THE Bishop of Durham has addressed an international conference on child protection within the church.
The Right Reverend Paul Butler spoke to delegates at The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) event in London.
In his speech, Bishop Paul, chairman of the Church of England’s Safeguarding Board, said: “We are all very conscious of how much the world of safeguarding has changed over the past decades, and the rapid changes of recent years.
“The UK Church has come a long way in safeguarding over the past decades. There is much for which we can be thankful. We are in a better place than we were.”
But he admitted ‘there is much from our past that we have to face up to seriously’ and talked about the wider concerns of institutional abuse, including recent high-profile cases like that of serial paedophile Jimmy Savile and the Rotherham report.
He added: “One of the deepest lessons from all that has emerged in recent years is how poorly we have all listened to survivors’ stories and voices.
“We still have a long way to go here.”
The Bishop outlined plans by the Church of England and Methodists to create a Safe Spaces project, which will act as a one stop shop for survivors of church-based abuse.