A wide-scale review of past safeguarding cases, including the personal files of clergy, is being carried out.
The Church of England is currently reviewing all past safeguarding cases, as a follow-up to a three-year review between 2007 and 2009. The remit of that review was to identify cases that were not managed properly and to root out clergymen who present a risk to children and vulnerable adults.
A second Past Cases Review (PCR2) has since been initiated and commenced locally in December 2020. Guernsey's Dean has been in dialogue with the Diocese of Salisbury in the last week after disgraced St Stephen's Vicar and former Vice-Dean, Father John Moore, was found to have indecently assaulted a teenager last month.
Father Moore, 67, was suspended from all ministerial duties by the Bishop after the offences came to light in November. He then resigned from his position in January - while under suspension - and left the island for France, before he was ultimately found guilty and fined by the Magistrate's Court last month.
The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Rev. Tim Barker, referenced this offence in a letter to the Diocese about the PCR2, which was scheduled before Father Moore's actions came to light.
Pictured: Father John Moore was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 compensation after reaching out to grab an 18-year-old's groin in a public toilet.
"The news has made very difficult reading and will have caused some people significant distress," wrote Mr Barker. "I am very sorry and saddened by John Moore’s actions and, most of all, for the significant impact this will undoubtedly have had on the victim and his family.
"I want to ensure that the churches across the Deanery of Guernsey and any activities undertaken within them are as safe as possible. I am concerned particularly to protect and care for all those who are vulnerable."
He pledged that the review would have far greater engagement with survivors and victims of abuse than the last Church-wide review more than a decade ago.
"It has a much wider remit than the original review, in that its timeframe has been extended and, perhaps more significantly, that survivors of Church-related abuse have been asked to contribute and form an integral part of this process.
"This latest review will involve examining all safeguarding case papers (both those involving children and vulnerable adults) and will ensure that the voices of survivors are heard."
Pictured: The Very Rev. Tim Barker said the Second Past Cases Review would have a wider scope than the first.
Mr Barker continued: "At the end of this process, we will be able to say: that all known safeguarding cases across the Channel Islands have been appropriately managed and reported to statutory agencies or the police where appropriate; that the needs of any known victims have been considered and that sources of support have been identified and offered where this is appropriate; and that all identified risks have been assessed and mitigated as far as is reasonably possible.
The Diocese of Salisbury has also appointed an Independent Reviewer, Tracy Hawkings, a former senior police officer, to oversee the Channel Islands Past Cases review.
No matter when an incident took place or whether it has been previously reported, any victims can make direct contact with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, Jem Carter, by emailing email@example.com.
Anyone who does not feel safe or able to speak to the Church directly can call a dedicated telephone helpline - 0800 80 20 20 - which is run independently from the Church by the NSPCC.
Alternative independent support can also be found at SafeSpaces, a dedicated scheme set up to assist those subject to abuse within faith settings. They have recently extended their remit to incorporate the Channel Islands.
Pictured top: St Andrew's Church, the Parish Church of Guernsey's Dean.
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