Manchester Cathedral

Statement following the publication of the Independent Inquiry into the Church of England’s Response to allegations against former Dean of Manchester.

Manchester Cathedral endorses the comments made today by our Bishop. We share his sadness that a former Dean of this cathedral allegedly abused children. We thank Archbishop Sentamu for setting up this Inquiry and we are grateful to the survivors of abuse who have had the courage to tell their story.

As Dean of this Cathedral between 1984 and 1993, Robert Waddington was the senior member of clergy of our foundation. He, above all others, should have recognised the sacred trust that he held. Robert Waddington betrayed the trust placed him, especially the trust of our children. That he did so, and that those around him failed to suspect his true character, will forever be a cause of enormous sorrow and sadness here.

Manchester Cathedral now has robust safeguarding policies and procedures in place to protect children. We organise regular training for all our staff and have arrangements in place to ensure that good practice is well communicated and followed. The Church, along with society in general, has learnt a lot about the risk to children and how to safeguard them effectively since the 1980s and we are continually working to improve our safeguarding procedures.

Where we have failed in the past, we offer our apologies to any whose lives have been blighted by abuse.

Should anyone have further information or need to discuss the personal impact of the Inquiry report we would encourage them to contact the Police or other statutory authorities.

Safeguarding Helpline 0845 120 4553. This is a special helpline that has been set up for those who have been affected either directly or indirectly by abuse in a church or cathedral setting. The helpline will be staffed by the Church’s Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) - an independent safeguarding charity and is available 7 days a week. You may be asked to leave a message but will be called back. Calls will be handled sensitively and confidentially.


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