Personal statement from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby following publication of IICSA report


A statement from the Archbishop following publication today of the IICSA report on the Anglican Church in England and Wales.

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Archbishop Justin Welby said: 

“To fail on safeguarding casts a profound stain across every good thing we do. I have said this before and I continue to stand by it.  But I am acutely aware as we come towards the end of  this year that while there is a genuine commitment for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults to be the highest priority of all parts of the Church, it is evident we still have not got it right. 

“The report published today is a stark and shocking reminder of how so many times we have failed – and continue to fail – survivors.  Apologies are vital, but they are not enough. We have to listen. We have to learn. And we have to act.

“In calling for the enquiry, through a letter to the then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2014, I was aware that although it would be something that survivors had demanded it would also be a deeply painful process  to tell their stories. I am very grateful to them for their  courage. We cannot and will not make excuses  and I must again offer my sincere apologies to those to have been abused, and to their families, friends and colleagues.

“There is clearly much to respond to and an in-depth consideration of today’s report is vital.  IICSA has shone a  light on the past and present to help us better inform our future safeguarding work.  They are owed our thanks which we give wholeheartedly.  I pray this report and its recommendations will result in the changes needed to make our Church a safer place for all now and for future generations.”

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