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April 2018
4.4 Case study into the Diocese of Chichester (part of the ‘Anglican Church’ investigation)

The Inquiry’s investigation into the Anglican Church is examining how institutions have protected children from sexual abuse in both the Church of England and the Church in Wales. The investigation is also assessing whether safeguarding and child protection policies are appropriate, and looking at past and historic case reviews in the Church of England and the Church in Wales.

The Inquiry has identified two case studies within the investigation: the Diocese of Chichester and the case of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes and Bishop of Gloucester who was cautioned for a sexual offence in 1993 and convicted of sexual offences in 2015.[1]

There have been a number of investigations and reviews into the Diocese of Chichester since 2001 that were commissioned by the church, including a review into historical child protection cases carried out by Baroness Butler-Sloss in 2011. In 2011, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced a visitation on safeguarding within the diocese. This found that there had been failures to protect children, and criticised the practices and procedures within the wider Church of England.

The Inquiry’s first public hearing on the Anglican Church examined the culture within the Diocese of Chichester and the effect this has had on safeguarding children; how practices and procedures for responding to concerns and deficiencies in safeguarding practices have changed over time; how the Church manages recruitment, promotion, resignation and disciplinary action; and whether victims and survivors have received reparations.

The Diocese of Chichester hearing in numbers

  • 4 preliminary hearings (held on 16 March 2016, 27 July 2016, 4 October 2017 and 30 January 2018)

  • 14 days of public hearings (held between 5 March and 23 March 2018)

  • 41 core participants (complainants, Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, Archbishops’ Council, Janet Hind, John Hind, George Carey, Peter Ball, Sussex Police, Gloucestershire Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Ecclesiastical Insurance Office and Department for Education)

  • 57,795 pages of evidence disclosed to core participants

The Inquiry is considering its findings in relation to the Diocese of Chichester case study and will publish these with the findings from the Peter Ball case study in a separate investigation report that will be published later this year. Annex A to this report includes a progress report on the wider ‘Anglican Church’ investigation.

References

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