Thinking Anglicans

Jay report on Church of England safeguarding published


This report was commissioned by the Church of England and first announced on 20 July 2023. Details followed in August: see Future of Church Safeguarding.

The report is now published: The Future of Church Safeguarding (55 pages)

There is also a press release: Report into the future of safeguarding in the Church of England

And there is a video.

There is also this Legal Advice note (35 pages)


The Church of England has issued a press release.

And there is this: Terms of Reference for the Jay and Wilkinson Reports Response Group


Correspondence re Secretary General

On 18 January, we published a letter addressed to the archbishops calling for the suspension and investigation of the Secretary General, William Nye. This letter was written by Martin Sewell and signed by 20 members of General Synod. The full text of the letter is here.

A reply to this letter was sent on 6 February from Carl Hughes, Chair of the Finance Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.

Martin Sewell replied to this on 8 February. The formal response is here, and there is also a covering note and an addendum.

Carl Hughes replied to this on 11 February.


LLF: roundup of recent statements and news reports


Since we posted the statement of the Bishop of Newcastle on Thursday morning, there have been several further statements. Some of these have been linked in the comments, but I am repeating them all here, as not everyone reads all the comments…

The Church Times has carried several news reports so far:

These include quotes from others, including from Dr Tom Woolford, and the Bishop in Europe.

Monday Updates

Helen King has written: Processing the process: LLF continues which contains much detail concerning these recent events.

A second interim theological advisor has been appointed: Statement: Interim Theology Advisers

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have announced the appointment of a new interim Theology Adviser, the Revd Canon Dr Jessica Martin, currently Canon Residentiary for Learning and Outreach at Ely Cathedral, to work alongside the Revd Dr Tom Woolford. Tom and Jessica will work as Joint Interim Theology Advisers to the House of Bishops and Secretaries to Faith and Order Commission (FAOC), on secondment for a six-month period starting in March 2024. These interim roles are in place while a substantive recruitment process is underway for a permanent successor to the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, who leaves the NCIs at the end of February to take up the role of Principal of Ridley Hall…

Tuesday Updates

Helen King has written a further blog article:One down, one to go: the LLF appointment saga continues


Independent Safeguarding Board: radio interview transcript

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme carried an item on 28 January about the now defunct Church of England Independent Safeguarding Board.  You can hear the item from the BBC website (starts at about 20 minutes, 30 seconds into the programme).

The interviewees were the clinical psychologist David Glasgow, whose report we linked to earlier when it was published by House of Survivors, Jamie Harrison, Chair of the House of Laity of the General Synod, and a survivor of abuse.

A transcript of this is now available. You can read that here.Transcript temporarily unavailable.


LLF: over 130 General Synod members oppose “reset” and “settlement”

The Church Times reports:  Do not obstruct Synod’s decision on same-sex blessings, members say

MORE than 130 members of the General Synod have signed a letter expressing their view that the proposal of a “reset” of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) process is unwise, and that talk of a “settlement” for those opposing the introduction of blessings for same-sex couples fails to honour decisions taken by the Synod.

Last week, the co-chairs of the LLF process, the Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, and the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, co-wrote an article for the Church Times in which they argued for a “reset” of the process to allow for “reconciliation and bridge-building” (Comment, 26 January). (On Thursday, 1 February, Dr Hartley announced that she would be standing down as as co-chair of the LLF process. Story to follow)…

The report continues:

The GSGSG letter says: “It is clear that the mind of Synod, determined by due synodical process, is to implement those things agreed in February [2023], being new pastoral guidance to replace Issues in Human Sexuality and to introduce the full Prayers of Love and Faith, including the stand-alone services. It is also clear that Synod has rejected this implementation being dependent on an agreed settlement or structural provision. . .

“Any delay in moving forward will be seen as a failure by the House of Bishops to implement votes passed in Synod and a rejection of the courtesy of Synod in welcoming your proposals. This will not reset the tone of the debate in a positive direction, neither will it build trust for any reconciliation discussions on maintaining unity.”


