Watford Church Reverend resigns during safeguarding probe


Watford Church Reverend resigns during safeguarding probe

A prominent church leader, Reverend Canon Mike Pilavachi, has resigned following his suspension during a Church of England investigation into “safeguarding concerns.” Reverend Pilavachi, who headed the Soul Survivor Church in Watford and a national Christian youth festival, stepped down earlier this year when the probe commenced.

Soul Survivor, Greycaine Rd, Watford

The specific nature of the allegations against him remains undisclosed, and attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.

In statements posted on his social media accounts, Reverend Pilavachi expressed his resignation, citing the need for healing within the church and acknowledging that his continued presence would impede that process.

“I seek forgiveness from any whom I have hurt during the course of my ministry,” he added.

“I pray for God’s blessing on the church it has been a privilege and joy to serve these past 30 years.”

The Soul Survivor Church announced Reverend Pilavachi’s suspension as an employee on May 20, recognizing the necessity for more decisive action to have been taken earlier.

The church’s trustees, represented by David Mitchell, confirmed that the National Safeguarding Team (NST) had been informed of Reverend Pilavachi’s resignation, assuring that the investigation would proceed as planned until a conclusion is reached.

“We remain committed to seeking a just, truthful and transparent outcome to the investigation for all those who have bravely stepped forward to share their concerns and experiences with the NST and the St Albans Diocesan Safeguarding Team,” Mr Mitchell said.

Additionally, the trustees have pledged to conduct a comprehensive and independent review of the culture, leadership, and governance of Soul Survivor Watford, with further details to be provided later. This review aims to establish a strong, healthy, and supportive environment for all church attendees and visitors.

Mr. Mitchell acknowledged the strength it takes to report abuse and expressed gratitude to those who have come forward. Both the church and the NST encourage anyone with information or concerns to contact them.

Hertfordshire Police previously said it had not received any criminal allegations but were aware of the investigation and were “monitoring the situation”.

Lawyers representing some complainants have said they did not trust the Church of England NST to remain impartial and have called for an independent agency to be appointed.

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