Anybody who would like to give information or make disclosures about church-related abuse is asked to contact Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor Jackie Broadfoot (firstname.lastname@example.org 07918 559387).
A dedicated telephone helpline - 0800 80 20 20 – operated independently from the Church of England by the NSPCC has been set up. We hope this will make it easier for you to talk about what happened to you.
Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context, whether they are reporting issues relating to children or adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.
The Bishop of Guildford, The Rt Revd Andrew Watson says: “It is important we do everything we can to make our churches the safest places they can be. Safe means different things to different people but this review will help us to ensure that the concerns reported to our churches have been dealt with properly, and the care taken and the support given is of the high quality that people rightly deserve. We have learnt from a previous review that survivors and victims’ voices are critical, and I would urge you to come forward.”
We know that local support is also critical. The Diocese of Guildford has established two listening services for those people who have experienced church related abuse but who might want to talk through their experiences and feeling before taking any next step. The two different listening options (one within the Diocese and one managed independently of the Diocese by thirtyone:eight) will allow those people who do come forward to our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, to choose who and how they are supported. More details on these two critical listening services can be found here.
Susan Stephen, Safeguarding Services Manager at thirtyone:eight says ‘At thirtyone:eight we know only too well how difficult it can be for people to talk about their experiences and to report what happened to them. But it is important to come forward so that today’s children and adults are better protected. I urge you to come forward. We will do all we can make it as easy as possible to talk to us. What you can tell us and what we can learn is important.”
The Diocese of Guildford, with all the other Church of England dioceses, is continuing to work on a second independent review of all past cases and the files relating to all licensed and authorised personnel working in the diocese.
Three highly experienced Independent Reviewers are currently working through approximately 1,500 clergy and church officer files. This critical work, delayed due to lockdown restrictions, has been underway since mid-May to aim to meet the December 2021 completion deadline.
The remit for the current review is wide. It includes every living clergy person and all other living church officers, whether or not they are engaged in ministry, or in paid or voluntary work at the time of the review. Those who are not in ordained or licensed ministry become subject to review because their church role requires them to have contact with children and/or adults at risk of abuse. Although the files of deceased clergy are not within the scope of the PCR2 Review, the Diocese of Guildford has decided to commission the Independent Reviewers to continue their work at the end of this current review, and to review the files of deceased clergy as well.
A comprehensive communications plan has been launched. It has engaged with our parishes, external partners, including statutory agencies, the press and on social media channels.
By the time the Diocese of Guildford has completed the PCR2, it should have the strongest possible foundation on which to build for a safer future, without the fear that our files might contain vital information which we’ve somehow overlooked.
Finally, we recognise that it is imperative to learn from the past. We will be putting in place concrete actions to ensure that our policies, practices and behaviours are informed by what we have learnt from this comprehensive review. "