The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the investigation into Mike Pilavachi as “profoundly painful” and assured people that it is being conducted with the “utmost care and sensitivity.”
The statement from Most Rev Justin Welby comes in response to safeguarding concerns raised against Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi.
The founder of Soul Survivor Watford stepped back from ministry in April while the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team (NST) and the Diocese of St Albans began a non-criminal investigation into potential safeguarding failures by the pastor.
Accusations made against Pilavachi are both historical and more recent but are not criminal.
In the wake of the allegations, Welby stated on Tuesday that he was “deeply conscious” of the impact the reports are having on people and clarified that the ongoing investigation is being conducted independently from Soul Survivor with his “full support.”
“The investigation is prioritising the wellbeing of everyone concerned, and I am confident they are treating all who are involved in the investigation and everything that has been shared with the utmost care and sensitivity,” he said in a statement.
“I cannot comment any further at this stage while the investigation is ongoing, but I know how profoundly painful this is. I would like to assure anyone who has been affected by this situation of my ongoing prayers. For some that will be from their direct involvement, for others this is bringing to the surface past experiences from their own lives.
“Please continue to support and pray for one another, as we remind each other of the love of Christ which never fails.”
Welby ensured that counselling and support has been made available to all concerned in the investigation and encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
If you or someone who know has information they need to share, please contact the National Safeguarding Team via [email protected].
If you or anyone you know are affected by this situation and want to speak to someone independently, you can also call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056.
Safe Spaces are offering support for victims and survivors and anyone who has been affected by this investigation.