The Church of England has reported that General Synod voted unanimously to endorse the its response to the five recommendations from IICSA, and urged its national safeguarding steering group to work towards a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors. A copy of the Press Release is reproduced below.
Overwhelming support for Synod safeguarding motion
General Synod voted unanimously today to endorse the Church’s response to the five recommendations from IICSA and urged its national safeguarding steering group to work towards a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors.
The debate was opened by the lead bishop for safeguarding, Bishop Peter Hancock who shared personal reflections on his time as lead bishop along with outlining the Church’s response to the IICSA recommendations. The Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, takes over as lead safeguarding bishop in April.
The Archbishop of Canterbury reaffirmed his personal apology to the survivors and victims saying they are voices we need to hear and heed. He also reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to listening to and implementing the recommendations from IICSA He led a tribute to the work and commitment of Bishop Peter Hancock and quoted a message from a survivor who thanked Bishop Peter for creating a safe place of care and bringing light into darkness.
Speeches in the debate (more to come)
The full Synod motion including an agreed amendment from the Bishop of Huddersfield.
That this Synod;
“(a) endorse the Archbishops’ Council’s response, set out in GS 2158, to the five recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in its investigation report Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball (May 2019) at pages 206 to 207.’:
(b) welcome the statement in paragraph 4.1 of the response that the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) “remains committed to ensuring that words of apology are followed by concrete actions”;
(c) urge the NSSG to bring forward proposals to give effect to that commitment that follow a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors;
(d) request that the NSSG keep the Synod updated on the development and implementation of responses to recommendations relating to the Church of England that are made by the Inquiry, including by submitting a report for debate by the Synod not later than July 2021.”.’
On 27 June 2019, the Church of England published its response to IICSA’s report on the Chichester diocese and Peter Ball case studies, ahead of the following week’s wider IICSA hearing on the Anglican Church in England and Wales. A summary of the comments in the Response on the IICSA Report’s five recommendations is given in our post here. Comments specific to the Clergy Discipline Measure are set out in Safeguarding and the Clergy Discipline Measure on the blog of Meg Munn, the Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel.
[Note: Today’s Press Release, as at the time of writing (12 February, 15:45) indicated that there will be further additions; this post will be updated accordingly.]