Alongside all dioceses in the Church of England, the Diocese of Oxford undertook a comprehensive file review, beginning in 2020, known as PCR2.
Three independent reviewers reviewed 3,637 files for the PCR2 process in the Diocese of Oxford. This means that all of the files that could contain information regarding a concern, allegation or conviction in relation to abusive behaviour by a member of the clergy or church officer, both living and deceased, have been identified and read by the independent reviewers.
The independent reviewers found that the diocese received a 100% return from parishes for PCR2, they were satisfied that all known past concerns had been reported to the diocesan safeguarding team by the parishes.
The diocese is satisfied that, as far as it is possible to do so, people identified during the file review who could pose a current safeguarding risk are known to the diocese, and actions are in place to mitigate known risks.
We commend to God all those, known and unknown to us, who have experienced church-based abuse. The following content and links contain distressing information. Pray for yourselves and every minister: that by the grace of God, this past cases review will help each of us to learn something of our fragility, to find healthier, safer patterns of ministry, and to witness new manifestations of life in our Church.
Following the file review
Following the independent review, 48 enquiries relating to clergy and church officers were submitted by the reviewers to the diocesan safeguarding team for further review. Of these, 26 were previously known, and 22 were new. Six of the 48 progressed to open cases requiring investigation, the earliest of these dated from 1960, and the most recent 2010. None of the files submitted by the reviewers to the diocesan safeguarding team were because of a child or adult currently at risk of significant harm.
Although only six of the 48 concerns progressed to open cases, there was learning from the concerns raised about how cases were finalised and recorded. The reviewers also identified concerns about the resources and structure of the safeguarding team. These concerns have been promptly addressed by the Diocese of Oxford (see recommendations and actions).
We are grateful for the work of the independent reviewers and commend the summary report pages linked below. A news item to highlight PCR2 in the Diocese of Oxford can be found on our news pages.
We are working hard to make our churches safe places for everyone and to expose abuse where it occurs. We are committed to creating a culture of continuous learning where we build on good practice, recognise where there are remaining weaknesses and explore how these areas can be improved. We welcome the learning from the national PCR2 review and the Safeguarding Panel will be considering which of those national recommendations are actions for the Diocese of Oxford. We have also committed to an audit from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in 2023 to review progress against our action plan and identify further areas for development.
If you or anyone you are in contact with have something to disclose, or are affected by the information shared on this page, please get in touch: To talk to someone independently, please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would prefer to contact the diocesan safeguarding team directly, please email or call our Safeguarding Team. See oxford.anglican.org/safeguarding for contact details.