Statement from the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Advisor on Bash Camp abuse

Statement from Graham Tilby, the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Adviser, following reports on Channel 4 news: 

“The violent abuse of young men between 1978-82, as outlined in the Channel 4 programme, should never have happened and we utterly condemn this behaviour and abuse of power and trust.  The report into these horrific activities, drawn up by those linked with the Iwerne Trust, a non-denominational Christian charity, should have been forwarded to the police at the time.  When the Church of England was alerted by a survivor, through the diocese of Ely in 2013, the police were immediately informed as was the Anglican Church in South Africa where Mr Smyth was then living.  The national safeguarding officer, which was a part time post, was informed and helped find support for the survivors.  Clearly more could have been done at the time to look further into the case. We now have a dedicated central team made up of six full time posts – we will be reviewing all files making further enquiries as necessary.  We echo the Archbishop’s unreserved and unequivocal apology to all the survivors and are committed to listen to anyone who comes forward and we would urge anyone with any further information to report it to the police “

1 Feb 2017

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