Timetable for next week’s public hearing
From 5-23 March, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will conduct its first public hearing into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church. The Week 1 timetable for in the Diocese of Chichester case study has now been published and hearings will commence at 10:30 am at the Inquiry hearing centre, 18 Pocock Street, London, SE1 0BW. They will be live streamed (subject to a short delay) via the IICSA website; there will also be regular updates on the Church of England’s twitter feed.
The earlier preliminary hearing on 30 January 2018 is covered here. Background information from the IICSA is reproduced below; the Church has also provided background Q&A for parishes which includes a link to the document Church of England Safeguarding Overview.
Background information from IICSA
Child Sexual Abuse in the Anglican Church
The Inquiry welcomed the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Inquiry to investigate, as a matter of priority, the sexual abuse of children within the Church. Allegations of child sexual abuse within the Church of England, the Church in Wales, and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales (‘the Anglican Church’) are matters of ongoing public concern.
This investigation will assess the appropriateness of safeguarding and child protection policies and practices in the Anglican Church. It will consider the adequacy of the Past Cases Review of the Church of England and the Historic Cases Review of the Church in Wales. As a case study, we will consider the experience of the Diocese of Chichester, where there have been multiple allegations of sexual abuse, and numerous investigations and reviews. We will also consider the case of Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Lewes and subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, and investigate whether there were inappropriate attempts by people of prominence to interfere in the criminal justice process after he was first accused of child sexual offences.”