The Baptist Union of Great Britain warmly welcomes the government’s Butler-Sloss inquiry into institutional abuse within this country. It also pledges to co-operate and support the inquiry in any way it is requested.
The news of the past few years has shown there is much to be ashamed of in our nation's institutions, and each story is a life, or lives that have been scarred by the abuse of another. The news shows us that it has happened in many establishments and the church, sadly, is not immune from such happenings. We are saddened by this.
Today in the Baptist Union, we have a clear and comprehensive safeguarding policy
supported by regular training and review. Each church is expected to adopt it and implement it into their structures. In the event of any accusation or suspicion of abuse, we immediately refer the matter to the statutory bodies for full investigation, and we do not investigate ourselves.
We hope and pray that this new inquiry will be thorough and deep searching. As we all implement its findings, we are seeking to create a community and nation where children and all people can live without fear of abuse.
It is time that we as a nation, and as churches within that nation, sought a new way of being, where all children, young and vulnerable people are valued, listened to and respected. Where, in the sad situations when someone is hurt, they feel that they can speak out, that they will be listened to, and appropriate action will be taken. We long for a time when all institutions, including churches, are transparent and have in place robust policies that create a safe environment for all to flourish.
Who can sound the depths of sorrow
In the Father heart of God
For the children we've rejected
For the lives so deeply scarred?
And each light that we've extinguished
Has brought darkness to our land
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord (Graham Kendrick 1998)
The Baptist Union has a safeguarding officer
and would encourage anyone who is aware of or become a victim of abuse, to report it to the statutory authorities.
If you have any questions about this statement please contact us