Today the Titus Trust publishes in full the Culture Review by thirtyone:eight (which we commissioned over a year ago, but which has been delayed by the Covid pandemic). The Trust particularly asked the reviewers to consider how we might improve our processes and culture to mitigate any risk of abusive or harmful behaviour occurring in the future as well as to reflect on whether there were cultural elements that delayed past allegations coming to light. The Culture Review may be read here, with an executive summary here.
The trustees are extremely grateful to all those who participated in this important review, for the hard work of the reviewers in conducting it, and for the opportunity the review process has given us to reflect on our culture and practice. We welcome both the considered critiques and constructive challenges in the review as well as the acknowledgement of encouraging signs of healthy culture and positive change.
As a Trust we have been working hard in recent years to review our culture and are grateful for the way the report highlights the positive experiences of so many. However, the report also importantly highlights areas where the experiences of some have been far less positive and we are grieved to learn of these. We apologise to those volunteers who have given their time and energy to serve in the work of the Trust and whose experience has been difficult or painful. We repent of the ways in which we have failed to model the humble servant leadership of the Lord Jesus, and for ways in which this has caused us to be poor witnesses to Him.
The report considers some of the ways in which we have responded to the revelation of the abuse perpetrated by John Smyth. In particular, it highlights ways in which we have been inconsistent in speaking about the organic connections between the camps that we run today and the camps that ran before the Titus Trust came into being. We acknowledge we have given mixed messages about this legacy. We apologise for this and apologise to the victims and survivors of John Smyth’s abuse for ways in which this has compounded their pain.
We are thankful for the partnerships we enjoy with schools, teachers, parents, churches and others. We commit ourselves to carefully considering the report’s recommendations in the coming months and to the implementation of decisions related to camps in time for summer 2022 so as to ensure that every aspect of our culture fosters a welcoming, safe and healthy environment for all. In everything, we long to honour the Lord Jesus.