Archbishop Welby admits abuse claims should have been investigated

Siobhán Crawford - Solicitor in the Child Abuse Team

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Siobhán Crawford

The Church of England has admitted that more should have been done to investigate claims of physical abuse at the hands of John Smyth at Iwerne holiday camp in the 1970s.

Smyth has been accused of decades of abuse at the Christian holiday camp but has so far remained silent regarding the abuse.

Speaking this week, Archbishop Welby confirmed he was first informed about the alleged abuse in 2013 or 2014. The allegations were also reported to the police at that time.

It has come to light that the scale and severity of the abuse was such that individuals could not sit down following the beatings, without feeling pain. The abuse was such that a survivor tried to take his own life as he feared the beatings.

Archbishop Welby apologised for the failure of the church in dealing with cases of abuse saying that the church “failed terribly” in investigating abuse. He apologised “equivocally and unreservedly to all survivors”.

Smyth on the other hand, has responded to the allegations stating he will not speak about that time and called some of the claims nonsense.

I am a Senior Solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp specialising in Child Abuse claims. If you think you may have a claim, contact me free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4886 or at for specialist legal advice. Alternatively, you can complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Child Abuse team will contact you. You can find out more about the team here.


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