Thinking Anglicans

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.

21 Comments

Christ Church Review Group announced

A Review Group has been appointed to oversee an independent review process of the handling of alleged safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Martyn Percy. Details are in a press release, which is copied below.

Christ Church Review Group announced
02/11/2023

A Review Group has been appointed to oversee an independent review process of the handling of alleged safeguarding issues regarding the former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Dr Martyn Percy.

The Review will look at the handling of these safeguarding issues, and relevant reports and investigations including those commissioned by National Safeguarding Team and the Diocese of Oxford as well as material from Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) proceedings. It will not be concerned with the wider issues between the former Dean and the College.

The Review Group, details below, will consider that evidence with a view to appointing and instructing an independent reviewer with relevant expertise and experience.

The Review, commissioned by the Archbishops’ Council and diocese of Oxford was originally referred to the former Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, with Terms of Reference announced in May 2022. Later that year the ISB announced it was pausing work on the review due to finite resources and workload.

This is the first Safeguarding Practice Review, formerly known as a learning lesson review, set up under the new Safeguarding Code of Practice approved at General Synod in July. Its aim is to improve safeguarding practice.

Review Group membership:

(more…)

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Church of England Safeguarding Standards Published

The Church of England has today published a set of National Safeguarding Standards and an accompanying press release which is copied below. The approved version of the standards can be downloaded here.

Safeguarding standards published
17/10/2023

Church of England safeguarding standards published

The Church of England has today published a set of National Safeguarding Standards, an essential benchmark to understand the quality and the impact of its safeguarding activity at a local and national level. The Standards will enable Church bodies to identify both their strengths and areas for development, which will in turn inform their strategic planning in respect of safeguarding.

Along with an accompanying Quality Assurance Framework these Standards have been developed over a three-year period in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including victims and survivors. They build on existing policies and procedures including the previous Promoting a Safer Church statement. The five standards aim to cover the breadth of safeguarding activity in the Church.

  • Standard One: Culture, Leadership and Capacity
  • Standard Two: Prevention
  • Standard Three: Recognising, Assessing and Managing Risk
  • Standard Four: Victims and Survivors
  • Standard Five: Learning, Supervision and Support

Each Standard contains:

  • A statement of the Standard itself.
  • An explanation of why it is important.
  • A series of ‘What Good Looks Like’ Indicators – these are detailed criteria that show how well a Standard is being achieved.
  • Details of relevant House of Bishops’ Guidance and Code, training, resources and tools that can be used to help gather data relevant to the indicators. These are important as they will equip Church bodies with the means to undertake quality assurance work locally, but also in a way that is consistent across other bodies.

The standards will also inform the second round of independent audits of dioceses and cathedrals, to begin in 2024 and announced in August. It is not expected that every Church body will be able to meet every indicator immediately and the auditors are aware that those dioceses and cathedrals in the early audit phase will have had less time to embed these standards.

The National Safeguarding Team is also entering a partnership with the parish Safeguarding Dashboard. This will enable the dashboard to become fully integrated with the new standards, thus making it easier for thousands of parishes to explore the standards.

The Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop, Joanne Grenfell, said: ‘All organisations, including the Church, must be able to demonstrate how well they are fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities. The standards published today are part of a vital quality assurance framework aimed at making the Church a safer place for all and build on work already developed. I know they will be welcomed by all those involved in their local church as an important part of ensuring that our safeguarding activity is making a difference to people’s lives. It will also help the Church to be accountable to all its key stakeholders particularly survivors and victims of abuse.

Notes

There are a range of resources for parishes including:

22 Comments

Complaint re William Nye

Updated

On 12 June, we published this item: House of Survivors challenges William Nye which links to an open letter:
Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Re: Notice of Complaint re Mr. William Nye LVO

Comments on that post noted at the time that House of Survivors was merely the website hosting the letter, not the originator of it, as our earlier headline had erroneously implied. Apologies.

Yesterday, 2 October, House of Survivors has hosted a second letter here: Open Letter to Archbishops, House of Survivors, and General Synod | October 2023

The letter is available both as a PDF, and on the HoS webpage. It is also copied in full below the fold.
Link to the PDF:
Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York`
Re: Update on Notice of Complaint re Mr. William Nye LVO

Update

Church Times  report: Survivors’ complaint against Church of England secretary-general stalls

(more…)

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ISB: survivors write to Archbishops’ Council

The Church Times reports: Archbishops’ Council is retraumatising us, says group of abuse survivors

TEN survivors of church-based abuse have written to the Archbishops’ Councilcriticising their treatment after the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB) was disbanded.

