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Church of England facing thousands of sex abuse allegations

Thu 08 Feb 2018
By Eno Adeogun

The Church of England is dealing with more than 3,000 complaints of sexual abuse, which could lead to millions of pounds being spent in compensation.

Figures from 2016 revealed that the Church faced 3,300 "concerns or allegations", vastly relating to "children, young people and vulnerable adults within church communities".

It is not known how many involved active claims against the church for compensation.

 

Rt Rev Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who is the Church's lead bishop on safeguarding issues, revealed the figures responding to a written question from Kat Alldread, a lay member of the Church's governing body.

The Times reports details of the abuse complaints will be given to the General Synod, which began its three-day meeting in London on Thursday.

They include the case of former bishop Peter Ball, who was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for historical sex abuse crimes against boys over three decades.

The church commissioned Lord Carlile of Berriew to conduct an independent investigation into the Church's handling of abuse allegations made against former bishop George Bell, who was also accused of abusing a child.

The report criticised the Church for "rushing to judgment" by paying out compensation of almost £17,000 to his alleged victim.

Revealing that the review cost the Church more than £38,000, Bishop Peter said that bishops would look at ways to "strengthen independent oversight" of the Church's safeguarding practices.

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