Statement following the conviction of the Revd Canon Nigel Cahill
Sentencing update 19 April 2021
The Revd Canon Nigel Cahill, Rector of Aberavon, was sentenced on April 19 to an 18-month community order with a 45-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also required to sign the sex offender's register for five years.
Mr Cahill continues to be suspended from all duties and will now be referred as matter of course to our Disciplinary Tribunal as soon as the legal process has concluded.
The Revd Canon Nigel Cahill, Rector of Aberavon, appeared at Swansea Magistrates Court on 17 March charged with two offences of making indecent images of a child. He pleaded guilty and was bailed until his sentencing at Crown Court on 29 March.
The Church in Wales is deeply saddened and shocked that one of its clerics has committed such a serious offence. We hold all victims of child abuse in our prayers.
Following his sentencing, Mr Cahill will be referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales, which will meet as soon as possible to consider the charge of conduct giving just cause for scandal or offence. In the meantime, he remains suspended from all duties.
The Church in Wales has provided pastoral care in the community. Local clergy have been maintaining the pastoral care and pattern of worship in the parish of Aberavon and this will continue pending the outcome of the Disciplinary Tribunal.
This was a crime committed despite our stringent safeguarding policies and procedures. Mr Cahill exploited the trust and respect put in him as a cleric by the Church in Wales and by his parishioners and that will have long-term implications. We have cooperated fully with the authorities throughout the inquiry and we are grateful to the police for the sensitive and thorough nature of their investigations.
There is no place for any form of abuse in the Church in Wales. We give the highest priority to the care and protection of children and vulnerable people in the community. To this end we regularly review our safeguarding procedures and provide comprehensive training.
Reporting safeguarding concerns
We want to make sure the Church in Wales is a safe place for our children to grow and to be nourished in the Christian faith. We encourage anyone with safeguarding concerns to contact a member of our team via the Church in Wales website at https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/safeguarding/reporting-safeguarding-concern / or call us on 02920 348200.
For information about safeguard training please visit St Padarn's Institute website.
The Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales is a disciplinary body with jurisdiction over the Clergy, licensed lay ministers and Churchwardens of the Church in Wales. A panel of three people, consisting of one lawyer, one cleric and one lay person is selected from its 17 members to consider a charge brought against any such office-holder. It has wide powers, including removing a cleric from their role, prohibiting them from ministering for a fixed period (or life) in the Church in Wales and deposing a cleric from Holy Orders.