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Abuse in Methodist Church revealed

Abuse in Methodist Church revealed

General Secretary of the Methodist Church in the UK, the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins,  above, said abuse would ‘remain a deep source of grief and shame to the Church’ after an investigation uncovered almost 2,000 reported cases – including 914 allegations involving sexual abuse. 

An independent inquiry, according to the BBC, looked at the Church’s response to complaints and allegations dating back to 1950.

Atkins, who is also secretary of the Methodist Conference, said:

On behalf of the Methodist Church in Britain I want to express an unreserved apology for the failure of its current and earlier processes fully to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by some ministers.

The abuse that has been inflicted by some Methodists on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame to the Church.

The Church is expected to make a public apology at its annual conference in June.

An NSPCC spokesman said:

This is a horrifying catalogue of abuse that the Methodist Church has revealed by confronting the dark side of its history.

Having had the courage to come clean about the extent of abuse, they [the Church] must now have measures in place to ensure there are no more such incidents and all children they have dealings with are given the protection and support they deserve.

David Greenwood, chairman of the Stop Church Child Abuse campaign, said:

The cases examined are only the ones documented in the past. Many will not have been recorded. We will never know how many cases have not been handled properly.

Report chairman Jane Stacey, former deputy chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardo’s, called for a culture change in the Church.

Ministers of religion were in an “almost unique position of trust” at “very vulnerable times” in people’s lives, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, calling for “more robust accountability structures”.

She added:

Some of the individual case reviewers who looked at the material that was submitted to the review found themselves questioning, and really being quite upset, at the volume coming through.

The Church commissioned the review – which took three years to complete – because it said it wanted to be open about the past and to have stronger safeguarding procedures in the future.

In total, it identified 1,885 cases – including alleged sexual, physical, emotional and domestic abuse, as well as cases of neglect.

Allegations of sexual abuse formed the largest number of cases.

Ministers or lay employees were involved in 26 percent of the alleged cases of abuse, the investigation found.

That figure increased to 33 percent when Church members, such as worship leaders and local preachers, were also included.

One of the cases concerned the grooming of teenage girls on Facebook, while another involved a minister allegedly making sexual advances to children. Another involved a Methodist youth officer who had indecent images of children on his computer.

One of the abuse survivors who responded to the survey said:

I have learnt that it is impossible to recover from sexual abuse when no-one recognises the seriousness of it. My Church did not want a scandal, my parents did not want a scandal.

I was left to feel worthless and devalued, while the man was left to get on with his life and for all I know repeat the crime with someone else. I was emotionally and physically devastated.

Another welcomed the review, saying:

I want to prevent the Church and other people from handling things wrong in the future. I don’t want other girls to suffer like I have.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

18 responses to “Abuse in Methodist Church revealed”

  1. L.Long says:

    A group of sex abscessed people (religious nuts) have been finding their people abscessed with perverted sex !!!! Wow!! I’m really surprised.
    I raised my kids with casual nudity and answered ALL their questions from the time they were old enough to point and ask ‘what’s that daddy? Mommy don’t have one?!?’ And they grew up with a ‘ya nude, so what?’ attitude, and later with a healthy enjoyment of sex…I know cuz I asked. And everyone else who did similar, have well balanced (sexually) kids.
    This whole sex thing with the religious is STUPID in the extreme!!!!

  2. AgentCormac says:

    Can you possibly imagine Bill Donohue adopting such a contrite or conciliatory stance on behalf of the rcc? No, me neither. In fact that shameless apologist for some of the worst crimes imaginable uses every opportunity he can to try and vilify the victims of sexual abuse, as well as defend and exonerate the perpetrators. There’s plenty of it too if you can actually stomach reading it.
    http://www.catholicleague.org/

  3. Broga says:

    The question at the core of these continuing religious sex abuse revelations is: what should we conclude about the results of having religious faith? I assume that the thousands of guilty clergy believed in God ,Jesus ,the bible, religious dogma etc. I assume they were also ready to lecture others on moral behaviour. And yet they behave unaffected by any of this.

    My conclusion is that faith is not only pointless and without value but provides no restraints on those who might be thought to be the exemplars of their religion. And yet we continue to provide taxes to fund faith schools to indoctrinate children. The BBC spends untold amounts of money pushing the religious message.

  4. Brummie says:

    @ L.Long.
    The sex and guilt obsessed (or possibly abscessed) religious lot are far worse than stupid. They have distorted the views of millions from what should be a fundamental, natural and enjoyable occurrence for all consenting people. Sex becomes a thing associated with filth, dirt, guilt, sin, shame, secrets and crime.
    When will we be able to accept sex as normal a need as sleeping and eating?

  5. dennis says:

    is the troll back? I personally don’t see any difference in teenagers now as in the 1950’s here in the states including my grandkids.

    so has the statue of limitations expired giving rise to the methodist treatise.

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    Religion is always having to say you’re sorry.

  7. Brummie says:

    @ I Ahmad,
    Time for you to emigrate from this “dreadful” country to your Land of Milk and Honey, wherever that is, where all is perfect in your eyes.
    Go on! Off you go, we will all be happier.

  8. Broga says:

    For a devastating fictional insight – based on facts and research – into child sexual abuse in Ireland I recommend: “A History of Loneliness” by John Boyne. Extracts from these reviews sum up why I was so impressed:

    “Anyone who wants to know what happened in the Irish Catholic Church needs to read this brave, righteously angry and stunning book.” Joseph O’Connor.

    “This book raises the question of whether being blinkered by faith and bewildered by real life absolves anyone of the greatest sin of all: silence. Jenny Barlow.

    Sometimes a harrowing read but beautifully written and full of insights into the Catholic Church, the life of its priests and the suffering visited on the victims.

