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Posted on 16 May 2024

Abuse in the Church of England

Posted in Legal news

Read time: 2 minutes

A search for Church of England abuse cases online produces a list longer than they would like you to see.

Very recently, in April 2024 a former church curate from north Devon was jailed for 11 years for abusing 2 altar boys, then aged 10 and 14. Julian Wheeler, now 75, was told by Judge James Adkin that “the breach of trust was significant in the circumstances of you being a clergyman and a father figure to the boys.”

The judge’s comment is echoed by the police officer, Detective Inspector Elaine Westerman who said, in the BBC article that Wheeler was “a man in a position of trust” and that “He used his role as a church curate to gain access to vulnerable boys who he went on to abuse.”

The Church of England published a Second Past Cases Review in 2022 which identified 383 cases that required investigation. The First Past Cases Review published in 2010 had been criticised for only finding a handful of cases. The outcomes of this second review continue to evolve.

A BBC article published in October 2022 said the Church of England abuse cases ran into the hundreds.

A trusted figure

This is the real danger of abuse in the church, individuals in positions of trust. Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation is paramount in today’s society.

This is why there are plans for the Church of England Redress Scheme to become available to victims this year.

Find out more now

ACT NOW! The scheme is hoping to be available mid-Autumn 2024. Our dedicated team of specialists are here now, to prepare your case and help you navigate the Redress Scheme which is hoped to offer therapeutic, financial and emotional support.