Following today's update from the national Church of England on the safeguarding Past Cases Review 2, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, outlines progress to date in Lichfield Diocese:
“Lichfield Diocese wants everyone to enjoy activities in our churches in a loving, caring and safe atmosphere and takes the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously.
"We are committed to thoroughly investigating all safeguarding allegations and robust procedures are in place across the diocese to ensure this happens. This includes the ongoing review of past safeguarding cases.
“Lichfield Diocese is one of seven dioceses that was identified as needing to carry out further work to provide an updated, comprehensive and thorough version of the original Past Cases Review published in 2010. This is being carried out by an independent reviewer, with a focus on survivors in past cases concerning both adults and children. It began in Spring 2019 and is ongoing. We are liaising with the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team as part of this process.
“Over the past ten years, we have been working hard to professionalise our safeguarding approach and place survivors at the centre of the process. We have a central safeguarding team in place, including two qualified social workers, who provide expertise and skills to support churches in safeguarding.
“The way the diocese carries out safeguarding is also overseen by a Safeguarding Scrutiny Committee with an independent Chair, Dawn Williams, who is Head of Safeguarding at Wolverhampton City Council. There is a comprehensive safeguarding training programme for clergy and church volunteers and parish safeguarding coordinators are in place so that local concerns are dealt with promptly and appropriately.
“As part of our commitment to continuous improvement in this area, the diocese is working hard to following up any issues raised by the current review and to learn from them.
“People who want to speak to someone in relation to the review should contact our Diocesan Safeguarding Team on 01543 306030 or the dedicated independent NSPCC helpline on 0800 80 20 20.”