Archbishop of Canterbury 'was unaware' of abuse allegations against former colleague

Archbishop of Canterbury 'unaware' of abuse allegations against former colleague

Justin Welby officiating a ceremony

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Justin Welby has insisted he was unaware of allegations of physical abuse relating to one of his former colleagues. 

Following a Channel 4 News investigation, John Smyth - a part-time judge currently based in South Africa - has received a series of physical abuse accusations against him, allegedly committed in his time spent at the Iwerne camp for teenage boys.

The camp had close links to the Church of England, and Mr. Welby also worked there as a dormitory officer in the 1970s.  

Channel 4 News claims the camp's managing body, the Iwerne Trust, was claimed to have been made aware of the allegations, but didn't submit a police report. 

Smyth refused to talk about the allegations with the broadcaster.

The Archbishop of Canterbury released a statement yesterday (Wednesday) relating to the accusations.

It read: "Although the archbishop worked with him [John Smyth], he wasn't part of the inner circle of friends; no-one discussed allegations of abuse by John Smyth with him.

"We recognise that many institutions failed catastrophically but the church is meant to hold itself to a far higher standard and we have failed terribly.

"For this, the archbishop apologises unequivocally to all survivors."