Thinking Anglicans

ISB controversy episode 7

Continuing from episode 6….

1. Ben Bradshaw asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner a question about the ISB in the House of Commons.

2. Francis Martin has interviewed Bishop Joanne Grenfell in the Church Times: Bishop of Stepney: ‘My fury when safeguarding is done badly’

3. There is an update from Gavin Drake which you can read here: When is a report not a report?  He writes:

Yesterday, I tabled a “further motion”, or “following motion” to be debated at the General Synod this weekend, about the Archbishops’ Council’s decision to get rid of its Independent Safeguarding Board. The motion – which is available here with a full background briefing – was ruled “out of order” on the basis that the presentation on developments at the ISB, which will take place on Sunday afternoon (9 July) is a “free standing” presentation which isn’t linked to a report. Well, what on earth is GS Misc 1341, a report by the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, Mr William Nye, on recent developments with the ISB, if it isn’t a report?

I’m not easily beaten. And so I’ve amended the motion with a preamble which links it directly with the Annual Report of the Archbishops’ Council. This motion has been tabled and, like yesterday’s motion, has been supported by other Synod members.

I have heard that this one has been accepted as being in order – so Synod members will be able to debate the Archbishops’ Council’s handling of the ISB after all. The new motion is below. I will draft an amended version of the background paper as soon as possible…

The text of the new motion is available on Gavin’s website page. A more easily readable version is available here:Following-Motion-Archbishops-Council-Report (PDF).

4. The Independent Safeguarding Board has issued a final document: Recent Developments: ISB Response to GS Misc 1341.It begins

This paper is provided in response to GS Misc 1341, which was written by the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, dated June 2023. The paper being presented to General Synod does not reflect the full picture and we provide this document to further inform General Synod members…

And the covering tweet from Steve Reeves says:

As @Jas_Sanghera_KN and I leave our formal roles on the ISB, we wanted to thank those who have engaged with us. We also wanted to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and honesty, by sharing additional context in light of recent Synod briefings.

5. Gavin Drake has now published his revised briefing paper.

6. Rosie Dawson at Religion Media Centre has written Archbishops’ Council blocked safeguarding governance review.

7. Anglican Futures has published When the Church fails – should the Government intervene?

8. Eastern Eye has published Exclusive: Church of England victimises whistle blowers.

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Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
11 months ago

Andrew Selous’ reply gives another bit of blame to the outgoing ISB board members and does not appear to demonstrate any culpability of the Archbishops’ Council in the relationship breakdown. As has been stated elsewhere, the “interim arrangements, which will be carried out as at present by external experts” are likely to lead to the re-traumatisation of victims, when they have to repeat their abuse experiences. And what about the information they have already shared? If there are suitable data protection measures in place, will these “external experts” even have access to the information? Survivors had built up trust in… Read more »

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
11 months ago

Maybe I’m just a bit thick, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I don’t really understand the need for this two stage process. If there’s need for an independent organisation to oversee safeguarding, why not just, y’know, found one? Could it not be set up as a charity with some rule in its governing document saying that no one who works for it could have worked for the CofE in the last 5 years? Why have we needed to have this conflict at all? I think this is what baffles me about the whole thing. It seems… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  FearandTremolo
11 months ago

My hunch (and it is only that), is that the nonsense about a two stage process arose because the need for an ISB was rendered politically unavoidable by IICSA. However, the concept of an ISB was presumably endorsed through gritted teeth. The Church wanted to pretend that it was interested in independent safeguarding (despite the very idea of it being a significant threat to the autonomy and authority of the episcopate) and established the ISB in bad faith. The two stage process was presumably intended to be a safety valve: the ISB would be established and then put on a… Read more »

Martyn
Martyn
Reply to  Froghole
11 months ago

The ‘two-stage process’ gets no mention at all in early ISB iterations. The Archbishops’ Council don’t mention it either, and nor does it appear as an idea until well after Maggie Atkinson’s departure. Froghole is, as ever, right in his analysis. If the safety two-stage valve existed, it was a very late addition to the ISB. The situation remains as before. The hierarchy of the CofE and trustees of the Archbishops’ Council fundamentally opposed to Nolan Principles for basic conduct in public life.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Froghole
11 months ago

From my experience of power games and political posturing in another context, I’d say your hunch, Froghole, is spot on. On one level as so many recognise these twitchings of a septic organism are scandalous and sad. On another they are farcical. Tragicomic. I wish Mr Drake well. I would like to think that a majority on Supreme Soviet would reject the Politburo’s line, but I doubt that will happen.