On Sunday evening, a letter was sent to the council by ten of the 12 people who had been awaiting a review of their cases by the ISB when it was disbanded without warning (News, 21 June). They write: “In the period since you closed the ISB we have been left in uncertainty and distress.”

The group criticise the announcement on 14 September that Kevin Crompton had been appointed as an “interim commissioner of independent reviews (News, 15 September). They say that the council’s handling of the situation has caused “harm” to members of the group…

There are more comments from survivors in the report. This in particular caught my eye:

“William Nye, the secretary-general, appears to be running the safeguarding show and making all the decisions, but there is no process to raise any concerns about him. He seems to be totally unaccountable.”

The full text of this letter is contained in the Church Times news article. It is also reproduced here, below the fold.

(more…)

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Soul Survivor: further developments

See previous report here (also recently updated).

Many further items: (already updated twice today)

…On Tuesday night, Soul Survivor Watford held a meeting for members, attended by around 200 people, to address the congregations’ concerns and answer questions.
The Telegraph understands that  a congregant asked a question “about saying goodbye to Mike” and that the question prompted applause from some other congregants…

I will update this article again if more items appear.

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The Church of England and Mandatory Reporting

The Church of England has published its response to the Government’s consultation on mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse.

The Church Times writes about the response here: We don’t know, but consider religious freedom, says C of E response on exceptions to mandatory reporting.

On the Seal of the Confessional the response has this to say.

Like many other historic churches, the Church of England includes in its practices the ministry of Confession and Reconciliation. In this ministry, someone can come to a priest and disclose anything they feel they may have done wrong. It is the practice of the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches to guarantee absolute confidentiality of what has been disclosed. This is often known as ‘the Seal of the Confessional’. The Seal is referred to in Canon Law, although the interpretation of the relevant legal provisions is contested.

(more…)

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Soul Survivor: reactions to the investigation report

Updated again 19 September and 25 September

Previous report here.

The Church Times reported: Senior pastor of Soul Survivor under pressure as Pilavachi damage spreads

Premier Christian News has: Soul Survivor’s Rev Andy Croft ‘failed to act’ on Mike Pilavachi massage allegation, Church of England investigation finds

The Telegraph: Soul Survivor priest apologises for failing to act on Pilavachi abuse allegations and Victims say Soul Survivor vicar was ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ who should lose MBE

The full statement from New Wine: A statement from New Wine regarding the safeguarding investigation into Mike Pilavachi
There are numerous postings on social media questioning the accuracy of this statement. I will place some links to these in the Comments.

Update: New Wine has issued a further statement dated 15 September, in response to criticism of the 13 September statement, see link above.

Further update: latest Church Times report: New Wine to review its links with Pilavachi after attempt to distance itself fails 

And this 21 September statement can also be found at the same New Wine link above

21 September 2023

Many have been hurt by Mike Pilavachi’s behaviour. As the new Chair of Trustees, I have asked for a full and independent review into the nature and extent of our relationship with Mike Pilavachi and Soul Survivor, to ascertain if there were allegations about his conduct at any New Wine events, and to highlight what we can learn for the future. We are in the process of doing this and will report as soon as possible. In the meantime, I would again urge anyone affected to seek the support and care that is available. Our priority throughout the NST investigation has been to enable a safe space for survivors to come forward, be heard and be cared for.

Bishop Jill Duff, Chair of New Wine Trustees

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ISB: interim commissioner appointed

press release

Update on work promised by former ISB – interim commissioner appointed

14/09/2023

An interim commissioner of independent reviews has been appointed to ensure the work promised by the former ISB (Independent Safeguarding Board) can continue. Kevin Crompton, a senior safeguarding professional with experience in child and adult safeguarding and scrutiny in local authority setting, will start work this month.

The Archbishops’ Council had committed to setting in place arrangements to ensure that the case reviews and complaint responses promised by the former ISB would continue, where those met the terms of reference for the ISB, and as a result of feedback had also offered an independent advocacy service.

