Statements from the Diocese and Bishop of Leicester


Statements from the Diocese and Bishop of Leicester

Norman Clarke, who was a Curate at St Mary Magdelene Church, Knighton in Leicester, from January 1974 to June 1981, had ‘License to Officiate’ at services in our diocese for 11 years before that (January 1963 to January 1974,) and now lives in another part of the country, has been sentenced at Leicester Crown Court to 30 months imprisonment for indecent assault of a minor,dating back to his time as a teacher at a non-church school in the 1970s. He had pleaded guilty to all six allegations made against him.

A spokesperson for the diocese said: “Safeguarding in the Church has to be our highest priority and the diocese has been working with the school, Police and relevant authorities from the moment these allegations came to light and has liaised with others to ensure the survivor of this awful abuse has been offered the support they deserve.

“We understand that this is very upsetting for everyone who knew Norman Clarke during his time here. We urge anyone especially impacted by this, or anyone wishing to give information or make disclosures of abuse connected to any church officer, however historic it might be and in whatever setting, to make direct contact with our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers:  Rachael Spiers on Rachael.Spiers@Leicestercofe.org or 0793 081 9279 or email Peter.Holloway@LeicesterCofE.org or 07930 887984 to contact the Safe Spaces service (which operates independently of the Church and the Police) on safespaces@victimsupport.org.uk or call them on 0300 303 1056.  

The Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, said:

“These crimes are a betrayal of the standards expected of all clergy and church officers. We offer an unreserved apology to the person affected, knowing that the effects of abuse are lifelong. The safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults lies at the heart of all that we are and all that we seek to be in the Church.

“This diocese takes all safeguarding allegations and crimes very seriously and we are committed to following House of Bishops safeguarding guidelines in all our churches to ensure the Church is a safer place for all. The offences were connected to Norman Clarke’s school setting in his capacity as a teacher, another privileged position of trust in which the highest standards of behavior are expected by us all.

“I am praying for everyone who has been affected by these crimes, including all those in the church, schools and local community.”

 


First published on: 22nd December 2021

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