Statements – Revd Robert Bailey reference


National Safeguarding Team, NST

Following the conviction of Robert Bailey last year and criticism of the reference supplied by the Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, the National Safeguarding Team, NST, carried out an investigation into the bishop’s conduct according to House of Bishops guidelines.

Bishop James cooperated fully with the investigation which concluded there were significant errors of judgement in his handling of this matter. He has accepted an informal rebuke from the Archbishop of York which will remain on file, and he will undergo further safeguarding training before he can resume safeguarding responsibilities as diocesan bishop. He has also issued an apology.  The Church takes all safeguarding issues very seriously and is continuing to learn lessons from IICSA which criticised the Church’s response to survivors both at its public hearings and in its final report last October.

Bishop of Carlisle

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, said: “May I begin by reiterating how sorry I am to those people who were hurt by the submission of a reference for Robert Bailey.
“This was something I did at his request and which I later recognised to have been an error of judgement on my part, leading to my request that it be withdrawn. I understand the anguish this will have caused those who suffered as a result of his crimes. I am deeply sorry for that and the survivors and their families will continue to be in my prayers.
“I committed to full co-operation with a subsequent National Safeguarding Team investigation. I have done so and accept the outcome completely.
“As I have previously said, I understand the need to learn from this situation and so I welcome the opportunity to engage wholeheartedly in further safeguarding training opportunities. Until that training is completed, I shall continue to step back from all diocesan safeguarding matters.”