Church of England extends John Smyth review

The late John Smyth.Channel 4 News

The Church of England is giving more time to gathering information relating to abuse by the late John Smyth.

Reviewers had been due to produce a draft report on their findings by the end of April. It has now been announced that the Church of England is allowing more time for the review as people continue to come forward with information. 

In a statement, the Church said that "some completely new people" had come forward to make representations, including victims and people who knew Smyth over the years. 

"There was an evidence deadline of September 2021, however it was considered important that these voices were heard to obtain a fuller picture as possible," the Church said. 

The reviewers are taking a phased approach that means producing successive drafts presenting material in a chronological way, rather than submitting a full report to the National Safeguarding Team (NST) in one go. 

"This phased approach is considered more effective and helpful for all those involved, particularly survivors and victims," the Church said. 

It expects a draft covering the first phase of the review to be presented to the NST within a month.

"The Church (as stated by the Archbishop of Canterbury) is committed to full and unredacted publication of the report. The representations process, for all involved is expected to be complex, with the eventual date of publication being determined by this," it said. 

"There will be further updates when more precise timings are known. Both the reviewers and the Church recognise that this review has the potential to be re-traumatising for victims and survivors and support continues to be offered, please contact in the first instance."