Thinking Anglicans

Recent Church of England Safeguarding reports

Updated Sunday evening

General Synod will be considering this subject on the morning of Wednesday 9 February. No doubt there will also be numerous Questions on the topic at the sessions on either Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday afternoon. The Questions and Answers can now be found here. Items 53, 59, 67-74, 83 are relevant (I may have missed a few). Subject lines are listed at the end of this article.

The main document under consideration on Wednesday morning will be GS 2244, which will be the subject of a presentation, at which the Standing Committee has decided will include an opportunity for questions.

A follow-on motion has been filed, which challenges the practice of not allowing debate on this report, and you can read the motion here. Asked to explain it, Gavin Drake said:

“The ongoing failure to ensure effective safeguarding by parts of the Church is one of the most significant issues facing the Church of England today. Much concern has been expressed about the work, focus and effectiveness of the National Safeguarding Team and other national safeguarding functions of the Church and these have not been addressed. It is wrong that the NST should be given an opportunity to present an unchallenged “defence” of their work which ignores the very many real concerns that exist. The follow-on motion will allow proper challenge to the report and enable Synod members to express their view on the actions of the NST.”

There are a number of other recently pubished items that relate to Safeguarding:

If you are unclear what the problem is in relation to the Trevor Devamanikkam case, this earlier TA article may help: Matt Ineson challenges the National Safeguarding Team. The update says:

As stated at General Synod (November 2021), the independent lessons learnt review into the case of Trevor Devamanikkam, commissioned by the National Safeguarding Team, was referred to the Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB, for advice on how to proceed, due to delays in the process.
The Chair, Maggie Atkinson, has now responded and recommended that the review progress to publication as a very necessary part of the Church’s learning on safeguarding. She noted that this will take some time to complete given the reviewer will need to refresh her work so far and pick up what now needs to be done.
There is an ongoing invitation to the survivor to contribute and this will remain open throughout the closing phases of the reviewer’s work.
The ISB intends to contribute an initial chapter to the review outlining why it has taken as long, the stages and personnel changes it has gone through, and why the report is now being published, noting that the reviewer Jane Humphreys, is an independent expert with no C of E connections.

Questions related to Safeguarding

Makin Review: policy decision on victim status and culpability Q67
Safeguarding ombudsman scheme Q59
Dean of Christ Church, Oxford Q68
Framework to ensure consistency regarding Safeguarding Core Groups Q69
Timescale for Safeguarding Redress Scheme Q70
Safeguarding Case Management Group: existence and authority Q71
Investigation into John Smyth QC in Africa Q72
Past Cases Review: responsibility if perpetrator is dead Q73
Revd Jonathan Fletcher: Safeguarding Agreement Q74
Safeguarding of LGBTI+ church members Q83

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A Menage
A Menage
3 months ago

Blah blah blah! Why use one word when you can say it, debate it, report it, turn it round, scrutinise it, employ more people, consult more experts, get more reports, turn it round and round and round and start all over again!! Meanwhile at the sharp end……

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  A Menage
3 months ago

So if I may ask, what do you want to see happening? While I get the sentiment behind your cynical post, you are surely not suggesting that the issues get swept under the carpet, so it must, I would have thought, be right that Synod pay attention to it. (One of the many issues around safeguarding/abuse is the need for publicity that makes potential abusers realize the environment is hostile to them, and to make victims understand they are not alone and can come forward, etc) Huge mistakes have been made, and there is a lot of bureaucratic process happening,… Read more »

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
3 months ago

The point is that mistakes are still happening and there is a lot of talk but not a lot of change. Cynicism will not help, but neither will words without action. The church is terrible at reaching outcomes in a timely way. Just look at all the issues on here about the church and the behaviour of some of those in it and how they drag on and on for years. Is there not enough information out there to tell us that the church has and is continuing to fail at safeguarding? Surely the focus should be on building systems… Read more »

Alison Menage
Alison Menage
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
3 months ago

I think the other replies rather say it all Mr Barrington. And far more eloquently than I. Corporate CE too busy talking, not doing!! Too many people too full of their own self importance! That’s not cynical, it’s fact.

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
3 months ago

Putting it simply as I can the reason for my not taking part in this sham of a review is that it is titled ‘How the church responded to disclosures of abuse by the Revd Trevor Devamanikkam ‘. This means everybody in the church involved-priests, bishops, NST etc etc. And yet the NST/hierarchy (being investigated by the ‘review’) appointed the ‘reviewer’ themselves, wrote the terms of reference for the investigation into themselves, control flow of information to the ‘reviewer’, will decide what is redacted and if it is to be published. This is unacceptable. My request to have a genuine… Read more »

Matthew Ineson
Matthew Ineson
3 months ago

I would be very happy to go to Synod and tell them how victims are still treat.
Of course the ‘hierarchy’ would never allow that. They would rather spin their own tales. The Truth doesn’t matter…obviously. The way victims are treat shows a very cold immorality.

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