Independent Learning review launched into the leadership of The Crowded House

16 April 2020, Thirtyoneeight

Thirtyone:eight has been commissioned by The Crowded House, Sheffield to undertake an independent learning review concerning the leadership of The Crowded House. A draft of the final report is planned to be submitted to the commissioners by the end of June 2020.

An article in Christianity Today in February 2020 reported allegations from several individuals against Steve Timmis, together with concerns about the wider church culture. The Crowded House wants to enable any who have been harmed by the leadership of the church to express this and for their experiences to be heard and considered. The Review will examine the actions, decisions, leadership culture, and ministry activities of the church, in order to help The Crowded House leaders to understand what has happened, to seek forgiveness where appropriate, and to ensure a healthy church culture for the future. The scope for the review can be viewed here.

The review process will be entirely independent and the reviewers have both a significant level of experience and expertise in undertaking safeguarding reviews. COVID–19 requires the initial interviews whilst lockdown is in place, to be undertaken via video conference call. However, where restrictions are lifted, in line with government guidance the review will seek to undertake both face to face interviews and site visits.   

Following completion of the fieldwork stage, the review team will analyse the information received and begin drafting the report of findings, which will be quality assured and shared with the Elders and Trustees of the Crowded House. A draft of the final report is planned to be submitted to The Crowded house commissioners by the end of June 2020.

In the meantime anyone, including victims/survivors, wish to participate in the review, or pass on relevant information to us which may be useful to the review, they can do so confidentially by emailing [email protected]. Both Thirtyone:eight and The Crowded House take data privacy and confidentiality very seriously.  Identities of confirmed participants will be known only by the reviewers.  No victim/survivor identifiable details will be passed between The Crowded House and thirtyone:eight without prior consent from those individuals.

The Crowded House have also commissioned Thirtyone:eight to operate an independent helpline to offer support to anyone who feels they have been harmed or impacted by the allegations relating to Steve Timmis or by any leader, or leaders of The Crowded House churches. If you have been affected in this way and you would like to speak to someone independent about this, you can contact the thirtyone:eight helpline on 0303 003 1111. Please quote ‘The Crowded House’. Information you share with the helpline will not be shared with others, including the independent review team, unless you consent to that, or action needs to be taken to protect you or others (in adherence to standard safeguarding practice and protocol). Our safeguarding helpline is completely independent and a member of the Helplines Partnership.