Thinking Anglicans

The Jay Files

Updated 17 May- episode 2 added

Regular readers will recall the publication last February of The Wilkinson Files.

Martin Sewell and Clive Billenness have now produced a further video series: The Jay Files which explain very clearly what is in Alexis Jay’s report on The Future of Church Safeguarding.

The first of three videos was published this morning, and two further episodes will be published on successive Fridays. I will link all three of them in this article as they become available. These are strongly recommended viewing, particularly for General Synod members.

The Jay Files episode 1 The Background

The Jay Files episode 2 Fully or Semi-Detached

A press release says

…The Jay Files are a series of 3 short documentary-style films which highlight the key findings of Professor Jay’s Report and are a sequel to The Wilkinson Files which examined the report by barrister Dr Sarah Wilkinson into the investigation of the closure of the Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board. Each film will be no longer than 15 minutes in duration. The Wilkinson Files have been viewed thousands of times by people both inside and outside of the Church.

These films are presented by Martin Sewell and Clive Billenness, both Members of the House of Laity of the General Synod and both very active in matters relating to Safeguarding. Martin is a retired solicitor specialising in Child Protection. Clive is a Certified Auditor who is still in practice and is also an elected member of the Audit Committee of the Archbishops’ Council.

Clive said “Like the Wilkinson Report, Professor Jay’s Report is packed with detail, including the results of a substantial survey that included abuse survivors as well as members of Safeguarding Schemes. She spoke with over 180 people in multiple dioceses, and it is clear that her recommendations were based on the evidence from her work and were not confined to any one parcular group of interviewees.”

“Members of the General Synod are given very little time to discuss in depth the details of these complex reports which lie at the heart of creating a Church which is safe for all before being asked to make critical decisions on how we will move forward. We are all in agreement that there must be proper measures to prevent a repetition of the abuse scandals of the past, as well as the means to care for existing survivors of past abuse. Martin and I hope that these films will help Members to better understand the issues before making decisions.”

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Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
7 days ago

Unfortunately the link seems to be going to an x account which I couldn’t load . I was able to find the first video online
It is interesting that also today the Government has finally issued its legal proposals in response to Professor Jay’s ICSA report. It has decided to ‘tinker round the edges’. and not make reporting safeguarding referrals mandatory. Professor Jay was on the News talking about her disappointment at the missed opportunity. Unfortunately this does not bode well for increased Parliamentary scrutiny if the Response Group decides upon similar dilution.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
6 days ago

Thanks to Clive and Martin for presenting this clear introduction to the Jay Report. They note that her terms of reference were both clear and public – contrary to assertions by at least one member of Archbishops’ Council when the finished report proved highly critical of the C of E. They also note that the Jay Report details how – not whether – independent safeguarding bodies can be set up. Predictably, the powers that be have kicked the report into touch. It reminds me of the OT observation to the effect that ‘because the Lord intended to utterly destroy them,… Read more »

Susannah Clark
1 day ago

I think Clive is right to remind everyone that there is an issue of perception if people are eventually to have confidence in the Church’s safeguarding being independent. Perception matters, because trust matters, not least for survivors trying to find the courage to open up about their trauma. As Clive says, survivors need to be reassured that they will be protected by an entirely independent organisation, completely free of interference or behind the scenes internal networks and institutional power… as Clive says, quoting the European Convention of Human Rights, ‘free of influence from the executive’. Church involvement can’t be ‘well,… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
1 day ago

Not all of us have a strong faith and church attendance suggests that those with a doubting faith (like me) or no faith at all are now in the vast majority. For a “Doubting Thomas” like me the behaviour of our clergy is of crucial importance. I absolutely do not expect every priest to be a saint but I do expect empathy, kindness and Christian love. If you are incapable of that what an earth are you doing as a Christian minister and why on earth were you selected for ordination ? Underlying the Jay report is a simple and… Read more »

Susannah Clark
7 hours ago

I’d like to thank Martin and Clive for their incredibly clear and forensic presentations.

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