The National Church has today published its report into Past Cases Review 2.

The Diocese of Truro, including Truro Cathedral, was one of the first dioceses to complete its reviews and as a result, its reports are now almost two years old.

During that time, the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel and a sub-group formed specifically to review the recommendations have been overseeing the implementation of new procedures and actions into its work programmes.

This week’s publication relates to the National report of recommendations for actions and procedures after review of all 42 dioceses’ reports. We, in the Diocese of Truro and Truro Cathedral, will now review what other work we may need to do as a result.

Read the national report as well as the Diocese of Truro and Truro Cathedral reports here.

“Safeguarding is a key part of our diocesan life”

The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, said: “We welcome the release of the national report into the PCR2 process and will now take some time to review whether there is any further work we need to do beyond our local recommendations.

“We have been far from inactive in the time between completing our reviews and the national release. We have used these past two years to get to work on the implementation of our recommendations and many in the diocese and cathedral community can attest to that through their input into areas like safer recruitment.

“We are pleased that the reviewers noted the will of the people in our diocese to improve safeguarding practices and procedures and that there was good support and advice available from our safeguarding team, but nonetheless we are not complacent.

“Safeguarding is a key part of our diocesan life, and an essential expression of our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are committed to do all we can to get it right.”

Working with the diocese to ensure survivors have a place at the heart of the work

Sharon Minty, a Survivor advocate who has worked with the diocese throughout the process, said: “In my role as the Sexual Violence Services Manager for First Light, I have been working with the diocese providing expertise and guidance to ensure the survivors of sexual violence have a place at the heart of the work being undertaken.

“Part of my role is to work with the diocesan safeguarding team with the aim of helping the diocese to remain focused on sexual violence and to ensure its employees and volunteers have a high level of understanding and awareness of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and how to manage potential disclosures.

“Part of the work we have already done is to agree a pathway for survivors and diocesan staff who have experienced either historic or recent abuse so that they can access independent support based on their needs, separate from the diocese.”

First Light is an independent charity based in the South West which supports victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV). You can find out more and get help by visiting the First Light website here or call the helpline on 0300 777 4 777.

Further help and advice, including the Survivor Care Charter is available here.

Background information

The ‘Past Cases Review 2’ (PCR2) is a national independent review of the handling of safeguarding cases in the Church of England over many years. The purpose of the PCR2 is to ensure that all known cases of concerns about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been dealt with appropriately and to ensure a safe environment for survivors to disclose and to build confidence in our safeguarding processes.

PCR2 was launched in the summer of 2019 following recommendations in an independent scrutiny report looking at the original PCR. The PCR2 review of files in scope concluded in April 2022. The original timescale for PCR2 was delayed by Covid-19.

This is the most extensive review of safeguarding records ever conducted by the Church of England. More than 70,000 files have been independently reviewed and these include cathedrals, Theological Educational Institutes, religious communities, the National Church Institutions and Provincial Offices.

The majority of new cases in PCR2 relate to instances where, by today’s standards, due process was not followed and professional safeguarding advice was not sought. For many of these, no further action has been required after assessment.

Survivors’ voices have been key and we acknowledge the courage of those who felt able to contribute.