LLF: Statement from the Bishop of Newcastle

Updated 4 pm Thursday

Living in Love and Faith: A Statement from Bishop Helen-Ann
First published on: 1st February 2024

My first commitment, and priority, is to continue to respond to God’s calling to be Bishop of Newcastle, and I rejoice in this calling. It has become clear to me in the last 48 hours that there are serious concerns relating to the recent process of appointing an Interim Theological Advisor to the House of Bishops. This was, and is not, an LLF appointment, and neither Bishop Martyn nor myself were involved in it. Whilst the remit of the theological advisor is broader than any matters relating to LLF, there is no doubt that LLF remains front and centre in the life of our Church at this time. What has transpired in the last 48 hours has had a critically negative impact on the work Bishop Martyn and I were seeking, in good faith, to do. My role as co-lead bishop for the LLF process is now undermining my capacity to fulfil my primary calling, to lead and care for the people and places of the Diocese of Newcastle.

I am fully committed to the vocation and life of the Church of England, its place in our diverse communities across this land, and in the wider Anglican Communion. Mindful of different views within my own diocese, I am also fully committed to the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people. I do not believe these are mutually exclusive, and I am not naïve in saying this. As I approach the 10th anniversary of my consecration as a bishop, my decision to step down from my LLF role is not one I have taken lightly, but is one built on all I have learnt about being a bishop, both here and in Aotearoa New Zealand. I will continue to be involved in the LLF process as a diocesan bishop, and will endeavour to prayerfully and actively work towards fulfilling the commitments expressed above, and those already agreed to in General Synod.

+Helen-Ann Newcastle,

February 1st 2024.


The Church Times has this: Bishop of Newcastle stands down from LLF over ‘serious concerns’ about interim adviser

This report is comprehensive, and I urge you to read it in full. But here are two excerpts:

…Earlier in the week, the Vicar of All Saints’, New Longton, the Revd Dr Thomas Woolford, a tutor at Emmanuel Theological College, was announced as the interim secretary to the Faith and Order Commission (FAOC) and adviser to the House of Bishops, before a permanent post-holder takes up the position in September.

After his appointment, an article by Dr Woolford, published in 2019 on the website of Church Society, a conservative Evangelical organisation in the C of E, began to be circulated on social media.

In the article, Mr Woolford wrote: “I think it would be disastrous and desperately wicked if the Church were to prepare blessings for things we must not bless, alter the canons to accommodate worldly thinking, give up the standard of chastity for ordained office-holders, or sanction false teaching.”

Speaking shortly after Dr Hartley’s announcement, Dr Woolford distanced himself from the tone of the article. “I’m still a conservative on blessings and on sexuality; so that part hasn’t changed,” he said. “But I’d put a lot of things differently in light of the journey that we’ve been on in Synod and in the wider Church.”

And the report later continues:

…On Thursday afternoon, the Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, who chairs the FAOC, said that Dr Woolford’s was an “advisory role, not an executive role”.

“He is an adviser among other advisers, and advisers come from an appropriately diverse array of positions,” he told the Church Times, and emphasised that it was a six-month interim appointment.

“It’s testament to the very febrile nature of the Church at the moment that the appointment of a temporary adviser attracts so much interest and controversy, and I do regret that.”

He described Dr Woolford as a “a very able theologian indeed”, who understood that he had to “behave in a neutral way”.

The article by Dr Woolford can be found here.


LLF bishops propose new commitments


The bishops of Newcastle and Leicester have written an article published today in the Church Times, in which they state that they intend to bring to General Synod in February some new proposals.

The full text of what they have written is here: Living in love, faith — and reconciliation.

The Church Times has a news report: LLF bishops respond to fears of schism over same-sex relationships.


Unadulterated Love has this report: LLF “engagement opportunity” reveals Archbishops abandon radical new Christian inclusion


Professor Alexis Jay to publish report in February

From the Future of Church Safeguarding website: Professor Alexis Jay to publish recommendations on Church

Professor Alexis Jay CBE has informed the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York that she will next month (February) deliver to them and publish her report on how to make Church safeguarding fully independent.

In her report, Professor Jay will make a series of recommendations on how Church safeguarding can be made independent, accountable, fair and trusted, in order to learn from the past and better protect all those involved in Church life from harm.

