The Church of England has completed a review of more than 75,000 files, some dating back to the 1940s, with the publication today of its national Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) report.
The purpose of PCR2 was to identify both good practice and institutional failings in relation to how allegations of abuse have been handled, assess any identified risks and respond to these where appropriate, and to provide recommendations to the Church that will lead to improvements in its safeguarding work.
PCR2, believed to be the most extensive file review undertaken by the Church, was commissioned after an independent scrutiny team concluded that the original Past Cases Review (PCR) in 2007 was not a thorough process with particular criticism of lack of survivor engagement. PCR2 was carried out by independent reviewers across all 42 dioceses, as well as Lambeth and Bishopthorpe Palaces and the National Safeguarding Team (NST).
PCR2 in the Diocese of Coventry
The Diocese has also published its Executive Summary of the Past Cases Review in the Diocese of Coventry.
The Bishop of Coventry said:
"The second Past Care Review (PCR2) began in November 2019 when I instructed all 208 parishes in
our Diocese to check their church records. In particular, I asked each parish to confirm that all known
instances of concern about church officers had been reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
The review of records that fell within the scope of PCR2 resulted in the Diocesan Safeguarding Team
identifying eight cases that were not known to the team.
- None of these cases required a referral to the Diocesan Safeguarding Scrutiny Group or a referral to the police.
- All eight cases were added to the Known Case List and the Independent Reviewers were satisfied with the actions completed.
- None of these cases related to Clergy (past or present).
Next, two Independent Reviewers began the task of reviewing safeguarding case files, and personnel
files for clergy, readers and diocesan staff. In total, they reviewed 971 diocesan files over a period of
about twelve months.
While undertaking their review, the Independent Reviewers gave consideration to the finding of the
original Past Cases Review (PCR1) in the Diocese of Coventry, conducted by the Social Care Institute
Further information about the scope of PCR2 can be found on our diocesan website.
I thank the Independent Reviewers for their diligent work. Their recommendations are included in this
executive summary, and we are committed to implementing them in full.
I am also grateful to everyone who took part in PCR2. I particularly want to thank victims and survivors
for their invaluable contributions, and I apologise to any victims or survivors of abuse by church officers.
Our churches must be safe and welcoming places for all. That is an imperative of the Christian gospel.
Although the Independent Reviewers found that significant progress has been made in recent years, we
must always work to improve the safeguarding culture and practices within our Diocese."