Thinking Anglicans

QC criticises Church of England safeguarding reviews

Updated again Tuesday morning

Continuing the story from here.

The BBC Radio 4 weekly religious news programme, Sunday, today carried an interview with Matt Ineson. This was followed by an interview with Kate Blackwell QC. You can hear both of these here (go forward 33 minutes). The latter contains very serious criticisms of the Church of England’s handling of safeguarding reviews in general and of this case in particular.

Kate Blackwell’s professional CV is available here, and her Wikipedia page contains more interesting information on her.

The Church of England declined to put up anyone to respond to either interview.

Updates

This morning’s Church of England daily media digest report did not include this item (even though it did include an earlier item from the same radio programme).

Further update: it was included on Tuesday in the following terms:

BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme
Item on prospective safeguarding review (from around 33 minutes 07 seconds)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0007b3r

See more detail in the comments below.

A full transcript of both interviews has now been published here.

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Opinion – 3 August 2019

There are important pieces by Martin Sewell and Stephen Parsons about who has power in the Church of England; we have added links to them in the article Matt Ineson challenges the National Safeguarding Team.

Hannah Malcolm Church Times Brian Cox’s quest for meaning
The Planets posed some searching questions for Christians”

Tim Stratford Dean of Chester Helter Skelters, Crazy Golf and LEGO®

2 Comments

Church of England announces Past Cases Review 2

Updated Friday

From here, released today

Protocols and practice guidance for the Church of England’s Past Cases Review 2, (PCR2) have been published today. Individuals who wish to make representations to the PCR2 process or who need to come forward with information or make any disclosures regarding church related abuse are encouraged to make direct contact with their diocesan safeguarding adviser. However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline – 0800 80 20 20 – operated independently from the church, by the NSPCC, has been set up.

Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice. Survivors were not invited to contribute to the 2007-2009 PCR and the Church has wanted to ensure a different, trauma informed approach is taken by PCR2.  Listening to survivor voices has helped to shape how this review will be conducted.

The issuing of this guidance is just part of the ongoing scrutiny work around past cases across the Church, and follows a report in 2018 into the original PCR (2007-2009) which revealed shortcomings both in the process and final result.

Seven dioceses were asked to repeat a full Past Cases Review with work already underway based on draft guidance. The final guidance directs all dioceses on steps that must be taken to independently review all outstanding files. PCR2 must be completed by the end of 2020.

The telephone helpline number and details of how to make contact directly with the diocesan safeguarding team will be promoted locally by each diocese

Bishop Mark Sowerby, chair of the PCR2 Management Board said: “It is the aspiration of the Archbishops’ Council that by the end of the PCR2 process, independent review work will have been carried out in every diocese and church institution within both the letter and the spirit of the protocol and practice guidance.

PCR2 is a central part of the church’s proactive approach to identifying where abuse allegations have not been managed appropriately or safely

We are committed to responding well to all survivors of abuse and I pray that the PCR2 is another step to making the Church a safer place for all.”

There are links to several documents:

PCR2 Protocol and Practice Guidance

PCR2 Background and Overview

PCR2 Full Appendices for Practice Guidance

Update

Church Times Review and survivors’ helpline seek to close era of shortcomings in Church’s safeguarding

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Matt Ineson challenges the National Safeguarding Team

Updated twice Friday

Today Surviving Church has today published Matt Ineson’s statement.

The Church of England has announced a “Lessons Learned” review into my abuse. I will not be cooperating with the review…

Do read the whole of his statement.

Stephen Parsons writes:

We would hope that his refusal to co-operate with the review into his case will result in some change in the ways these reviews are done. We can hope so and we and many others will be watching. The way out of this failure to protect and care for survivors will surely involve radical changes in leadership, both in the safeguarding industry and the episcopal oversight that is supposed to be in force. Whether this will will happen is unclear but the status quo is now so flawed that we all should be clamouring for change so that transparency and justice can be found.

The transcript of Matt’s oral evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse on 10 July can be found here. The video recording of that session is available over here.

Press coverage of that day’s hearing was included here.

Updates

Media reports of this statement:

Premier Witness in Church of England abuse inquiry refuses to take part in internal review

…In response, a spokesperson for the Church’s National Safeguarding Team said: “The Church is committed to an independent lessons learnt review into its handling of the Trevor Devamanikkam case and the Terms of Reference and reviewer are soon to be announced. All aspects of the case will be looked at including the detailed evidence given at IICSA by Matthew Ineson. The report and the Church’s response will be published in full once it is completed.”

The Church added that it respects Mr Ineson’s decision but that the review is vital and have met with him to discuss the terms of reference further.

It added that only some inquiries are carried out independently.

Church Times Survivor condemns Church’s review of Devamanikkam case

…A spokesperson for the NST said on Wednesday: “The Church is committed to an independent lessons-learnt review into its handling of the Trevor Devamanikkam case, and the terms of reference and reviewer are soon to be announced. All aspects of the case will be looked at, including the detailed evidence given at IICSA by Matthew Ineson. The report and the Church’s response will be published in full once it is completed.”

