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Vicar ‘failed to disclose’ husband’s offending

21 October 2022

West Midlands Police

Peter Jenkins

Peter Jenkins

A PRIEST has been suspended from her position as a team vicar in the West Midlands after apparently failing to disclose her husband’s sexual offending.

The Revd Helen Greenham, who has been a Team Vicar of Solihull since 2011, is facing an investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM), which is expected to conclude later this year.

In August, her now former husband, Peter Jenkins, was sentenced to 13 years in prison after admitting 15 sexual assaults on schoolgirls between 1984 and 2005. One of his victims was a 12-year-old whom he befriended while he was at university, and another was abused when he became a teacher.

Warwick Crown Court heard that his offences came to light only when a solicitor contacted West Midlands Police to say that Mr Jenkins wanted to confess. Although he worked with a youth group at St Helen’s, Solihull, there was no evidence of any criminal behaviour connected to the church.

BBC Midlands reports that it has been contacted by parents in the Solihull area who are concerned over safeguarding issues around Mr Jenkins’s involvement in church youth activities. One mother asked: “Did anyone know about his past, and, if they did, why wasn’t he supervised or measures put into place whereby he couldn’t have access to young people? He had access to our young people, and put them in harm’s risk.”

The BBC claims to have seen documents in which Ms Greenham admits to failing to disclose to the Church her knowledge of Mr Jenkins’s offending between her appointment and 2019; and, by failing to disclose that, she exposed others to risk of harm. She is also said to have admitted failing to manage the risk that Mr Jenkins posed by allowing him to perform roles in the church and church council when it was inappropriate for him to do so.

At the time of Mr Jenkins’s sentencing, Birmingham diocese said that Ms Greenham had been suspended pending the outcome of their own internal process. It said in a statement that it “took seriously its commitment to robust safeguarding practices”, and directed victims to the diocesan safeguarding team. “The Church of England Birmingham profoundly acknowledges the bravery and determination of survivors who have come forward.”

The diocese has declined to comment until the CDM investigation is completed.

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