Thinking Anglicans

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.

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Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
4 months ago

By a remarkable coincidence only yesterday I posted a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury on this very issue. For the past 3 years 22 months I have been supporting a friend in an unsubstantiated, uninvestigated allegation made by a chorister of sexual touching. The boy has changed his story many times. On November 4th 2023 the Bishop of the Diocese sent me an email based on the minutes of a meeting October 9th 2023 which the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser had sent him. It was in that email he echoed what she had been saying for nearly four years that… Read more »

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Susan Hunt
4 months ago

Apologies! Mathematical error, I have been supporting a friend for ‘3 years 10 months’ (although it feels like forever!).

Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Susanna ( no ‘h’)
Reply to  Susan Hunt
4 months ago

Huge respect to Martin Sewell.It will be fascinating to see the response from the XXs. To a retired safeguarding professional one infuriating -and probably unintended -consequence of the current unfit safeguarding arrangements is that it makes both actual victims and anyone subject to false claims far less safe than they would be under a properly run independent system which made enquires within an appropriate timescale. It has taken many years to offset the ‘blame the victim- they must be lying ’ culture which used to be so prevalent and unfortunately quite a lot of the press is very happy to… Read more »

David G
David G
Reply to  Susan Hunt
4 months ago

Mr. Nye is unfit to be involved in safeguarding at any level, and has so far demonstrated that he is at best a total liability. At worse, he disregards vulnerable adults and victims, even when advised of the consequences. If there are no consequences for Mr. Nye, then the Archbishops and their Council should be deeply ashamed of their cowardice and duplicity, not to mention their failure to provide any national lead on basic standards of justice. It seems to most people that a Bishop or senior member of Lambeth Palace or Church House Westminster staff can do as they… Read more »

Maungyvicar
Maungyvicar
Reply to  David G
4 months ago

Sadly, the parallel to the post office fits far too well.

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Maungyvicar
4 months ago

Yes but look what happened there. The Truth came out eventually. After Martin’s excellent detailed letter surely there is no way William Nye can continue. If he does, it will be not only be to his shame and disgrace but that of both Archbishops. Thank you, Martin, for writing such a letter; we all appreciate how much hard work that must have taken.

Whatever the outcome is we all know what should be happening and if it doesn’t, the depths to which the Church of England has sunk.

David G
David G
Reply to  Susan Hunt
4 months ago

I predict there will be no consequences for Mr Nye, no action taken by the Archbishops or their Council, and it will be business as usual. The only thing that matters to the elite who run Lambeth Palace and Church House Westminster is to stay in control, and many, many miles above contradiction, censure, accountability and transparency. God forbid that something as grubby as democratic decision-making could so much as lay a glove on the elite. The illusion of effortless control and poise must be maintained at all costs, and even when the failures are manifest and multiple, you can… Read more »

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  David G
4 months ago

‘Mr. Nye is unfit to be involved in safeguarding at any level,’ The website of St Cyprien Clarence Gate names him as the parish’s safeguarding officer ….  https://stcyprians.weebly.com/

T Pott
T Pott
4 months ago

Clicking on the link to view the letter, I am surprised that there is no salutation, and that it starts with a comment on the Post Office.

I do not wish to comment on the lack of salutaion per se, but wonder if the link is mistakenly only showing part of the letter?

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

What has been linked to (as the post states) is the text of the letter: hence no salutation or list of the signatories – all members of General Synod. I am able to confirm that it is the full text.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
4 months ago

This is an excellent letter and I congratulate Martin Sewell for writing it, and those GS members who have been brave enough to sign it.

The letter’s arguments are irrefutable, but all previous experience leads me to believe that it will not be refuted but only ignored or brushed aside by the powers that be. It is the powers that be that are the problem, and we cannot move forward until they are swept aside and replaced by some people with integrity.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Malcolm Dixon
4 months ago

Up to a point I agree. But if all we do is replace the people, the problems may recur.

It is equally important to pay attention to the problems of structure, and governance, and the preponderance of unaccountable power. So when in future something similar happens it will be possible to take fast and effective remedial action.

Malcolm Dixon
Malcolm Dixon
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

Thank you Simon. I agree with what you say. But Nye needs to go now and not remain to await the outcome of a governance review.

David Lamming
David Lamming
4 months ago

The Telegraph online now has the story: “Scrapping CofE safeguarding board left victims suicidal, report warns,” though without referring to the letter to the Archbishops:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/20/church-of-england-abuse-independent-safeguarding-board/ Andrew Graystone is quoted as saying: “It was his decision to terminate the Independent Safeguarding Board in the way that he did, without giving notice to survivors and with no proper care and support in place. He was warned by the Church’s own safeguarding professionals that his actions could cause serious harm to survivors of church abuse, but he went ahead anyway. “Following Mr Glasgow’s report, we now know that there was significant harm, and that some… Read more »

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