The sentencing of Terry Atkinson recognises the appalling crimes he committed while in positions of responsibility and trust. We understand that this trial will have brought back disturbing memories for the victims of his crimes, their families and those who witnessed the abuse of their friends.  

On behalf of the Diocese of Lincoln I am truly sorry that these matters have only now been brought to justice. It is deeply shameful that those who were abused have had to spend most of their lifetime dealing with the aftermath of the abuse perpetrated against them. Tragically, for some, justice came too late. The victims and survivors of Atkinson’s horrendous crimes, and the families of those who died before justice could be served, have shown enormous courage. I wish to acknowledge their bravery in speaking out as their extraordinary resilience has enabled Atkinson to be brought to justice and it is thanks to them that he now must account for his actions. 

The Diocese of Lincoln will continue to support the survivors, victims and their families in any way we can. We promise to listen and help guide anyone affected by the harm caused in this case and assist and offer guidance to those seeking justice in whatever form they choose.  

I understand that survivors may not wish to meet me in person to receive my heartfelt and unreserved apology on behalf of the Church. However, I am available for such meetings and I am ready to write individually to any survivor or survivor family as requested 

The allegations against Atkinson were discovered and immediately acted upon during an extensive church file review. The Diocese of Lincoln continues to work collaboratively with statutory agencies ensuring that safeguarding continues to be a priority and central to all areas of our work. 

We are resolute in our determination to make our church communities and institutions safer places. 

If you have been affected by this or any other case, support is available. The Diocese is listening and taking action. 

For disclosures, reporting a concern, guidance and support please email [email protected] or call the centralised Safeguarding Support number 01522 504070.
For other information and resources (including the out-of-hours contact details), please visit