Church issues ‘full and unreserved apology’ to abuse survivors

The Methodist Church has today published its Past Cases Review report. Compiled over a three year period, the review aimed to revisit every known safeguarding case since 1950. These included cases that occurred within a church context as well those reported to the Church as matter of pastoral concern but which occurred away from the church.  The purpose of this was to review whether the response had been safe, pastorally appropriate and compliant with current legislation and policy, and more critically to determine whether any children or vulnerable adults remained at risk. In a number of cases information has been passed on to the police and other agencies for them to complete investigations or inquiries.  In other cases they had already been referred to the authorities at the time they occurred or were first reported.

The Church has issued a full and unreserved apology to survivors and victims of abuse, stressing the fact that they had not always been listened to properly or cared for, and that it will do all in its power to improve systems to protect children, young people and adults from abuse within the life of the Church or on Church premises and that these systems will be reviewed on a regular basis. The review has contributed a significant body of learning which will inform these developments.

Sheffield District played its part by contributing 186 overall responses of which 137 were past case responses, made by 102 individual respondents, including 95% of all active ministers.

Methodist Church News Release with the full statement of apology can be found here:

Church issues ‘full and unreserved apology’ to abuse survivors

Full Past Cases Review report available to download here

For survivors and victims who contributed to the review this has been a very courageous response, and it may be that there are still unreported cases.  The Church would therefore encourage survivors and victims, and others with information on further cases or concerns to contact the Connexional safeguarding Team (safeguarding@methodistchurch.org.uk). Here they will be listened to and support will be offered. Alternatively at a local level and for more information about safeguarding practice in Sheffield District, please contact Grahame Snelling, Executive Officer for Safeguarding at safeguarding@sheffieldmethodist.org