Thinking Anglicans

Churches launch Safe Spaces project

Church of England press release: Safe Spaces launches to offer support to survivors

A new service providing vital support for survivors of church-related abuse has become operational today.

Safe Spaces, commissioned by the Anglican and Catholic Churches in England and Wales, will be run by Victim Support, a national charity with a track record of providing survivor support.

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, Church in Wales or the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates, who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church.

The service is for those who may have experienced any form abuse, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour.

The Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin, Deputy Lead Safeguarding Bishop for the Church of England, said: “I’m delighted that this service will shortly be available to offer support and advice to survivors of abuse.

“I want to express my thanks to all those who have helped to bring the project together, particularly the survivors who have given of their time and energy.

“In Victim Support, we have an excellent operational lead, and we look forward to continuing a constructive partnership with then as well as the other denominations involved.

“I commend the service for use and hope colleagues will do all they can to promote it locally.”

The service will run for an initial two years, with a view to extending this. It has been paid for by the Catholic and Anglican churches involved, supported by a grant from Allchurches Trust.

CBCEW press release: Launch of ‘Safe Spaces’ includes a link to this Briefing Paper.

Victim Support press release: Victim Support launches Safe Spaces for survivors of church-related abuse

Victim Support (VS) has today (29 September) launched its new service, Safe Spaces, a joint Anglican and Catholic Church in England and Wales (CCEW) project to provide a vital support service for survivors of church-related abuse.

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales.

The service comprises a team of trained support advocates, who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence. They have received specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church…

Safe Spaces website

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales.

Victim Support have been commissioned to run this national service, providing remote support through our helpline, live chat serviceand website. Remote support is provided for as long as the survivor needs.  This can be advocating for the survivor, giving them support, providing information (including information on church and police procedures), understanding individual needs and jointly working on individual support plans.  If face-to-face support is also required, contact and referrals will be made with appropriate local organisations depending on need…

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Mary Hancock
Mary Hancock
22 days ago

I am tempted to comment that’s great but why wasn’t it done before?

Marise Hargreaves
Marise Hargreaves
22 days ago

I hope this provides the support people need. Time will tell. Interesting that Allchurches Trust, who provided grant money, is the owner of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group – not exactly known for their positive approach to supporting abuse survivors.

T Pott
T Pott
22 days ago

The Church of England’s press release refers to “the Anglican and Catholic Churches in England and Wales”. If they mean Anglican and Roman why don’t they simply say so?

Paul
Paul
22 days ago
Reply to  T Pott

I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. Please would you explain further.

Father Ron Smith
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Perhaps, Paul, T. Pott is reminding us that Anglican Churches are still part of the ‘One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’ as stated in the Creeds.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
20 days ago

I prefer to talk about the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Calling the Church of England “the Anglican Church” is becoming more frequent and I think it is unfortunate.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
20 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

But the Church in Wales isn’t the Church of England. Both can correctly be described as ‘Anglican’.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
20 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

Perhaps I should clarify the above. I was making the same point as Father Ron, pointing to the inclusion of the Church in Wales in the announcement and as joint partner in this welcome venture.

ACI
ACI
20 days ago

Just to be clear. The creed is recited as an agreed text from ancient times. It says we/I believe in XXX (printed texts alternate between caps and lower case). It makes no claim about what the Anglican Church is. That falls in the realm of ecclesiology. If you enter into ARCIC literature, for example, that is, real time discussions with the Catholic Church, you will see that terminology has to be carefully set out in the very first paragraphs. Breezy claims to be “part of” what the creed describes as truly “One” don’t work anymore. But I take it that… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
20 days ago
Reply to  ACI

My concern is that it is becoming more than a little common for a certain sort of (usually) younger clergyperson to talk about “the anglican denomination in england”.I much prefer the Church of England, though of course I recognise the C of E is the “mother”church of the Anglican Communion.

Froghole
Froghole
20 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

“It is becoming more than a little common for a certain sort of (usually) younger clergyperson to talk about “the Anglican denomination in England”.

Many thanks. You are perhaps describing a psychological disestablishment by much of the Church of itself. If this outlook is general, it is arguably a recognition on the part of many young clergy than the game is up – and that they have accepted what has been the reality for many years already.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
19 days ago
Reply to  Froghole

To some extent Froghole. I’m more concerned that it results in a “church member”pastoral policy esp over the occasional offices.and a sharper view of who is “in” and who is”out”. A rather different C of E than the one I grew up in.

ACI
ACI
19 days ago
Reply to  Perry Butler

You could be right. It can be a combination of things. Concern for the future of the ‘Church of England’ given such a massive decline/lack of participation. Awareness, in part in the light of that, of the larger Anglican global reality. ‘Anglican denomination’ has an odd ring to it. I have not heard that.

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