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Sir Cyril Smith

The tribute to the life of Sir Cyril Smith, former MP for Rochdale and an active Unitarian, which was published following his death, has been taken down following the statement by Greater Manchester Police on 27 November 2012. Whilst we acknowledge his contribution to public life and service to the people of Rochdale and the Unitarian Movement, it is with sadness that we consider that the tribute is no longer appropriate in light of these allegations.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims at this time. We also think of all those affected by these events including Sir Cyril’s family and members of the Rochdale Unitarian Church and the wider community in the town.

Unitarians take very seriously our responsibilities for the protection of children and will co-operate with any investigations that may be made by the Police or other statutory agency relating to any allegations.

The General Assembly has well established arrangements for safeguarding for its own youth activities and for many years has worked closely with the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, one of the leading agencies in this area, to improve practices in member churches. Our Safeguarding Policy has recently been updated and in recent months we have held two of three planned training sessions on safeguarding for congregations. The final event will take place in January 2013.

28 November 2012