‘The Diocese of Southwark is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults and for many years this commitment has been at the heart of our work across the parishes. As a result, we have developed policies, procedures and training at all levels of the Diocese and I commend them to you.
It is my prayer that the polices and practice followed here in the Diocese of Southwark will help to contribute to making the Church a safe and welcoming place for all.’
If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm, contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 020 7939 9423 (office hours) or 020 3874 6743 (out of hours). If you have immediate concerns about someone’s safety, please contact the police and your local authority Children’s or Adult Social Care Services.
If you have been affected by matters related to Jonathan Fletcher and you would like to speak to someone about this, please contact our Safeguarding Team or Thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111 (quoting ‘2019‘). Thirtyone:eight is an independent Christian charity that helps individuals, organisations, charities, faith and community groups protect vulnerable people from abuse.
Diocese of Southwark – PCR2 Executive Summary
A Statement from Bishop Christopher
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our independent reviewers, PCR2 Reference Group which includes survivors representatives, Chris Smart who chairs our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel for all their hard work and professionalism that has been a real hallmark.
I also wish to extend my thanks to the survivors who contributed to the report. Their input enabled Reviewers to make recommendations to the Diocese going forward in plans for survivor engagement.
We remain committed to learning from the national report and our own diocesan report so that we can embed best practice and continue to listen carefully to our survivors and all those impacted by past cases.
Here is the the PCR2 Executive Summary to download:
Below is a link to the national report and press release:
Archbishop of Canterbury’s apology
“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. It was not your fault and you are not to blame. We should have been better at listening and responding to survivors’ and victims’ concerns. Our faith compels us to take safeguarding with the utmost seriousness; to prevent abuse from occurring; responding appropriately where it has in support of our undertaking to making church communities and institutions safer places.”
The link to the full apology can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/safeguarding-news-releases/national-report-church-englands-second-past-cases-review
Statement regarding Clive McCleester
Statement from Southwark Cathedral:
Clive McCleester, a former senior employee of Southwark Cathedral has pleaded guilty today on charges of safeguarding offences which took place in the 1980s.
Mr McCleester’s crimes are a grievous breach of trust, which will have life-long effects.
We would like to offer a full and unreserved apology to all those affected by this matter and we commend the bravery of those who brought this to light, acknowledging how difficult and distressing this would have been.
We are profoundly sorry for the abuse perpetrated by Mr McCleester and are committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and adults, who look to us for respect and care.
We have cooperated fully with the police in the course of their investigations. The safety and wellbeing of children and young people is our highest priority and we continually monitor our practice and processes to ensure that safeguarding remains at the heart of everything we do. The Cathedral’s Social Care Institute for Excellence audit undertaken in 2020 was positive about our safeguarding work – nevertheless, we recognise that there is always more to learn, more to be done to ensure the safety of all those with whom we have contact.
Should anyone wish to share a Safeguarding concern or need support, they can contact our Safeguarding team on 020 7939 9444 (office hours) or 020 3874 6743 (out of hours) or visit the Safe Spaces website. Our prayers are with everyone affected by this matter.
26 June 2023
Graham Gregory: Lessons Learnt Review
The Diocese of Southwark welcomes the independent reviewer’s Learning Lessons Case Review into the Church of England’s handling of the allegations against the late Graham Gregory. We will be looking at the recommendations closely with a view to full implementation. We apologise for the further harm caused to survivors by our failure to act appropriately. We accept that the timeliness of our communications and our processes for responding to concerns has needed improvement. In the years since then work has already been undertaken to improve our processes, including the introduction of a case management system and strict protocols for escalations and internal communications of safeguarding matters with a particular focus on the needs of survivors.
This case involved five Dioceses, including the Diocese of Southwark and it is Church of England policy that where a case involves more than one Diocese it is dealt with by the National Safeguarding Team who has also been engaging with those affected. This independent Review was therefore commissioned by the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England.
Here is a link to the report: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/graham-gregory-lessons-learnt-review
Should you be affected by issues raised in this report, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding team on 020 7939 9423 (office hours) or 020 3874 6743 (out of hours).
Bishop Christopher has committed the Diocese of Southwark to taking to heart and acting upon the very necessary lessons to be learned from the IICSA report published on Tuesday 6 October 2020. In order to ensure that the Diocese does all that it can to create a safe church and learn from those who have been wronged he has created a small review group to consider the recommendations of the report and how best to take the work forward in the Diocese.
Bishop Christopher commends the Executive Summary of the Report which can be found at: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/publications/investigation/anglican-church/executive-summary
The full IICSA Report can be found at: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/document/anglican-church-safeguarding-church-england-and-church-wales-investigation-report
For further information and to discuss any safeguarding concerns please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on: 020 7939 9423 (office hours) or 020 3874 6743 (out of hours).
If you are unhappy about how a safeguarding matter has been handled, and wish to make a complaint, please write to the Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel, Chris Smart, c/o Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW, or e-mail him on [email protected]
More information about the work of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel can be found on our dedicated DSAP web page.
The Church of England, working with the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church in Wales, has launched a free and independent national helpline run by Victim Support for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with the church. Find out more information about the service at https://www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk/
Please see our Links and Resources section for more information on Safe Spaces.