A statement from the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Rachel Treweek:
“Speaking on behalf of the Diocese of Gloucester, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the actions of a former Bishop in the Church of England and we offer an unreserved apology to all the survivors and those affected by Peter Ball’s abuse.
“Since Peter Ball’s guilty plea in September, the Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned an independent review of the way the Church responded to this case. We make no excuses for this appalling abuse of trust and so we welcome the decision for this independent review and we will do whatever we can to support it. Across the Diocese, safeguarding in all its forms is a priority for us: we are never complacent and are always striving to improve.
“We take any allegations of abuse very seriously. Any survivors or those with information about church-related abuse should be confident in coming forward knowing that they will be listened to. The Church has worked with the NSPCC to set up a confidential helpline number: 0800 389 5344.”
The statement released nationally by the Church of England can be read at http://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/10/statement-on-the-sentencing-of-peter-ball.aspx.