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Froghole
11 months ago

Perhaps the reason I’m so baffled by this is that I think your assessment might just be correct, and frankly I’d rather it wasn’t

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Froghole
11 months ago

I very much believe your analysis is hopelessly correct.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  FearandTremolo
11 months ago

There’s no problem about charity law.

The Archbishops’ Council is Registered Charity No 1074857. Its ‘Governance’ page on the Register lists these under the heading ‘Policies’:

  • Complaints handling
  • Conflicting interests
  • Investment
  • Paying staff
  • Risk management
  • Safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries
Martin Hislop
Martin Hislop
11 months ago

The shameful saga of the CofE hierarchy response to Safeguarding just demonstrates the need for a statutory Ecclesiastical Ombudsman.

Realist
Realist
11 months ago

I’ve commented on the Rear Guard/Follower Bishop’s unedifying, silence-breaking, party-line meanderings in the Episode 6 thread. I won’t repeat them here, save to say that some may wish to read them as I include a story from Revd Dr Hannah Malcolm about +Newcastle, which is a very interesting reflection on one Bishop’s care for a temporarily-vulnerable individual, in the light of all the institutionally-focused posturing we’re seeing. It also made me smile that Bishop Grenfell criticised Twitter and ‘a couple’ of nameless blogs, as giving a false picture of the relationship between the C of E leadership and survivors. Naughty… Read more »

Realist
Realist
11 months ago

I’d like to re-post a comment I made on Episode 6, if you’ll indulge me. I do so because Mr Drake’s inspirational example of persistence, knowledge and skill in the face of attempts by ‘Billy Nye The Whitewash Guy’ et al to use procedural blocking, inter alia, to prevent calling to account motions being heard and debated, makes me want to commend his approach to other General Synod members. I wrote: ‘I recall one of our fellow contributors on here recommending on another thread that members of General Synod would do well to grasp the most tedious nettle known to… Read more »

Kate
Kate
11 months ago

I was appalled by the interview the Bishop of Stepney gave.

“Dr Grenfell, however, took the view that the dispute notice issued by the two board members in May made the relationship untenable”

Everything requested in the dispute notice seems to me to be just asking for good practice and it was sensible governance to list the key steps to progressing the work of the ISB. If the Archbishops Council and the Lead Safeguarding Bishop object to good practice, it’s hard to see a way forwards.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

It is indeed, Kate. But in my view, a good move in the the right direction would be to clear out all the senior leadership and replace them with leaders who actually care about people, then reinstate Steve and Jasvinder and actually let them do their job, with a properly contracted brief to set up a genuinely independent safeguarding governance arrangement. It would be very easy to commission services from an organisation like 31:8 to provide interim independent safeguarding arrangements and support for survivors, while this was in progress. We do actually have a few leaders who genuinely put people… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

Throughout this sad episode I’ve been wondering if a diocese might engage an independent safeguarding agency to provide scrutiny and accountability, thus freeing it from the failed provincial safeguarding experiment overseen by Abps Council/NCI. If there is to be a ‘reset’ I’d like see dioceses and bishops sufficiently emboldened to politely rejecting the HoB group think and declining the SDF cash for compliance cycle.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

The Dispute Resolution Notice does seem to be the straw that broke the Archbishops’ Council’s back – there have been hints to this effect in any members’ interviews since the sacking . It will be interesting to see whether this is raised as an employment issue later, and whether sacking Jasvinder and Steve on day 28 of the notice was actually legal or at best an Aussie run- out… . As far as the X Stepney’s interview today it was a wholly predictable iteration of the party line by someone who doesn’t really ‘get’ safeguarding- though I suspect how you… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
11 months ago

I would hope that all members of Synod regularly read what survivors are saying. Am I being too optimistic?

