*** DEBUG END ***

Bishops approve changes to C of E procedures on child abuse  

03 June 2016


THE House of Bishops has approved changes in safeguarding procedures, prompted by a report concerning an abuse survivor whose complaint was ignored for years.

The Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, presented the House, when it met in York last week, with the list of changes sug­gested by the Elliott report. 

The report concerns "Joe", who was the victim of an attempted rape by the Revd Garth Moore, a former diocesan chancellor, who died in 1990 (News, 4 December). Joe was later emotionally exploited by Michael Fisher, a Brother in the Soc­iety of St Francis, and later Bishop of St Germans.

The Elliott review called for sweeping changes to the Church’s fundamentally flawed" safe­guard­ing procedures (News, 18 March). The changes include retraining senior clergy in hand­ling disclosure of abuse, and mea­sures to ensure that insurers cannot prevent the offering of pastoral care to survivors.

Bishop Mullally, who was asked to lead the reforms, said that with the House’s backing she could now begin to roll them out "as soon as possible".

"I am encouraged the House has given me the full support to lead on implementing the recom­menda­tions but equally I am aware that for survivors this will not seem like soon enough as they have struggled for years to have their voices heard," she said in a state­ment on Wednesday.

Before the meeting, Joe com­plained in an open letter to the Bishops that there had been total silence from them since the report was published in March (News, 27 May). “I call on the House of Bishops to repent at your meeting,” he wrote. “The House of Bishops needs to show clearly that you are finally able beyond the eleventh hour to work rapidly for profound change in your culture and structure.”

Bishop Mullally said that the Bishops had pledged their support for the reforms, and she repeated her apology to Joe for the “appalling abuse”.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)