The Diocese of Chichester issued the following statement today in response to the publication of the interim report of the Independent Inquiry into Childhood Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
The Cathedral Chapter fully supports this statement and apologises for the damage that has been done. It will now take time to fully absorb the contents of the report. Chapter will continue to work closely with partners including the Prebendal School and the Diocese – particularly the Diocesan Safeguarding Team – to ensure that Chichester Cathedral offers safety and respect for children and vulnerable people.
Diocese of Chichester statement:
“We welcome the publication of the IICSA report on the Diocese of Chichester. We take this report very seriously and will now take time to assimilate and digest its detailed findings.
“We are deeply ashamed of the obvious failures outlined in it and apologise unreservedly for the terrible damage that has been done to people’s lives in so many ways.
“We are committed to doing all we can to ensure safety and respect for all vulnerable people, especially children, in our churches and church institutions and organisations.
“Although we are encouraged by the acknowledgement from IICSA of the progressive work the diocese and cathedral have undertaken over the past few years to improve our safeguarding practices, we must never be complacent. We will continue to work on the development of a different culture in safeguarding, in our accountability, and in ensuring that we always respond appropriately and well to any allegation or report of abuse.”