Bishop of Chichester backs move on child protection

THE Bishop of Chichester has given his support to an enquiry set up to look at child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester.

The enquiry was announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who has appointed Bishop John Gladwin and chancellor Rupert Bursell QC to carry it out.

The Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend John Hind said: “Our diocesan staff have been in constant touch with Lambeth Palace over the last year and this is now the outcome of those discussions.

“We welcome this visitation as an opportunity to resolve a number of issues in the implementation of best safeguarding practice in the diocese and more widely, and should also contribute to the response of the church to the pain victims have experienced as a result of abuse.

“We trust that it will add to the progress the diocese has already made and will help to continue to establish robust safeguarding practices.

“I expect full cooperation with the archbishop’s commissaries. I hope that after my retirement at the end of April 2012, the diocese will have firm foundations on which the new bishop will be able to build in leading the diocese in the future.”

Bishop Gladwin and Mr Bursell will advise the archbishop on any steps that need to be taken to ensure the highest possible standards of safeguarding in the diocese.

This will involve examining current child protection arrangements as well as making recommendations for the future. They will make a preliminary report to the archbishop by the end of February 2012.

This follows a report published last May into the cases of Roy Cotton and Colin Pritchard, who abused children in the 1970s and 1980s in Bexhill and Eastbourne.