Bishop of Gloucester 'shocked and distressed' by church abuse review

Gloucester Cathedral. Credit: PA Images

The current bishop of Gloucester, Right Rev Rachel Treweek has responded to the findings of the Independent review of former bishop Peter Ball 'An Abuse of Faith', produced by Dame Moira Gibb.

"I have read Dame Moira's report and am greatly shocked and distressed by its content," she said.

The report presents a devastating account of Peter Ball's abuse and it is a matter of deep shame and regret that a Bishop in the Church of England committed such horrendous crimes and that as a Church we repeatedly failed to act and protect those who came forward for help.

Right Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester

"There are no excuses for what took place" the Right Rev Rachel Treweek says, reflecting on what has come out in the report. Speaking about the victims she says:

I feel immensely sad that Neil Todd took his own life and is not with us today - I wish to commend his tenacity and courage and that of other victims and survivors. Any survivors or those with information about church-related abuse must know that they will be listened to in confidence, with genuine openness and empathy.

Right Rev Rachel Treweek

The current Bishop, who is the first female Bishop to take her seat in the House of Lords said that the Church commissioned this review so its members could learn from their failings.

"I, alongside my staff team, remain committed to striving for the highest level of safeguarding in the Diocese of Gloucester and making our churches the safest places they can possibly be. We will continue to work with the National Safeguarding Team and act upon the recommendations made in the report."

Disgraced Peter Ball who was once the Bishop of Gloucester. Credit: PA Images

Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester from Somerset was jailed for 32 months for sexually abusing boys and young men.