THIS new paper from the Rev Dr David Atkinson (retired Anglican Bishop of Thetford) and Dr Sue Atkinson (survivor of childood abuse, with a PhD in professional development and how groups learn to change) proposes a framework for the Church of England’s on-going conversation with survivors of church-related abuse. It should also be of great assistance to people in other ecclesial contexts.

The Church of England General Synod debate on the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), at the end of 2020, began with contributions from three survivors of church-related abuse. When the proceedings were opened for debate, there was some acknowledgement that there had been some progress in Safeguarding (in the sense of seeking to prevent abuse happening), but much concern that the Church had failed in its care for victims and survivors of abuse.

It is in the light of that failure that this paper is offered as a contribution, a theological underpinning, for the on-going conversation between survivors of abuse and the Church of England. It was produced in association with Jane Chevous and Survivors Voices, and is being published by them too. Ekklesia is pleased to be sharing this through our own platforms.

We strongly commend Letters to a Broken Church, edited by Janet Fife and Gilo (Ekklesia, 2019), as an additional resource.

David Atkinson has also published Hope Rediscovered: Biblical Wisdom for an Anxious World (Ekklesia 2018; Wipf & Stock 2019).