The UK Methodist Church has apologised today for decades of child sex abuse committed by some of its ministers.
An independent investigation commissioned by the Church has uncovered nearly 2,000 reported cases of abuse dating back to 1950.
In what has been described as a “deep source of grief and shame to the Church”, the 100-page report unearths allegations of physical and sexual abuse by UK Methodist Church ministers, employees, members and volunteers.
102 of the 200 cases involving ministers involved sexual abuse, and there are six ongoing police investigations.
Methodist Conference Secretary Rev Atkins said, "On behalf of the Methodist Church in Britain I want to express an unreserved apology for the failure of its current and earlier processes fully to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by some ministers.
"The abuse that has been inflicted by some Methodists on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame to the Church."
A Catalogue of Abuse by Those in the Highest Position of Trust
Author of the report, Jane Stacey, has called for a major culture change in the Church, saying how ministers are in an “almost unique position of trust” at “very vulnerable times” in people’s lives.
The NSPCC has said the report has covered a “horrifying catalogue of abuse” by the UK Methodist Church, and has called for the Church to urgently put new measures in place to protect children.
Slater and Gordon Abuse Lawyers have represented survivors of abuse committed by people in positions of great trust in institutions such as churches, hospitals and schools.
Senior Abuse Solicitor spoke about the Methodist Church apology to BBC London today, on the Vanessa Feltz show.
We welcome today’s apology by the Methodist Church and echo the calls for the Church to ensure that vulnerable people, especially children, are never again abused by those they trust.
Jessica Standley is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in physical and sexual abuse claims.
The Abuse Team at Slater and Gordon UK are currently representing over 800 abuse victims and understand how much courage it takes to speak out about abuse.
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