Rise In Allegations Of Abuse Within Church Of England

Survivors’ Group Expects More People To Come Forward


A significant number of new allegations of child sex abuse within the Church of England have been recorded in the last few months.

An investigation conducted by ITV found that 164 people came forward to report allegations of sexual abuse to survivors’ group Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS), with 136 of these being made against the Church of England.

The organisation told ITV that it expects more people to come forward for help and support in relation to sexual abuse.

It is thought the rise in the number of complaints of sexual offences against children is related to an increased confidence that allegations will be taken seriously and that help and support is available to survivors.

Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, who is implementing new safeguards within the Church of England, apologised that the church has not dealt with complaints correctly in the past and acknowledged that survivors experience the effects of sexual abuse for the remainder of their lives.

He added: “As a Church we are not there yet but are committed to improving all our safeguarding work around children and vulnerable adults along with working with survivors and other organisations to improve our safeguarding practice.”

The Church of England has launched a Safe Spaces Project, which includes a telephone helpline, mentoring support and one-to-one counselling, in collaboration with survivors to improve the support network available.

Expert Opinion
The growing number of people coming forward with allegations of abuse against the Church of England is a concern, but it does indicate the growing confidence among survivors of non-recent sexual abuse that their complaints will be treated seriously and that help and support is accessible.

“Improving access to the therapy, counselling and support services must be a top priority, as these services can help survivors to move forward and put the harmful experiences they have endured behind them.
Scott Tolliss, Other Legal Expert