The Bishop of Birkenhead is urging anyone with information regarding church-related abuse to report it.
The request comes as an independent review of safeguarding files gets underway in the Diocese of Chester, following Church of England guidance.
Past Case Review 2 (PCR2), as it’s known nationally, is part of the Church of England’s ongoing scrutiny of its handling of past and current safeguarding cases.
PCR2 is being carried out by a professional external independent safeguarding consultant in each of the 42 dioceses of the Church of England.
Bishop Keith Sinclair is the lead for safeguarding in the Diocese of Chester. He says: “The Diocese of Chester is committed to the safeguarding of all and as the lead for safeguarding I take that responsibility very seriously.
“This past case review is an important opportunity to put the voices of victims and survivors first. I would encourage anyone who has information to report regarding church-related abuse, to make direct contact with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Pauline Butterfield, on 07703 800031 or email her at Pauline.email@example.com
“However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church, a dedicated telephone helpline - 0800 80 20 20 - operated independently from the Church, by the NSPCC, has also been set up.”
Bishop Keith wrote to all parishes in the Diocese of Chester on the 31st January to inform them pf PCR2 and the task required of them. All parishes should review their archives, including all formal and informal records they hold dating back to 1940, and report to the Independent Reviewer of PCR2 any information or incidents of concern regarding the behaviour of people within the parish, both lay and ordained, past and present.
Any relevant information reported by the parishes will be reviewed by the Independent Reviewer and appropriate action will be taken, referring to the statutory agencies where required.
The Diocese of Chester expects to complete its review by the end of 2020 with a final report submitted to the Church of England national safeguarding office due in 2021.
Bishop Keith spoke with BBC Merseyside on Sunday 23 February. You can listen to the interview here up until the 25 March. The interview begins at 08:07 am.