A REPORT into how a child sex offender was able to use church networks to abuse boys has been published – 10 years after it was completed.
The report, published by the Diocese of Chichester and Chichester Cathedral, was commissioned following the conviction of Terence Banks in May 2001, for a string of sex offences.
Banks was convicted of 32 sexual offences against 12 boys over 29 years.
The report was commissioned by the previous Bishop of Chichester, The Rt Revd Dr John Hind following the trial.
In a joint statement, the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner and the Cathedral Chapter, said: ‘Today, as we publish this report, first and foremost our thoughts are with the survivors and their families. The effects of abuse can last a lifetime.
‘And the passing of the years may or may not have resulted in any kind of healing.
‘As Christians we are profoundly ashamed of abuse that has happened in church or church institutions.
‘We extend our most sincere apologies to all survivors and their families – though we know that this can never repair the damage done.’
Banks worked as a steward at Chichester Cathedral and had also worked at Chichester Festival Theatre.
He met all but one of his victims through his activities at the cathedral, the report says.
The report also adds: ‘Sexual offenders operate in the shadows of our communities.’