For detailed, background information to the IICSA inquiry into the Roman Catholic Church, including associated documents and the SCIE report (reference: CHC001649); Jan Pickles past cases review
(reference: CHC001643) and Jan Pickles parish review (reference: CHC001644) commissioned by the diocese, visit the IICSA website.

Latest statement

The Archdiocese of Birmingham hearing at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has concluded with a final day of evidence on Thursday 13 December.

Six days of evidence have now been heard. The report is due in summer 2019.

Independent reviews (available on the IICSA website) commissioned by the Archdiocese identified and highlighted some areas of current diocesan practice which require significant improvement.

Without delay we have brought in additional expertise with the formation of the new role of Interim Director of Safeguarding Improvement, Andrew Haley, who is due to start on Monday 19 November. To assure our necessary rapid improvement and to ensure best practice, a further independent audit will be commissioned in six months’ time.

To deal with some immediate recommendations, a safeguarding consultant and former Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) has been engaged to rectify safeguarding records and ensure all appropriate steps have been taken to safeguard children. This process is nearing completion.

If you would like to speak to someone about safeguarding and the Church’s work, please call 0121 230 6240.

We would also like to draw your attention to NAPAC – the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, which exists to support adults who were abused in childhood. They run a free phone support line 5 days a week, run support groups for survivors (funds permitting) and regularly contribute to the debate about how best to protect our children. The free phone number is 0808 801 0331

Archdiocese Opening Statement

Download the Archdiocese' Opening Statement for IICSA, read at the hearing on 12/11/2018

Archbishop Bernard's Pastoral Letter 3/4 November available as text or audio:

Pastoral Letter - text

Pastoral Letter - audio

Involvement in National Inquiry

As many of you will already be aware, the Archdiocese of Birmingham will be participating in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) at a hearing set to take place from 12 – 16 November, in London.

IICSA was set up some years ago by the government following a number of high profile and serious cases of historic child abuse. Through its investigations, IICSA is seeking to understand “what went wrong, and why”. It is looking at a broad range of institutions and organisations from all walks of life as part of its inquiry, including schools, local authorities, sports clubs and religious bodies. The Archdiocese has been asked to participate in IICSA’s investigations along with other organisations within the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese believes that the work being done by IICSA is of great significance and supports the aim of strengthening and improving safeguarding practices and cultures within the Church.

Archbishop Bernard Longley will personally be addressing this matter in an open pastoral letter which will be read out in all churches within the Archdiocese during the weekend of 3/4 November.

The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is a fundamental priority for the Archdiocese. Fostering a culture which has safeguarding at its very heart remains a key part of our work.

The Archdiocese has commissioned two important reviews by independent experts into safeguarding, looking at both historic abuse and safeguarding practices and culture. The lessons and recommendations from these expert reviews will be a vital part of the continuing efforts to ensure that safeguarding lies at the very heart of the Archdiocese. The IICSA hearings will provide further valuable lessons for us to learn, and they will inform our constant commitment to do more and better in what is such a fundamental part of the Church’s life and work.

If you would like to speak to someone about safeguarding and the Church’s work, please call 0121 230 6240.

Please pray with us for all victims of abuse, and for all those involved in the work of this important Inquiry.

The Truth Project

IICSA's truth project offers the opportunity for Victims and Survivors to share their experience and be respectfully heard and acknowledged.  By doing so, they will help us to better understand the long term impact of abuse.  Their contribution will help us make recommendations about support needs, as well as challenging our assumptions of child sexual abuse.
Visit the Truth Project website

Further information

The Archdiocese website has an extensive section on safeguarding. Please click here