Past Cases Review 2

The Church of England is carrying out a review of it's handling of allegations of abuse.

The overall purpose of the review is to identify both good practice and institutional failings in relation to how allegations of abuse have been handled, and to provide recommendations to the Church of England that will lead to improvements in its response to allegations of abuse and in its overall safeguarding working practices; thereby ensuring a safer environment for all.

The specific objectives of the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) are:

  • To identify all information held within parishes, cathedrals, dioceses or other church bodies, which may contain allegations of abuse or neglect where the alleged perpetrator is a clergy person or other church officer and ensure these cases have been independently reviewed.
  • To ensure all allegations of abuse of children, especially those that have been recorded since the original PCR, have been handled appropriately and proportionately to the level of risk identified and with the paramountcy principle1 evidenced within decision making
  • To ensure that recorded incidents or allegations of abuse of an adult (including domestic abuse) have been handled appropriately demonstrating the principles2 of adult safeguarding.
  • To ensure that the support needs of known survivors have been considered.
  • To ensure that all safeguarding allegations have been referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers and are being/have been responded to in line with current safeguarding practice guidance.
  • To ensure that cases meeting the relevant thresholds have been referred to statutory agencies.

Protocols and practice guidance for PCR2 were published by the National Safeguarding Team in August 2019. Individuals who wish to make representations to the PCR2 process or who need to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church related abuse are encouraged to make contact with Sue Brice the safeguarding adviser for the Diocese of Norwich.

However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline – 0800 80 20 20 – operated independently from the church, by the NSPCC, has been set up.

Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.

Survivors were not invited to contribute to the 2007-2009 PCR and the Church has wanted to ensure a different, trauma informed approach is taken by PCR2. Listening to survivor voices has helped to shape how this review will be conducted.