The future of safeguarding in the Church of England

The Future of Church Safeguarding Programme was set up to recommend a model for fully independent safeguarding within the Church of England. The Programme operates entirely independently from the Church and is led by Professor Alexis Jay OBE, who previously chaired the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). The team was chosen by Professor Jay rather than by the Church, it does not include anyone employed or previously employed by the Church, support is being provided by Crest Advisory (which provides specialist independent support to organisations working in justice and public safety) and it will not hold meetings or conduct any business on church premises.

As part of the Programme, Professor Jay proposes to gather a range of views better to understand what needs to be improved and what is already working well in Church safeguarding processes. She wishes to hear opinions about how to achieve a safeguarding body that is independent, fair and impartial.

Respondents can share their views either through an online survey or via an in-person interview. The Programme’s website says that contributions are particularly welcome from anyone with experience of church safeguarding processes within the last five years, including:

  • victims and survivors of abuse, or their parents/carers;
  • members of the clergy;
  • church staff and volunteers;
  • members of congregations; and
  • members of the public.

The online survey will be open until the end of October.

The in-person interviews will be conducted across six dioceses – Carlisle, Coventry, Exeter, London, Newcastle and Portsmouth – selected to ensure that the Programme’s work “is informed by a wide range of views across all the regions of England, including both urban and rural areas, and to make participation as practical as possible”.

Professor Jay expects to complete her report for the Archbishops by the end of December 2023 and will publish the report herself to ensure full transparency.


I completed the online survey (as “a member of the public”) during the writing of this post – it is very clear and the questions are self-explanatory.

Cite this article as: Frank Cranmer, "The future of safeguarding in the Church of England" in Law & Religion UK, 16 August 2023,

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