Thinking Anglicans

IICSA announces its plans for July hearings into the Anglican churches

IICSA held another “preliminary hearing” on 15 January. “Preliminary” in relation to the further two weeks of hearings planned for 1 to 12 July. The transcript from yesterday can be read here. Most of it is taken up with the Counsel to the Inquiry setting out her plans for July. At the outset she said:

The purpose of today’s hearing is to provide an update on the work that the inquiry has been carrying out since the hearings in July 2018, and to discuss the necessary preparations for the hearing to commence in July 2019.
I will deal with this in the following order:
Firstly, the broad themes and approaches to the national church hearing as the investigation team currently envisages them.
Secondly, how the inquiry has dealt with, and will be dealing with, the material received in the investigation and how such will be disclosed.
Thirdly, the requests made for statements pursuant to rule 9 of the Inquiry Rules, and when these will be ready for calculation.
Fourthly, hearing dates and any next steps. And lastly, any other business.
In what follows, I intend to explain what the inquiry has been doing and where we are now and set out what is going to happen over the next four months.

In addition to her statement, two legal representatives of groups of abuse survivors also made statements. Scroll down to page 8 of the PDF to read these.  David Greenwood makes extensive reference to the case of Matt Ineson.

For a more detailed discussion of IICSA plans, see this summary at Law & Religion UKIICSA 7th preliminary hearing on Anglican investigation.

The Church of England issued this press release: Statement following IICSA preliminary hearing.

Bishop Peter Hancock, lead safeguarding bishop for the Church of England said:
“We welcome the comments today from Fiona Scolding QC* on the wider church hearing scheduled for July which outlined the focus of the Inquiry.
We fully support the emphasis on the present and future of safeguarding in the Church of England which will help with our commitment to make the Church a safer place for all. Miss Scolding QC said the Inquiry will be looking at whether changes being implemented by the Church of England are relevant and purposeful. I believe this part of the Inquiry will be critical in helping us ensure that our safeguarding work is effective and rigorous and that survivors’ and victims’ views are heard.
We continue to be committed to working closely with the Inquiry in a constructive and transparent way.”

*Fiona Scolding is the counsel to IICSA for the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales.

IICSA has also published a number of the written closing submissions made at the conclusion of the Peter Ball hearings in July last year. Here are links to some of them, which readers may find interesting despite their length.

On behalf of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England

On behalf of Baron Carey of Clifton

On behalf of Slater and Gordon survivors

On behalf of Switalski survivors

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Mark BennetGregAnthony ArcherRichard W. SymondsKelvin Holdsworth Recent comment authors
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KELVIN HOLDSWORTH
Guest

Once again, there is no such thing as the “Anglican Church in England and Wales”.

It seems to me to serve no-one for the Inquiry to be unable to distinguish between the member churches of the Anglican Communion, their governance structures and the Communion itself.

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

In her opening statement Alexis Jay, Chair of the Inquiry said: “In addition, the hearing will explore more generally the adequacy of the policies and practices of the Church of England and the Church in Wales in relation to safeguarding and child protection. “The Church in Wales is part of the Anglican communion, but has a different structure and a separate and distinct set of practices in respect of safeguarding. In particular, to give one example, their guidance identifies that there must be reporting of allegations and complaints about child sexual abuse, even if such has been received under the… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

Further clarification has come, courtesy of Law & Religion UK *:

“For the purposes of its Inquiry, the IICSA regards the “Anglican Church” as: “the Church of England, the Church in Wales, and other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales”.

* David Pocklington, “IICSA 7th preliminary hearing on Anglican investigation” in Law & Religion UK, 16 January 2019, http://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2019/01/16/iicsa-7th-preliminary-hearing-on-anglican-investigation/

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Thank you for posting that. I think it is an unhelpful and confusing definition.

To start with, what are the other Anglican churches operating in England and Wales?

Once again, I don’t think this is a matter of pedantry or angels and pins. The Inquiry is trying to determine who is responsible for hideous abuse. Being imprecise and using confusing terms can help no-one.