The report has been informed by extensive engagement with those with recent experience of Church safeguarding, both in person and online, including victims and survivors, safeguarding practitioners, members of the clergy and volunteers.

This engagement exercise, which Professor Jay extended to ensure that all those who wished to share their views had the opportunity to do so, has now finished.

Professor Jay, supported by the Future of Church Safeguarding Programme, which is independent of the Church, is now preparing her report and recommendations.

In the interests of transparency, Professor Jay will publish her report online on the Future of Church Safeguarding Programme website.

Further details about publication will be provided in due course.


Safeguarding Bishop admits that survivor was misled

press release 19 January 2024

A prominent campaigner alleges that senior leaders in the Church of England are protecting its Secretary General William Nye against allegations that he has put reputation management before the needs of abuse victims. The former Lead Bishop for Safeguarding admits that the survivor was misled.

Gilo is a survivor of non-recent sexual abuse in the Church of England, and a prominent campaigner on issues of church abuse.

Gilo’s abuse, and its subsequent handling by the church, were the subject of an inquiry by independent safeguarding expert Ian Elliott, which was published in March 2016. The inquiry report was highly critical of the Church’s treatment of Gilo, and particularly of the deliberate withdrawal of pastoral care from the victim, apparently on the instruction of the church’s insurer, Ecclesiastical. Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, who was then Bishop of Crediton, was assigned to ensure that the recommendations of the review were fulfilled.

After the publication of the Elliott Review, a secretive meeting was held in Church House in August 2016 in which the church’s National Safeguarding Team, in-house lawyers, and communications team met with four executives from Ecclesiastical to discuss “a joined-up approach to stories and the media”, to preserve the reputation of both parties in the case. Neither Ian Elliott nor Gilo was aware of the meeting, or consulted about it.

Following the meeting, Ecclesiastical publicly questioned parts of Elliott’s review. They continued this approach when giving evidence at IICSA, describing the review as ‘flawed’ and ‘inaccurate’. In particular they explicitly rejected the suggestion that the insurer had suggested that the church should withdraw pastoral support from the survivor.  The representatives of EIO were subsequently recalled to the Inquiry to revisit their evidence, and were forced to retract part of it.

Following the IICSA Inquiry, Gilo obtained evidence that the reputation management meeting between Ecclesiastical and the church had indeed taken place. When Gilo attempted to get an explanation from the National Safeguarding Team and the Bishop of London, they shut him down.

In 2020 Gilo made a complaint against William Nye, the Secretary-General of the Church of England, who has overall responsibility for safeguarding in the church. The thrust of the complaint was that Nye was responsible for the reputation management meeting that the National Safeguarding Team and others had held in August 2016. The complaint was internally investigated by Canon John Spence, the member of the Archbishop’s Council who had the role of line managing Mr Nye. Mr Spence, who described himself as a “friend” of William Nye, reported that there were no further records of the meeting or of what was discussed. Nor could any of the parties recollect it. In any case, he said,  William Nye could not have been present because “he always takes his holiday at that time of year.” Consequently Gilo’s complaint against William Nye was dismissed.

In mid-2022 Gilo wrote to a number of senior staff in the Church of England, including the two Archbishops and safeguarding leads, asking for an explanation. Once again, he was blanked.

In March 2023 the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, replied to Gilo admitting that church records showed the meeting about Gilo’s case had taken place, that William Nye had attended it, and that reputation management in relation to the church and its insurer had been discussed. He also admitted that Gilo’s “interests and well-being as a survivor were not as central as they should have been.”

Since July 2023 the Archbishops have repeatedly been asked by Gilo’s lawyer Richard Scorer for an explanation as to why the complaint against Nye had been dismissed on false grounds. The question has also been raised at General Synod. Repeated approaches have been left unanswered. In November 2023, the Archbishop of York, in a written response to a question at General Synod, said that an external firm of auditors had been engaged to conduct a “targeted” review. Neither Gilo, his lawyer or his advocate has been informed of the process of this review or invited to contribute to it.

Further information is available from Andrew Graystone

Attached below are:
Letter from Richard Scorer to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Extract from General Synod November 2023
Quotes from Gilo, Ian Elliott and others
Letter from Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs


Glasgow report: call to investigate Secretary General

The Church Times carries a report: Psychologist reports ‘significant harm’ after closure of Independent Safeguarding Board which deals with the Glasgow report, as covered on TA previously here.