Kevin will commission and quality assure the reviews and complaints in line with the former ISB’s processes and will oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the completed Mr X review. Survivors with outstanding review requests can choose from a menu of reviewers including charities NSPCC and Thirtyone:eight along with Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP) Chairs.  FearFree formerly FearLess) has been engaged to provide advocacy and support for the survivors with completed, active and pending reviews and complaints.

The majority of survivors have had an opportunity to feed into these arrangements but the Archbishops’ Council is aware of four individuals who had review requests with the former ISB but whose contact details have not been passed on. The former ISB office staff can be contacted at contact@independent-safeguarding.org for information on how their review will proceed.

Kevin Crompton said: ‘I am pleased to have been offered this opportunity to make a contribution to this important piece of work. I am looking forward to working with survivors to ensure they have an independent review of their concerns. I also will do all I can to ensure that recommendations of such reviews are given proper consideration and are implemented within reasonable timeframes.’

Support

If you or anyone you are in contact with are affected by this news and want to talk to someone independently, please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056

Notes

Archbishops’ Council statement on ISB June 2023

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Independent Barrister to conduct a Review of ISB phase 1

press release 11 September 2023
Leading public law barrister to head review into Independent Safeguarding Board

A leading public law barrister is to head the independent review into the first phase of the Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB), it was announced today.

The Archbishops’ Council has instructed Sarah Wilkinson, a barrister from Blackstone Chambers, to undertake a review of the ISB Phase 1. She is an experienced public law practitioner who has represented the Government both as sole and junior counsel in a wide range of high-profile judicial review cases.

The Archbishops’ Council has asked Ms Wilkinson to establish a clear account of the events from the conception, design and establishment of the ISB until the announcement of the termination of contracts of members, establish and identify the reasons for the action to terminate, and identify lessons to be learned based on the findings.

She will complete her review by the end of November and the Council will aim to publish this report as soon as possible following the end of November. This review will also inform the work of Professor Alexis Jay on the future of safeguarding.

The review was announced at the General Synod in July by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, and follows the statement issued by the Council on the future of the ISB.

Finding support
If you or anyone you are in contact with wish to talk to someone independently please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or visit www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the diocesan safeguarding team in your area or the National Safeguarding Team – email safeguarding@churchofengland.org

There are also a range of other support services available.

Link to Blackstone Chambers: Sarah Wilkinson

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Living With Difference group: members named

press release

Living in Love and Faith – first facilitated group conversation held

08/09/2023

The first meeting of the ‘Living With Difference’ group –  who have been invited to be part of a series of three facilitated conversations around the Prayers of Love and Faith – was held on Thursday September 7.

The members of the group are:

  • Ade Adebajo (Elected member of the London Diocesan Synod)
  • Ruth Bushyager (Bishop of Horsham)
  • John Dunnett (National Director, Church of England Evangelical Council)
  • Simon Friend (Co-Convenor of the Evangelical Forum for General Synod)
  • Giles Goddard (Vicar, St John’s Church Waterloo)
  • Jamie Harrison (Chair of the House of Laity, General Synod)
  • Sarah Jackson (CEO, Church Revitalisation Trust)
  • Helen King (Vice-Chair, General Synod Gender & Sexuality Group)
  • Karen Lund (Archdeacon of Manchester)
  • Kate Massey (Vicar, St Paul’s Stockingford)
  • Judith Maltby (Chaplain, Fellow & Dean of Welfare, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University)
  • Tom Middleton (Director of Forward in Faith and Secretary of the Council of Bishops of The Society)
  • Sarah Mullally (Bishop of London, Co-Chair of the LLF Implementation Steering Group)
  • Mark Nam (Assistant Curate at United Church in Longwell Green and St, Anne’s, Diocese of Bristol)
  • Neil Patterson (Diocesan Director of Vocations and Ordinands, Hereford)
  • Vaughan Roberts (Rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford)
  • Jonathan Sedgwick (Archdeacon of Southwark)
  • Charlie Skrine (Rector, All Souls Langham Place)
  • David Walker (Bishop of Manchester)

Notes to Editors:

The group will aim to reflect the spectrum of views held and work to offer back to the Bishops an understanding of how their proposals can be taken forward, reflecting the issues raised in the conversations. The group will meet for three full days, in London, on September 7, 12 and 28.

