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Church News

Rev Jonathan Fletcher review into abuse to be published in March

by Cara Bentley

The review into the alleged abuse by Rev Jonathan Fletcher will be published in March and has been "of interest to the Metropolitan Police". 

Since the release of the report into Ravi Zacharias last week, those following the case of Mr Fletcher have been asking where the report into his activities is. The charity leading the review says it is "nearing publication".

Jonathan Fletcher was the vicar at Emmanual Church Wimbledon between 1982 and 2012 and is still alive but has had his permission to officiate (lead services) removed by the Diocese of Southwark. 

In December 2019, Christian safeguarding charity Thirtyone:eight was commissioned by Emmanuel Church Wimbledon to undertake an independent review of the church, following a number of safeguarding allegations being made. Men have reported giving and receiving massages from Fletcher, being manipulated to take ice cold baths, facing gym-shoe beatings as incentives to behave in a Christian way, as well as bullying and humiliation under his leadership. 

The church first became aware of some of the allegations in 2017 and they were passed on to the police. More concrete allegations arose in the subsequent months and were promptly reported as well. 

This information became more public at Christian conference Evangelical Ministry Assembly in 2019, where the handling of the allegations and the church's response was explained: 

 

With the review imminent, Thirtyone:eight said in a statement: "Our review team have continued to gather and analyse information from a wide range of sources as part of the Lessons Learned Review throughout recent months. We are now in the closing stages of the review process and nearing publication of the report...we can now confirm that the publication of the review is planned to take place in March 2021.

"We shall be issuing an update in early March with the expected publication date and where interested parties may be able to view the report. We appreciate that this has been a long wait for many, particularly victims, survivors and other participants in the review.

"We can also confirm that the review has been of interest to the Metropolitan Police and discussions with them are ongoing in relation to this. Therefore the exact date for publication will to some degree be determined by the outcome of these discussions."

Everyone who participated in the review has been contacted about the interest from the Metropolitan Police.

 

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