A former social worker has been appointed the new chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC).
Christopher Pearson will replace former chair, Danny Sullivan, who stepped down from his role in July 2015 to spend more time with his family.
Commenting on his appointment, Chris Pearson, who was previously lay Vice Chair of the NCSC, 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.”
Chris Pearson has 36 years of experience as a qualified social worker and 20 years experience as a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Commission until his appointment in 2014 as a lay member of the NCSC for England and Wales.
The NCSC is the independent body responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policies for children and vulnerable adults.
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.”