Thinking Anglicans

Wilkinson-Jay Response Group survey findings

The Church Times reports on a survey commissioned by the Jay Response Group but as yet not published by them.

Survey uncovers reservations about outsourcing church safeguarding work

MOST bishops and safeguarding professionals in the C of E oppose the outsourcing of church safeguarding work to an independent body, according to the results of a survey commissioned this spring.

The Church Times has obtained the unpublished results of a survey on the future of church safeguarding, which was commissioned in March (News, 25 March). The findings from the survey are due to form part of a paper which will be debated at General Synod in July.

The 2003 responses show that — while there is strong support for the creation of a body that would provide independent scrutiny of safeguarding — Professor Alexis Jay’s chief recommendation, outlined in her report (News, 21 February), that day-to-day safeguarding work should be completely handed over to another independent body, has not found widespread support….

The full text of the survey report is available here: Wilkinson-Jay Initial Survey Research Paper.

The following graphs summarise the most important findings, namely that support for the creation of “Charity A” is lower among both bishops and those currently employed in church safeguarding work than it is among either those who are survivors of abuse and their advocates,  or those who are ordinary church members.

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Fr Dean
Fr Dean
11 days ago

It can hardly be a surprise that those who have comprehensively failed the survivors of clerical abuse don’t fancy the idea of independent scrutiny. Synod needs to tell them to get on with it.

Pilgrim
Pilgrim
Reply to  Fr Dean
10 days ago

Thank you. The Jay report determines “that safeguarding within the Church is flawed and cannot be sufficiently improved whilst it remains within Church oversight. Further tinkering with existing structures will not be sufficient to make safeguarding in the Church consistent, accountable and trusted by those who use its services”. Seems crystal clear ….. I believe that there should be a requirement for all members of Synod to read the Jay report before its next sitting.

Peter Collier
Peter Collier
Reply to  Pilgrim
10 days ago

Fr Dean you seem to be reading the survey upside down – whilst many do oppose the transfer of operational safeguarding to an independent body, for reasons outlined in the survey, the church leadership both lay and clerical are overwhelmingly in favour of the scrutiny of that operational work being conducted by a new independent body – 84% of bishops; 88% of deans and residentiary canons; 86% of NCI staff and governance people. What is interesting is the criticism of the lack of methodology and analysis in the report (see pages 44-45) and the suggestion that it lacked a proper… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Peter Collier
9 days ago

That some bishops, safeguarding staff and central officers believe even independent oversight is wrong suggests that some in those positions are part of the problem. Leaving them in charge is no longer tenable IMO in the light of those answers to this survey – not that it ever was.

Of course, those who want the church to remain responsible won’t see that problem, just as they haven’t seen many other problems.

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Peter Collier
7 days ago

I shared the working hypothesis which was confirmed as the ultimate conclusion. I have no doubt that had cogent evidence been offered, the Jay recommendations would have been adjusted. In contrast, the Church Establishment believes it must control the Safeguarding process regardless of the overwhelming evidence of its gross unfitness for the task. The Oversight Charity would make recommendations long after the injustices of the event: we need independence operationally at the sharp end of problem: if those acting are not obeying the rules or showing bias it needs to be immediately addressed. Jay is the only solution that guarantees… Read more »

Pilgrim
Pilgrim
Reply to  Martin Sewell
7 days ago

The Jay report is not perfect but it is the first step in bring some credibility into Safeguarding within the CofE. Implementation is required pronto.

Clive Billenness
Reply to  Peter Collier
6 days ago

I was not present when Professor Jay spoke to Martin Sewell, nor when he reported to your Committee. But the date on which he spoke to you was 84 days after the Review had commenced its fact-finding and only 10 days before it was due to complete. If, after 84 days of fact-finding, opinion gathering and interviews, the Review Team had not started to see some strongly emerging patterns from interviews which they would inevitably wish to test with subsequent interviewees, I would be very surprised. Testing ideas with interviewees is a perfectly valid consultancy methodology. The strength of support… Read more »

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Pilgrim
10 days ago

Do you mean it is likely that some have not read it??!!

Susan Hunt
Susan Hunt
Reply to  Susan Hunt
6 days ago

This comment was in response to Pilgrim three days ago who said,’I believe that there should be a requirement for all members of Synod to read the Jay report before its next sitting.’ The debate has moved so it now reads oddly. I still find it difficult to believe there are some Synod members who may not have read it.

Jacqueline Burrell
Jacqueline Burrell
10 days ago

No institution can Safeguard itself. The Church does not have a special status. It says it all that the bishops do not want this but survivors and advocates support it.

Aljbri
Aljbri
10 days ago

I’ve been pondering whether to react to this thread. I’ve read all the detail. And found myself wondering why the defensive response was as it was. And if we don’t see and understand that, there will be little dialogue on a very murky subject. If you try to engage seriously in dispute resolution you will probably discover, as I did, that there is no such thing as winning. The church finds this difficult. There are lots of reasons for this, but for example, did the conciliar rows about the creed produce a winning outcome. Discuss. TA most surely can. But I’m… Read more »

Susannah Clark
10 days ago

I found the second episode/video of ‘The Jay Files’ by Martin Sewell and Clive Billenness very acute and thought-provoking. It has already been linked to on Thinking Anglicans but if you haven’t already then I encourage you to watch it.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Susannah Clark
5 days ago

This news item landed when I was away in the North East- (thank – you namesake I had a great trip and managed a private pilgrimage to St Hild’s church in Hartlepool , Jarrow monastery and St Paul’s church as well as St Bede’s grave all mixed in with a family holiday ) The miserable leaked Church Times article made me think of the Synod of Whitby ( such a long time ago!) when leaders took a decision and everyone was sent away to implement it. There has been no leadership following the last Synod apart from setting up discussion… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
9 days ago

Part of the issue here is that the question is not clear. It is very obvious that the response to failure has been catastrophically inadequate (amounting often to denial – and denial as an initial response to crisis is not unexpected for those acquainted with grief – one would hope that the institutional minds beyond the crisis understood these dynamics rather than being caught up in them – but that and an effectively inoperative doctrine of sin have shown both the pastoral and the theological failure of the responses of the church to tragedy). But aspects such as training, parish… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
5 days ago

Has anyone toted up how much CofE has spent on safeguarding in the various reports, visitations, etc., etc., commissioned over the past two decades? Lawyers do not come cheap, so it must be a considerable sum. Of course it has avoided a lot of victim compensation at the same time, but that is not a real save as money will be squeezed out of the stone eventually. Moreover the scandals keep coming, while the CofE attempted cover-ups remain as inept as ever. Whispers in Chi Dio that there is yet another police investigation ongoing ….. 

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