Today the Church of England issued the following Press Release which outlines the remaining stages of the independent review prior to its publication.
Timing of publication of independent review of the processes used in the Bishop George Bell case
A spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team said: “We received the draft of Lord Carlile’s report in October and now, according to the Terms of Reference of the review, are at the stage of responding with feedback from those who contributed. This is quite an intensive process and includes issues over factual accuracy and identification of ‘Carol’. As the review website notes, the final version of the report will then be presented to the National Safeguarding Steering Group before publication. This is the process with all independent reviews, there is a period of a few months between receiving the first draft and final publication.”
The Press Release of 22 November 2016 naming Lord Carlile as independent reviewer, above, gives a summary of the investigation, its terms of reference, and links to two previous statements: October 2015: Statement on George Bell; and June 2016: Announcement of independent review. An overview of safeguarding in the Church of England is available here.
Concern has been raised since the timing of the publication of the Review is later than that indicated in the Carlile Review web site Q&A pages. However, a tweet by the Church of England at 2:05pm today stated: “The independent review into the George Bell case will be published once the processes, standard in all reviews, are completed. Nobody is delaying it”.