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Church reveals 7,000 documents to abuse inquiry

Wed 27 Jul 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The Church of England has sent more than 7,000 documents to the UK's independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

At a preliminary hearing in London the chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, was told all of the documents were relevant to her investigation.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is looking into whether the Church and public bodies have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.

A separate inquiry is being held in Scotland.

Giving an update on the progress Ben Emmerson QC said "wide-ranging requests" had been made to the Archbishop's Council for documents.

The information requested was about the prevalence of abuse within the Church, how the Church responded to allegations and details about whether the culture within the Church prohibited survivors from coming forward.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

 

Church officials were also asked to provide details about how it learned from the mismanagement of accusations of abuse.

In a statement the Church of England's National Safeguarding Adviser, Graham Tilby said: "We welcome today's update on the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales and the acknowledgment from the Inquiry that the material already submitted is relevant and useful.

"We note that the Inquiry has received a substantial amount of material from us and other core participants and the analysis of this is now underway as is the process of identifying possible witnesses."

The Church in Wales was also represented at the inquiry. A lawyer for the Church said it was "determined to give every assistance" to the inquiry.

He was forced to clarify confusion by some inquiry members who did not recognise the differences between the Church in Wales and the Church of England.

The Church in Wales was disestablished at the start of the century, he stressed.

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