Response to the Apology

The phone rang hot for a day or two with leavers feelings about the Gloriavale “apology letter”. It is for them to share their personal beliefs about the genuine nature of the apology. However, our Trust always gets asked for comments when anything from Gloriavale reaches the ears of the media.

Our initial reaction is that it’s an extraordinary letter. It makes a significant admission and acknowledgement about two aspects of their life that have been wrong – abuse and labour exploitation.

This is a good thing. If it’s genuine, it’s a remarkable thing.

The sentiment is great, and don’t underestimate the power of acknowledgement in the healing process. It is something leavers have desired.

We all know that one statement doesn’t absolve them from the wrongs of the past or stop the serious concerns people have for those living in there.

Given their history people will want to see verifiable progress.

To apologise like this is big. But to make the structural changes to put this apology into play is bigger. Everyone is hoping that as the changes unfold there will be positive outcomes for the people still living in Gloriavale. It will be interesting to see what their restructuring looks like. It will take some effort to rebalance things because they still hold absolute power and individuals don’t have financial freedom, or good living conditions.

We hope this marks the end of expulsions and family separation and the psychological abuse which has caused so much harm.

There are plenty of Gloriavale Leavers who would be happy to assist Gloriavale through the apology, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation process.

Time will tell what this apology means…