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 England. He 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.”