Alongside all other dioceses in the Church of England, the Diocese of Manchester is undertaking a comprehensive safeguarding review in 2020. This page tells you what you need to know about the review process and who to contact.
Due to the difficulties cause by the coronavirus pandemic, the review will take longer than originally planned. For example, it has not been possible to access some paper records during the lockdown. As a result, the timescale for the review has been extended nationally by six months, so that it is now to be completed by summer 2021.
Have all safeguarding concerns involving clergy or church officers been reported?
The Bishop of Manchester, The Rt Revd David Walker, has written to all the churches of the Diocese of Manchester. to introduce the Past Cases Review 2, acknowledging past failures in the church’s response to safeguarding issues. In addition, Bishop David wrote to incumbents requiring them to check back through their parish records to ensure that all safeguarding concerns and allegations involving clergy or church officers have been appropriately and accurately reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
Any safeguarding concerns that are found not to have been appropriately managed or reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser will be immediately reported now and the correct action taken.
The Diocese of Manchester will work with an independent case reviewer to scrutinise parish declarations to ensure that all cases have been dealt with appropriately. At the same time, personnel and safeguarding files held by the diocese will also be inspected. The reviewer is required to report his/her findings directly to the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel, Kathy Batt, as well as the Bishop of Manchester.
Do you have information or a safeguarding disclosure?
Anyone who wishes to make representations to the past cases review process, or anyone wanting to give information – or make any disclosures regarding church-related abuse – is encouraged to contact the Diocese of Manchester Safeguarding Adviser, Abbey Clephane-Wilson on 0161 828 1451 or email Abbey@manchester.anglican.org
The Church recognises that some people who have lived experience of abuse perpetrated by those in positions of trust within the Church may prefer to call an independent helpline. The NSPCC provides a free, church helpline which can be used for this purpose on 0800 80 20 20.
Anyone can use the independent NSPCC helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they wish to report issues relating to children, adults or need to whistleblow about poor safeguarding practice.
In his letter to the Diocese, Bishop David recognises that any review of past cases is difficult for those directly affected and those who may have had similar experiences. Safeguarding concerns are never only a matter of records and procedures. Each involves the tragedy of damaged lives and long-lasting effects. Therefore as a diocese, and in partnership with the local specialist sexual abuse support charity, Survivors Manchester, who are supporting this process and have also engaged Greater Manchester Rape Crisis, we are making available specialist survivor trauma-informed therapy for men or women alike. The contact details for these organisations, and others offering specialist support, are below:
Greater Manchester Rape Crisis (women and girls) 0161 273 4500; firstname.lastname@example.org
Survivors Manchester (men and boys) 0161 236 2182; email@example.com
Rape Crisis England & Wales (women and girls) 0808 802 9999
The National Male Survivor Helpline 0808 800 5005
For those concerned about their own behaviour, past or present, Stop It Now 0808 1000 900; or firstname.lastname@example.org is able to direct to local support.
PCR2 – a national programme
Every other Diocese in the Church of England will undertake similar reviews as part of a national programme, known as Past Cases Review 2.
The previous past cases review, carried out in 2007-09, looked at safeguarding complaints made against clergy in relation to children. PCR2 is much broader in scope and will look at all complaints made against clergy and church officials relating to children and adults, including domestic abuse.
Listening to survivor voices has helped shape how PCR2 is to be conducted and we hope that this is reflected in our response to any safeguarding concerns emerging through this process. We are committed to continuing to ensure the voices of survivors are heard.
We wholeheartedly share in the aspiration of the Archbishops’ Council, which leads and co-ordinates the work of the Church, that, once the Past Cases Review 2 process has been completed, it will be possible to state that:
- All known safeguarding cases, relating to children and adults, have been appropriately managed and reported to statutory agencies where required (including domestic violence)
- The needs of any known victims/survivors have been considered, and sources of support identified and offered where this is appropriate.
- All identified risks have been assessed and mitigated as far as reasonably possible.
Frequently asked questions
Resources and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the national church website.