In addition it reports

…On Wednesday, a letter was sent to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, signed by 20 members of the General Synod. The letter called for “the immediate suspension and subsequent investigation” of the secretary-general of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye.

The letter, written by Synod member and safeguarding lawyer, Martin Sewell, accuses Mr Nye of failing to heed a request from Steve Reeves, one of the sacked members of the ISB, to delay the announcement of its termination so that survivors could be informed privately rather than learning via the media.

Ms Wilkinson’s report quotes an email from Mr Reeves to Mr Nye, in which Mr Reeves writes: “I am urging caution as powerfully as I can. The harm could be significant and the announcement is not urgent.”

The letter alleges that Mr Nye “rejected that advice and chose to take the risk; it had foreseeable and foreseen consequences . . . avoidable significant harm towards the vulnerable people to whom he owed a duty of care.”

The full text of this letter can be found here.


Safeguarding: Waiting for Jay

It appears that the  Jay report on the future of Church of England safeguarding, which was originally due to be published by 31 December, is delayed. An explanation for this is awaited.

Meanwhile, Surviving Church has published How Professor Jay may help save the Church of England from itself.

The Wilkinson report on ISB phase 1 was published on 11 December: ISB phase 1: Wilkinson report published. One month later, there is as yet no further response from the Archbishops’ Council.

There has however been an article about the Wilkinson report published by the National Secular Society, Review: CofE leaders mainly to blame for sacking safeguarding body.

Also, we linked earlier to Surviving Church:  After Wilkinson. Towards a Trauma-Informed Church but it attracted only a few comments.

Now, there is a new paper by David Glasgow published at House of Survivors: Psychological Report: ISB cohort welfare and mental health.


Church Pastoral Aid Society announces its sexuality policy

The Church Pastoral Aid Society is an evangelical mission agency which amongst other things is a major provider of training courses and a significant holder of patronage within the Church of England.. See these Wikipedia pages for more background on the CPAS and on Patronage in the Church of England.

In relation to the recently commended Prayers of Love and Faith, CPAS has issued the following:

The CPAS trustees are listed here.

The second of these two documents is attracting considerable criticism. For example

MOSAIC Cof E has posted on X:

Inclusive Parishes with CPAS as their patrons may not be aware of this change in their position on sexuality.  Parishes may want to ask CPAS why this change was made without them being consulted or informed and how this will affect future appointments

The document in full:

CPAS trustees have endorsed the Evangelical Alliance’s affirmations on human sexuality.

We are conscious that different evangelicals might apply some of these points in different ways, but we believe that, taken together, they reflect an authentic, mainstream evangelical response to human sexuality in general and sexually active same-sex partnerships in particular:



The role of the Secretary General

There has been recent discussion about the respective responsibilities of General Synod on the one hand, and Archbishops’ Council on the other. The Secretary General, General Synod and Archbishops’ Council clearly plays a key role in this. A document from 2015, when the most recent appointment to this post was made, has recently surfaced. This was used in the recruitment process that year and does not reflect any changes in the role since that time.

Secretary General job description

To give a little context, here are two press releases from around the same time:


Other Responses to PLF

Church of England Evangelical Council: House of Bishops’ commends Prayers of Love and Faith. CEEC responds…

“Anglican Alliance”: Letter to House of Bishops from the Anglican Alliance about Prayers of Love and Faith

General Synod Gender and Human Sexuality Group,
Inclusive Church,
Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England: Use the PLF this Sunday

Church Times: Prayers of Love and Faith commended, despite final HTB plea

Christian Today: Bishop asks clergy not to use Church of England’s new same-sex prayers

I will add other items as I discover them.


