The following statement was released tonight (scroll down).
Statement on Safeguarding from the House of Bishops of the Church of England
21 May 2013
In its discussions on the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults during its meeting in York, the House of Bishops recognised the critical nature of safeguarding, discussed past failures and committed itself to a step-change in the way it is practised so as to enable the Church to fulfil its vocation as a place of safety for all. The House committed itself to creating a climate of transparency and trust with profound listening to survivors of past clerical and ecclesiastical abuse.
The House of Bishops considered the report and recommendations of the report of John Gladwin and Rupert Bursell QC to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Diocese of Chichester and repeated the continuing best practise of the Church – as contained in current guidelines from 2004 – that there remains a duty on all clergy to report to relevant authorities and the police any allegation of abuse from a child or vulnerable adult.
Whilst supporting the continuing good work of diocesan child protection officers and the best practise of safeguarding guidelines currently in operation in the Church, there was also a recognition that there was no room for complacency particularly at a time when cases from past decades were being brought to light.
These steps included the undertaking of an audit of safeguarding provision in every diocese, the review of risk assessment procedures and the review and development of national core materials for safeguarding training. These measures will be accompanied by further work on proposals for legislative change which will be brought to the Archbishops’ Council.