Under the House of Bishops’ policy, lessons-learnt reviews are carried out in all serious safeguarding situations, but not all are carried out independently.

Archbishop Cranmer Martin Sewell “Shabby and shambolic” – the CofE still conspires against truth and justice in historic sexual abuse

…In this case, it is by no means clear who is driving the decision to limit the terms of the review. Is it the Archbishops, the House of Bishops, the Archbishops’ Council, the National Safeguarding Team, the National Safeguarding Supervisory Group, the acting National Safeguarding Director, the incoming National Safeguarding Director, the Lead Safeguarding Bishop, or the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council and Secretary General of the General Synod? Is the decision administrative or executive, individual or collective? One only has to list the potential decision-makers to illustrate the lawyer’s point. Grappling with this organisation and its confusing structures is extraordinarily difficult for an aggrieved individual. It should not be like this.

It is therefore legitimate to pose three simple and direct questions:

1) Who in the Church of England has the power to change these decisions?

2) Who will accept responsibility for not changing them if we want to challenge these matters in detail at the next meeting of the General Synod?

3) How do we change the decision-maker if access to justice is denied?

I do, of course, refer to justice to accused and accuser alike, which can only emerge from fair and independent process. In short, if the shabby and shambolic behaviour continues, who carries the can?

Surviving Church Stephen Parsons asks Who has power in the Church of England ?

21 Comments

Opinion – 31 July 2019

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Further reflections on Deference in the Church

Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley An Expert on Retail and Christianity Writes

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and others Washington National Cathedral Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump

11 Comments

Opinion – 27 July 2019

David Hamid Eurobishop Deacons make history in the Diocese in Europe

Archbishop Richard Clarke The Irish Times Church of Ireland has put its survival over public engagement

Peter Allan Church Times Humanity’s third movement
“God’s work in creation is not finished”

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love Boris kippers and sacred truth

Simon Robinson ruminations, contemplations, stumblings On being assaulted in church

24 Comments

Bishops of Doncaster and Stafford to retire

The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Revd Geoff Annas, announced yesterday that he is to retire from his role at the end of November. There are details on the Lichfield diocesan website.

As pointed out in a comment on this post, the Bishop of Doncaster, the Right Revd Peter Burrows, announced his retirement some time ago. I have been unable to find an online announcement, but the Sheffield diocesan website does have details of his retirement service in September.

10 Comments

Opinion – 24 July 2019

Surviving Church Jane Chevous reflects on IICSA

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church An ethically challenged Church? Bullying and threats

Paul Bayes The Guardian Rough sleeping is not only a moral issue – it’s the measure of a just society

Georges Staelens Blogue de Georges Messes vespérales/Evening Masses

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love True and untrue images of God in the church

7 Comments

Opinion – 20 July 2019

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of Fresh Expressions, sacramentality and mission

Simon Taylor ViaMedia.News Does the Bible Really Say…that Creation is Straight?

Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The Christlike God – seamless creation and evolution

Sam Wells delivered the Inclusive Church 2019 Lecture Citizens of Heaven: Identity, Inclusion and the Church earlier this month. You can read the transcript or watch the video.

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More about the Canadian marriage canon

Continuing the story from here.

Alan Perry who is Executive Archdeacon in the Diocese of Edmonton, has written this blog article: Marriage Canon Redux.

And he also wrote another article, a few days earlier: Read the Memo: The Living Church and the Chancellor’s memo on marriage.

These articles seek to explain very precisely what the legal situation in the Canadian church remains.

The Chancellor’s original 2016 memorandum is available here.

17 Comments

Opinion – 17 July 2019

Richard Peers Quodcumque – Serious Christianity Our Archbishop is baffled – What are we going to do about deference in the Church of England?

Michael Sadgrove Equal Enlarging marriage

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church The Matt Ineson Story – Archbishops challenged
Survivors and the post-IICSA Church

Meg Munn Chair of the National Safeguarding Panel Presenting to the Synod

 

57 Comments

Bishop of Sherwood to retire

The diocese of Southwell and Nottingham has announced that the suffragan Bishop of Sherwood, the Rt Revd Tony Porter, will retire on 22nd March 2020. More details here.

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Olivia Graham to be next Bishop of Reading

Press release from Number 10

Queen has approved the nomination to the Suffragan See of Reading: 15 July 2019

Queen approves nomination of the Venerable Olivia Josephine Graham to the Suffragan See of Reading.

Published 15 July 2019
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Olivia Josephine Graham, BA, Archdeacon of Berkshire, in the Diocese of Oxford, to the Suffragan See of Reading, in the Diocese of Oxford, in succession to the Right Reverend Andrew John Proud, BD, AKC, MA, who resigned on 1st May 2019.

The Oxford diocesan website has more details. The new bishop will be consecrated on 19 November 2019.

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Bishop of Truro’s report on FCO support for persecuted Christians

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, prepared a report for the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on the subject of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s support for persecuted Christians.

This has now been published: Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO support for Persecuted Christians.

There is an excellent summary of it at Law & Religion UKIndependent Review of FCO support for persecuted Christians.

The government press release is here.

