The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has supported the response of the Bishop of Winchester to (8 March) publication of an independent report into a safeguarding complaint in Jersey from 2008.
The report raises concerns that the Dean of Jersey did not comply with key safeguarding procedures in dealing with the complaints of a vulnerable adult parishioner, who had made a complaint about abusive behaviour by a Churchwarden.
Following the publication of the report, the Bishop of Winchester announced he was withdrawing the commission of the Dean of Jersey, effectively suspending him, and he has begun an investigation into the conduct of the case by the Dean and other matters raised by the report.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said:
"The Bishop of Winchester's swift, decisive and wholly necessary actions following his receipt of this report are to be commended. I too wish to add my own personal apologies to the young woman who was so badly let down by those she had turned to for help and I wholeheartedly support the investigation that the Bishop has launched. He must receive full cooperation from all involved.
"We cannot place a high enough importance on safeguarding issues and it is vital that lessons are learned from this case, not just in Jersey but throughout the whole of the Church of England. Every day, the vulnerable come to us for shelter, for support and for comfort. Their trust cannot be taken for granted."
For further information about the report, contact:
The Diocese of Winchester – Luther Pendragon 020 7618 9197
Notes to editors
The Diocese of Winchester’s announcement regarding the publication of the independent report and the withdrawal of the commission of the Dean of Jersey can be found here:
http://www.cofewinchester.org.uk/news/story/825/ (includes link to the Independent Report)