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UK News

Church of England sets up support fund for abuse survivors

by Tola Mbakwe

The Church of England has decided to create a support fund for people who have come forward about suffering abuse from the Church's clergy, bishops and workers.

At its meeting on 23rd September, the Archbishop's Council voted unanimously on the fund and to also offer immediate practical support for survivors. 

The Church said in a statement: "The pilot scheme is designed to enable the Church to respond in particular to those survivors' cases which are already known to the Church, where the survivor is known to be in seriously distressed circumstances, and the Church has a heightened responsibility because of the way the survivor was responded to following disclosure."

The interim pilot support scheme will help the Church be informed on the best way to set up its full redress scheme for victims and survivors of abuse. 

According to The Daily Mail, the scheme's compensation process will cost the Church approximately £200 million. 

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said in a statement: "Today the Council discussed the safeguarding challenges that face our Church. We acknowledged how we have responded badly to survivors, and what that means for the Council as a trustee body. It was a long, honest and soberingly frank discussion. 

"There were some very personal reflections and comments, including from both of us. This reflects the seriousness with which the Council took the proposals under discussion. The issue of independence is something we have taken a personal lead on and are very committed to. 

"We are glad that we the Church is now going to make this happen. Along with providing redress for victims and survivors this is the next step we must take. Today's meeting and these decisions feel like a turning point. 

"As we await IICSA's report into the Church of England we continue to pray for survivors and all those the Church has failed. We are profoundly sorry for our failings, but today our words of sorrow are matched by actions that will believe will lead to real change. We hope that this will provide some hope for the future."

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