served wonderfully well by our two independent reviewers. We are also grateful to those who sat on the Advisory Panel, in both setting up the process and helping guide us through it. Having the voice of survivors, the Police and Local Authorities was important to ensure there was constant external input and checking.
The recommendations are all accepted and significant work has already begun to address the issues raised. We will also take careful note of the issues raised by the collated report for the whole Church of England.
Introduction from Mark Gurney, Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel
I am pleased to be able to commend to you the Executive Summary of the Report for the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) in the Diocese of Durham. The PCR2 was a national independent review of the handling of safeguarding cases in the Church of England over many years. The purpose of the PCR2 was to ensure that all known cases of concerns about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been dealt with appropriately.
PCR2 was launched in the summer of 2019 following recommendations in an independent scrutiny report that was commissioned nationally to look at the original PCR across all Dioceses.
The report concluded that nationally PCR was not considered to have been carried out thoroughly enough resulting in the recommendation for PCR2. The PCR2 review concluded in April 2022. This is the most extensive review of files ever conducted in the Church of England. More than 70,000 files, nationally, have been independently reviewed and these include files held by cathedrals, Theological Educational Institutions, religious communities, the National Church Institutions and Provincial Offices. Survivors’ voices have been key to the review and as a Diocese we acknowledge the courage of those who felt able to contribute to this process be it at a local or a national level.
Carrying out this review has enabled us in the Diocese of Durham to identify risk and take action where needed. We have seen engagement in the process at every level across the Diocese, from parish churches, to the Cathedral and the Theological Training Institutions based in the region. The aim has been to create a safer environment for survivors to disclose and to build confidence in our safeguarding processes. As a Diocese we are committed to seeing through the recommendations, both local and national.
Alongside our Executive Summary, we are pleased to publish the Diocesan Action Plan to address the local recommendations. This will be regularly reviewed through our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel. As a Diocese we will continually strive to make the Church of England in the Diocese of Durham a safer environment for all.
PCR2 has been an exhaustive project, but with a specific scope. Therefore, if there are any individuals who have been affected by church abuse, whether non-recent or recent, support is available and we, in the Diocese of Durham, remain committed to acting, listening to and supporting survivors who come forward.
If you would like to speak to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, please phone 07968 034 075 or email email@example.com.
Executive Summary and Action Plan