On 5 December 2019, Thirtyone:eight announced that it had been commissioned by Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon to undertake an independent lessons learnt review concerning Jonathan Fletcher and Emmanuel Church. The Press Notice is reproduced below.
Lessons learnt review concerning Jonathan Fletcher and Emmanuel Church Wimbledon
04 December 2019, Thirtyoneeight
Thirtyone:eight has been commissioned by Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon to undertake an independent lessons learnt review concerning Jonathan Fletcher and Emmanuel Church to start immediately. The review will take place over the next six months, with a report of the findings to be published by May 2020.
Focusing on the activities of Jonathan Fletcher while he was minister of Emmanuel, we have been commissioned to undertake a robust and comprehensive exploration of both good practice and failings in culture and safeguarding practice at Emmanuel Church Wimbledon from 1982 to the present. The review will enable the voices of those impacted by the behaviour of Jonathan Fletcher to be expressed, heard and considered alongside other contextual information and concerns from other relevant sources. The draft scope for the review can be viewed here.
The review process will be entirely independent, and measures are being put in place to achieve this, including the establishment of an Independent Advisory Group. The group will consist of up to six individuals, with a representation of victims/survivors. Thirtyone:eight invite any individuals interested in participating in the Independent Advisory Group to express their interest by 20th December. Further details are available here.
The names of Independent Advisory Group participants will be kept confidential and will not be known by Emmanuel Church Wimbledon until the publication of the report. The group will oversee the work of the review and will be chaired by Justin Humphreys (Chief Executive (Safeguarding) at thirtyone:eight). The review itself will be led by Dr Lisa Oakley. Once the Independent Advisory Group is formed, it’s first task will be to review, shape and finalise the detailed scope with the review team, ensuring that all legitimate perspectives and appropriate lines of enquiry have been considered. The Independent Advisory Group will then meet at agreed intervals throughout the process of the review, with the overall purpose of guiding its work, acting as a point of reference and scrutiny, and ensuring complete independence.
Once the scope has been finalised, the fieldwork for the review will commence. A proposed timeframe for the different stages of the review can be found here.
In the meantime anyone, including victims/survivors, who wishes to participate in the review or who wishes to pass on information to thirtyone:eight can do so confidentially by using the contact us link which can be found here or by emailing JFsafeguardingreview@thirtyoneeight.org. Thirtyone:eight and Emmanuel Church Wimbledon take data privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Identities of confirmed participants will be known only by the reviewers and the Independent Advisory Group. No victim/survivor identifiable details will be passed between Emmanuel Church and thirtyone:eight without prior consent from those individuals.
Thirtyone:eight continue to operate an independent helpline for victims/survivors of abuse. If you have been affected by matters related to Jonathan Fletcher and you would like to speak to someone independent about this you can contact the thirtyone:eight helpline on 0303 003 1111. Please quote ‘2019’ to identify that your call relates to Jonathan Fletcher. Information you share with the helpline will not be shared with others, including the independent review team, unless you consent to that or action needs to be taken to protect you or others (in adherence to standard safeguarding practice and protocol).
In August this year, the Church of England announced that its National Safeguarding Team had commissioned Keith Makin to undertake a review into the Church’s handling of allegations relating to the conduct of the late John Smyth QC. At the time, the Titus Trust issued a statement that indicating that it was ‘”… very happy to be involved in a review and seek to be as transparent and supportive as we can be’ but that ‘we remain restricted by on-going legal action.’ We look forward to being able to participate in the review process to an even greater extent once the legal proceedings relating to the case are over.” The Trust had previously issued a statement relating to Jonathan Fletcher which said:
“On Thursday 27th June an announcement was made at the Evangelical Ministry Assembly concerning allegations about Jonathan Fletcher that were first made in 2017. The allegations were investigated by the Diocese of Southwark, which subsequently withdrew Jonathan’s Permission to Officiate (PTO) on the grounds that there was a risk of him behaving in a potentially harmful manner towards vulnerable adults who may be seeking his spiritual guidance. Jonathan did serve as a volunteer leader on one branch of the holidays run by the Titus Trust until 2017 and when we heard about the allegations we suspended him immediately from this role.”