The following statement has been issued by the Rt Rev Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who is the Church of England’s lead bishop on safeguarding.
Statement at end of IICSA Child Migration public hearing
Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock, the Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, said:
“IICSA’s hearings into Child migration programmes, which have now drawn to a close, have provided a further detailed account of how unaccompanied children sent abroad, supposedly for a better life, often suffered appalling hurt and abuse. We echo Professor Jay’s tributes to former child migrants, to their courage in coming forward and sharing their stories.
The Church of England was one of many institutions, through its Advisory Council for Empire Settlement, involved in child migration in the last century.
Today we offer an unreserved apology to former child migrants and their families. We are truly sorry for any hurt and abuse suffered by any child who was sent abroad by the Church of England, as part of these programmes.
We will always listen in confidence to anyone who comes forward to share their story and are continuing to fully co-operate with the Inquiry’s investigation..
If you are affected by child migration and want to talk to someone in the Church, please email the National Safeguarding Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will promptly contact you.”