On 2 November 2023, the Church of England has issued the Press Release Christ Church Review Group announced, extracts of which are reproduced below. The Review Group will oversee an independent review process of the handling of alleged safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, but will not be concerned with the wider issues between the former Dean and the College.
Christ Church Review Group announced
A Review Group has been appointed to oversee an independent review process of the handling of alleged safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Martyn Percy.
The Review will look at the handling of these safeguarding issues, and relevant reports and investigations including those commissioned by National Safeguarding Team and the Diocese of Oxford as well as material from Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) proceedings. It will not be concerned with the wider issues between the former Dean and the College.
The Review Group, details below, will consider that evidence with a view to appointing and instructing an independent reviewer with relevant expertise and experience.
The Review, commissioned by the Archbishops’ Council and diocese of Oxford was originally referred to the former Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, with Terms of Reference announced in May 2022. Later that year the ISB announced it was pausing work on the review due to finite resources and workload.
This is the first Safeguarding Practice Review, formerly known as a learning lesson review, set up under the new Safeguarding Code of Practice approved at General Synod in July. Its aim is to improve safeguarding practice.
Review Group membership:
Sir Mark Hedley (Chair) – Mark has practised Law for 50 years as Barrister, Circuit Judge and High Court Judge and now teacher. He has been both a Diocesan Chancellor and Deputy President of Clergy Discipline Tribunals
Philip Johnson – Phil is a survivor of Church-related sexual abuse and was a key survivor witness at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA Anglican Church hearings. He is a member of the survivor working group for the Church’s national redress scheme.
Sarah McKimm – Sarah is a qualified solicitor, with particular expertise in the law of education, governance, and safeguarding. She is the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel for the Diocese of London.
Sir Roger Singleton – Roger was formerly chief executive of Barnardo’s and a Government adviser on safeguarding, He was author of the scrutiny report into the Church’s original Past Cases Review and was the interim Director of Safeguarding for the Church pending a permanent appointment.
The Very Reverend Nicola Sullivan – Nicola is Dean of Southwell, having formerly been the Archdeacon of Wells. She became the Lead Dean for Safeguarding in 2022 and serves on the National Safeguarding Steering Group, the IICSA Recommendations Programme Board and is also an elected member of the General Synod.
Danny Johnson (administration only)
The Terms of Reference are currently being finalised with all parties involved and will be published later this month. The final report from the independent reviewer is expected to be completed and published next summer (2024).