The conviction today of Mr House marks an important step in the ongoing process of making sure those who have used positions of power to abuse others, are held accountable. There is no place in the Church for the abuse of others, or for failing to protect those who are vulnerable to abuse. The Diocese of Chichester welcomes the exercise of justice in the telling of truth and conviction of guilt.
We are profoundly sorry for the abuse perpetrated by Mr House and remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the well-being of vulnerable people, young and old, who rightly look to us for respect, care, and nurture in the Christian faith. Abuse is a terrible crime and a grievous breach of trust, and we hope that Mr House’s victims, who have shown great courage in coming forward to report this matter, can feel that justice has been done in this case.
This investigation began in 2012, when staff from the Church of England and Diocesan safeguarding teams worked together, resulting in a report being sent to Sussex Police by an independent safeguarding consultant commissioned by the Church of England. Mr House was arrested in November 2012, and his permission to officiate in the Diocese of Chichester was immediately removed. Diocesan staff, who were working closely with Sussex Police on this case at the time, have continued to do so throughout this lengthy investigation. We wish to put on record our admiration and gratitude for the professionalism of Sussex Police in this matter, and their determination to ensure that abusers are brought to justice.