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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Anglican Church Investigation Report

Contents

B.6.1: Introduction

1. The culture of the Church of England and the extent to which this inhibited the proper investigation, exposure and prevention of child sexual abuse was considered in the Chichester/Peter Ball investigation.

2. It was suggested, during the third public hearing, that many individuals struggled to reconcile pastoral care for fellow clergy, with whom they may have professional and personal ties, with their duty to uphold effective safeguarding. AN-A4 described the current Church structure as “riven with protection of hierarchy, protection of each other … protection of institution”.[1] Clergy accepted the need to change the culture of the Church, noting that this would be a long and difficult process. Sir Roger Singleton, former Interim National Director of Safeguarding, described the necessity of:

bringing about fundamental alterations in the way people think, feel and act. And you need more than agreed policies and prods in the back to be able to do that.[2]

Bishop Peter Hancock, then Lead Bishop on Safeguarding, agreed that “culture change must be driven; in our structures, resourcing, appointments and our decisions”.[3]

3. In this section, the Inquiry considers the culture of the wider Church of England and its recent action to bring about necessary changes to its culture, including embedding and prioritising safeguarding.

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