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10 November 2023 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members under investigation for alleged sexual abuse

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In this episode, the team discusses the recent reports that have surfaced uncovering decades of alleged child sexual abuse within the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

Formed in the 1820s, believers in the movement felt as though the established Church of England had abandoned/distorted many of the ancient traditions of Christendom.

The first Brethren assembly was formed in Plymouth in 1831, hence the name. In the late 1840s, the Brethren split into the Open Brethren and the Exclusive Brethren.

It is estimated that the PBCC now has over 50,000 members worldwide, over 15,000 of them in Australia and New Zealand.

In April 2022, the Royal Commission of Inquiry in NZ’s Anglican Church investigation scope was formally expanded to also include the abuse of children, young persons and vulnerable adults in the care of the Plymouth Brethren (amongst others). This has come about as an increased numbers of survivors from the group have disclosed abuse, including historic child sexual abuse.

If you or someone you know have experienced sexual abuse or harassment at school, please get in touch with our sexual abuse specialists for an informal discussion.

Author bio

Alan Collins


Alan Collins is one of the best known and most experienced solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals.  Alan has represented interested parties before public inquiries including the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, and IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse).

Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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