In responding to the interim report, Archbishop Rowan Williams has made the following statement:
“I am very grateful to those who have been conducting the Visitation in the Diocese of Chichester and to all who have co-operated with this process ”“ not least those survivors of abuse who have shared their experience. The abiding hurt and damage done to them is something that none of us in the Church can ignore, and I am deeply sorry that they should have been let down by those they ought to have been able to trust.
I hope they will believe that we take their experience seriously: we owe them not only our words of apology but our best efforts to make sure that in the future our churches will be safe places for children and vulnerable people of all ages. The interim report confirms that there have been many and longstanding failures in implementing a robust and credible safeguarding policy in the Diocese of Chichester. The guidelines laid down by the national Church and the agreed standards of best practice have not been consistently followed and the flaws in safeguarding practice have put children and others at risk.