26 April 2007
“Whenever rare cases such as this come to light, we are deeply saddened that the trust placed in the Church by young people and their carers is broken in such a damaging way. Such incidents can have a devastating impact on the child concerned, as the statements from some of those affected by this case vividly illustrate.
Today, quite simply, this would not have been allowed to happen. Any such allegations would be immediately investigated and the police would be informed as a matter of course. Over the past twenty years, the Church of England - like all other organisations that work with children - has had to radically review the processes and procedures that accompany the appointment and monitoring of all those who have contact with young people.
We will be reviewing the details of this case, and seeing what further lessons can be drawn from it to help inform the continuing development of diocesan and national policies on child protection.”
The Church of England has also issued a summary of the principles of its Child Protection policy:
"The Church of England is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of the children within our church community.
"We carefully select and train ordained and lay ministers; volunteers and paid workers with children and young people using the Criminal Records Bureau, amongst other tools, to check the background of each person.
"We respond without delay to every complaint made, that a child or young person for whom we are responsible may have been harmed, and fully co-operate with statutory agencies during any investigation they make into allegations concerning a member of the church community."
Read the Church of England's full Child Protection Policy