Bishop Julie responds to the disbanding of Independent Safeguarding Board

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 22 June, Bishop Julie said the decision by the Archbishops' Council to disband its Independent Safeguarding Board was causing "distress and anger" among some of the survivors and victims of church-related abuse she had spoken to.

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. 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.

New chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel

Alisa Wilson has been announced as the new chair for DSAP, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel. Alisa is an independent safeguarding consultant and chartered manager supporting a national cancer charity in their delivery of safeguarding.

Safe Spaces service hours extended

A service offering victims and survivors of church related abuse a confidential, personal, and safe space to discuss their experiences has increased its operational hours under a newly appointed independent provider, First Light, which took over the service from Monday 9th January.

Bishop Julie thanks churches for participating in Safeguarding Sunday

Bishop Julie thanks the churches that participated in the annual awareness raising campaign that aims to give churches an opportunity to show their communities that they take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously. Next year's event will happen on the 19 November.

Domestic abuse must not be a taboo subject, as reports to churches increase

The Church of England is supporting the international campaign for 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence, as newly released figures show that there has been a 37% increase in reports of domestic abuse to diocesan safeguarding advisers over the past three years.

New team member for Church House Safeguarding Team

Church House welcomes our newest member of staff, Samantha Sudderey, who has joined the Safeguarding Team as an Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

Church responds to final IICSA report

The Church of England has responded to the publication of the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The Church of England was one of the first institutions to call for the Inquiry and a spokesperson for the Church says it is "taking its recommendations very seriously."

National report on Church of England's second past cases review published

The Church of England has published its national Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) report, the purpose of which was to identify both good practice and institutional failings in relation to the handling of allegations of abuse. The Diocese of Chester has also published its Summary Report.

Statement from the Bishop of Birkenhead

The Bishop of Birkenhead and the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Julie Conalty, has issued a statement following the sentencing of Richard Owens, a former choirmaster in the Diocese of Chester who pleaded guilty to non-recent sexual offences.

Churches to continue support for abuse victims following successful pilot

The Church of England will be continuing to provide support for victims of church-based abuse, following a successful two-year pilot of the Safe Spaces service. Since the service began in September 2020, a team of trained support advocates has supported more than 300 victims.

Bishop Julie thanks outgoing DSAP Chair

The Bishop of Birkenhead has thanked the outgoing DSAP Chair, David Hermitt, for his role in "establishing a better safeguarding culture" in the Diocese of Chester. David has resigned from the Chair after being co-opted to serve on General Synod.

PCR2 nearing completion

The safeguarding Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) is nearing completion in the Diocese of Chester. Two Independent Reviewers, both former Senior Police Officers, have been carrying out this task since early 2021.

Volunteers sought to assist training delivery

Volunteers are being sought to assist the diocese in delivering safeguarding training to parishes. The volunteers must be suitably qualified and experienced with a willingness to assist the lead trainers in a co-working capacity. 

New safeguarding team member

During the summer, Sean Augustin joined the safeguarding team at Church House as an Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser helping and supporting our Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSOs).

Marking Safeguarding Sunday

The Bishop of Birkenhead, Julie Conalty, is encouraging churches in the Diocese of Chester to mark Safeguarding Sunday and says: "We need to talk more about safeguarding," and address our "past failures".

Surivivors of abuse welcome Julie Conalty

Survivors of church-related abuse have welcomed the news that Julie Conalty is to be the next Bishop of Birkenhead describing her as “one of very few senior figures who recognise that corruption in the Church needs to be faced.”

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