Safeguarding: General Synod vote

The Church of England has issued the following Press Release on the speech of the Lead Bishop and the agreed motion.

Safeguarding independence: next steps discussed by General Synod


General Synod today voted on the next steps following the publication of independent reports on safeguarding.

The motion follows the publication of independent reports on safeguarding from barrister Sarah Wilkinson and Professor Alexis Jay, former chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA. Following amendments Synod also voted to support apologies expressed by the Archbishops to survivors impacted by the matters described in the Wilkinson Report and to apologise to all members of the former Independent Safeguarding Board[*].

The lead safeguarding bishop Joanne Grenfell, introduced the debate…which included a video message to Synod members from Professor Jay.


Following the wide ranging debate Synod voted in favour of the following motion which included two amendments (a number of other amendments were not carried).

  • ‘That this Synod thank Sarah Wilkinson and Alexis Jay for their work and request that the process set out in paragraph 12 of GS 2336 for forming a response to, and considering any necessary implementation of, their recommendations be pursued as a matter of priority.
  • That this Synod adopt and endorse the apologies expressed by the Archbishops to the Survivors impacted by the matters described within the Wilkinson Report, and specifically acknowledge and apologise for its own collegiate shortcomings within the scrutiny process.”.
  • “That this Synod apologise to all members of the former Independent Safeguarding Board for the stress harm and professional embarrassment they have endured which have arisen as a result of the ISB formation, structuring, resourcing, implementation, and management for which they were not responsible.”

The process will involve:

a) An internal team to:

  • run deep engagement with Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors/ Diocesan Safeguarding Officers and others in dioceses and cathedrals to unpick reactions on different elements and develop detailed proposals;
  • develop a survey-style tool that would permit engagement and responses from parish safeguarding officers and other parish volunteers;
  • engage with other stakeholders across the church including in the General Synod and hear views.

 b) A survivor and victim focus group – to hear the views of victims, survivors and their advocates on the proposals. This draws on the experience of the Seal of the Confessional and Redress projects where a survivor reference group has allowed for deeper engagement with a broad range of survivor perspectives. Best practice will be adopted in how this is done to create a safe space for people to contribute.


The Business Done paper for Saturday 24 February 2024  indicates that the amended motion was carried following a counted vote of the whole Synod. The voting was as follows: IN FAVOUR 337; AGAINST 21. 20 abstentions were recorded. The proposed amendments are given in the Order Paper for the afternoon session of Synod.

Updated, 27 February 2024 at 08:27. 

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Safeguarding: General Synod vote" in Law & Religion UK, 24 February 2024,


One thought on “Safeguarding: General Synod vote

  1. I have had a terrible experience from the four dioceses I contacted re: my Redress Applications. Nobody has responded to me except the Diocese of Leicester and even they are dragging their heels
    I have received no holding emails or letters.

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