Episcopal Responses to Prayers of Love and Faith

Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham: Ad Clerum Prayers of Love and Faith 12 December 2023

Bishop of Liverpool: House of Bishops commends Prayers of Love and Faith

Bishop of Chichester: Ad Clerum – Prayers of Love and Faith

Bishop of Ebbsfleet: Bishop’s Statement and Ad Clerum

Archbishop of York: Archbishop Stephen’s letter of the 14th December 2023 to Ministers in the Diocese of York

Acting Bishop of Carlisle: Penrith_PLF_Ad_Clerum_Dec_23

Bishop of Rochester: 2023 12-15 Pastoral letter from Bishop Jonathan re LLF

Bishops of the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda: The Society – Statement from The Society and Forward in Faith on the Prayers of Love and Faith

Bishop of Hereford: Ad Clerum December 2023

Bishop of Norwich (and suffragans): Prayers of Love and Faith

Other statements will be added as they are discovered.


ISB phase 1: Wilkinson report published

This review was announced on 11 September: Independent Barrister to conduct a Review of ISB phase 1

Today the report is published:

Press release:
Publication of independent review into Church’s Independent Safeguarding Board

The actual report is here (PDF)



November General Synod – analysis of voting

We reported previously on the November General Synod – electronic voting results

Andrew Goddard has published an analysis of these voting results here: Prayers of Love and Faith: a divided vote–a divided Church?


9 July General Synod discussion on the ISB

David Lamming has written the following article about the synod discussion that occurred on 9 July concerning the Independent Safeguarding Board.
Question 204 from the November General Synod sessions refers (text included below).


General Synod members, and those watching the proceedings on the livestream, will recall the débâcle at York on the Sunday afternoon, 9 July, when, after several attempts to use the standing orders to enable Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves to respond to the ‘Presentation on developments relating to the Independent Safeguarding Board’ were thwarted, the formal sitting was adjourned so that they could address Synod members, with Robert Hammond (chair of the Business Committee) taking over as chair of the informal session.

One of the thwarted attempts to use Standing Orders to allow Steve and Jasvinder to address Synod concerned SO 120(1), which provides: “The Presidents may invite such persons as they think fit to address the Synod.”  The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said that he was “happy to do that”, though he thought that Meg Munn, who was also present, “ought to be invited to say something as well.”  That said, he added: “I think if people [i.e. Jasvinder and Steve] were able to make a short statement and then perhaps a final response from the panel, I will leave that in your hands, Chair.  I think then we should include this item.” (emphasis added).  He was thwarted, though, as the legal advice given to the Chair (who reported it to Synod with ‘a regret‘) was that it was “unlawful for one of the Presidents and not both to suspend the Standing Orders.”  Leaving aside that Debbie Buggs’s request was to “ask the Archbishop of York in his capacity as President to ask Steve and Jasvinder to address Synod, please,” not to suspend the SOs, it is to be noted that the reason the Archbishop of Canterbury was not present was that he had left Synod to be with his dying mother.



Safeguarding Newsletter for November General Synod

Surviving Church has published this report on the current status of numerous safeguarding matters, few of which are on the agenda for the November synod. The editor of SC writes:

This is a copy of a newsletter written by Martin Sewell which helps a reader to understand at depth the issues on safeguarding that are coming before General Synod this week. Previous newsletters have been shared with synod members. (Ed.)

General Synod Safeguarding Newsletter

I recommend this report for the careful attention of all TA readers.


LLF: report of a meeting at Lambeth Palace


Colin Coward has published this report of a meeting on Friday 3 November at Lambeth Palace Library: The Archbishop of Canterbury meets thirty four representatives of progressive organisations

On Friday afternoon, forty one people gathered forming a huge rectangle in the room on the top floor of the Lambeth Palace library. Thirty four were representatives of progressive organisations and networks seeking the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the Church of England.

I think the meeting represents a turning point in the decades-long movement in the Church of England towards achieving the full and equal inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church – but although progress may now be made, the future is still very uncertain….

Helen King has published another report of the same meeting: Going to the top: meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury

…When Friday’s meeting was announced, at short notice, I heard from several stakeholders that they weren’t inclined to drag themselves into London yet again for what could well be a pointless meeting. We have bitter experience of being asked at these meetings to react to various scenarios, only for an entirely different scenario to be the one that is decided upon. Eventually they concluded that they may as well go; we’re nothing if not resilient. So, there we were. Again. Only, this time, all in the same room, rather than meeting the LLF team in sub-groups (Evangelical inclusives, Catholic inclusives, etc)…