Church – stock image.

The Methodist Church in Ireland has issued an apology to victims of abuse following a safeguarding report.

The safeguarding review recorded 30 historic cases of abuse within the Church.

The Church said the review, which was launched in November 2020, had not been prompted by any specific incident.

Six of the cases from 1998 involved ministers while the others involved accusations against lay volunteer leaders.

The church said some of the 30 cases involved abuse that resulted in police action.

The cases included inappropriate physical violence, peer-to-peer physical, sexual or emotional abuse and inappropriate relationships between young adult leaders and teenage participants as well as inappropriate use of social media.

The apology was read out at Conference:

The Methodist Church in Ireland apologises without reserve to all those who have been victims of abuse in the life of our Church.

We have failed you, failed society and failed our saviour. Our processes that were designed to protect all have not done that. We have caused pain that goes beyond measure.

We apologise that we have not been the beacon of light that we are called to be.

It has taken us too long to recognise our failings and face up to the truth. We have failed to listen carefully to what we were being told in the past.