Thank you for your advice.
I agree, when I first wondered about this situation, I assumed that checks would have been made.
Nevertheless, one just has to look at other churches, in particular priests at the Roman Catholic Church, never mind teachers at boarding schools, to see that there could be an issue. Presumably, the above have all been checked before working with children.
I suppose I am a 68 year old cynic about the establishment as well as institutional corruption (and I have a lot of evidence on other matters to back this claim) Sadly, the C of S is not known for being completely 'above board' in many aspects and I don't think there would be much point in checking facts with their headquarters. I can almost guarantee that there would be 100% reassurance, even if the facts were different or had been concealed over the years.
I think you are right, probably an enquiry agent would be the best course of action but, of course, would they be able to access police records? I just feel that it is quite worrying that it could become impossible to 'stave off' potential trouble and in this I am referring to my granddaughter, never mind other children.
My son and daughter-in-law are aware of the concerns and less than happy with the situation to say the least, but can see where I am coming from. They say that all they can do is to make sure their child is never left alone with the lady in question and that, should the worst be confirmed by an enquiry agent, then they need to see their solicitor - fast.
It is a very difficult situation and I feel dreadful in airing my suspicions about a church minister whom I have known for 18 years,but there it is. She once told me in a confidential chat that she had been a 'very naughty person' in her younger days. Somebody came into the room and the moment was lost.
As far as enquiry agents are concerned, please could you advise as to how to word the enquiry when I telephone one? I am aware that most agents might well be hesitant to become involved, but it would be helpful to know how to introduce this sensitive subject. Are there specific ones in the UK who willing to undertake such work?