Law and religion round-up – 25th June

Safeguarding and the Church of England

In an otherwise quiet week, the big story was a statement on Wednesday from the Archbishops’ Council that it had, “with regret … come to the reluctant conclusion that, despite extensive efforts over recent months, working relationships between two members of the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB),  and the Council have broken down” and that it had “agreed a reset”. The Council would end the contracts of Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves and of the acting Chair, Meg Munn. 

It went on to say that it would be putting in place interim arrangements to continue the independent oversight of existing case reviews and that they would be “carried out by independent experts qualified to conduct case reviews, just as at present, and they will be independently commissioned”. For the very immediate future, Meg Munn was to provide business continuity for the remainder of that phase of the ISB’s work and case reviews would be overseen by one or more independent chairs of Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panels.

In their accompanying statement, the two Archbishops said that they ”bitterly regret that we have reached this point and the Archbishops’ Council has not reached this decision lightly”, adding that “Independent oversight of the Church of England’s safeguarding is an urgent and indispensable first step away from the suspicion of marking our own homework”.

To describe the decisions as “controversial” would be a major understatement. Continue reading