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

Hello, I’m rather afraid you may be. A real issue is where would they easily access these views if they do not have personal contact with survivors? The micro roll out of Parish safeguarding requires a lot of work from an often diminishing group of people, and can lead to the impression that Things Are Being Done/Improving A feisty friend of mine who has spent the last 10 years or so thwarting Diocesan plans to shut her church remarked to me the other day that the most serious safeguarding issue for her congregation was making sure they didn’t knock each… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Kate
11 months ago

I don’t think you are, Kate. But I think Susanna’s comment about a ‘pleasanter vision’ is very perceptive. My impression of more than a few GS members is they read what survivors are saying, but there is then a ‘does not compute’ moment – even among highly intelligent people, or those who hold responsible posts in various professions or trades that require working to very demanding professional standards. It seems to take at least two forms, and it isn’t unique to GS members. The first is institutionalised thinking. People have given so much of themselves and their lives to an… Read more »

Tim
Tim
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

“To admit the truth hurts the identity of such committed people just too much to bear – have they wasted their lives and have the things they’ve sacrificed (possibly things like not spending enough time with family because they’ve been doing things for Church) all been for nothing?” I agree this is a problem. How to tactfully get people on side is difficult. I suspect many just give up and leave. I confess I recently considered just going to the Methodists – – and then heard about their President being under investigation for safeguarding – – and decided there isn’t… Read more »

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Andrew Selous: “The Archbishops’ Council has been seeking to resolve the dispute in good faith. But because the two board members were reluctant to engage in those discussions, for example they had not met with the Acting Chair since March” This statement (presumably fed to Andrew Selous by leaders in the Church administration) is outrageous, because it turns truth on its head. The two ISB members were clearly wanting to resolve the problems which the Archbishops’ Council had itself brought to a head. They requested Independent Mediation. The Archbishops’ Council refused it. They submitted a dispute notice, seeking resolution that… Read more »

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Joanne Grenfell, Bishop of Stepney: ““I want us to do it [safeguarding] well, not just quickly. . .” And yet they were so quick to fire the ISB members that they did not even contact survivors in advance… and indeed they could have waited the 2 or 3 weeks to consult with the wider Church in General Synod, before such radical and abrupt action, if they truly believed in accountability. In her view, it was “entirely reasonable” for the Archbishops’ Council to have put in place an interim chair. Yes, but it was the way that was done which was… Read more »

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

I think it’s pretty obvious: they didn’t want the wider church (General Synod) to have a say before they took such radical action, and to prevent any such interference (aka debate and accountability and consultation) they closed down the ISB and fired its members so abruptly that there wasn’t even time to protect and inform survivors. Every step of the way, it’s the Archbishops’ Council that has got this wrong, not the ISB (who should be re-instated).

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 months ago

It’s seems pretty clear that the timing of the formal 14 days notice given by the Archbishops’ Council to Jasvinder and Steve to terminate their engagement (the notice period required under their written contracts absent any ground for immediate termination) was to ensure that the notices expired before the start of the meeting of General Synod at York at which they were due to make a presentation, as foreshadowed not only by an answer given to a supplementary question (re Q82) in February by the Bishop of Rochester (“… we will look forward to a full presentation from the ISB… Read more »

Patricia
Patricia
11 months ago

It is hard to understand when the Archbishops’ Council have, with however much spin, reported the matter as a serious incident to the charity commission themselves that Bishop Joanne can still give the interview she has. It actually seems deliberately inflammatory, more of a childish knee jerk reaction to all the negativity surrounding her on social media and which, of course, is why she does not want the mess replayed in that arena. Well here’s a thought Bishop, give survivors a meaningful voice before autocratic decisions are made and dont rubbish the two people many have come to trust, and… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Patricia
11 months ago

“autocratic decisions”… there’s the thing. The Archbishops’ Council has acted like a latter-day ‘Star Chamber’. They could have waited until all survivors engaged with the ISB had been contacted. They could have waited until an Independent Mediator had stepped in to help. They could have waited just a handful of weeks to hear what the wider Church and Synod had to say, before taking such abrupt, radical and frankly brutal action. Instead they acted autocratically, pre-empting all those things. They were autocratic in firing ISB members. They were autocratic (and flouted the defined Terms of Reference) in hiring a new… Read more »

