Thinking Anglicans

Questions about the commissioning of the Jay report

The Jay Response Group has produced a report, published today, for the July General Synod to consider. This is scheduled for debate on Monday 8 July. This document is 137 pages long. This synod will not be asked to make any decisions concerning the specific way forward, all of which are considered to require substantial further work.

Readers will recall an earlier post: Wilkinson-Jay Response Group survey findings. This survey is incorporated into GS 2364. Among its reported comments, there were a number which dealt with the issue of whether the Jay report was answering the right questions. See for example, pages 45 to 47 of the survey findings. But also in its Executive Summary, on page 4, summarising

Reaction to the Wilkinson and Jay Reports (emphasis added):

Reactions to these reports highlight intense difference of opinion between stakeholder groups. Strong feelings, including frustration, were expressed by many participants.

  • Many participants welcome the insight that these reports offer on issues surrounding safeguarding in the Church of England.
  • There is a suggestion that the two reports are incongruent; one being seen as promoting patience and careful consideration, while the other encourages urgency.
  • There are voices that call for the immediate implementation of these recommendations.
  • Other voices highlight perceived flaws in the methodology used in the Jay Report.
  • The governance role of Archbishops Council is frequently questioned, particularly surrounding the terms of reference set for the Jay Report and its financial cost.
  • There is a recognition that the Jay Report has damaged the morale of safeguarding staff.

These questions have been taken up in a letter sent earlier this week to the Archbishop of York, and others, by a number of General Synod members. A  PDF copy of that letter can be found here. This letter asks a number of detailed questions about the way in which the Jay report was commissioned. Obviously this letter was sent before today’s voluminous report was published.

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Simon Gell
Simon Gell
1 month ago

Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary since the Archbishops’ Council sacked the ISB. I don’t have the knowledge or permission to speak for other ‘ISB survivors’ so I have to speak for myself. Despite face to face promises from the Lead Safeguarding Bishop & her assistant in July 2023 that I would be provided with a Jasvinder ‘substitute’ within weeks, the AC in particular and the Church in general have provided me with nothing over these 12 months. As far as I can tell (and I am happy to be corrected), I cannot find a single reference in 137 pages… Read more »

Jane Chevous
Jane Chevous
Reply to  Simon Gell
28 days ago

I’m so sorry Simon. Like you, my review is now further back than it was 12 months ago. I too was bitterly disappointed that the Response Group didn’t meet with ISB survivors and we have no mention in the report. It seems Wilkinson wasted her time.
I hope Synod will act decisively to address this gap, and get on with achieving independence in safeguarding now, not kicking the can down the road again.

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
1 month ago

I have concluded my first read through of the paper GS 2364. My first reaction is that it is delivering that which was always institutionally intended – obfuscation. I suspect however that Synod will be docile and vote it through. It is worth remembering that any meaningful reform can be obstructed by a handful of Bishops. Prof Jay spoke of the need for urgency and to avoid “tinkering”. Both priorities are completely ignored in this paper. The wisdom and interests of survivors are not the primary focus of this paper – it is primarily about how difficult it all is… Read more »

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Martin Sewell
1 month ago

Yes indeed Martin and I plan to print out that comment on leaflets adding the rest of a statement you made on Twitter, ‘No element from that scandal appears to be missingfrom the C/E response to those it has abused and reabused’. I hope to distribute these leaflets at Synod.

To those who do not know me I am not a Synod member but will go as a member of the public.

Simon Gell
Simon Gell
Reply to  Martin Sewell
1 month ago

The following is available on the C of E website dated 21/6/24, the 1 year anniversary of the date the ISB was sacked (which of course the C of E can’t even be bothered to mention despite knowing full well how utterly traumatic 21/6/23 was for so many of us). In response to Church Times article on reviews promised by the former Independent Safeguarding Board. Alexander Kubeyinje, the Church of England’s national director of safeguarding said: “As a result of the genuine concerns raised by victims and survivors, I have personally sought assurances around the outstanding reviews. “I am sorry… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
1 month ago

I think that is safe to say that the Jay report will be quietly shelved. Sir Humphrey would be delighted to see that his old ploys for discrediting such a report still work in the 2020s.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Francis James
1 month ago

I take my hat off to Martin Sewell and Susan Hunt for not giving up which, as Francis James points out, is the response Sir Humphrey intends. So clearly- ‘not to Jay’ in Stephen Parson’s terms, and everything will now be thrown at Synod to avoid a repeat of the angst of year . Susan may find providing hand- outs as a member of the public is jumped on very quickly. To any Synod members reading this- please do not be docile and vote this through. It is unconscionable and immoral- a church which lets this go through deserves rapid… Read more »

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Susanna (no ‘h’)
1 month ago

Thank you Susanna (no ‘h’) for the warning. I shall be discreet. I went last year for a different purpose and am now aware of the campus and where things are. I am also aware of the high security. As soon as they saw me the guards whipped out their walkie talkies and followed me! I have plans to try and avoid this.

Jane Chevous
Jane Chevous
Reply to  Susan Hunt
28 days ago

Come and find us, Susan. Survivors from Survivors Voices will be bringing Ribbons and Messages of Truth to Greg’s Place (official protest area) all weekend. And some zebras!

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Jane Chevous
27 days ago

Thank you Jane for that. I look forward to meeting you all

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Jane Chevous
27 days ago

P.S. Jane, I am only at Synod for the day on Friday but will still look out for you.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Francis James
1 month ago

I was thinking much the same. This is an age old tactic. I was very surprised that Professor Jay would risk her very considerable reputation by accepting a commission that brought her into the lair of this collection of charlatans, incompetents and egomaniacs, instead of viewing and evaluating them with the benefit of not being ‘on their turf’. But she did, no doubt for the best of reasons. I just hope she doesn’t end up embroiled in a similar kind of battle to keep it as did Jasvinder Sanghera. Thankfully, in Jas’s case, at least, the Honours system redressed the… Read more »

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
29 days ago

Archbishop Stephen has responded promptly to our letter. It does not seem controversial for me to publish it but I am seeking his formal consent as a courtesy: he does offer reassurance that the criticisms as to process (not by us) are not well founded.

I hope to be in a position to share it more widely in due course.

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