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    Looking on the less gloomy side, they commissioned an independent report and published it. I can believe that actions will be taken. The Methodist church is where my non-belief started, not because of any bad behaviour but because the Sunday School teachers and the ministers were all open about the limits of faith in general and their own specifically. While they were content to accept that religious truth was unknowable, I was not.
    The problem with this report is:
    “Ministers or lay employees were involved in 26 percent of the alleged cases of abuse, the investigation found.
    That figure increased to 33 percent when Church members, such as worship leaders and local preachers, were also included.”
    Where and who are the missing 67%?
    The report, that covers 1950 – c.2010 (not stated) is available at: http://www.methodist.org.uk/media/1683823/past-cases-review-2013-2015-final.pdf
    It is 94 pages long so I have not read it yet.

    On other matters: the BBC’s ‘From our own correspondent’ programme headed by their emeritus Head of Bravery, Kate Adie, this morning had a report that “sixty thousand churches in Ghana, but some ministers seem more interested in making money than saving souls”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05w456m
    Running time from 8min. 25sec. to 14min. There is very little that has not been aired in this website but with BBC imprimatur.
    This was followed by “thousands turn out for a free festival in Morocco where the aim of the musicians was to show that music and Islam can live together in harmony.” (19min 20sec to 24min 36sec) Being musically illiterate have no comment to make on the quality but, since the audiences seem to like it, it will probably be banned.

  10. Bye bye fuckwit says:

    Ift ikhar
    I think you are well on the way to becoming a dangerous islamofacist lunatic. If you consider the UK to be such a shit place then please feel free to fuck off and go somewhere else…or do you find the services, handouts, benefits,freedom of speech in the UK outweigh your hate? You fit the definition of a fundamentalist islamofacist…self loathing, divisive, hating, parasitic, loud mouthed,under achieving, sexually repressed, stupefied, ranting, mentally constipated, fuckwit guttersnipe. Go on fuck off …

  11. Alan C. says:

    Ifti,
    ‘What’s the point of the legal age being 16 when you are being taught at school that it’s ok as long as you practice safe sex.’

    Remind me again Ifti, how old was Aisha?

    ‘Nothing about love, respect, serious relationships or more importantly abstinence!’

    Yeh because we’ve seen how well abstinence teaching works in the US.

  12. L.Long says:

    @ I Ahmad
    I will not insult stupid people by comparing them to you, so no insult is coming.
    Question…What is so great about virginity???? And don’t do the health argument, it mostly applies to the southern states as the kids are grown ignorant.
    It’s like the isLame dream of 40 virgins in heaven, that is so silly as to be well silly. When I get to isLame heaven I want 50 whores highly skilled and well practiced. They will ‘love’ me as well as the virgins but will phuck with great skill.

  13. AgentCormac says:

    I think I may have nightingales nesting near my garden (this is not a joke, BTW). So I went to Youtube, searched for a recording of nightingale song so I could hear what one actually sounds like, only to be confronted by a comment below it from someone claiming that such birdsong is ‘Real music. Created by God.’. WTF?

    The point being, the world is brimming with deluded bloody idiots like whoever left that comment and Ifti Madman above, who clearly have nothing better to do in life than swamp the internet with their puerile delusions, no matter how irrelevant they may be to the context in which they are found.

    So I agree wholeheartedly with Bye bye fuckwit. Fuck off. Leave us alone. The world is an infinitely poorer place for having you and your inane, endlessly irritating claptrap in it.

  14. Broga says:

    @Ahmad: ” There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.” There is, I assume, a place for non Muslim tax payers to fund these dens of superstition and dangerous indoctrination.. “Certainty in the next life is simply incompatible with tolerance in this one.” Sam Harris in “The End of Faith.”

    Sam Harris says in the same book that we need a far more aggressive secularism to save ourselves from the insanity of the kind of beliefs that you hold. One of the few places we get that aggressive secularism is on this site. Despite that, we tolerate your meandering sermons. I notice that those who preach religion use about ten times as many words as those who are atheists. I understand this as they have no facts to support them.

  15. Broga says:

    @AgentCormac: Bird experiences. Good luck with the nightingales. I’ve got barn owls in the nearbye wood. Then one flew into my barn a few times and that was some experience as this big, silent bird flew over my head. My wife, a bird fan, decided we must erect a “proper” box for the bird to nest in.

    At some expense, and a fair bit of trouble, the local Wildlife Trust helped us erect the box in the ideal place : high up, a specially made box and facing an open door. We waited.

    Six months later – no show. Still waiting. That’s nature and a lesson. As someone said, and I paraphrase, “The cosmos doesn’t give a toss about your convenience and what you want.” No point in praying therefore.

  16. AgentCormac says:

    @Broga
    ‘No point in praying therefore.’ Absolutely. Nature will do its own thing. (If only we could learn to leave it well enough alone!)

    I’ll be amazed if they really are nightingales (you know which part of the world myself and Mrs AC live in). But that’s certainly what they look and sound like to me. Maybe I should enquire if there’s a local ‘Twitchers for Jesus Society’ and ask them what their god thinks, as surely he should know. After all, nothing ever happens that he hasn’t planned for us. Apparently. And good luck with the owls. I love owls.

  17. Stephen Mynett says:

    Broga: That is one, of the many, great things about nature. Eventually the owls will probably decide to nest a few yards away from their custom-box – we can never second guess nature.
    I am a cat lover and think it great that despite my best efforts to find a nice box and cushion for my current lodgers (no one can truly own a cat) I will end up with an unusable laptop bag which is covered in fur and a portable flea sanctuary.
    If there is any message it is enjoy nature for what it is, it does not need to have a meaning or a message, it is amazing enough as it is.