Archbishop of Canterbury in spotlight over sadistic abuse claims at Christian camps


Justin Welby worked at the ‘Bash camps’, financed by the Iwerne Trust, in the 1970s. Photograph: Neil Mockford/Getty

Souce: The Guardian

Welby in spotlight over sadistic abuse claims at Christian camps

Church of England to review its handling of allegations about John Smyth in 70s and 80s

The archbishop of Canterbury is expected to come under scrutiny in an independent review ordered by the Church of England into allegations of sadistic beatings of boys at Christian holiday camps.

Two key organisations have declined to take part in the review.

The review, announced by the church on Tuesday, will examine its handling of claims that John Smyth QC carried out violent beatings of boys and young men in the 1970s and 80s. Smyth met his alleged victims, many of whom attended Winchester College, a public school, at “Bash camps”.

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Justin Welby worked at the evangelical holiday camps, financed by the Iwerne Trust, as a “dormitory officer” in the 1970s, and was acquainted with Smyth, who was chairman of the trust between 1974 and 1981.

Lambeth Palace, the archbishop’s headquarters, is expected to hand to the review team documents in Welby’s possession which relate to the abuse allegations or action taken in connection with the claims. Welby may also agree to give evidence.

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