Methodist Church to review safeguarding
The Methodist Church is to review every safeguarding matter it has dealt with in the last sixty years.
The Past Cases Review will be conducted independently. Methodist Church leaders across the country will receive letters in the coming months asking them for details of all relevant cases dating back to 1950.
Initial findings from a pilot of the scheme indicate that approximately one third of cases arose when people sought help and support from the Church in dealing with incidents that had occurred outside of the Church community.
The Church says it is conducting the review to in order to "learn the lessons of the past".
The review will be overseen by Jane Stacey, former Deputy Chief Executive of Barnardo's, who will work with a small team of independent consultants. They will read all of the responses and make recommendations to the Church.
"As we have become increasingly aware in recent months, the Church shares the challenge of safeguarding with the whole of society," she said.
"Our legal and cultural landscape has changed dramatically over the past fifty years and this review aims to make sure that no situations have been left where children or vulnerable adults remain at risk."
The review gets underway on 14 March and will roll out gradually across the Methodist districts.
A full report will be made to the Methodist Conference in the summer of 2015.
"The Past Cases Review is an excellent opportunity to see what went well, as well as allow the Church to learn from its mistakes," Stacey continued.
"Throughout the Review we will take great care to ensure that we respect confidentiality, offering people support and advice throughout what can be a very difficult process."