Following the conviction of the Reverend Peter McConnell, the Venerable Peter Robinson, Archdeacon of Lindisfarne in the Diocese of Newcastle, said:
All forms of abuse including sexual assault are destructive of human relationships and contrary to the teachings of Christ and the behaviour expected of ministers in the Church of England.
We are distressed and dismayed at the actions of the Reverend Peter McConnell and our thoughts are very much with his victim, who showed great courage in coming forward, and his family. When the victim reported the assault to us, we immediately informed the police. At the time of the assault, Mr McConnell was not active as a priest and he has since retired from his role as priest in charge at Longhorsley.
The Diocese of Newcastle treats all cases of criminal behaviour with the utmost seriousness. We are committed to making sure that our churches are safe spaces for everyone and we have procedures in place to respond to any concerns that are raised with us. We would advise anyone with such concerns to contact Ruth Rogan or Andrew Grant, our Safeguarding Advisers for the Diocese of Newcastle, at email@example.com/07825167016 or firstname.lastname@example.org/07741633670.