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Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
Archbishop speaks for 'wounded' children
The Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams
The Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams
Church leaders in Wales are holding a special service to celebrate the value of children, in the wake of the Waterhouse report into abuse in children┐s homes.

The service at St Asaph Cathedral is being hosted by the Rt Rev John Davies, Bishop of St Asaph, and the Rt Rev Saunders Davies, Bishop of Bangor.

The preacher, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, is due to give a strongly pastoral sermon, emphasising the need for society to be "committed to making the child's voice heard".



The wounds that are hardest to heal are the injuries done to children

The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales
The archbishop will also call for people to be "set free from our childishness, to learn from the child's wisdom".

His sermon will underline that children are among the most vulnerable members of society.

The Waterhouse report was the largest investigation of its kind into allegations of abuse at children┐s homes in north Wales.

It has led to sweeping recommendations in Westminster and in the National Assembly for changes in the system of care for children.

'Deepest deprivations'

Preparations are also under way for a children's commissioner for Wales.

In his sermon, the archbishop speaks of "the deepest hurts, the deepest deprivations human beings can suffer".

"The wounds that are hardest to heal are the injuries done to children.

"There are lessons about how to live in the world that may never be learned if they're not learned in childhood.

"No-one learns to cope with risk and change if they do not experience a trustworthy environment.

His sermon continues: "Part of what we are doing here is to reflect and celebrate all that has been done on behalf of children by carers of all kind - secure and generous adults.

"We are also here to mourn the fact that a whole network of agencies and individuals failed to create a trustworthy environment, and so inflicted on several generations of children wounds that, in the strict sense, can't be healed."

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15 Feb 00 | Wales
Decades of silent suffering
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