An investigation into abuse claims at a Gravesend children's home has been launched today (Jan 9) by the Church of England.

The Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff will head the review into Kendall House in Pelham Road and is appealing for former residents to share their stories.

News Shopper spoke to alleged former abuse victim Teresa Cooper in 2010 who said she still "wakes up screaming" as a result of the abuse she described at the home.

A spokeswoman for the Bishop of Rochester said: "Over a several years, a number of former residents have raised concerns about how they were treated during the time they were living at Kendall House.

"There has at different times been coverage of these concerns in the national media.

"On behalf of the two dioceses concerned, the Bishop of Rochester has decided to initiate an independent review in connection with the management and systems which operated at Kendall House, in particular during the period from 1950 to 1986."

The Bishop of Rochester 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."

Mother-of-three Ms Cooper spent 18 years trying to expose the sexual and physical abuse her and other girls suffered in the 1970s and 1980s at the home.

News Shopper: She was eventually received an out-of-court settlement from the Church of England but it did not accept liability for the alleged abuses.

Ms Cooper told News Shopper how she was raped and repeatedly forced to take drugs such as valium and depixol over the three years she was in Kendall House, which she believes subsequently led to her and other women from the home having children with birth defects.

The mother-of-three said: “Kendall’s legacy is outstanding and its implications are enormous.

“A proper investigation into the drugs and the abuse needs to go ahead.

“They have had long-term effects not only on me but on my children, they were that strong.”

The Review Panel is now being put in place in order to begin work as soon as possible.  

Full details will be published on the Rochester Diocesan website as soon as they are fully agreed. 

Those wishing to indicate a desire to engage with the Review should email

Those doing so will also be informed of a helpline through which they may obtain independent and confidential support.

  • The house was established in the 1920's as a home for "emotionally disturbed" adolescent girls and closed in 1986. 
  • It was registered as a "community home with education".  
  • It operated under the auspices of the Church of England Dioceses of Rochester and Canterbury via the Canterbury and Rochester Diocesan Council for Social Responsibility.