The aim of the review is to ensure that all known cases of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults have been dealt with appropriately and that the support needs of survivors have been responded to.
The Diocese of Chichester has already started this process, following two letters from the Bishop of Chichester to all clergy in the diocese in January and February this year. The letters asked parishes to review all their files and search their collective memory to be sure all known instances of concern, past and present, had been reported to the diocesan safeguarding team. Many parishes have already responded, but with the Covid pandemic causing huge interruptions to church life, the diocese will be re-engaging parishes with this review throughout the autumn. Our goal is for every parish in the diocese to have responded by 16th November 2020.
A project manager has been appointed and a Reference Group has been convened to oversee the project. The Reference Group is chaired by the chairman of the diocese's Independent Safeguarding Advisory Panel and includes representation from the police, social services, a survivor support organisation and someone with lived experience of abuse. The group also includes the Bishop of Horsham and the Diocesan Secretary.
Three professional independent reviewers have been appointed (with a fourth joining the team in the autumn) and their work will be to review all the safeguarding case files that we have. They will read through not only all files relating to individuals about whom concerns are known but also all personal files of clergy and other relevant individuals to ensure there is nothing on file which has not been addressed according to best practice, and with survivor care at the forefront.
Anyone who wishes to make representations to the PCR2 process or who has information to share or any disclosure to make regarding church-related abuse is encouraged to do so directly with our safeguarding team by emailing:
We acknowledge however, that some may prefer to contact an organisation independent from the church, so as an alternative there is a dedicated NSPCC telephone helpline - 0800 80 20 20. Please do make contact.