This is scheduled to feed into meetings of the College of Bishops in September and the House of Bishops in October.

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Soul Survivor/NST investigation concludes

See previous report here.

Today, there have been two announcements:

The full texts of both are copied below the fold.

The Telegraph has this report (£): Soul Survivor’s Mike Pilavachi ‘used spiritual authority to control victims’, report finds

(more…)

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What do Bishops have in common with NHS managers?

Richard Scorer and Martin Sewell have written at Surviving Church: Why Prof Jay must impose an external Safeguarding Regulator on the CofE

This week, the Lucy Letby case has brutally exposed the lack of regulation and accountability of NHS managers (link to Lucy Letby: NHS managers must be held to account, doctor says – BBC News). Whereas clinicians are subject to professional scrutiny and accountability by independent regulators, NHS managers are not, even when (as in the Letby case) they may have prioritised the reputation of a hospital over patient safety.  This is a feature they share with those in leadership and managerial roles in religious organisations. Both NHS managers and Bishops are amongst the dwindling band of professionals still not subject to independent regulation. This urgently needs to change, and as far as religious bodies are concerned, Professor Jay’s taskforce on independent regulation of safeguarding in the Church of England has an opportunity to set this change in motion…

Do read the whole article.

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Future of Church Safeguarding

Updated Wednesday

This website is now live: Future of Church Safeguarding

The Future of Church Safeguarding Programme (the Programme) has been set up to recommend a model for fully independent safeguarding within the Church of England.

As part of the Programme we will gather a range of views to better understand what needs to be improved or what is already working well in Church safeguarding processes – processes in place to protect people from harm.

We also want to hear opinions about how to achieve a safeguarding body that is independent, fair and impartial.

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).

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

The website contains much additional information about how this programme will operate.

Updates

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Safeguarding: more unfinished business (Smyth)

Updated Sunday

Not all unfinished safeguarding business in the Church of England relates to the fiasco surrounding the ISB.

Another major item yet to be reported on is the abuse perpetrated by John Smyth, which has been known about since the 1980s. The formal investigation only got underway in 2019. The Church Times has just published a very detailed and thorough history of the delays in completing this review, which still appears to be many months away from publication. The management of this review lies in the hands of the National Safeguarding Team.

Madeleine Davies writes: Smyth survivors still waiting, five years after being promised church review

IT IS five years this week since the “lessons-learned” review of the abuse perpetrated by John Smyth was promised, and ten years since the Archbishop of Canterbury was formally told about the abuse…

As she reports, Andrew Graystone says:

“The Church decided that the task of reviewing a case lasting over 40 years with more than a hundred victims could be handled by one part-time reviewer contracted for just two days a week, with a part-time assistant. The Church either didn’t recognise the scale of the review it was launching, or simply didn’t care.”

The lack of an independent accountability body to monitor the progress and scope of the review, and to ask Mr Makin “awkward questions”, was also a problem, he said. Conducting reviews was a “lucrative process”, he said, pointing to a leak by the NST in 2019 which revealed that Mr Makin’s rate was £650 per day.

Update on Mr X

Another item where action by the NST remains outstanding is reported today in the Sunday Times by Katie Gatens: I was abused as a choirboy. Decades later the Church of England betrayed me again. (behind a paywall, but see this comment on Twitter)

This is the same “Mr X” case on which the now defunct ISB produced a report, back in May: ISB reports on how Church failed in responding to an abuse survivor.

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Safeguarding: unfinished business

The Archbishops’ Council has today, 2 August, announced this: Next round of independent safeguarding audits

INEQE Safeguarding Group has been appointed by the Archbishops’ Council to carry out the next round of independent external audits of Church of England dioceses and cathedrals, starting in January 2024. They were appointed after a full and open tender process, which included survivor representation…

This is the only official Safeguarding statement from the Church of England since the announcement of Alexis Jay’s appointment on 20 July, before which there was the 12 July announcement relating to Meg Munn’s departure.

We have heard nothing further of any independent investigation into what when wrong in relation to the disbanding of the ISB.

Update 25 July Written Questions to Church Commissioners:

Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab, Exeter): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the announcement by the Archbishop of York of an independent inquiry into the decision to close down the Independent Safeguarding Board, if he will publish a copy of the inquiry’s finings once available.
Andrew Selous: The Archbishop of York has committed that the findings of this review will be made public.

