A DEVASTATING report on the failure of Chichester Cathedral and
the diocese of Chichester to protect children from abuse over a
29-year period was published on Tuesday, ten years after its
The CARMI report, written by Edina Carmi, a social-work
consultant, was finished in 2004. It had been commissioned by a
former Bishop of Chichester, Dr John Hind, after Terence Banks,
head steward at the cathedral, was convicted of 32 sexual offences
against 12 boys between 1971 and 2000. In 2004, only the
recommendations of the report were published.
A new foreword to the report, written this month by the Bishop
of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, explains that, in 2004, "Serious
Case Reviews were not published in their entirety."
The decision to publish it now had been informed by "our
interaction with victims of sexual abuse in churches, who have
consistently asked for the full facts to be brought to light, so
that lessons are learned, and everything possible is done to ensure
these awful events are not repeated".
Dr Warner said that he and other clergy were "profoundly ashamed
of abuse that has happened in church or church institutions", and
offered "our most sincere apologies to survivors and their
families, though we know that this can never repair the damage
The report had informed safeguarding practice, he said, and had
begun a process of learning which continued with the publication of
subsequent reports (
News, 3 May 2013, and News, 27 May 2011).
Safeguarding practice had "moved on enormously since 2004".
Mr Banks was sentenced to 16 years' imprisonment in 2001, after
an investigation by Sussex police. He was convicted of 23 charges
of indecent assault, five of buggery, one of indecency with a child
under 14 years, and two of attempting to procure acts of gross
indecency.All of the 12 victims were lessthan 16 years of age, and
somewere as young as 11. All were involved in activities at the
The CARMI report details how Mr Banks used alcohol and
pornographic material to "break down the boys' inhibitions". In
1973, he was banned from a school after an allegation of abuse
against a child. Even though the school's governing body was
composed entirely of cathedral Chapter members, no action was taken
to limit Mr Banks's contact with children. No action was taken
after he was seen embracing a victim in the cathedral grounds in
In 1991, a 12-year-old alleged that he had been shown a
pornographic video at Mr Banks's house. It was reported to the wife
of the Bishop of Chichester (Dr Eric Kemp, referred to in the
report as Bishop A), and the parents were summoned to speak with a
canon who was "reported to have made the parents feel they were
making too much of a minor incident".
In 2000, a victim and his mother went to see the Dean of
Chichester Cathedral, the Very Revd John Treadgold (referred to in
the report as Dean A), to make allegations. This victim later told
the police that Dean Treadgold had advised him to "act on his
conscience, as the Dean could not act on mere allegations". Dean
Treadgold did not report the matter to the child protection
adviser, the police, or social services.
The father of another victim told the police, and Mr Banks was
then arrested. The CARMI report states that the Dean's "lack of
action on hearing of the abuse was at variance with West Sussex
Child Protection Procedures, and 'The Protection of Children',
which was implemented in the diocese in 1997".
Dean Treadgold told the CARMI review that, on his return from
Germany, he had recevied a letter stating that the police were
involved, and that he must "do nothing". Until 2000, he had "never
been informed of any concerns relating to [Mr Banks]".
While pastoral support was offered to Mr Banks and his wife
after his arrest, victims and their families reported being shunned
by clergy and members of the con-gregation. The report speaks ofa
"hostile environment, which appeared to blame victims and families,
rather than be grateful for their courage in reporting the matter
to the police".
Highlighting the disparity between safeguarding practice
elsewhere and within the cathedral and diocese, it refers to a
number of "mistaken beliefs", including that "it was entirely up to
the individual to decide whether or not to report concerns to the
responsible authority"; and it also refers to a lack of recognition
of the Church's responsibilities.
It warns of "confusion between homosexuality and child abuse.
Until the Church is able to confront prejudice about sexuality, and
provide an environment where individuals are able to be openabout
this area of their life, the risk is that this mistake will happen
The report suggests that, afterthe report was commissioned,
"limitations [were] imposed on making contact with stakeholders".
For example, although the review was publicised in Cathedral
Notes, Mr Banks was not referred to by name, and there was no
offer of confidentiality for any of the contributors.