Survivor voices vital to Past Cases Review 2


Work is underway in all 42 dioceses on the Church of England's Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) with a key focus on listening to survivors who want to come forward. The Church was criticised for not including their voices in the original PCR 2007/8 as shown in an independent scrutiny report, published in 2018.

The guidelines for PCR2 were published in August 2019 and include an independent helpline run by the NSPCC for survivors.


  • All dioceses are reviewing files which are known not to have been examined in the original review (including those of diocesan lay employees working with children) or which have subsequently been located.
  • All dioceses are checking with every parish that all safeguarding concerns* about the behaviour of any parish employee or volunteer towards children both currently and historically have been notified to the DSA.
  • An updated version of the original PCR is being conducted in the seven dioceses where further work was identified in the Independent Scrutiny Report (Ely, Rochester, Sheffield, Lichfield, Salisbury, Winchester and Sodor & Man).
  • An independent reviewer is being appointed in each diocese to look at all relevant files and provide a final report which will be submitted both to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel and the national PCR2 Management Board.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 and the final report published in 2021.

Bishop Mark Sowerby, chair of the national PCR Management Board said: “The Church is committed to ensuring that survivor voices are heard, but we are aware that those who have suffered through the Church may prefer to speak to someone outside which is why we have commissioned the NSPCC helpline. We would urge anyone who wants to talk to please come forward. As a Church we must pray for all those involved, particularly survivors who may be reminded of their abuse, remembering that the effects of abuse are lifelong.”

Melissa Caslake director of the NST said: “This is a substantial and significant task to ensure that the Church is a safer place for all and it is vital we ensure that survivors feel they can come forward in confidence. As a Team we are developing best practice in responding well and we hope that the PCR2 process will help us deal with any concerns that have not been addressed, while learning important lessons for the future.”

If you want to get in touch in relation to PCR2 either call the dedicated NSPCC independent helpline on 0800 802020 or contact other survivor support services including diocesan safeguarding teams.

Further information

  • More information on The Independent Scrutiny report
  • * Safeguarding concerns are matters relating to an individual and reported to the DSA for guidance or action; this may or may not result in a referral to statutory agencies.
  • The Church of England consists of more than 16,000 churches across the country; with around 1.14 million adults and children making up the regular worshipping community. This means it comes into contact with vast numbers of children, young people and adults every day of the week and safeguarding them is a priority. The majority of safeguarding-related concerns or allegations relate to children or vulnerable adults who attend or who have contact with the Church and their lives within the community.