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
11 months ago

From the Church Times interview with the Lead Bishop: Questioned on why sacking them [the ISB], rather than pursuing independent mediation, was the appropriate response, Dr Grenfell said: “I think when that much water has passed under the bridge, it’s hard to get to the point of trusting again.” Dr Grenfell is right, of course, trust is hard when so ‘much water has passed under the bridge’. But where is the acknowledgement of the size of the trust deficit about the national Church’s safeguarding provision that has been building up for years – the last 12 months alone has seen… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
11 months ago

I wonder who thought that being a Royal Courtier was a relevant qualification for the general secretary of a Christian Church ?

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

An appointment founded on vanity based on the previous job?

Last edited 11 months ago by Graham Watts
Tim
Tim
Reply to  Graham Watts
11 months ago

In (vague) fairness, I understand he is also a Church Warden.

Not saying that means he is definitely qualified – – but the implication he might not be Christian or have an understanding of the CofE isn’t quite right.

William Nye (official) – Wikipedia

Realist
Realist
Reply to  David Hawkins
11 months ago

Those who are impressed by fancy titles, being part of the establishment elite, and playing dress up with pomp and circumstance. Sound familiar…clue ‘pointy hats and fancy sticks’…oooh House of Lords…that’s fancy, bring it on! Others would be impressed/intrigued by high office in the world of the Shadows (national security/intelligence) where all are assumed to be hyper intelligent and well able to deal with the complexities of organisations and life in contemporary Britain. (The truth is like any other world/profession some are and some aren’t – there’s an old joke I love about the medical profession [another one where some… Read more »

Maungy Vicar
Maungy Vicar
11 months ago

Did you spot the discussions on Twitter whether the meeting was actually arranged by the Archbishops Council or not? Allegedly it was not! Or about people being excluded (such as Martyn Percy)? That should be update 8 on the ISB fiasco I think.

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Ian Paul was challenged yesterday by Father Dexter Bracey over the ISB. Ian presented an alternative narrative about the sacking of the ISB members and shutting down of the ISB. I attempted to challenge this narrative, but unfortunately on this occasion he did not allow my post on grounds of length, irrelevance to the topic (fair point but I was only responding to his own remarks on the ISB), and my accusations based on ignorance. I want to attribute credit where credit’s due for the way Ian does often allow divergent views on his website – but I do wish… Read more »

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

(contd): “Then, even, even, even, even more seriously… such was their rush to act, and avoid giving Synod a say in such an important matter, and to avoid the help of an Independent Mediator… that the Archbishops’ Council abruptly just crushed the ISB, without first consulting either its members, or far more importantly the survivors who were in process of opening themselves up again in all the rawness of revisiting abuse… they were not told in advance about the AC’s action… and that was reckless and dangerous, and clearly a safeguarding error. Since then, the Council has tried to put… Read more »

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 months ago

Susannah, I’m afraid you are in for an extremely difficult few days- your feelings of injustice and pain are jumping off the page in all your posts, and the disgraceful actions of the AC have only served to retraumatise you and I don’t dare to think how many others. You have a lot of support ‘out there’ as I think these threads demonstrate- I hope this offers you and other survivors some consolation. Sadly I cannot see their DisGraces realising what they have set in train and repenting, never mind apologising- and huge thanks to Gavin Drake for not giving… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
11 months ago

Thanks Susanna, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I know I have posted a lot, but inside I actually find grace and peace a lot of the time. My personal life is very happy, I am loved, and I also have Jesus in my life. You are right to observe that traumatic events in the past can be triggered so, suddenly, you are back there again. But I have experienced a lot of healing in my life. Most of the pain I feel is for others, and I’ve seen that this week – the damage, the raw wound, and the very understandable… Read more »

Gilo
Gilo
11 months ago

Letter sent to Lead Bishop Joanne Grenfell regarding last week’s reckless and dangerous conduct by Archbishops Council. Her reply to my previous letter failed to address the question.

