Rochester Cathedral director of music pleads guilty to abuse

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A statement from The Very Reverend Philip Hesketh, Dean of Rochester Cathedral on the appearance of Scott Farrell in court today (28 May, 2019)

(William) Scott Farrell, former director of music at Rochester Cathedral, has appeared in court today, Tuesday 28 May, in relation to a number of sexual offences:

  • 3 counts of gross indecency
  • 2 counts of voyeurism
  • 1 count of indecent images

Some of those offences were committed in Rochester while he was employed at Rochester Cathedral. He has pleaded guilty to all offences. A sentencing date is expected to be set in due course.

Our thoughts are with all those survivors and victims who will be affected by this news today. We are truly sorry to these victims for what has happened and for what they have experienced. We commend the bravery of those who came forward with these allegations and acknowledge how difficult and distressing this would have been.

Immediately on becoming aware of the original allegation Scott was suspended from his position at the Cathedral. He resigned in November 2018. We have liaised closely with the police and all the statutory authorities throughout the investigation.

The safeguarding of children and all within the cathedral community is our priority and we will continue to work to ensure that all appropriate safeguards are in place.

Survivors and those with information about Church related abuse must always feel free to come forward knowing that they will be listened to in confidence. 

Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of this news they are encouraged to contact, Greg Barry our safeguarding officer (01634 560 000) or Cambridgeshire Police (01233 823 435). Alternatively, please call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 (free to call, open 24 hours a day).

A review will be carried out which will examine the circumstances of these offences and how the church responded as we want to learn to help prevent abuse taking place here or to anyone in our care.

We continue to pray for all those affected by this matter.