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Soul Survivor Watford
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Soul Survivor Watford
World News

Charity Commission looking into safeguarding concerns at Soul Survivor

by Kelly Valencia

The charity watchdog for England and Wales has received a safeguarding serious incident report from Watford church Soul Survivor.

In a statement to Premier Christian News, a spokesperson for the Charity Commission confirmed it has asked the Church’s trustees for “additional information about the matter”.

It comes as Mike Pilavachi, the church's founder, is currently being investigated for safeguarding concerns.

Earlier this month, Soul Survivor Watford, the Church of England National Safeguarding Team and the Diocese of St Alban’s confirmed it is neither a "criminal investigation" nor a "clergy disciplinary matter", and the concerns relate to "non-recent" events.

The 65-year-old has stepped down from all ministry while the investigation is carried out.

Pilavachi is most renowned for being the host of Soul Survivor, an annual Christian festival that attracted an average of 30,000 teenagers each summer between 1993 and 2019.

According to the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Guidance a safeguarding serious incident is “an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant harm to the charity’s beneficiaries, employees, office holders, volunteers or to others who come into contact with the charity through its work”.

This could include “where there are allegations or incidents of abuse of or risks to beneficiaries or others connected with the charity’s activities”.

It’s understood the serious incident report was submitted on 30 March 2023 on behalf of Soul Survivor Watford and two other charities: Soul Survivor and Soul Survivor International.

A Charity Commission spokesperson told Premier: “In line with our guidance, Soul Survivor Watford reported concerns raised about one of its staff members to the Commission, via a serious incident report.

“We have asked the trustees for additional information about the matter, and will assess the information provided to determine what role, if any, there is for the Commission”.

The Charity Commission’s role when it comes to safeguarding in charities is limited and specific to overseeing the conduct of trustees and their actions towards protecting those connected to the charity.

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