A Statement responding to the recent Church of England investigation into Mike Pilavachi
We in Living Leadership have read with sorrow the statement of 6th September from the Church of England National Safeguarding Team’s investigation into Mike Pilavachi, and the statement in response from the trustees of Soul Survivor:
Mike Pilavachi was not part of the Living Leadership Network and has never spoken at or contributed in other ways to Living Leadership activities. Prior to the allegations against Mike first coming to light, Living Leadership was planning an event in partnership with other organisations including Soul Survivor, for which Marcus Honeysett (Living Leadership's Executive Director) and Mike Pilivachi were members of the steering group. This event was cancelled for unrelated reasons before allegations came to light. You can read the joint statement from Living Leadership and other partners on that event here: https://gathered.org.uk/
In Living Leadership, we are committed to a healthy, transparent, accountable leadership culture in which abuse, coercion and inappropriate relationships should not happen and are not tolerated if they do. We want to see that culture within Living Leadership and across the Church. Leadership abuses like those found in the case of Mike Pilavachi grieve the Lord of the Church and bring his name into disrepute. We are grieved at the sins committed against people in this case and the harm done to them. We pray that those who have been wronged through the abusive and coercive leadership that has come to light will find comfort and healing in Christ, supported by faithful Christians who will care for them.
Churches and Christian organisations, including Living Leadership, have much still to learn about healthy, boundaried leadership practice, and how our values, principles, processes and practices must work for the good of those we serve, especially the least powerful. Our prayer in Living Leadership is that the Good Shepherd will lead us to be godly under-shepherds and that our work with leaders may help them to be so too.
We note that a further complaint is being taken against Mike Pilavachi by the Church of England's National Safeguarding Team and that Soul Survivor has commissioned an independent review. We will await the outcome of those processes and may comment further when conclusions are published.
Should anyone at any point wish to raise concerns about leadership behaviour and practice within Living Leadership, they can find details of how to do that here: www.livingleadership.org/complaints.