Thinking Anglicans

House of Bishops issues report of meeting and a statement on IICSA report

The Church of England’s House of Bishops has issued this statement:

Meeting of the House of Bishops

The House of Bishops met at Bishopthorpe Palace from 15th to 17th May 2019.

Brexit was on the agenda as the bishops discussed recent political developments and prayed for the nation.

The bishops discussed mission and ministry in covenant with the Methodist Church, financial priorities in Church funding over the next three years, and the ministry of confession. The bishops also spent time reviewing progress that has been made by the Living in Love and Faith working group.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s (IICSA) recently published report into the Church of England also received attention from the bishops who have additionally made a statement. [see below]

Elsewhere on the agenda the bishops gave time to the subject of women and men in ministry in the Church of England and mutual flourishing. They discussed the process for discerning how people are called to the ordained ministry.

The House of Bishops also took note of the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Hong Kong and anticipated the Lambeth 2020 meeting in Canterbury next summer.

The additional statement referred to above is as follows:

Statement on IICSA report from members of House of Bishops

A statement from members of the House of Bishops in response to The Anglican Church Case Studies IICSA report:

“We write on behalf of the whole House following the publication last week of the IICSA report into the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies. We recognise that the publication of this report causes most hurt and concern to survivors themselves. It reopens wounds.

“At this week’s meeting of the House of Bishops, Archbishop Justin asked every one of us to read and study the full report in detail and we are absolutely committed to this. The Church has failed survivors and the report is very clear that the Church should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. We are ashamed of our past failures, have been working for change but recognise the deep cultural change needed takes longer than we would like to achieve.

“We welcome the recommendations.

“The report will now go to the National Safeguarding Steering Group next month so the Church can formulate a detailed response to the findings and recommendations as we approach IICSA’s wider Church hearing in July.  The lead bishop for safeguarding has been asked to report back to the House and to General Synod.

“It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report and act upon them”

Bishop Paul Butler
Bishop Christine Hardman
Bishop Peter Hancock
Bishop Sarah Mullally

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
4 years ago

Bishop Paul Butler – the Bishop of Durham?! To my mind, these public apologies are empty until there is a genuine apology for this kind of ecclesiastical boll..nonsense: “I refer to what I said earlier: this is not to denigrate in any way the amazing work done by Bishop George Bell. He was an astounding man and leader of the church. But we also have to recognise that it is possible for great people to make mistakes. In fact, if noble Lords read very carefully the statements that have been put out, they will see that there has been… Read more »

Rev Peter Milligan
Rev Peter Milligan
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
4 years ago

I see that George Bell has ceased to be a real man with real gifts and failings and has now become a way of measuring contemporary ministry. Not as an example, e.g. “what would George Bell have done?” but instead as a way for dividing us: for or against a phantasy ‘George Bell’, for or against Carol.

For the avoidance of doubt, you can put me down as against the fantasy ‘George Bell’. I’m for the living, not the dead. I’m for Carol and Bishop Butler.

Dexter Bracey
Dexter Bracey
4 years ago

As the C of E is so keen to learn lessons and do better in these matters, when might we hear news of an enquiry into John Smyth, and who knew what about his activities and who helped expedite his rapid departure overseas in the 1980s?

Andrew Graystone
Andrew Graystone
4 years ago

One of the difficulties in dealing with the Church of England over abuse is knowing where to get hold of it. It is horribly unclear who is in charge. This latest message adds to the confusion, coming as it does from Bishops Butler, Mullally, Hancock and Hardman. Can anyone explain what this grouping represents? Are they speaking for the whole House of Bishops (in which case why haven’t they said so)? Are they a dissenting group from the HoB? Or is this a new grouping victim/survivors will now have to relate to alongside the NST, the NSSG, the NSP, SCIE,… Read more »

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