The Diocese of York is to open files on deceased members of its clergy dating back more than six decades as part of an investigation into alleged cases of child abuse, it has been reported.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has ordered that all relevant files from before 1950 to the present day be scrutinised and examined by an independent reviewer, the BBC said.
The archbishop said: "The damage done by the sexual abuse of children is immense and the passage of time does not in itself bring healing.
"Where young people are shown to have been betrayed by individuals in a position of trust and by the institution's failure to protect them, it is for the church to acknowledge the hurt which has been done, to offer a full apology, and to prove, so far as is possible, that policies and practices are improved such that the same systemic failure could never be repeated."
In July the General Synod formally apologised for sex abuse by clerics within the Church of England, and gave its backing for a programme of changes designed to tighten up its child protection procedures and prevent further scandals.