I don’t expect there will be much of a reply. At least my diocese seems to be taking it seriously.
In terms of governance and any capacity to make any safeguarding decisions or implementation, Archbishops Council should be regarded as a basket case.

Letter copied:
NST Director
Archbishops
Archbishops Council
Bishop Julie Conalty
4 Synod members
Diocese assisting with Archbishops CDMs

Screenshot_20230705_142410_Gmail.jpg
Realist
Realist
Reply to  Gilo
11 months ago

Thank you for persisting, Gilo. I realise that each act comes at a cost to you, and that offends and angers me. But to have survivors leading the rest of us as together we keep refusing to be silenced is worth more than any words can express.

Realist
Realist
11 months ago

I gather that Dr Ian Paul is claiming only one person was blocked from attending the meetings offered to survivors and representatives of survivor groups with members of the Archbishops’ Council. According to Dr Paul, that person is both a survivor of abuse, who (in my words) has been subjected to injustice by, inter alia, the various safeguarding bodies of the Church, and somebody against whom an allegation of assault with a sexualised motive has been raised, which whilst not tried in any court of law, has been found credible on investigation. Consequently, according to Dr Paul, this person was… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Realist
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

I think the Archbishops’ Council should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

I have, myself, avoided castigating individual members. (I think Nye should be told to retire with immediate effect, but I would not single him out for blame).

I think it is wrong to name and publically blame Ian Paul for what will have been an organisational decision.

If Ian Paul asked me for advice – which he will not – I would tell him to resign from AC with immediate effect. He should not be singled out as Realist has done.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter
Realist
Realist
Reply to  Peter
11 months ago

Peter, with respect, Dr Paul has openly posted everything I have cited on his social media accounts. I am very happy to apologise on here for anything I have attributed to him personally that is not an action he has taken or opinion/comment he has expressed. To be clear, I do not attribute any individual blame to Dr Paul for blocking the person I refer to, or indeed any other person. If it turns out he did, I believe he should then be held to account for his actions. I do, however, hold him to account for the views and… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Realist
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

Realist, I had not appreciated that Ian Paul was posting in the way you describe.

On that basis I withdraw my comment addressed to you on the matter of Ian’s position.

I am speechless in the face of this debacle. There is something new and horrible that comes to light each day.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Peter
11 months ago

Thank you, Peter. That’s very gracious of you, and I appreciate you writing it.

You and I are in complete agreement about your final paragraph. The whole thing is utterly horrific.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

I too heard that more than one person was blocked.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

I too had heard that more than one person was blocked.

In the case to which I think you and Dr Paul are referring, it’s not quite accurate to say that the complaint was investigated and found to be credible. It was found to be credible, but not of a sexualised nature and not serious.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Janet Fife
11 months ago

Thanks Janet – much appreciated.

I was trying to not minimise any actions found credible, and to emphasise that the often inaccurately expressed version that ‘the person was accused of sexual assault and it was found credible’, was definitely not the case.

I apologise to the person concerned for not having taken enough care to be absolutely accurate as to the nature of what was found credible, and appreciate your clarification.

Your clarification makes the AC’s actions and Dr Paul’s explanation of them as being for safeguarding reasons all the more impossible to defend.

Realist
Realist
11 months ago

cont….

Far from it. But my core point is this:

It would have been very, very easy to both ensure any risk this person may pose to other survivors was addressed, and still hear what this person had to say as a survivor who has been badly wronged by the Church.

But the Archbishops’ Council once again chose to act draconically, and inappropriately and then attempted, through Dr Paul, to use obfuscation to disguise petulance and vindictiveness.

Good try, but you’ll need to do better than that to turn the tide of opinion your way, ladies and gentlemen.

Maungy Vicar
Maungy Vicar
11 months ago

Perhaps the Archbishops and their council will adopt the Nolan Committee’s “Principles in Public Life” as a Values Statement to guide their work. It could be enshrined in the new Clergy Conduct Measure and breach of the principles could be a dismissal offence for members of the Archbishops’ Council. How about that for a theological basis for the work of the Church of England? “Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.” Who could disagree with these as theological statements? (Waits for disagreement, but it is welcome). At least it would be a change from what might be perceived in… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Maungy Vicar
11 months ago

Oh if only! The Nolan Principles aren’t perfect, but it would be a worthwhile task to begin there, explore the additional dimension (theological through a Christian lens) that wouldn’t be appropriate to explicitly establish in secular Public Life, and end up with something far better than the ‘principles’ you rightly draw from the actions of our leaders.

