Please read below a statement from the Archdiocese of Southwark following the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) Report on Safeguarding in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, published on 11 June 2023.
The Report by the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) into the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle raises very serious issues and questions. As part of our continuing vigilance regarding safeguarding, and the development of good practice in the Archdiocese of Southwark, we are considering the Report carefully.
Our Archdiocese places the utmost priority on safeguarding. It is a fundamental dimension of the Church’s mission which must pervade all areas of the Church’s life. It is an indispensable responsibility for everyone within the Church and requires clear and effective leadership.
In the Archdiocese, safeguarding is endorsed and supported fully by Archbishop John Wilson, by the Archbishop's Council, and the Archdiocese of Southwark Trustees. It is an integral part of parish life and we work collaboratively and transparently to ensure that our safeguarding procedures are robust and widely known. This includes a proper and sensitive response to, and engagement with, victim-survivors of abuse.
The Safeguarding Team, Safeguarding Subcommittee, Trustees and Archbishop’s Council work in partnership to continue to build and improve our safeguarding provision so that our communities are safe environments for all. In recent years we have made significant investment into safeguarding resourcing.
Our striving for improvement was demonstrated by the Archdiocese of Southwark volunteering to undergo a pilot audit by our regulator, the CSSA, last year. We have implemented the recommendations from that audit and we welcome any subsequent reviews. We cannot, and will not, ever be complacent about safeguarding in the life of the Church.
This statement was prepared by Archbishop John Wilson, the Head of Safeguarding, the Chair of the Trustee Safeguarding Subcommittee, the Chief Operating Officer and the Vicar General