Past Cases Review 2

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. 

An update on PCR2 and the impact of Covid-19 can be found in Safeguarding News, June 2020.

People sheltering under umbrella
People sheltering under umbrella

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 churchs 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.

Independent Reviewer

The diocese has now appointed an Independent Reviewer, Suzanne Cottrell, to ensure that safeguarding cases have been identified and dealt with appropriately, including safeguarding cases in parishes.

As the Independent Reviewer, Suzanne Cottrell is required to report her findings directly to the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel, Kathy Batt, as well as the Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker. She is expected to make her report by the summer of 2021.

The PCR2 process aims to learn lessons about the church’s handling of safeguarding concerns. 

Do you have information or a safeguarding disclosure?

If you wish to make known your experience of how any concern was handled, please contact the Independent Reviewer, Suzanne Cottrell by email at Anyone who wishes to report a new safeguarding concern is encouraged to contact the Diocese of Manchester Safeguarding Team at or by calling 0161 828 1451.

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;

Survivors Manchester (men and boys) 0161 236 2182;

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 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.

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House, 
90 Deansgate, 
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400