Royal Commission names Gloriavale as a group to investigate

After working with the Royal Commission for more than two years the Gloriavale Leavers’ Support Trust is pleased that Gloriavale has been named as a faith-based group who will be specifically investigated.  We want to thank the Commission for their willingness to engage with a hard-to-reach people group. We are pleased to have been able to provide advocacy for Gloriavale Leavers, who are testament to the power of persistence and a collective voice.

However, it is grievous to us that a community claiming to be Christian has allowed evil to flourish. There is a litany of broken lives and broken hearts spanning 50 years. Like Sharon Ready said in court, “The dark side of Gloriavale ‘needs to be brought to the light. I believe it is my duty as a Christian, to stand up to what has become evil.”

Newshub made the announcement on TV3 News tonight. Liz Gregory also appeared on TV One News. Stuff News also picked up the story.

In a media statement released today, the Royal Commission wrote:

11 April 2022

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is formally extending the scope of its Anglican investigation to include the Methodist, Presbyterian and Salvation Army faiths.

Now known as the Protestant and Other Faiths Investigation, it will also be seeking evidence from survivors of abuse in three closed community faiths: Gloriavale, Exclusive Brethren (more recently known as Plymouth Brethren Christian Church), and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Since the Royal Commission started, we have been gathering evidence of abuse in the care of these faiths as part of our inquiry.

The scope is being formally extended to recognise increased numbers of survivors from these faiths and their institutions – including schools and care homes – who have disclosed abuse to the Royal Commission.

We continue to ask survivors to come forward. Further evidence gathered will add to our existing evidence base and understanding of abuse in these faiths, and findings about them will be included in the Royal Commission’s Interim Faith report.

The inclusion of the three closed community groups, while not overly large congregations, will mean that the Royal Commission could learn from more survivors of abuse while in care of these groups, and examine abuse in faith contexts that are usually closed to the wider community.

The Royal Commission is exploring how people in care were abused by the institutions meant to protect them. This includes physical, sexual, psychological and racist abuse.

We will call on representatives of these faiths to provide evidence as we continue our work through 2022. The Protestant and Other Faiths Investigation will be reported on in the Royal Commission’s Faith Interim Report, to be presented to the Governor General before June 2023.

Scope document

The Royal Commission’s new Protestant and Other Faiths scope document is here.