But even more urgent, we have heard nothing about arrangements for the care of those survivors who were already engaged with the former ISB board members.

Jasvinder Sanghera wrote, on 31 July: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

Five weeks have passed since the body established to provide much needed independence to safeguarding across the Church of England (CofE), was disbanded by the Archbishops’ Council.

They could have used this whole experience to raise the bar higher for victims and survivors, instead, they lowered it, leaving those harmed by the Church in greater distress and limbo. The consequences have been devastating.

We have recently been informed that the Church of England is considering its options, however, this is without regard for what this lack of urgency and care means for these victims and survivors. I wish to enlighten you, as it continues to be irresponsible and unsafe not to speak out about these lives…

Do read the whole article. It concludes with this:

(more…)

30 Comments

Bishop of Newcastle will not reinstate Lord Sentamu’s PtO

Updated 2 August

See our 13 May report here: Devamanikkam: Bishop of Newcastle responds to Sentamu.

Today, 27 July, the Bishop of Newcastle has issued: Lord Sentamu – statement from the Bishop of Newcastle.|
The full text of her statement is copied below the fold.

The Church Times has reported this: Bishop of Newcastle does ‘not feel able’ to grant Lord Sentamu permission to officiate.

Update
Philip Jones 
has written this in defence of Lord Sentamu: Safeguarding and the Rule of Law.

(more…)

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ISB controversy episode 11

Continued from episode 10 Updated 24 July

1. The Church Times has a detailed account of the Sunday afternoon session: General Synod digest: Survivor and Archbishops’ Council present on safeguarding chaos.

2. Premier Christianity Newscast: Tim Wyatt has a whole podcast (1 hour) devoted to the ISB story: Safeguarding in crisis in the Church of EnglandHe includes interviews with Andrew Graystone,  Gavin Drake, Jasvinder Sanghera, Jamie Harrison, Ian Paul.

3. Alexis Jay and John O’Brien will develop new proposals for the Independent Safeguarding Board.  See press release from Alexis Jay and another press release from the Church of England: Welcome for Professor Alexis Jay.

From the former, Professor Jay said:

“When I was Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, I heard at first hand of the devasting effects of abuse within the Church of England, and of the failures, often repeated, to prevent it from occurring. I was very clear in my recommendations that safeguarding in the Church would require genuine independence in order to be fully effective. I have been just as clear with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with the Archbishop of York that this programme of work must be entirely independent of the Church too for it to succeed.

I would like to assure everyone that I mean what I say. My team will not include anyone employed by the church, nor will we hold meetings or conduct any business on church premises. I have explained that if I detect any attempt to interfere with or to hinder my work, I will withdraw from this programme of work immediately.

I also wish to make clear that my work will be fair, impartial, objective and rigorous. One of my first tasks will be to hear the views of victims and survivors of church abuse, and to listen to those involved in safeguarding at all levels of the church across England. I look forward to hearing their experiences and using this process to inform the recommendations I will make to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

4. Media reports on this development:

5. There is a letter (scroll down) in the Church Times today, signed by 14 General Synod members, and titled (by the CT) Synod: safeguarding, procedures, and governance. The letter has also been published on Twitter, see here.

6. The Religion Media Centre held a briefing yesterday, now available on YouTube, titled Is the Church of England ungovernable? About half of this is devoted to Safeguarding/ISB.

7. The Church Times has this report on 24 July: Put us first, survivors tell Archbishops’ Council after Professor Jay’s appointment. It includes this quote from a Church House spokesperson:

 “We are aware that the former ISB members had promised to undertake a small number of reviews and look into particular complaints.

“We are proposing to have a package where survivors, if they want to continue in this way, can choose from a variety of possibilities to look at their review or complaint.

“We recognise that the current uncertainty is causing anxiety for survivors, but it is important that proposals are developed that can command their confidence. Conversations are taking place and we expect to make details available later this month.”

19 Comments

Soul Survivor: further developments

Previous report here.

Updated

As before, I am late in reporting on this, but The Soul Survivor Situation – A Timeline continues to provide regular updates, do check it.

