The Diocese of Leeds has published a summary of an independent study of historic safeguarding cases carried out as part of the national church’s Past Case Review 2 (PCR2) process.
The independent review of files in the Diocese of Leeds was completed successfully at the end of November 2021.
The summary can be found here, along with a copy of the recommendations made.
The Diocese of Leeds is already actively working on implementing these.
The reviewers acknowledged that support for survivors was evident and that there a number of positive examples of good practice.
The diocese remains committed to effective safeguarding for all.
Over the course of the project, in our diocese independent reviewers looked at over 2000 files, including 1360 clergy files and 589 Reader files.
Alongside the Diocese of Leeds review, the Church of England has today released the overall findings and recommendations of PCR2.
This report is based on the reviews submitted by dioceses and other institutions, and may be read here.
It’s introduction contains an apology from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to those survivors of abuse, who say: “It is always with great sadness and profound shame that we, again and again, come face-to-face with the brokenness and failings of our church in its day-to-day interactions and in its processes and leadership.
“There are no possible excuses, no rationalisations for our church’s failure to share the love of God and value each and every person.
“PCR2 was our next step in extending our search for the truth and being satisfied that past abuses and the misery suffered by survivors, victims and their families was uncovered.
“We sincerely apologise for our failures and want to reach out to those who are still suffering from the pain and misery they endured.
“We extend this apology to wider family members affected from this past abuse.
“We are so sorry that this ever happened.
PCR2, believed to be the most extensive file review undertaken by the Church, was commissioned after an independent scrutiny team concluded that the original Past Cases Review (PCR) in 2007 was not a thorough process with particular criticism of lack of survivor engagement.
The process reviewed some 75,000 files, and was carried out by independent reviewers across all 42 dioceses, as well as Lambeth and Bishopthorpe Palaces and the National Safeguarding Team (NST).
The report lists 26 national recommendations, developed from the 800 plus recommendations in the 45 local reports.
A survivor and victim centred approach was adopted with the guidance for reviewers compiled from trauma-informed safeguarding practitioners and feedback, both positive and negative, from those previously raising concerns and complaints about their abuse allegations.
If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by the publication of this report and want to talk to someone independently please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or visit www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk.
Alternatively, you may wish to contact the diocesan safeguarding team in your area or the National Safeguarding Team – email safeguarding [at] churchofengland.org.