The Methodist Church has reiterated its commitment to safeguarding after a former Vice President was given a two-year community order after pleading guilty to a charge of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.
David Walton was the Vice President of the Methodist Conference in 2008.
The Chair of the Manchester and Stockport District, Andrew Lunn where David Walton was a prominent lay leader and local preacher said, “This case has caused considerable distress both within and beyond the Methodist Church. I want to reassure people that the proper actions were taken immediately when we became aware of this case as we were informed of the arrest, and we have continued to monitor and review our response. All actions have been in accordance with our safeguarding policy, which is regularly reviewed, and which aims to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding remains paramount in the life of the Methodist Church.”
The Secretary of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Jonathan Hustler, said, “We are determined to make our churches a place of safety for all and will continue to do all we can to respond appropriately to allegations about the behaviour of individuals, however senior. We would ask for prayers for all concerned and for the church communities where this news will be a shock. We would encourage anyone who has concerns around safeguarding, either currently or in the past, to contact their District Safeguarding Officer.”
The District Safeguarding Officer for Manchester and Stockport District, and Bolton and Rochdale District is Helen Bolton. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone on 07498 800427.