Statement re Smyth review from lead safeguarding bishop

02/07/2024

"While I am deeply disappointed that the publication will not be until the end of the summer at the earliest, as the reviewer has stated, I am aware of the complexities and demands of this review, originally commissioned in 2019, on all involved.

My concern is with victims and survivors who are waiting for the report and for the truth and justice that they hope it will bring for them. I understand and deeply regret that victims and survivors are now experiencing further trauma because of this latest delay in the revised timetable. 

Colleagues in the National Safeguarding Team are equally frustrated by this further delay and are engaging regularly with the reviewer on this. At this point, given the complex nature of the review, the existing investment of time, and the constraints of data handling, we believe that the best option is still to continue and to wait for the revised timeline for completion. However, we continue to review all options available to us. 

We need to ensure in the future that the commissioning of reviews is done differently, and according to the timescales and good practice set out in the Safeguarding Practice Review Code agreed at General Synod last year."

The Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, Joanne Grenfell

Support

Both the reviewers and the Church recognise that giving information to this review has the potential to be re-traumatising for victims and survivors. While support has previously been offered the NST has now secured the service of a specialist advocacy service. FearFree Support provides specialist support to victims and survivors of abuse, offering trauma informed and victim led bespoke support. Its director of services has identified an experienced independent advocate for victims and survivors to deliver this service and this information has been relayed to the survivors and victims.
Contact: [email protected], mb 07442 968767/helpdesk 01225775276

There is an additional offer of therapeutic support for victims and survivors of Smyth from Yellow Door.

Yellow Door is an organisation that can offer evidence-based therapy to support victims and survivors of abuse and those that have experienced trauma.

Contact Yellow Door confidentially at [email protected]

Support for victims and survivors of other Church-related cases can be accessed here