Church offers heartfelt apology at child abuse inquiry


The first hearing of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has taken place in Edinburgh.

The inquiry was launched by the Scottish Government to raise public awareness of the scale and impact of abuse affecting children in residential care between 1930 and 2014.

The Church of Scotland is one of the largest providers of social care to the people of Scotland and representatives of CrossReach, the Social Care Council of the Church, took part in the proceedings.

Bill Steele, convener of the Social Care Council, said: “The Church of Scotland welcomes the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

“We recognise this as an important day for those who have experienced abuse whilst in residential care, giving them the chance to be heard and to seek accountability.

“We acknowledge we have failed to fully protect some of the children entrusted into our care.

“The Church has offered and will continue to offer support for survivors through its safeguarding listening service.

“Recognising that the events of the past cannot be changed, the Church nevertheless offers a heartfelt apology to all who have suffered in its care.

“We would encourage survivors to make contact with the Inquiry”.

A copy of the Church’s opening statement to the Inquiry can be accessed here.

The full transcript of the first day of proceedings can be accessed here.