Past Case Review 2

In 2007 the Church of England commissioned a Past Case Review, which sought to look at the handling by the Church of child protection cases over many years. This entailed an independent scrutiny of the files of clergy and church officers to identify any persons presenting on-going risks to children and young people (a child or young person is anyone under the age of 18) which had not been acted on appropriately.

The review conducted by the Diocese of Exeter was subject to scrutiny and found to have been properly and thoroughly carried out, however it was found that this was not the case in every diocese. Given the learning from this and other national reviews, the House of Bishops wants to ensure that our churches and church-related activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults and, in support of this, all dioceses have been asked to conduct a further review, building on the previous but extending the scope to include children, young people and vulnerable adults up to the current date. This process is called Past Case Review 2 (PCR2).

One element of the PCR2 process will be to contact every parish asking incumbents, or in certain circumstances such as in Vacancy or Interregnum churchwardens, to check that all-known instances within their parish, both recent and non-recent, have been notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), Charles Pitman.

The PCR2 process will also include the scrutiny of clergy and church officer files which had not been reviewed previously and to reviewing the handling of cases where clergy or church officers had been the subject of safeguarding concerns.

The Diocese of Exeter has appointed a suitably qualified and accredited Independent Reviewer (IR) who will scrutinise relevant files held within the Diocese. Should their review identify any issues of concern the IR will work closely with the DSA to ensure that appropriate and remedial action is taken in accordance with Safeguarding Procedures.

The welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse is of paramount importance in the execution of our PCR2. We urge anyone wishing to give information or make disclosures of church-related abuse to make direct contact with our Safeguarding team –Safeguarding contacts

We recognise that those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church may prefer to seek support or advice independent to the Diocese. A dedicated telephone helpline, operating independently from the Church, has therefore been set up for those affected by issues which may arise as a result of PCR2. The number is 0800 80 20 20 – ‘Past Cases Review 2 NSPCC Helpline for Children and Adults’.

We will be developing this website in the coming weeks to include more detailed guidance and FAQs.

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