Thinking Anglicans

Update – John Smyth review

Press release from the Church of England

Update – John Smyth review
14/05/2024

Update from independent reviewer Keith Makin

I am aware of the ongoing impact that the delays in the publication of my report is having on all those affected by this review, particularly the victims and survivors. I would like to underline my apology and outline next steps which I hope will provide some reassurance. The review has now reached the stage where those individuals and organisations named and criticised in the report are to be sent the relevant extracts to permit them an opportunity to respond to the criticism.

This stage is starting later than planned and later than we outlined in our statement at the start of the year. This was because there was a substantial change to a contribution to the review, at the final stages of completion. The consequence of this was the need to review and edit those parts of the review which drew upon this contribution.

Once this next stage is complete the final report will be handed to the Archbishops’ Council for publication. This will be done as soon as practically possible, but we cannot give definitive dates until this stage of the process is completed.

Support

Both the reviewers and the Church recognise that giving information to this review has the potential to be re-traumatising for victims and survivors. While support has previously been offered the NST has now secured the service of a specialist advocacy service. FearFree Support provides specialist support to victims and survivors of abuse, offering trauma informed and victim led bespoke support. Its director of services has identified an experienced independent advocate for victims and survivors – Nina Tanner – to deliver this service and this information has been relayed to the survivors and victims.
Contact: Nina.Tanner@fearfree.org.uk/ 07825 741751

There is an additional offer of therapeutic support for victims and survivors @ Homepage – Yellow Door

Yellow Door is an organisation that can offer evidence-based therapy to support victims and survivors of abuse and those that have experienced trauma.

Contact Yellow Door confidentially at reviewsupport@yellowdoor.org.uk.

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Simon Gell
Simon Gell
4 days ago

Never saw that coming, when Alex K, Head of NST, promised in Jan 24 that we’d have report in April 24.
I’ve completely lost count but think it is almost 1500? days late.

Helen King
Helen King
Reply to  Simon Gell
4 days ago

1444 days late, as calculated on https://houseofsurvivors.org/late-overdue/

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
3 days ago

‘Ongoing’ from August 2019: https://www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/john-smyth-review; this must be for victims/ survivors between ‘unbearable’ and ‘you’re ‘avin’a larf’. How long, O Lord?
When did this ‘Maxwellisation’ become a ‘standard’ practice; is it universal, or convenient?
Can redaction be expected too?

David Lamming
David Lamming
3 days ago

Without responding to the alleged reason for the further delay “because there was a substantial change to a contribution to the review, at the final stages of completion” and whether what led to the change was justified, this further delay is a disgrace and, despite the alleged late receipt of relevant further information, reflects on the fact (contrasted with the Wilkinson review of the ISB) that the Smyth review was mismanaged from the start by the AC/NST with no, or hardly any, project management and, clearly, no or inadequate provision of research/secretarial support. I would expect searching questions to be… Read more »

Simon Gell
Simon Gell
Reply to  David Lamming
3 days ago

As someone whose case is quoted quite extensively in Wilkinson (under a pseudonym) the contrast between the professionalism, care & rigour that Sarah demonstrated (including meeting an utterly ludicrous deadline) compares very favourably with the regrettably poor performance of: the response of the C of E including both Archbishops, 4 of the 5 most current senior Bishops, more than 30 current & former Bishops, the NST and over 50% of the AC, all of whom know my case in great detail but have all actively chosen to walk by on the other side for over 7 years (with the sole… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Gell
3 days ago

What a dreadful experience. It isn’t surprising that many survivors, like myself, decided a while ago not to engage at all with any C of E processes.

Simon Gell
Simon Gell
Reply to  David Lamming
3 days ago

Apologies: in my previous post I used the wrong link.
It should have been this one:

https://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Stones-not-Bread.compressed.pdf

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  David Lamming
3 days ago

Further to my earlier comment (above), since it is in the public domain it is appropriate to recall here the reason for the need to edit out parts of the draft report as reported in the Church Times online on 8 March 2024 – over two months ago: Survivor of Smyth abuse withdraws from Makin review (churchtimes.co.uk) ‘Graham’ is reported as telling the Church Times that he had been given permission to read a draft of the report under a process of fact-checking, but was tied by a confidentiality agreement. He went on to say, however, “The draft that I have… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
3 days ago

Weren’t we told more than a year ago that the review was all but finished, and already out for Maxwellisation?

Adrian
Adrian
3 days ago

Tumbleweed.. joining more tumbleweed… clogging up the streets

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Adrian
2 days ago

But presumably it had to be firmly sat upon until after the publication of the Jay report. Does nothing make the Charity Commission take notice ?

