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SOUL SURVIVOR: Two Watford pastors suspended over handling of safeguarding investigation

 Published on: 9th June 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Two pastors at a Watford church have been suspended amidst an ongoing safeguarding investigation.

Soul Survivor founder Reverend Mike Pilavachi MBE was officially suspended by the Christian charity last month after safeguarding concerns were raised.

Read more here:

SAFEGUARDING CONCERNS: Archbishop issues statement as investigation into Watford reverend continues

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

Yesterday (June 8), it was announced that two further members of Soul Survivor staff have now been put under scrutiny. After receiving new information from the National Safeguarding Team (NST) investigation into Mike Pilavachi, the non-staff trustees of Soul Survivor Watford decided to suspend two members of staff under HR processes: senior pastor Andy Croft (pictured) and assistant pastor Ali Martin.

The information submitted to the investigation relates to concerns over the handling of allegations that were raised before the NST investigation began.

Reverend Pilavachi and Andy Croft have ties outside of the church, having released a book together in 2016 entitled Everyday Supernatural.

A statement from the NST and and Diocese of St Albans reads: “Soul Survivor Watford trustees have announced today the suspension under HR processes of two serving members of staff following information submitted to the investigation into Mike Pilavachi which is being run jointly by the diocese of St Albans and the NST according to House of Bishops guidance.  This information relates to the handling of allegations and concerns raised in the Mike Pilavachi case and we cannot say anymore while this new strand of investigation runs its course. The Bishop of St Albans has requested that the senior pastor voluntarily withdraw from any ministry until the investigation is concluded.  Support is being offered to all those involved.

“If you would like to speak to anyone connected to this investigation or have been affected, please be assured that any concerns raised will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and support / access to counselling is available.

“Please contact Jeremy Hirst at the Diocesan Safeguarding Team at safeguarding@stalbans.anglican.org or Judith Renton, Ian Bowles or Anthony Clarke at the NST at safeguarding@churchofengland.org who will listen to what you have to say. Again, please be assured that any safeguarding concerns raised will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

“If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by this news and want to talk to someone independently, please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056.”

 

Photo credit: Soul Survivor

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