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Soul Survivor Watford
Mike Pilavachi.png
Soul Survivor Watford
World News

Soul Survivor suspends two more pastors in Mike Pilavachi investigation

by Sophie Drew

Soul Survivor has suspended two more senior members of staff, in the ongoing safeguarding investigation into Canon Mike Pilavachi.

The well-known church leader stepped back from active ministry earlier in the year, and was suspended last month following allegations of misconduct – both historic and recent.

Initially, the allegations were described as "non-recent," but the church released a further statement days later, saying more recent concerns had come to light. 

Pilavachi resigned as director of the charity on 4th April, and was suspended as an employee on 20th May. 

The Christian evangelist and former youthworker is best known for leading the Soul Survivor youth festivals, which ran for 26 years before ending in 2019.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon the church announced that Senior Pastor, Andy Croft and Assistant Pastor, Ali Martin are also being suspended after new information was received from the National Safeguarding Team who are conducting the Pilavachi investigation.

The statement says the information "relates to concerns over the handling of allegations that were raised before the NST investigation began." 

While the investigation continues, the non-staff Trustees have asked Executive Pastor Rev. Jon Stevens to take on the interim leadership.

He will be supported by Bishop’s visitor Rev. Canon Tim Lomax, who is described as as a 'Bishop's visitor'. Soul Survivor Watford comes under the Diocese of St Albans, within the Church of England.

In the statement the church reaffirmed its commitment to the investigation, signposting anyone wishing to raise concerns to the National Safeguarding Team. The statement ends: “We are thankful to all those who have proactively shared their concerns with the NST and recognise that each of them has shown great courage in sharing their experiences.

“If you would like to speak to anyone regarding this investigation, please be assured that any concerns raised will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and appropriate support can be given.

“Please contact Jeremy Hirst at the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at [email protected] or Judith Renton, Ian Bowles or Anthony Clarke at the National Safeguarding Team at [email protected] who will listen to what you have to say.”

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