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South Yorkshire Police has confirmed the news that a 66-year-old man, Christopher Brain, has been summonsed to court over multiple non-recent sexual offences. The statement reports that Brain is facing one count of rape and 33 counts of indecent assault, alleged to have been committed between 1981 and 1995 while he was leading the Nine O’Clock Service in Sheffield. We have a range of support options available to anyone that feels impacted by this.

The full release from South Yorkshire Police is no longer available. The Police statement said:

“As the investigation continues, we are appealing for any further potential victims or witnesses who may not yet have spoken to police to come forward. You can pass information to us via our online live chat, our online portal or by calling 101. Please quote investigation number 14/174466/19 when you get in touch.

Alternatively, if you prefer not to give your personal details, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers. Call their UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111 or complete a simple and secure anonymous online form at

Although the names of survivors may be unknown to us in the Diocese, we know that this has been and continues to be a long and difficult journey for many.

We are committed to engaging with survivors both to offer support and to learn from their experiences in order to improve safeguarding practice and ensure, in as far as we are able, that abuses of this kind never occur again.

We are keen to hear from you and should you wish to make contact with us you can do this directly or via a third party such as a friend, relative or your solicitor. Do be assured that your information will remain confidential.

The safeguarding team has three safeguarding advisers who can all be contacted at Individual contact details are also available if preferred but please remember that we could be on leave or away from the office:

  • Siân Checkley 07741 013775 (Monday – Thursday)
  • Elina Penttila 07871 796682 (Monday – Friday)
  • Rachel Tankard 07874 859062 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9am – 3pm)

We are committed to supporting anyone who contacts us in the way that is most helpful for each individual, and we will work with you to establish and access the support you need. This may include counselling or therapy, communications with updates or advance notice of information being made public. You can tell us how and when you would like us to contact you or that you do not want any further contact from us and we will respect your wishes.    

We want to learn from past mistakes, make genuine and appropriate apologies and improve our safeguarding practice. In line with current safeguarding policy we will seek to learn lessons from what has happened both at the time of the Nine O’clock service and in the intervening years.

You can explore some support services available to you on our Victim and Survivor Support section. Find out more