David Lamming
David Lamming
11 months ago

General Synod members, in particular, should note this paragraph at the bottom of page 1 of the paper Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves have written in response to the paper from the Secretary General, William Nye, GS Misc 1341: “Despite data protection questions remaining, the Archbishops’ Council decided to reinstate ISB email and IT systems access to the Chair, against the wishes of and without informing any member of the ISB. Board members made an urgent request to the Archbishops’ Council that ISB email and IT access should be withdrawn, pending satisfactory resolution of the ICO matters; the Secretary General… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

Thank you for pointing this out, and being clear about attribution of and accountability for personal actions, David. There is very clearly a case to answer here, in my view, and it is highly appropriate to single out Mr Nye.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

At the very least the terms of reference for the successor body to the ISB need the scrutiny of General Synod before they are approved.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Mark Bennet
11 months ago

Indeed. Perhaps not only that, but the ISB #2 should: (i) be put on a statutory basis, with its own measure passed by Synod and parliament; (ii) the measure should stipulate the terms of its funding, which should come from the Commissioners; (iii) the ISB should be accountable to parliament and Synod, and not to the executive, and should be obliged to lay an annual report before them (and to answer questions); (iv) the ISB would be subject to audit by the NAO (who would also scrutinise and regulate the flow of funds from the Commissioners, and dictate any increase… Read more »

WYH
WYH
Reply to  Froghole
11 months ago

Froghole, thank you, your “take” as always is first class. I fully endorse your preference of safeguarding to be regulated by a state agency with appropriate funding. This would bring objectivity and a lack of baggage to proceedings. Thus, concentrating on evidence and not hampered by Church personnel. Just on an earlier point you made…. (vii)..(c)..would this include Archbishops…. Dinnae want a loophole there, perhaps. The bottom line is that Victims and Survivors are being failed by the present system and need fair justice to be delivered and seen to be delivered.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  WYH
11 months ago

Many thanks, WYH. Yes, the reference to bishops was intended to include all of them, including archbishops. The creation of a state agency would, I think, have been possible were Theresa May still in office, as she had a personal stake in IICSA (which, as you will probably recall, she commissioned as home secretary), and she might have been able to overbear both the Treasury and other political interests (such as local authorities) had she won a convincing majority in 2017. Unfortunately, I fear that the political caravan has since moved on, Rishi Sunak being effectively a tribune of Treasury… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  WYH
11 months ago

I should add that the reason why I refer to local government is its responsibility for the provision and part funding of social care. Any safeguarding regulator must cover all vulnerable people, not just children (I was very disappointed that IICSA did not appear to extend all of its recommendations to all vulnerable people). I have been especially exercised by revelations of appalling abuse of very vulnerable elderly people in residential accommodation/care homes, even in expensive ones. However, because there is a risk that the funding of a regulator would simply permit the owners of care homes (many of whom… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  WYH
11 months ago

Sorry, I have made a mistake when I wrote: “it is the episcopate and its retinues which lurks behind the decisions of the ISB (the ISB and the secretariat *possibly* functioning as a clearing house for representations made by other NCIs and the episcopate)“. What, of course, I should have written was “it is the episcopate and its retinues which lurks behind the decision of the Archbishops’ Council to dismiss the ISB (the Archbishops’ Council and the secretariat *possibly* functioning as a clearing house for representations made by other NCIs and the episcopate)“.