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Bishop Linda Nicholls elected as new Canadian Primate

The Anglican Journal has this story: Linda Nicholls elected primate.

Full details of the election results.

Information about Bishop Nicholls.

Information about all the candidates.

Here is the statement issued by the new primate after her election (which also deals with the earlier vote on the marriage canon).

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Canadian General Synod fails to pass revised marriage canon

Updated Monday morning

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada is meeting in Vancouver.

The synod affirmed this statement, originally published in March: A Word to the Church: Considering the proposed amendment of Marriage Canon XXI. This contains at chronology of the preceding steps in this proposal. (h/t Tim Chesterton)

The Anglican Journal reported: Marriage canon amendment fails to pass at General Synod.

The 42nd General Synod voted against Resolution A052-R2, which would have amended the marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriage, after the resolution failed to pass by a two-thirds majority in all three orders. While two-thirds of the Order of Laity (80.9%) and Order of Clergy (73.2%) voted in favour, less than the required two-thirds (62.2%) voted in favour of the resolution in the Order of Bishops

.The final results of the vote, which took place on the evening of July 12 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, were as follows: The Order of Laity saw 89 members (80.9%) vote Yes and 21 members (19.1%) vote No, with one abstention. The Order of Clergy had 60 members (73.2%) voting Yes, 22 members (26.8%) voting No, and two abstentions. In the Order of Bishops, 23 members (62.2%) voted Yes and 14 members (37.8%) voted No, with two abstentions…

Subsequently, a number of Canadian bishops published messages in response, as reported in an email:

  • Archbishop Skelton Diocese of New Westminster Click here 
  • Bishop Peddle Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador Click here 
  • Bishop John Chapman Diocese of Ottawa Click here 
  • Bishop Geoffrey Woodcroft Diocese of Rupert’s Land Click here 
  • Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto Bishop Andrew Asbil on his Facebook page. Click here 
  • Bishop’s Call for Prayer Diocese of British Columbia Click here 
  • Bishop Jane Alexander Diocese of Edmonton Click here
  • Bishop Bell Diocese of Niagara Click here 

Madia reports:

Vancouver Sun Anglican Church rejects same-sex marriage in Vancouver vote

CBC Anglican Church rejects same-sex marriage approvals in vote

28 Comments

Opinion – 13 July 2019

Laurie Gudim The Episcopal Café Our Duty to Strangers

Nick Baines Bishop of Leeds What is the Will of the People asks Bishop Nick at Harold Wilson Lecture

David Gillett ViaMedia.News Does the Bible Really Say…that Baptism Should be Withheld from Some People?

4 Comments

IICSA Anglican Church hearing day 10

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

Today, the final Friday,  was originally intended to be used only for closing statements from the lawyers representing the various parties. However, it was announced at the end of Thursday that an additional witness would be called first on Friday morning. This turned out to be David Bonehill, Claims Director of EIG and and John Titchener, Group Compliance Director of EIO.

The Church Times has a report of what happened: IICSA reprimands Ecclesiastical over earlier advice to C of E and evidence to Inquiry

Transcript of day 10 hearing.

Video recordings of today’s session are available, part one, and part two.

List of documents adduced on day 10  seven of which have now been published, links here.

Witness statement of John Titchener

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IICSA Anglican Church Hearing Day 9

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

Transcript of day 9 (Thursday)

Video recordings are available:

List of documents adduced on day 9

Witness statements:

Media reports:

Telegraph The Archbishop of Canterbury banned abuse victim from cathedral grounds after treating his case with “casual indifference”, IICSA hears

Independent Bishops involved in sexual abuse do not get ‘an easy ride’, Archbishop of Canterbury claims

Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury calls for mandatory reporting of sexual abuse

Church Times IICSA: I am ashamed and horrified, says Welby

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IICSA Anglican Church hearing days 7 and 8

Updated 26 July (video recordings added)

Transcript for day 7 (Tuesday) See below for further links

Transcript for day 8 (Wednesday)

Video recordings;

Day 8 list of documents adduced

Day 8 witness statements

At the time of writing no further documents for day 8 have been published by IICSA, but there is extensive media coverage:.

Press Association via Daily Mail Vicar tells abuse inquiry archbishops ‘not fit for office’. (this report also appears in numerous other newspapers)

Church Times Absolute power will corrupt bishops, says Sentamu

Guardian Archbishop: church ‘shabby and shambolic’ in abuse case

York Press Archbishop of York denies mishandling clerical abuse allegations

Doncaster Free Press Former South Yorkshire vicar claims sex abuse reports were ‘ignored’ by clerics

ITV Vicar tells abuse inquiry archbishops ‘not fit for office’ (includes video report)

Telegraph Archbishop of York: Parishes are ‘enabling abuse’ by refusing to punish paedophiles whom they deem ‘lovely people’

And this analysis at Surviving ChurchThe Matt Ineson IICSA testimony. A crisis of leadership in the Church of England?

Documents adduced on day 7 include the following witness statements:

And there is this media report:

Church Times Bishops not qualified to adjudicate on safeguarding cases, says Munn

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