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
2 days ago

Judging from recent occasional press reports, they only seem to take notice of relatively small offenders. Or is it a case of the CofE, like Jimmy Saville, being too big to risk tackling?

Marian Birch
Marian Birch
2 days ago

Am I (cynically speaking) the only person who wonders if the aim of all this is to ensure that the Makin report is not published until after Archbishop Justin Welby has announced his retirement?

Simon Gell
Simon Gell
Reply to  Marian Birch
2 days ago

On the basis that the C of E’s own estimate of its worshipping community was 984,000 in 2022, I guess that at least some 492,000 folk just assume that Makin will never be published before Justin has announced his retirement?

My (second hand) understanding is that over the last 3+ years a much higher proportion of Smyth UK Survivors, and their advocates, have come to assume that Makin will never be published (if at all in an unredacted form) before the announcement of the retirement of Justin and of at least one other Diocesan.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Marian Birch
2 days ago

No, you’re not alone in thinking that, Marian – and the evangelical church has the effrontery – indeed, insolence, to accuse the Freemasons of conspiracy and cover ups? We will have to wait and see.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  John Davies
1 day ago

There is no monolithic evangelical church. There are evangelical churches, laypeople, and clergy of various kinds and degrees. Many of them are moderate and honest. It seems to be largely those with Iwerne connections who are secretive, as far as I can see.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Marian Birch
2 days ago

thinking logically about Archbishop Welby’s retirement, he reaches 70 on the 6th of January 2026 and Bishops tend to retire at the end of a month,so they can draw the full Episcopal Stipend for that month, before transitioning to a Pension, which means logically and intelligently speaking his retirement would come on 31st of January 2026, which means he has only 20 months left in office, and given this intelligent logical scenario it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the report could be delayed until he has demitted office as Archbishop of Canterbury. Jonathan

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
1 day ago

I can see no thinking or logic in the idea that this delay is linked to the Archbishop’s retirement intentions. This keeps being suggested. To what end? Retirement is no let off. Retired clergy and bishops are subject to the same CDM, complaints and safeguarding procedures. Furthermore once retired they have to fund their legal defence costs out of their own savings. If anything the logic points the other way.

Simon Gell
Simon Gell
Reply to  David Runcorn
2 hours ago

If Diocesans, or an Archbishop, are forced to step down while in office, it might (just possibly) garner some press interest. If they have already retired, or announced their retirement, the outside world will show precisely zero interest. Don’t even get me started on the way our C of E giving funds the legal costs of Bishops while survivors have to pay their own way. Hence the complete imbalance, in power and finance, of going to the ICO for example. This is one reason why it was particularly malevolent, & reabusive, for the AC to terminate the ISB, the last… Read more »

Andrew Graystone
Andrew Graystone
2 days ago

It is absolutely shameful that as the report passes the four years late mark (on Sunday 19 May) the reviewer chooses to blame a victim for the further delay.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Andrew Graystone
2 days ago

From the tenor of his comments, ‘Graham’ doesn’t sound as if he is very impressed with the report, either. Is that going to be an accurate assessment of the finished product, I wonder? Trying to be even handed and fair, it makes you wonder what made him say what he did, and why he withdrew his contribution. Once again, we can only wait and see.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  John Davies
1 day ago

Graham, like all the Smyth survivors, has been on the receiving end of an interminable series of delays, inaccuracies, miscommunication, omissions, and failures to adequately consult. I’m not at all surprised he was eventually driven to withdraw. Like Andrew, I think it’s shameful to blame a victim for this further delay, when we were assured more than a year ago that the report was mainly complete and only needed Maxwellisation.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  John Davies
1 day ago

Sadly young people often do that when they can’t face any further grilling after what has been a highly traumatic experience which they don’t want to keep reliving.
My heart goes out to the survivors being reabused by the delays.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
1 day ago

Yes. The ordeal of revisiting trauma shouldn’t ever be underestimated. It’s one of the reasons why the cutting adrift of the ISB survivor clients by the Archbishops Council was so heinous. It’s not just a case of saying, don’t worry, we will pass you to somebody else. It’s re-visiting horror.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
6 hours ago

Thanks both Janet and Susanna – I felt I had to ask, only knowing what I see on here. Its all too easy for me to develope a biased and judgemental opinion otherwise. If I said I have personal experiences of clerical abuse – of a very low key, compared to this, but bad enough, my general opinion of the organisation isn’t very high to start with. It needs very little encouragement to fall even lower. Hence, the need to ask how to read his comments, to clarify whether or not I’m being fair. As for survivor blaming (yes, again,… Read more »

Rich
Rich
2 hours ago

One of the victims has scuppered things by withdrawing. Giving more pain to other victims.

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