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Following the publication today of the national Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) report by The Church of England, the Diocese of Blackburn has also published its Executive Summary Report, in common with the other 41 Dioceses. 

The Acting Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Philip North, comments as follows ... 

The Diocese of Blackburn strives to be a place that is safe for all, especially for children and vulnerable adults.

The Past Case Review 2 (PCR2) process is one of a large number of measures The Church of England has taken in recent years to be a safer church.

Nationally, PCR2 has comprised an independent, forensic review of over 75,000 personnel and church files in order to determine whether all known cases of concern about the behaviour of clergy and church officers towards children and vulnerable adults were dealt with appropriately.

This national review of files was reflected locally in the Diocese of Blackburn where over 1000 files have been reviewed, and I remain appreciative that it was taken extremely seriously by parishes with 100% engaging openly and with a desire to make their local church a safer place.

Our Executive Summary Report is released today and is available (with related links, including to the national report) here on our diocesan website

Underpinning the whole process in the Diocese of Blackburn was the voice of survivors and victims of abuse. Their advice and guidance has been critical and a constant reminder of the importance of robust and transparent safeguarding procedures.

Without maintaining a focus on survivors and victims of abuse this process would not have been as effective in determining outcomes and next steps and I am extremely grateful that they were willing to lead us in this way.

The Christian faith is all about a God who, in Jesus, enters into the danger of the human condition in order to invite us into a place of eternal safety. The Church should therefore be a place that anticipates the safety of that Kingdom through the quality of its relationships and through its care for the vulnerable, the marginalised and the broken.

The Church’s failures in the past in this area have been a tragedy. Along with my fellow Bishops, I apologise sincerely and wholeheartedly for the pain that has been caused to so many individuals by such failures, pain which in many cases has ruined lives.

PCR2 is one of a huge range of measures intended to ensure we do better in the future. I believe that this review and the report which has come from it will make the Diocese of Blackburn a safer place to be.

I am grateful for all the recommendations which we have in the executive summary and am determined to ensure that we embed, and continually evaluate best practice in safeguarding, because without it we would not be able to achieve our Diocesan vision of healthy churches, transforming communities.





Ronnie Semley, October 2022