Not all unfinished safeguarding business in the Church of England relates to the fiasco surrounding the ISB.
Another major item yet to be reported on is the abuse perpetrated by John Smyth, which has been known about since the 1980s. The formal investigation only got underway in 2019. The Church Times has just published a very detailed and thorough history of the delays in completing this review, which still appears to be many months away from publication. The management of this review lies in the hands of the National Safeguarding Team.
Madeleine Davies writes: Smyth survivors still waiting, five years after being promised church review
IT IS five years this week since the “lessons-learned” review of the abuse perpetrated by John Smyth was promised, and ten years since the Archbishop of Canterbury was formally told about the abuse…
As she reports, Andrew Graystone says:
“The Church decided that the task of reviewing a case lasting over 40 years with more than a hundred victims could be handled by one part-time reviewer contracted for just two days a week, with a part-time assistant. The Church either didn’t recognise the scale of the review it was launching, or simply didn’t care.”
The lack of an independent accountability body to monitor the progress and scope of the review, and to ask Mr Makin “awkward questions”, was also a problem, he said. Conducting reviews was a “lucrative process”, he said, pointing to a leak by the NST in 2019 which revealed that Mr Makin’s rate was £650 per day.
Update on Mr X
Another item where action by the NST remains outstanding is reported today in the Sunday Times by Katie Gatens: I was abused as a choirboy. Decades later the Church of England betrayed me again. (behind a paywall, but see this comment on Twitter)
This is the same “Mr X” case on which the now defunct ISB produced a report, back in May: ISB reports on how Church failed in responding to an abuse survivor.