News and events Stories Past Cases Review 2 In 2007, the Church of England commissioned the 'Past Cases Review' of the handling by the church of child protection cases over many years. In 2018 the report of an independent scrutiny team recommended that further review work was undertaken to update the previous work and ensure that the shortfalls identified in the well intentioned 2007 process were addressed. The full report can be viewed here. The House of Bishops on the recommendation of the National Safeguarding Team and of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers across the country, agreed a protocol for the current review that ensured an exploration of all or any allegations of abuse made against church officers. This current review asks that all allegations relating to the abuse of adults, child abuse or domestic abuse are reviewed by independent safeguarding professionals. The House of Bishops wants to ensure that all known cases of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been considered and dealt with appropriately. More information about PCR2 can be found on the Church of England website here. The House of Bishops wants to ensure that our churches and church-related activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults. In the Diocese of Lincoln, Clergy and Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSOs) are being asked to check their records for all known incidents of concern about the behaviour of church officers within their parishes (both non-recent and current). Incumbents and priests-in-charge in the Diocese of Lincoln were sent a letter from the Acting Bishop and the Submission form on 31st January 2020, these may additionally be downloaded below: Letter from the Acting Bishop of Lincoln (PDF) Submission Form (Word) The same information has been sent to PSOs of parishes, so that in the event of Interregna the PSOs and Rural Deans will be able to work together to ascertain the information. Two other documents may be of help: Information leaflet for parishes (PDF) Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) In his letter, Bishop David says: “We ask you [PSOs and Incumbents] therefore to check your records, parish files and if necessary make discrete enquiries (including perhaps the previous incumbent) about any persons who have or have had a role in the Church which brings them into contact with children or adults at risk of abuse.” Parishes have been asked by the Bishop to respond by the end of March 2020. If you would like to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church-related abuse, please contact: The Diocese of Lincoln’s Independent Safeguarding Advocate, Gemma Marks-Good, on 01522 504079 or [email protected] You can also contact Victim Lincs if you prefer support from a secular organisation: 01522 947510 or [email protected] A specialist national helpline (Tel 0800 80 20 20) has been set up to operate independently of the church. The Helpline is operated by the NSPCC but anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice. The Church wants to ensure a trauma informed approach is taken by PCR2. Listening to survivor voices has helped to shape how this review will be conducted. Further sources of information and support can be found here.