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‘DECISIVE ACTION’: Watford reverend suspended as safeguarding investigation continues

 Published on: 22nd May 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Watford reverend has been suspended with immediate effect amidst an ongoing safeguarding investigation.

Reverend Mike Pilavachi MBE founded the Watford-based Christian charity Soul Survivor in 1993, having previously been a youth worker at St Andrew’s Church, Chorleywood.

It was announced on April 2 that an investigation into non-recent safeguarding concerns had been launched after reports were received relating to Rev Pilavachi, whilst The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also issued a statement on May 16.

Soul Survivor Watford announced on May 20 that Rev Pivalachi has now been suspended.

Their statement read: “The trustees of Soul Survivor Watford have suspended Mike Pilavachi as an employee with immediate effect while the formal independent investigation conducted by the National Safeguarding Team (NST) and St Albans Diocesan Safeguarding Team continues. It has become clear that this more decisive action should have been made earlier and we have acted to correct this now.

“When he stepped back from ministry in April, Mike resigned from the board of Soul Survivor Watford and all related charity boards.

“We want to reiterate that we are especially aware of the responsibility we have towards those who reported their safeguarding concerns to the Church of England and of how much they are suffering. We regret this was not clear in our initial statement made on April 2 and are sorry for the pain caused as a result.

“We are continuing to cooperate fully with the investigation. We are assured that anyone affected will continue to be given the opportunity to contribute to the investigation and given the support they need. We are also committed to reviewing the culture of Soul Survivor Watford and are determined that lessons are learned to ensure a strong, healthy and supportive environment for anyone who calls this church their home.

“We recognise that there are currently many people who are feeling hurt and confused. It takes a lot of courage to speak up and we would encourage anyone who has concerns related to the investigation to report those to the NST on or the Diocesan Safeguarding Team on For other concerns, please contact thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111, or the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056.”


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