Diocese of Carlisle

Past Cases Review 2

We want to ensure that our churches and church related activities are as safe as possible for everybody and that we have the best possible safeguarding policies and practices. 

The fact that abuse has ever happened within any diocese is a matter of deep shame, so, in order to be certain that we are fulfilling our duty of care, it is important for us to know 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.

To help us do this, we are currently undertaking a comprehensive safeguarding review, called, Past Cases Review 2. Despite the challenges of 2020 and Spring 2021, our two independent reviewers have been able to read the available records in the diocese and to speak to survivors. They expect to be able to report before the national deadline at the end of 2021.

What is involved?

Every parish together with our Cathedral, the diocesan office at Church House and Bishop James’ staff at Bishop’s House is expected and required to take part in this process.

All Incumbents have been asked by Bishop James during January to check that:

  • All known instances of concern about the behaviour of living clergy and church officers within their parish(es), both current and non-recent, have been notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), and,
  • Any which have not, are reported immediately.

If a parish does not have an incumbent this responsibility lies with the churchwardens and the Rural Dean.

Information is not being requested on worshippers. A copy of the Bishop’s letter is here.

This information has to be returned to the Bishop's office by 23 March 2020.

If you are leading the review in your parish, and are unsure about the type of information you are collating or how to record any information you may have about a safeguarding concern, please contact the DSA. 

Any new information coming forward has been considered by our independent reviewers.

Reporting Structures

If you want to report or discuss abuse that you or you believe others have suffered please do not hesitate to contact our Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Joanna Van Lachterop – her contact details are on our Safeguarding front page.

We recognise however that if you have a lived experience of abuse involving a clergy person or church officer, you might want to talk initially to someone not connected to our diocese. In that case you can contact the independent helpline set up by the Church of England and run by the NSPCC:

Past Cases Review 2 NSPCC helpline for Children and Adults: 0800 20 20 20.

We have also put together a Survivor Strategy outlining how we should hope to support survivors who come forward during and after the Past Cases Review. 

Click here for the Survivor Strategy.

Links and Resources