News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Mike Pilavachi 1 banner.png
Mike Pilavachi 1 thumb.png
World News

New inquiry finds Mike Pilavachi 'fell short of that expected of a priest'

by Premier Journalist

The Church of England has found that Mike Pilavachi "fell short" of the standards expected of a priest following the outcome of an investigation into his behaviour.

It carried out a Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM), a process within the Church of England designed to address serious misconduct allegations, allowing the church to pursue legal action against an employee.

This is a separate procedure from the NST’s investigation published last year, which, together with the Diocese of St Albans, established that the Soul Survivor founder and pastor used his spiritual authority to "control people," leading to "inappropriate relationships, the physical wrestling of youths, and massaging of young male interns".

As a subsequent step, the NST requested an examination of a misconduct allegation under the CDM process pertaining to Pilavachi's "verbal interactions with a vulnerable person" that took place after 2012. In this period, the pastor was ordained in the Church of England and was subject to the CDM.

Premier understands that the allegation of misconduct involved alleged spiritual abuse.

In this new ruling, the Church said that while he received a "written warning and advice", no further action would be taken.

The vulnerable person in question, who does not want to be named, told Premier she is "devastated" by the findings of the CDM process.

She said: “Having cooperated with the Church of England throughout the investigation into Mike Pilavachi, I am devastated by the outcome of the CDM process.

“It is not proportionate to the harm I have experienced at the hands of Mike Pilavachi and Soul Survivor, and the impact this has had on my life.

“While I am truly grateful for the sensitivity and support of the diocesan and national safeguarding teams, this outcome leaves me questioning why I came forward, and whether the Church of England is a safe place for me.”

Pilavachi cannot currently minister in the Church of England, and if he seeks to resume any form of ministry, a comprehensive risk assessment will be conducted.

The Clergy Discipline Measure is undergoing revision and is set to be replaced by the Clergy Conduct Measure, currently under consideration by the General Synod.

In a statement, Lead Safeguarding Bishop, Rt Rev Joanne Grenfell and National Safeguarding Director Alexander Kubeynje said: “Neither the behaviour described in the Mike Pilavachi investigation nor the culture that permitted it to take place and continue, is acceptable in a church setting.

“We all need to take responsibility for creating a healthy culture where abuse is seen and prevented, and where power is held with humility and accountability. If our disciplinary processes are not robust enough to hold to account those who harm others, then they must change, in order to signal to the wider world that abuse in any form will not be tolerated.

"We are aware that the outcome of the complaint brought by the National Safeguarding Team against Mike Pilavachi under the CDM, Clergy Discipline Measure, process has upset survivors and victims and we continue to offer support to all those affected.

“We want to acknowledge and repeat the Church’s apology to all those came forward and shared their experiences. We are truly sorry.”

Reporting by Kelly Valencia and Megan Cornwell

To hear more on the allegations facing Soul Survivor and its founder, Mike Pilavachi, check out Premier's Soul Survivors podcast. 

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email