Shaping debate on religion in public life.

Falling Among Thieves

19 Apr 2022

Today, we are publishing a powerful new Temple Tract by Andrew Graystone

In recent years, victims of church-related abuse have complained bitterly about their treatment by the church. What has gone so badly wrong, and how could the church do better? Falling Among Thieves seeks to outline a theological understanding of church-related abuse, and the church’s role in ‘re-dressing’ the victim—drawing insights from the story of the Good Samaritan. The text is preceded by a Foreword from Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, who both applauds and responds to Graystone’s words.

Andrew Graystone comments:

“I’m haunted by the scores of people I have met whose lives have been wrecked by their encounters with Christian leaders. In almost every case, the way the church has responded has caused as much harm—and often far more—than the original abuse. Over the years that I have been walking this road, the leaders of the contemporary church have failed to deal with this reality.

Abuse happens in every hierarchical institution—but there is no excuse for the church responding to its victims in such damaging and destructive ways. I hope that Falling Among Thieves will go some way to helping the church think deeply about the damage it has done, and how it might begin to respond more appropriately.”

Chris Baker, Director of Research at the Foundation comments:

“The William Temple Foundation is honoured to publish this important piece of theology by Andrew Graystone that is both a call for justice and a call for reconciliation around the topic of church-based abuse. We hope it will make a positive and substantive contribution to this serious issue.”

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