Christopher Pearson has been appointed as the new Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC).
He replaces Danny Sullivan who stepped down from the role in July 2015 in order to spend more time with his family. Chris was previously Lay Vice Chair of the NCSC and has been in an Acting Chair position since July 2015.
Chris has a background in Local Government. He has 36 years’ experience as a qualified Social Worker. He has extensive senior management experience working at a strategic level in developing services for adults and taking a lead role on developing local, regional and national safeguarding policies. He retired from Local Government in 2013 and now works part time in a health setting working with adults at risk. He has 20 years’ experience as a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission until his appointment in 2014 as a lay member of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission for England and Wales.
About the appointment Mr Pearson said:
“I am delighted to take up the role of Chair of the NCSC. I value the independence the Church affords to the role of the Commission and recognise how vital that independent voice is. Victims and survivors of abuse must continue to be at the heart of all the work that we do and that is why one of the key areas of our future work is to appoint a Survivors Advisory Panel to develop a more sensitive and pastoral response to the victims and survivors of abuse.
“Earlier this year, in a letter to all Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences and Religious Orders, Pope Francis said, that ‘the Church has a duty to express the compassion of Jesus towards those who suffered abuse and towards their families’ to ‘open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused’. I am fully committed to ensuring that this will continue to be the focus of the work of the Commission.”
The NCSC is the independent body responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policies for children and vulnerable adults. It was formed in July 2008 following acceptance, by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Conference of Religious of England and Wales, of the recommendations in the Cumberlege Report Safeguarding with Confidence (July 2007).
In addition to setting the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policies for children and adults at risk, the NCSC is also responsible for monitoring compliance with these policies and for ensuring that the Church does all it can to respond to the safeguarding needs of the community, including those who have been victims of abuse.
Vice Chairs of the Commission, Bishop Marcus Stock and Sister Lyndsay Spendelow, welcomed the appointment of Chris Pearson as the new independent chair of the NCSC.
Sr Lyndsay Spendelow, Religious Vice Chair, said:
“I am looking forward to continuing the work of NCSC with Chris Pearson as Chair. He brings a wealth of experience to the role and it is good that we have the added strength of continuity which comes from his time as Lay Vice Chair of the Commission previously.”
Rt Rev Marcus Stock, Bishop Vice Chair, said:
“I am very pleased that Chris Pearson has accepted the appointment to the post of Chair of the NCSC. I am confident that, with his considerable experience, Chris will build on the good work of his predecessor in further developing the safeguarding strategy and policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.”
Official website of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission