Justin Welby 'to give evidence' as investigation begins into Church camps where boys were beaten


The Archbishop of Canterbury is expected to be called to give evidence to an independent review into the sadistic beatings of boys at Church of England holiday camps.

Before his ordination, the Most Rev Justin Welby had served as a “dormitory officer” at evangelical camps where John Smyth QC carried out beatings of boys and young men.

The church announced an independent review into the assaults carried out by Smyth in the 1970s and 1980s.

The investigation will try to establish which Church staff knew about the abuse, whether they responded appropriately and whether the attacks could have been prevented.

Smyth, a former barrister, was the chairman of the Iwerne Trust between 1974 and 1981. The organisation invited boys and young men from public schools, including students from Winchester College, to the camps, known as “Bash camps”.

It emerged in 2017 that Smyth, an anti-gay campaigner, had handed out up to 800 lashes to numerous males, some so severe the victims were left bleeding.

Shortly before he was due to be extradited from his home in South Africa to Britain to be interviewed by Hampshire Police, Smyth died from a heart attack. 


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