THE Archbishop of Canterbury has set up an inquiry into child protection policies in the Diocese of Chichester in West Sussex, it was announced.
Lambeth Palace said the inquiry had been launched “in response to concerns within the diocese” but declined to expand on the background to the fears.
Current child protection arrangements within the diocese will be scrutinised during the investigation and recommendations for the future will be made.
Dr Rowan Williams has appointed Bishop John Gladwin and Chancellor Rupert Bursell QC to conduct the inquiry, which Lambeth Palace said had the backing of Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Dr John Hind.
In May, a review found serious failings in the senior clergy after two priests were allowed to continue working despite being accused of serious child abuse offences.
Collin Pritchard was the vicar of St Barnabas in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, until 2007, despite having been first reported to police for sex offences 10 years earlier. He was later jailed for sexually abusing two young boys.
One of the boys was also abused by Roy Cotton, who worked as a parish priest in Brede near Rye, but prosecutors decided there was not enough evidence to charge him before his 2006 death.
Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, who was appointed by the Church of England to carry out an independent review, said that across the diocese “and probably in many other dioceses” there had been “a lack of understanding of the seriousness of historic child abuse”.