David Lamming
David Lamming
11 months ago

The first ‘Questions’ session of General Synod at York is timetabled in the Agenda, paper GS 2296, to start not later than 5.45 pm on Friday 7 July. Synod Standing Order 114(1) – Circulation of questions and answers – provides: “A written copy of each question of which due notice has been given for answer at a group of sessions, and of the answer to be given to that question, must be circulated to every member at least one clear day before the day on which the answer is due to be given at that group of sessions…” [emphasis added]… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

The number of questions is a symptom of the breakdown of trust and accountability between Archbishops’ Council, the House of Bishops and the General Synod. I was at a governing body meeting of a school earlier today at which the Headteacher had to answer questions of which no notice had been given.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Mark Bennet
11 months ago

That’s a very interesting point. I’ve also been in such situations many times, as a School governor and on the other end of it as a Vicar/PCC Chair and as a senior leader in other worlds than the Church. I have a more balanced view of questions being submitted in advance of meetings than some might expect of me. I think any person at the top of an organisation should know it well enough to be able to give an account of its broad strokes operation without need for notice, even if they don’t carry the minutiae of supporting data… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

I’m not conversant with GS Standing Orders, David, so please forgive the rather basic question. Is there a penalty or consequence prescribed for non compliance, or are we in the territory of GS Members rising to raise disruptive points of order on the day?

I’m mindful here of the executive’s penchant for ruling Private Member’s Motions they don’t like, and the like, out of order pursuant to various Standing Orders.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Realist
11 months ago

I’m not aware of any sanction in the SOs. A failure to comply with SO114(1) occurred at least once during the last quinquennium and just led to an apology. However, the words of the SO are clear and imperative (“... must be circulated to every member at least one clear day before the day on which the answer is due to be given“), so perhaps a member of Synod can raise the breach of SO114(1) as a point of order during the debate on the Business Committee report tomorrow – the first substantial item of business (Item 4) after the… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

The Questions are finally up.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

Thanks David. I think you’re right – it would be a pity to do anything that allowed the executive et al opportunity to evade being questioned. I would, however, like to see something censuring those responsible for the breach, given how quick they are to rule others out of order.

Perhaps something for GS Members to bear in mind if/when one of them is ruled out of order for a breach of SOs when Synod is in session – an open challenge from the floor on consistency in process?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

75 minutes for 237 questions.

I make that 34 seconds for each question (and any supplementary question).

I realise that there may be some duplication of questions and bunching of answers, but this limited time for interrogation, enquiry, and accountability is a construct that favours very limited transparency.

It’s a ludicrous rush.

The Q&A set up is not fit for purpose.

In a digital age, it should be possible to create better channels for public questioning and accountability.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

They have arrived!! They being the questions on CofE GS website

‘Adrian’
‘Adrian’
Reply to  David Lamming
11 months ago

The reply to Question 30 is not credible.
It asserts:
‘At this time the NST does not have the resources to maintain a public document of progress of recommendations that have been made in National and Local Reviews’.

What gets measured, gets done

This answer is tantamount to saying ‘we have no intention of implementing recommendations of any safeguarding review’.

I accept that is entirely consistent with the Church’s behaviour over the last 8 years, but I had not realised, until now, that this was the Church’s official stated policy.

Susannah Clark
11 months ago

The ISB’s response to GS Misc 1341 is eviscerating and compelling. It highlights the Archbishops’ Council’s breach of process, failure to consider survivors impacted by its abrupt action, contravention of the Terms of Reference, refusal to expose their actions to an Independent Mediator, and the destruction of trust they have caused. In contrast with the forensic professionalism of the ISB (see for example the high quality of its report on ‘Mr X’, the AC has acted autocratically, reckless about the well-being of survivors, belligerently, intransigently insisting the ISB accepted its rule-breaking appointment, imposed without required survivor participation. Over all, the… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Susannah Clark
Christian Hernandez
Christian Hernandez
11 months ago

I am a survivor and was a core participant at IICSA. I have a current and active case with the ISB. No one contacted me to let me know the ISB was no longer functioning and instead I had to meet with the NST. The NST and the head administrator of the ISB have confirmed that they are NOT involved in the appointment of new board members but it will be the Archbishops Council head William Nye. Only 2 options are on the table.. either appointment of people from Diocese independent safeguarding boards (generally not independent) OR passing it to… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Christian Hernandez
11 months ago

Christian: “No one contacted me to let me know the ISB was no longer functioning.”

This is absolutely shocking. I am so sorry. I hope you have a person or people you can turn to after being cut adrift without notice.

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