The Methodist Church is undertaking a comprehensive review of every safeguarding matter it has dealt with over the past sixty years in order to learn the lessons of the past.
The independent Past Cases Review will see letters sent to all Methodist church leaders throughout Britain asking them to share the details of all relevant cases, dating back to 1950.
Jane Stacey, former Deputy Chief Executive of Barnardo's, will act as project manager working with a small team of independent consultants who will read all of the responses and make recommendations to the Church.
"As we have become increasingly aware in recent months, the Church shares the challenge of safeguarding with the whole of society," said Ms Stacey.
"Our legal and cultural landscape has changed dramatically over the past fifty years and this review aims to make sure that no situations have been left where children or vulnerable adults remain at risk," she declared.
Church leaders will be asked to share all relevant material in their responses to the Review, and to encourage others in their churches to do the same. The Review will begin 14 March and will roll out gradually across the Methodist districts, with a full report being made to the Methodist Conference in the summer of 2015
"The Past Cases Review is an excellent opportunity to see what went well, as well as allow the Church to learn from its mistakes," added Ms Stacey.
"Throughout the Review we will take great care to ensure that we respect confidentiality, offering people support and advice throughout what can be a very difficult process."
Initial findings from a pilot of the scheme indicate that approximately one third of cases arose when people sought help and support from the Methodist Church in dealing with incidents that had occurred outside the church community.
* The full schedule of the review can be found online here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.methodist.org.uk/media/793496/201314%20timetable.pdf
* Methodist Past Cases Review: http://www.methodist.org.uk/ministers-and-office-holders/safeguarding/pa...