Tributes paid to the independent National Catholic Safeguarding Commission chair

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Chris Pearson – Requiescat in Pacem

Tributes have been paid to Chris Pearson, the chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC), who sadly died in hospital following a short illness on 30 January 2020.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols praised his generosity, modesty and “sharp focus on service of others” whilst Bishop Marcus Stock, a vice chair of the NCSC, said the Catholic community owed him a “huge debt of gratitude for the tireless and selfless amount of time he dedicated to improving the ministry of safeguarding in the life of the Church in England and Wales.”

Chris Pearson had chaired the NCSC since 2015 and was an active member before this time. His passion for safeguarding and protection for all within the Catholic Church and beyond, was inspiring, as was his dedication to the work of the NCSC. This passion and dedication extended through his tireless work and volunteering for the National Health Service.

Our thoughts and prayers are for Chris and his family. May he rest in peace.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said:

“From the first moment I met Chris I was impressed with his generosity, modesty and sharp focus on service of others. His gentle character carried great authority. I thank God for the life of this faithful man. He is much missed. May he rest in peace.”

The Rt Rev Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Episcopal Vice Chair of the NCSC said:

“It was a privilege to work alongside Chris Pearson over the past seven years on the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission. A profound respect for the dignity of each person and a deep care for all who are at risk of abuse were at the root of Chris’ safeguarding work. His personal faith shone through everything he said and did. Without any doubt, the Catholic community in this country owes Chris a huge debt of gratitude for the tireless and selfless amount of time he dedicated to improving the ministry of safeguarding in the life of the Church in England and Wales. The legacy he leaves cannot be underestimated. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family.”

Rachel O’Driscoll, Lay Vice Chair of the NCSC said:

“Having worked closely with Chris on safeguarding for over six years, I know what an immense loss his death represents. A fine and selfless man, alongside his day job working for the NHS, Chris was tireless in his efforts to ensure that the Church developed an effective safeguarding system able to prevent and respond to all forms of abuse of children, young people and adults at risk. It was truly a privilege to know and work with him and to see how effectively he translated his strong faith into purposeful action for the most vulnerable amongst us. We can learn much from Chris’ approach and his continuing legacy must be an unwavering focus within the Church, at every level, on ensuring that everything possible is done to protect children and adults at risk.”

Dr Colette Limbrick, Director the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) said:

“Chris was kind and generous in time and spirit. He was dedicated to safeguarding the welfare of others and was instrumental in bringing the voice of victims and survivors to the fore, through his work on the NCSC. Chris’ compassion shone through his communication with those who approached him for help; his ability to relate to people in distress and his genuine empathy and resolve to assist set an example to all of us. Chris will be greatly missed by us.”