Emmanuel Wimbledon responds to press reports of abuse allegations against its former minister


Response to the Telegraph article, 22/6/19

In early 2017, the current vicar and the safeguarding officer became aware from two separate sources that unnamed individuals had made allegations about the Revd Jonathan Fletcher, who was the vicar of Emmanuel from 1982 until his retirement in 2012. An immediate safeguarding report was made to the diocese. We understand from the diocese that the information was passed to Hampshire Police on 3 February 2017, who concluded that no police action would be taken.

The Bishop of Southwark decided that Jonathan Fletcher could no longer hold Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Southwark. We do not understand this to have been based on any criminal concerns.

Since late September 2018, Emmanuel Church Wimbledon has received further disclosures regarding Jonathan Fletcher which have all been reported to the diocese. We understand that the diocese has reported all disclosures to the Police, who have concluded that no Police investigation is required.

We are appalled and saddened by what has been disclosed. We apologise to all those who have been affected. We are offering them independent pastoral and counselling support, and we have been actively taking steps to identify others in need of such support. We are committed to taking further steps to do so, and to support anyone who comes forward.

Whenever we have become aware of Jonathan Fletcher seeking to minister, and although it is not our formal responsibility to do so, we have taken such steps as we can to stop him.

Emmanuel Church Wimbledon takes safeguarding very seriously and has the necessary policies and procedures in place. This includes reporting information and concerns to the appropriate authorities in line with current Church of England policy.