Churches face new paedophile risk

Children attending church are at increasing risk from
paedophiles converting to Christianity, a child protection charity
warned this week.

The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) said that
five churches a week were asking for its help in how to deal with
the growing numbers of sex offenders attending their services and

The charity said that the increase was partly due to the success
of the Alpha course, a Christian faith programme, in prisons.

In response it has launched a DVD training programme for
churches, which was part-funded by the Department for Education and
Skills, on how to respond to sex offenders joining their

The DVD, Supporting Offenders Safely – the Supervision and
Pastoral Care of Sex Offenders, is based on the service’s work with
the police, social services and child protection charity the Lucy
Faithfull Foundation.

It advises churches to establish boundaries with offenders which
they must adhere to when attending the church such as never being
in the vicinity of children.

CCPAS’s Simon Bass warned churches not to be naive, as some had
been in the past, and recognise that some offenders were too
dangerous to be allowed anywhere near children. He added that these
offenders should be directed to churches only attended by


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