The two Independent Reviewers commissioned to conduct the Past Cases Review 2 on behalf of the Diocese of Chester are nearing the completion of their task.
To date, they have reviewed over 1000 files and all recommendations for action are being followed up in line with national PCR2 practice guidance.
It is anticipated the diocesan review will be completed by February 2022.
A national report from the Church of England will be published in the first half of 2022 containing overall data, themes, and recommendations from around the country.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Pauline Butterfield, has expressed her thanks to parishes for their time and commitment to the project. She says: “Every single parish and many people across the diocese have contributed their time and energy to this important safeguarding review. I want to thank everyone for the diligent way in which they worked with the Independent Reviewers to complete this significant undertaking.”
PCR2 timeline in the Diocese of Chester
In 2007, the Church of England commissions a Past Case Review (PCR) which seeks to look at the Church's handling of safeguarding cases over many years.
A 2018 report into the original PCR reveals shortcomings both in the process and the final outcome. As a result, the Church of England announces that all dioceses must complete a second review.
The Past Case Review 2 (PCR2) launches as part of the Church's ongoing scrutiny of its handling of past and current safeguarding cases.
All parishes and church settings are invited to respond. Chester Cathedral also participates in the diocesan review.
On 27 January 2020, the former Bishop of Birkenhead, Bishop Keith Sinclair, writes to all Incumbents. In his letter, he explains in more detail why the review is taking place and what parishes are required to do. He says: "Please know that I am really grateful for your understanding and cooperation in undertaking this essential work which is helping to ensure that our churches are a safer place for everyone."
Communication resources are made available to parishes to help them communicate to their parishioners and communities the scope of PCR2 and the undertaking expected of them and a comprehensive list of FAQs is published to help assist parishes with the work.
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, two Independent Reviewers look at all safeguarding files and files relating to church officers, both lay and ordained, past and present. All parishes and church settings, including Chester Cathedral, respond to the Independent Reviewer's request for information.
The Independent Reviewers submit their key themes and trends to the National PCR2 Project Management Board.
A national report will be published by the Church of England in the first half of 2022. It will contain overall data, themes, and recommendations.