Latest news from the diocesan and national Safeguarding Teams.
Click here to see recent Safeguarding news from the diocese.
The Diocese of Worcester and Worcester Cathedral are one of 12 pathways supporting the National Safeguarding Team, in piloting a new regional model as part of the recommendations made by IICSA.
There is now a general email address which can be used to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding team (firstname.lastname@example.org) which we are piloting the use of for the next 6 months. Please use this as a first point of contact. If possible, please complete this referral form and attach it to your email – the team will contact you at the earliest opportunity.
There is a now a helpful Safer Recruitment and People Managment video for use in Parishes as required, to help with implementing new guidance and policy
Past Cases Review 2
In 2018, an Independent Scrutiny Team recommended that all dioceses undertook a second in-depth review of safeguarding cases following concerns raised about the inadequacy of an initial national Past Cases Review (PCR) conducted across the Church of England in 2007-2009. The purpose of this was 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 would 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 Diocese of Worcester undertook this audit process, known as Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2), from October 2019. Two independent reviewing officers (IROs) were appointed, with a third starting in March 2020. They looked at files from the original review as well as all other cases from 1990 up to the present time where there had been safeguarding concerns about the behaviour of clergy or church officers, against a child or adult within the Diocese. In addition, all available personnel files on living clergy, lay ministers and diocesan employees were reviewed.
The review was completed in November 2020 and was overseen by the independent Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP).
The Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick, is lead bishop for safeguarding in the Diocese. He said:
“We valued the opportunity to undertake such a detailed review and find areas where we might improve. We received responses from all our parishes with no new cases discovered, and we were pleased that the Independent Reviewing Officer wanted to highlight the good practice of our safeguarding team. However, we never want to be complacent and always want to improve what we do to ensure churches are safe spaces for everyone. Recommendations in the Reviewer’s report have been compiled into an action plan which is monitored regularly, and we continue to seek to ensure the survivor’s voice continues to be heard in all that we do.”
Safe Spaces Update
Safe Spaces, the free national support service for victims and survivors of church-related abuse, will increase operational hours under a newly appointed independent provider, First Light, who take over the service from Monday 9th January 2023.
Safe Spaces offers a confidential, personal, and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, The Church in Wales or The Catholic Church in England and Wales, regardless of disability, age, gender, or sexual orientation.
Safe Spaces Services will be available on 0300 303 1056
Opening hours will be extended to Monday to Friday 9am – 9pm, Saturday 9-1pm and Sunday from 1-5pm (excluding bank holidays, subject to review)
Safe Spaces can also be contacted at Safe Spaces England and Wales
First Light is an independent organisation with over 25 years’ experience in supporting those who have experienced or are experiencing sexual abuse and/or domestic violence and abuse, including survivors and victims of church-related abuse.
First Light were appointed by The Church of England, The Church in Wales and The Catholic Church in England and Wales on 24 November 2022 after a rigorous recruitment process by The Board of Trustees of Safe Spaces England and Wales including victims and survivors. First Light have assumed responsibility of the website and communications for Safe Spaces and will post updates in due course.