Greg
Guest
Greg

Other Anglican Churches operating in England and Wales, apart from the Church of England and the Church in Wales, would presumably include the Free Church of England, the Anglican Mission in England, the Anglican Catholic Church and the Traditional Anglican Church.

Kate
Guest
Kate

But there is an Anglican church in England and Wales. Just one capital different.

RPNewark
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RPNewark

We’re getting into “angels & pinhead” territory here, but, Kate, there is *not* an (singular) Anglican church in England and Wales. There are two Anglican churches which operate in the civil jurisdiction of England and Wales. One is “The Church of England” and it is the church by law established in *England*. The other is “The Church in Wales”, which is a totally independent body which operates in the principality and is not established. It has the same standing as the Scottish Episcopal Church has in Scotland. For the record, there are four Anglican churches in these Atlantic Isles, CofE,… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Guest
Rowland Wateridge

I’m not sure that this is so much ‘angels and pinhead’ as sheer pedantry. I think the term “the Anglican Church in England and Wales” was picked out from an editorial comment explaining the role of Fiona Scolding. Perhaps the editor should instead have said “investigation into the Anglican Churches [rather than Church] in England and Wales”. From my earlier post above, it is clear enough that the Inquiry recognises the independence of both the CofE and the Church in Wales; in fact the point could hardly have been made more clearly by Fiona Scolding. Why do people get so… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

Good point. It doesn’t inspire confidence when the Inquiry conflates two autonomous member churches of the global Anglican Communion into one church body.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I think this comment is technically correct. However there is a distinction made between the constituent churches and their organisations in the material recently published. It has also been noted that there isn’t a legal entity called the Church of England from which one can seek redress. This is maybe beside the point or maybe precisely on point. If our structures are arcane, opaque and misunderstood and prevent people who have been abused from seeking the explanations, apologies and accountability which are properly due – or if the structures inhibit people or get in the way of justice (which I… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

We are still awaiting the report from the Chichester case study which took place last year.

Father David
Guest
Father David

As indeed we are still waiting for the restoration of Bishop George Bell’s good name and reputation.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

Yes, the Bishop Bell debacle remains the Church hierarchy’s ‘elephant in the room’ – as it has done for the last 4 years.

John Swanson
Guest
John Swanson

May I say that I found the submission on behalf of George Carey extremely sad (as well as not very helpful to spreading the Gospel of free grace and forgiveness).

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

May I say that I found the ‘submissions’ by Archbishop Justin Welby concerning Bishop George Bell [eg “significant cloud”] – and former Archbishop George Carey – extremely sad (as well as not very helpful to spreading the Gospel of Truth and Reconciliation.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

For those interested in the Bishop Bell debacle, here are some excerpts from the IICSA transcripts from last March [2018] – Fiona Scolding QC questions the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, Colin Perkins [Safeguarding], Graham Tilby [Safeguarding] and Archbishop Justin Welby IICSA – March 14 2018 – Page 21 Paras 14-18 – Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner Martin Warner: “The area which he [Lord Carlile] has rightly…identified is that there was nobody there [in the Core Group] to speak for Bishop Bell, and that, again…is something that I think was wrong… “…we never asserted the guilt of Bishop Bell…” IICSA… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I agree with you, John (Swanson).

It seems to me that when discussing the seal of the confessional, senior churchmen argue that absolution should be withheld unless penitents confess fully to civil authorities. In contrast, when bishops and archbishops – present and past – are faced with their own mistakes, they appear very reticent with civil authorities. It is a classic example of do as I say not as I do – and church leadership should be better than that.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Strident, yet frank and measured, defence of George Carey, with some push-back on the Gibb Report, but I don’t think the question I would like answered ever will be. What was the Gloucester CAC told when it was considering nominations for the vacancy, against the background that, according to Gibb (para 3.2.10 at p10), the much earlier Norwich CAC in 1985 had declined to consider Peter Ball as it (wisely) felt that “Norwich really could not take a group of young men living with the bishop in the bishop’s house – nor was this pastorally wise for the bishop” ?