All 42 dioceses in the Church of England have been asked to conduct a review of past safeguarding cases. This is known as Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2).
This new review will include all safeguarding cases including children and vulnerable adults and will include files of deceased clergy where they have not been previously reviewed.
It builds on a previous Past Cases Review which took place between 2007 and 2009 which the Archbishops’ Council for the Church of England decided was not comprehensive enough and should be done again.
The new review will be carried out throughout 2020.
Bishop Peter, in line with all other diocesan Bishops, has written to every parish asking incumbents, or in certain circumstances such as in Vacancy or Interregnum, churchwardens, to check that all-known instances within their parish, both recent and non-recent, have been notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding Manager, Glenys Armstrong.
The PCR2 process will also include the scrutiny of clergy and church officer files which had not been reviewed previously and the handling of cases where clergy or church officers had been the subject of safeguarding concerns.
The Diocese of Bath and Wells has appointed a suitably qualified and accredited Independent Reviewer who will scrutinise relevant files held within the diocese. Should their review identify any issues of concern , the Independent Reviewer will ensure that appropriate and remedial action is taken in accordance with safeguarding procedures.
The welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse is of paramount importance in the execution of our PCR2. We urge anyone wishing to give information or make disclosures of church-related abuse to make direct contact with our Safeguarding team.
We recognise that those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church may prefer to seek support or advice independent from the diocese. A dedicated telephone helpline, operating independently from the Church and run by the NSPCC, has been set up for those affected by issues which may arise as a result of PCR2. The number to call is 0800 80 20 20.
We understand that the review may pose questions and challenges for parishes. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Safeguarding Team.