Past Cases Review

We want to ensure that our churches and church related activities are as safe as possible for everybody and that we have the best possible safeguarding policies and practices.

In order to be certain that we are fulfilling our duty of care, it is important for us to know that all known cases of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been considered and dealt with appropriately.

To help us do this, we are currently undertaking a comprehensive safeguarding review, called, Past Cases Review 2.

 

Past Cases Review 2

Following Sir Roger Singleton’s independent report in 2018 into the Church of England's handling of its 2007-2009 Past Cases Review, the Diocese of Rochester was identified as one of seven dioceses required to redo its original Past Cases Review.

Alongside this, as part of ongoing scrutiny work around past cases across the entire Church of England, all dioceses are required to independently review all outstanding files. This is called Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) and must be completed by the end of 2020.

The fact that abuse has ever happened within our Diocese is a matter of deep shame.

As a matter of justice for those who have been affected by such abuse, and to fulfil our safeguarding responsibilities as outlined by the Independent Review and the House of Bishops instructions, we are therefore now embarking on a comprehensive safeguarding review.

What is involved?

Every parish is expected and required to take part in this process, just as the Diocesan Office and Bishopscourt  - the Bishop's Office - will be taking part.

All Incumbents, are asked to check that:

  • All known instances of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers within their parish(es), both current and non-recent, have been notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA); and,
  • Any which have not, are reported immediately.

Information is not being requested on worshippers. 

This infomation needs to be returned to the Bishop's office by 20 January 2020.

If you are leading the review in your parish, and are unsure about the type of information you are collating or how to record any information you may have about a safeguarding concern, please contact the Safeguarding team on: 01634 560 000 or find individual details here

Support to help parishes

To help you fulfil the review, you may find the following helpful:

  • PCR FAQ sheet – this has answers to some of the questions you may have about the process and your role within it.
  • Communications Guidance – Some wording you may wish to use to communicate the review and promote an independent helpline, run by the NSPCC, in your parish. Download a graphic here

Safeguarding resources

Here you will find links to resources to help you talk about safeguarding in your church and to help people understand that safeguarding is everyone's responsibility:

  • NSPCC -  A wide range of material from the National Society for the Preventiono of Cruelty to Children on best practice. Find them here
  • Thirty One:Eight - the UK's only independent Christian safeguarding charity has produced some great materials to help churches talk about safeguarding, whether you have only 5 minutes or a whole service to dedicate to it. Find the here
  • MACSAS - The Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors websites signposts to a number of materials and organisations. Find them here

Prayers

Throughout the Past Cases Review process, and at any time. it is important to remember that survivors and victims of  church-related abuse are to be held at the very centre of our activity around safeguarding.

  • Prayers of Penitence - Written by the Venerable Julie Conalty, Archdeacon of Tonbridge - in consultation with a survivor -  these prayers were issued during the third heading of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. They can however, be used at any time. Find them here
  • Thirty One: Eight -  A series of prayers and prayer ideas to help you church pray for those working to create safer places where you are.

Useful contacts

The Diocesan Safeguarding team is here to support you and the advice of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser should be sought in any instances of doubt as to whether a particular circumstance should be reported. Find their details here

If you or someone you are concerned about is in immediate danger, please call the police on 999

 




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