Mike Pilavachi announced his own resignation on 11 July, and the next day the BBC had this: Watford church leader resigns during Church of England probe.  The Church Times report is here: Canon Pilavachi resigns as Associate Pastor of Soul Survivor, Watford.

The Diocese of St Albans has Statements on Mike Pilavachi and Soul Survivor.

We have been informed of the resignation of Mike Pilavachi from his employment at Soul Survivor and want to stress that the safeguarding investigation will continue in line with House of Bishops guidance and we will continue to listen to and offer support to those who come forward. The joint investigation is being run by the diocese of St Albans and the National Safeguarding Team, independently of Soul Survivor…

The Private Member’s Motion mentioned in our previous report, had 112 signatures at 21 June, but did not get into the July agenda.

The most recent development is reported in the Church Times today: Matt Redman speaks of ‘harmful behaviours’ and ‘gaslighting’ after Pilavachi resignation. See also this report in Premier Christian News:‘I spent years trying to fully heal from my time at Soul Survivor’: Matt Redman reveals input into Mike Pilavachi safeguarding investigation.

Updates

Gabriella Swerling reports in the Telegraph ‘Toothless’ Soul Survivor abuse investigation has no power to punish preacher

…However, it has now emerged that the Church’s investigation into Pilavachi has no power to discipline him and will instead only be able to refer him to a psychologist.

The revelations have prompted criticism from those who have disclosed evidence to the investigation, as well as victims, accusing it of being not only “toothless”.

The NST investigators, who are continuing to call for victims and those with information to come forward, have said that only if there was evidence of misconduct after 2012, when Pilavachi was ordained, can a separate investigation be triggered and internal Church disciplinary proceedings be activated.

The exact timespan of the allegations surrounding Pilavachi’s behaviour remain unknown….

And the whole story is retold by her at great length in the Saturday edition of the Telegraph: The abuse scandal leaving a trail of destruction across Christianity.

49 Comments

ISB controversy episode 10: Meg Munn quits

Continued from episode 9.

1. The Church Times reports:Archbishop Welby undermined me’ — Meg Munn quits as Church’s safeguarding chair. Hattie Williams writes:

THE acting chair of the Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB), Meg Munn, has accused the Archbishops’ Council of being “slow to listen” to experts — and the Archbishop of Canterbury of “undermining” her work — as she resigns all her safeguarding responsibilities within the Church.

Ms Munn, a safeguarding professional and a former MP, is also the independent chair of the Church’s National Safeguarding Panel (NSP).

After weeks of silence as disputes about the functionality and future of the ISB escalated, Ms Munn released an explosive personal statement to the Church Times on Wednesday morning explaining her decision to cease working for the Church, and finally giving her side of the story of the ISB’s demise.

In it, she speaks of being unsupported by the Archbishops’ Council, which appointed her; says that the other two members of the ISB arbitrarily changed their brief; and calls the ISB “a huge waste of money”. But she also says that safeguarding in the Church of England is not in crisis, praising the professionalism of many diocesan and national safeguarding officers…

Read it all 

2. The Church of England has issued: Statements in response to the resignation of Meg Munn.

3. Here is the full text of the statement from Meg Munn.

4. The Church Times story now also reports on a statement received from Maggie Atkinson.
The full text of that document is over here.

5. I’ve prepared a transcript of the presentations from the four Archbishops’ Council members to General Synod on last Sunday afternoon. It may still contain errors, and I would be glad to receive corrections for inclusion in a revised version.

6. The Church Times reports today New church safeguarding regulator appears on the block, anonymously. The press release mentioned is available here.

7. I’ve now prepared a transcript of the presentation from last Sunday afternoon by Jane Chevous. This immediately preceded the Council presentations. As for item 5, please advise me if you find any errors.

8. Ian Paul has written about the ISB debacle, along with other aspects of the recent York General Synod, here: Fractures and fractiousness at General Synod.

9. There is also discussion of the ISB in the article A ‘Culture of Mistrust’ at General Synod by Rosie Dawson, which is linked in our Saturday Opinion article.

10. The final transcript that I have prepared is of the statements made by Steve Reeves and Jasvinder Sanghera, to “an informal meeting of General Synod members” in the course of last Sunday afternoon. As for items 5 and 7 above, this may contain errors, and please do notify me of any corrections for inclusion in a revision.

Continued in episode 11.

99 Comments