The Archbishop of Canterbury banned abuse victim from cathedral grounds after treating his case with “casual indifference”, IICSA hears


“Should you do so, you will be removed. This ban can be lifted by a full and unconditional apology from you to the staff member concerned and by proper undertaking as to future behaviour.”

As he was questioned before the panel, Archbishop Welby told the Inquiry that the man had reported the allegations to him in writing, but added that there had also “been a difficult meeting where he’d come to the cathedral”. 

He said that he should have recognised the “very complicated incident” and that the alleged perpetrator should have been suspended and never have been allowed connections links with the Cathedral.

However, he stood by his ban and said that “people were very frightened by [the man]”.

“I suspect I judged it as a disciplinary matter not a safeguarding matter…. I think at the time I would have seen safeguarding as being around minors and would have been less conscious of vulnerable adults, which was a serious mistake, I think, and certainly not one I would commit now,” he said. 

Asked by Fiona Scolding QC, counsel to the Inquiry, whether the man was “possibly justifiably angry because of the sexual nature” of the allegations, the Archbishop replied that the security officers said there was “an immediate and serious risk of physical harm” to junior members of staff and “that had to be dealt with seriously”.


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