Church Society responds to the Fletcher report

Apr 9, 2021 by

by Lee Gatiss, Church Society:

Open letter to our members concerning Church Society’s response to the recent 31:8 Lessons Learned Review

Church Society exists to be a positive force for good within the Church of England through its primary objectives of publishing, patronage and politics, undertaken in the context of prayer and partnership. We are a fellowship, comprised of our members and associates, united with the aim of ‘contending to reform and renew the Church of England in biblical faith.’

It is our privilege to work with other like-minded Christians to make that happen, but we are painfully aware of recent revelations of abuse from within the conservative evangelical world. These reports have been truly shocking, showing not just how many people have been terribly abused, but also how a climate of fear contributed to the truth being concealed and victims unwilling to come forward. Our first concern has to be to care for all those who have been victims of abuse. They need all the support, love and professional care that is necessary.

All of us are much more aware than previous generations of how human sinfulness relates not just to individuals, but is also found in structures and organisations, through historical injustices, unrepresentative leadership, voices being marginalised and power being exercised in a coercive, manipulative and unchecked way. We should also be at the forefront of working to ensure that such cases of abuses can never happen again within our conservative evangelical circles both by examining our internal structures and leadership but also co-operating with and seeking to reform the Church of England’s safeguarding structures and processes.

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