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Wait goes on for Church report on Kendall House children’s home in Gravesend

The Church of England has refused to comment on the progress of a probe into allegations of historic child abuse at a Gravesend children’s home.

It was this time last year that an independent review into Kendall House was ordered by Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff.

Speaking at the time, the bishop said he hoped the investigation would help deal with concerns people had about the home.

Mum-of-three Teresa Cooper suffered years of abuse at Kendall House
Mum-of-three Teresa Cooper suffered years of abuse at Kendall House

He said: “It is my hope that this review will be of help in pastoral and other ways to all those who have concerns about Kendall House, and will also make clear any outstanding lessons which the Church of England and others need to learn.”

However, when contacted for an update on the review, a spokesman for the bishop said there were no further announcements or statements to be made.

Teresa Cooper, a campaigner who claims she was forcibly drugged at the home between 1981 and 1984, described the apparent lack of progress in the investigation as “disgusting”.

Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff commissioned the review
Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff commissioned the review

“It is now 16 months since I had a meeting with the church,” she said.

“There does not seem to be anywhere to go or any form of justice. Where is the support the church promised?” - Teresa Cooper

“They are clearly not going to do anything about it. It is disgusting and it is not fair. I really feel that the Bishop of Rochester should resign.”

Ms Cooper won substantial out-of-court damages from the church in 2010 over her claims, but has accused it of failing in its duty to her and other alleged abuse victims.

She said: “This is the church’s responsibility; it should not be something I have to fight for and deal with on my own.

“There does not seem to be anywhere to go or any form of justice. Where is the support the church promised?”

Kendall House was opened in the 1920s as a home for young girls and operated under control from the Church of England dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury, with residents sent to stay by the local authority. It closed in 1986.


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