Responding to the publication of the IICSA report and the Church of England’s open letter, The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham said, “While it is for the national Church to respond fully to IICSA’s findings and recommendations, as a bishop I am fully supportive of IICSA’s scrutiny and its approach to ensure that our Church is a safe place for all.
“In Durham, we will pay careful attention to the points raised in the IICSA report, and along with lessons learned in the Diocese from independent reviews of our safeguarding practice, including the ongoing PCR2 (Past Cases Review 2) process, as we seek to continually improve our safeguarding policy, practice and training.”
On the report’s criticism of the Church’s response to survivors, Bishop Paul said: “IICSA has highlighted the fact that our responses to survivors have not been good enough. I want to repeat the apology made by Church leaders at the enquiry itself to survivors. We accept IICSA’s findings, and that we simply have to change the way that we respond to – and work with – survivors in the light of the report.”
“Our work on the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) continues and if anyone reading this would like to make representations to the PCR2 process, regarding how the church dealt with their experience are invited to contact Frank Whitelock, Independent Reviewer.”
Anyone who wishes to come forward with information or make a disclosure regarding church-related abuse are encouraged to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Beth Miller on 07968 034075 or email [email protected].
However, realising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline – 0800 80 20 20 – operated independently from the church by the NSPCC has been set up.
Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context, whether they are reporting issues relating to children or adults or seeking to whistleblow about poor safeguarding practice.
More information about PCR2 is available from the Church of England website at:https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/promoting-safer-church/safeguarding-news-statements/past-cases-review-2
Our Diocesan Safeguarding Team can be contacted via: [email protected]
If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by the publication of this report and want to talk to someone independently please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or email [email protected]. There are also other support services available.