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Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church.

1. The Inquiry will investigate the nature and extent of, and institutional responses to, child sexual abuse within the Church of England, the Church in Wales and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales (collectively referred to here as ‘the Anglican Church’). The inquiry will incorporate case specific investigations and a review of information available from published and unpublished reports and reviews, court cases, and previous investigations in relation to child sexual abuse by those associated with the Anglican Church.

2. In doing so, the Inquiry will consider the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church, and investigate:

2.1. the prevalence of child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church;

2.2. the adequacy of the Anglican Church’s policies and practices in relation to safeguarding and child protection, including considerations of governance, training, recruitment, leadership, reporting and investigation of child sexual abuse, disciplinary procedures, information sharing with outside agencies, and approach to reparations;

2.3. the extent to which the culture within the Church inhibits or inhibited the proper investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse; and

2.4. the adequacy of the Church of England’s 2007­09 “Past Cases Review”, and the Church in Wales’s 2009­10 “Historic Cases Review”.

3. As case studies, the Inquiry will investigate:

3.1. the Diocese of Chichester and, in particular, consider:

a) the nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;

b) the nature and extent of any failures of the Church of England, the Diocese, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and/or other public authorities or statutory agencies to protect children from such abuse;

c) the adequacy of the response of the the Church of England, including through the Diocese of Chichester, and the response of any other relevant institutions to allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;

d) the extent to which the Church of England, including through the Diocese of Chichester, sought to investigate, learn lessons, implement changes and provide support and reparations to victims and survivors, in response to:

i) allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;

ii) criminal investigations and prosecutions and/or civil litigation relating to child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Diocese;

iii) investigations, reviews or inquiries into child sexual abuse within the Diocese, including, but not limited to, the Carmi report; the Meekings report; the Butler­Sloss report; and the Arch Episcopal visitation;

iv) complaints made under the Clergy Disciplinary Measure; and/or

v) other internal or external reviews or guidance.

3.2. the sexual offending by former Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, Peter Ball, including the extent to which the Church of England, law enforcement agencies, prosecuting authorities, and/or any other institutions, bodies or persons of public prominence failed to respond appropriately to allegations of child sexual abuse by Peter Ball.

4. The Inquiry will consider the extent to which any failings identified in relation to the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball are representative of wider failings within the Church of England and/or the Anglican Church in general.

5. In light of the investigations set out above, the Inquiry will publish a report setting out its findings, lessons learned, and recommendations to improve child protection and safeguarding in England and Wales.

Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church - Definition of Scope

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