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New book dealing with religious education and clerical child abuse - ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

New book dealing with religious education and clerical child abuse - ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN - Why child abuse bedevils Christianity

4.4 out of 5 stars for ST AUGUSTINE'S SIN

4.4 out of 5 stars from the OnLineBookClub

Matt Redman, a prominent worship leader at Soul Survivor, has alleged he experienced "harmful behaviours" and was "mistreated" – The Telegraph

CHICHESTER, WEST SUSSEX, UNITED KINGDOM, July 16, 2023/ -- For months UK national newspapers have been publishing allegations of abuse levelled at 65-year-old Rev Canon Mike Pilavachi the British evangelist preacher revered by Church leaders. Pilavachi founded the Soul Survivor Church in Watford 1993, and he is regarded within Christian circles as a charismatic leader and a prophet with “a direct dial to God”. But under the vestment of his Christian celebrity, moralising in front of a giant crucifix, it is claimed that young, men were encouraged to receive full-body oil massages in their underwear in their vicar’s bedroom.

In May, following revelations in the Telegraph, a safeguarding investigation was announced. Days later the Church of England (CofE) reacted by summarily sacking all members of The Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB) who provided independent oversight on how the Church deals with abuse. St Albans diocese announced that the investigation will continue with the Church’s internal safeguarding team, without independent checks or balances.

One famous victim, musical superstar Matt Redman, stated: "The allegations cover a whole spectrum of harm - physical, psychological, spiritual etc...I know some are having a tough time believing the various accusations...I really understand and sympathise with that. But there are victims here - and the number of people who have come forward to the safeguarding investigation is now a loud and clear alarm-bell that cannot be ignored. I feel particularly strongly on this issue as I myself have experienced the harmful behaviours described."

The CofE’s National Safeguarding Team announced: “We really appreciate your prayers for all those involved at this very difficult time and we do ask, for the sake of all those involved, that you do not speculate or discuss this more widely, including on social media.”

Responding to the statement, Natalie Collins, a gender justice specialist and abuse survivor, said: “It is of significant public interest that one of the most influential Christian leaders of a generation has stepped back from ministry in order for historic safeguarding issues to be investigated and, while it is important to be cautious about how the situation is discussed, encouraging silence is not healthy.”

A new book, "St Augustine’s Sin" explains the hidden background to this news. Hailed by reviewers as ‘well researched’, ‘informative’ and ‘mind-opening’, the work offers a compelling insight into the current crisis within the church. The author invites readers to reassess their understanding of the relationship between teaching in faith schools today and the continuing scandal of child abuse.

"St Augustine’s Sin: Why child abuse bedevils Christianity" is now available in all good bookstores and online, currently at discount, from Amazon.

About the authors:
A professional engineer by training, Joe Baker served as altar boy and chorister while attending boarding schools where he faced abuse. With the Vatican decrying critics of the church as ‘Friends of the Devil’, he thought back to the drill and doctrine of his schooldays.

His writing about Christianity has been described as ‘informative’ ‘inspiring’ and ‘outrageous.’ Having spent much of his professional life writing for technical journals, Joe’s prose tends to be crisp and taut.

Contributor, Lorna Graham, a teacher for 26 years, brings faith schools to life describing her efforts to deliver a critically conscious, dialogic education to her pupils.

More on the author's website.


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Joe Baker
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Courtesy of BBC News