Many of you will have seen or heard about coverage involving Trinity Church in the Brentwood Gazette this week. We are disappointed with the article and do not believe that it reflects our church today, the positive steps we are making toaddress historic issues and the way we are trying to reach out to those who were hurt in the past.
We would like to reassure you that the media coverage will not deflect us from our desire to support the Commission in it’s work and to make every effort to bring reconciliation and healing to those who have been in some way hurt.
We were asked by the Brentwood Gazette to provide a statement about progress of the Commission which we were happy to do and I replied on behalf of the Trustees on 3rd July 2015 saying;
Good evening Simon, thank you for your email yesterday about progress of the Commission.
I think everything that you want to know has already been published on our website, there is a lot of detail in the statements archive for example.
The Commission consists of five members and is working in a thorough and independent way receiving representations from those who wished to contact them. The Evangelical Alliance helped us by suggesting an independent Chair, John Langlois OBE. The main purpose of the Commission is to reach out in Christian love and compassion in an endeavour to bring reconciliation and healing to those who have been hurt. The full terms of reference for the Commission are on our website.
The Commission is independent of Trinity Church and should you need more details of their work and progress it would be more appropriate to contact the Chair of the Commission at Brentwoodcommission2015@gmail.com
Trinity Church is keen to receive the Commission’s report when it is completed and reach out in Christian love to those who have been hurt. We also want to learn from, and address where we have not acted according to the example that Jesus Christ gave us.
For those of you that have read the article in the Brentwood Gazette you will recognise that, sadly, the journalist chose not to use any of this content as a part of the article that appeared on 8th July. Instead, extracted wording was used from an announcement on our website dating back to April 2015 that talked about the setting up of the Commission.
Trinity Church today is a very different church to the organisation it was in the past. However we must face up to the past and acknowledge that some feel they have been hurt through the church – hence the need for the Commission.
The work of the Commission specifically excludes any investigation into potential criminal conduct. I confirm that any such specific conduct has been reported to the police and Charity Commission by the current Trustees in a timely manner. We are not aware of any subsequent action that has been necessary by those authorities but would, of course, co-operate with them whenever required. The historic case mentioned in the Gazette was also dealt with contemporaneously and led to a conviction.
Our commitment to being open, transparent and caring remains unshaken. We continue to support the Commission in its work and hold a genuine desire to move forward.
Chair of Trustees