Details of national Redress Scheme published

Proposed details of the Church of England’s national Redress Scheme for survivors of Church-related abuse have been published today. The purpose of the Redress Scheme is to demonstrate in tangible and practical ways that the Church is truly sorry for its past failings relating to safeguarding.

There will be a presentation and debate at the Church’s General Synod next month and it is hoped legislation will progress through Synod in forthcoming sessions after which it will need parliamentary approval.

Following the Church’s IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) hearings, General Synod committed in February 2020 to a more victim and survivor-centred approach. This included making arrangements to provide redress, which was recommended in IICSA’s final report for the Church of England and Church in Wales, published in October 2020. The final overall IICSA report in 2022 for all its investigation strands recommended a national redress scheme. The Church remains committed to implementing a scheme specifically for people who have experienced abuse in the Church of England.

The Church’s national proposals for redress are about more than money; financial payments will be offered alongside therapeutic, spiritual, and emotional support, acknowledgment of wrongdoing on the part of the Church, and apology and support for rebuilding lives. Where possible apology will be from the institution where the abuse took place (or from a part of the Church appropriate to the survivor’s needs) in a format which is most appropriate to the survivor. A working group made up of victims and survivors has laid out principles for this and is developing proposals for non-financial redress, following the wider consultation with other survivors. 

All survivors of sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional abuse (including spiritual abuse) relating to the Church will be eligible to apply for redress.

The initial details of the scheme, have been developed under the direction of the Redress Project Board, chaired by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen; a victim and survivor working group has been set up and operates at the heart of the process of developing the scheme and two members sit on the Board. Along with the working group, there continues to be extensive engagement and consultation with key stakeholder groups across the Church including a Finance Focus Group made up of diocesan secretaries and other professionals.

The Project Board has agreed that, to be as meaningful as possible, at least some responsibility for offering redress should be taken as close as possible to where the abuse was perpetrated, or harm was done. The overall objectives of such a whole Church approach are:

  • Together, as one body, the Church of England must collectively show contrition for its failings, and for the pain and suffering that has occurred.
  • Nationally, the Church of England will set up a single point of access to the Scheme, to offer a consistent service and to minimise as far as practicable further delay and trauma for victims and survivors.
  • To the extent possible, the Church body which is nearest in governance terms to the source/perpetrator of the abuse should make a contribution to redress.

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, said: “As chair of the Redress Board I have heard firsthand of the experiences of those who have suffered Church-based abuse and how deeply it has affected their lives. While redress may go some way to righting wrongs, for survivors the effects of the abuse will be with them all their life: that we must acknowledge, with the deepest regret. The Board is deeply committed to developing a robust scheme that is fit for purpose in as timely a manner as possible. Whilst the time required for this was underestimated at the start, we are making significant progress, especially given the Scheme’s significant complexity, and for the sake of all survivors and victims, it is vital that we get this right.”



Safeguarding support

The Diocese of Chester takes its safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. Any individual who wishes to come forward with information or to make a disclosure is encouraged to make direct contact with the diocesan Safeguarding Team. Further details can be found on the Safeguarding pages of the diocesan website. 

Page last updated: Wednesday 21st June 2023 12:58 PM
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