Statement from the London College of Bishops
This interim update seeks to keep you informed about the action being taken following the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Fr Alan Griffin. These events have, we know, caused deep pain and anger. Many questions remain.
The Diocese is responding to the Coroner’s Regulation 28 Report and is working in close coordination with both the National Safeguarding Team and Lambeth Palace. The response will be published on the Diocesan website when it is submitted in the next fortnight.
The Terms of Reference for the Independent Review continue to be worked on as a matter of urgency. However, it is vital that we get every part of this process right. In particular, we are seeking to consult a number of individuals about the Review. These include Fr Alan’s family and friends, who remain foremost in everybody’s prayers at this time. The Diocesan Safeguarding Steering Group, which is part of our governance structures and includes experienced independent members, is also providing input. We will publish the Terms of Reference once this consultation is complete and we hope that the Review can begin at the start of September.
Our response to the Review will need to acknowledge and respond to whatever shortcomings and mistakes are identified. We already knew that, as a diocese, we needed to increase the capacity of our Safeguarding Team. We have acted on this, with a new Head of Safeguarding having arrived at the beginning of August, and two new Safeguarding Officers joining the team soon.
We know also that there remains wholly understandable concern from individuals about the further contents of the report generated from the former Head of Operations’ handover. Any affected individual will be contacted personally. We are conscious that some are currently or shortly will be away on annual leave and so we are aiming for this process to take place at the end of the month and be complete by early September. It should be reiterated, however, that no further action is required in connection with any individuals on the basis of material contained in that report.
The London College of Bishops