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Church of England says progress being made in handling abuse cases

Fri 31 Mar 2017
By Premier Journalist

The Church of England has released a progress report one year on from the release of the Elliot Review outlining how the Church is improving its response to allegations of abuse.

The Elliott Review was commissioned in September 2015 to look into alleged sexual abuse committed against a man known as 'Joe' during the 1970s.

Joe's claims were made to a number of different people on separate occasions through the intervening years, both within and outside the Church, but no action was taken.

The review left leaders of the Church of England "embarrassed" and "appalled" by their failings.

The Church issued an unreserved apology to Joe after the Elliot Review report was published last year.

Today the Bishop of Crediton Rt Rev Sarah Mullally said: "As a Church we must do better in our response to all survivors and I am encouraged that by working through the implications of this review we are already starting to see a more unified approach to safeguarding training and awareness."

Diocese of Exeter


The review recommended a number of safeguarding changes be made to ensure accusations of abuse are dealt with properly.

The progress report, released today, says among changes made to its safe guarding policies the Church has strengthened its training practices with regards to handling and recording of disclosures.

The report also says the Church will be delivering a new module to bishops and senior staff about handling complaints from June 2017 with particular emphasis on pastoral care. The Church has consulted abuse survivors while developing the material.

Graham Tilby, National Safeguarding Adviser said: "As the review showed it is important that all clergy, at whatever stage of their ministry should have training in this area and we are well underway to implementing dedicated training across all areas, part of our 'whole Church' approach to safeguarding.

CCPAS, the independent Christian charity providing safeguarding training has commended the progress made by the Church of England since the Elliot Review was published.

Justin Humphreys, Executive Director of Safeguarding at CCPAS said: "We are pleased to hear of the good progress that has been made towards implementing the recommendations published in our report.

"These are serious issues that need to be addressed and we are encouraged by the comments made by Bishop Sarah today, and the on-going commitment of the Church of England to implementing the recommendations across all levels of the Church.

"There is much still to do, but this is indeed good progress. As an independent charity, CCPAS continues to work with the Church of England; both nationally and alongside individual dioceses to support them in their commitment to best practice in safeguarding."

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