Church of England leaders and others have asked the Charity Commission to intervene in safeguarding
51 senior leaders in the Church of England have written to the Charity Commission asking it
to investigate the church’s safeguarding practices. The signatories come from all parts of the
Church of England, including both lay and ordained members, and some who are elected
members of the church’s General Synod. They include some who have been victims of
church-based abuse, some who have been accused or complained of such abuse. They cover
the spectrum of members including evangelical, catholic, and broad church members.
Lawyers who represented church victims at the IICSA inquiry have also signed the letter.
In the letter, the signatories express serious concerns about the safeguarding policies and
practices being operated by the Church of England. The letter complains of “a highly
dysfunctional church culture – one lacking in care, wisdom and responsibility – uniformly
poor in responses to allegations of abuse”. The writers say that they have “no functional
leadership in safeguarding.”
The signatories to the letter encourage the General Synod to pass a motion of no confidence
in the church’s safeguarding arrangements at its February session. They also ask the Charity
Commission to conduct its own independent review into the Archbishop’s Council, which is
responsible for the church’s National Safeguarding Team. The Archbishop’s Council, in
common with every parish church and diocese in England, is a registered charity.
We here at The Ordinary Office have had safeguarding concerns about the Church of England for many years, and fully support the open letter. sent to the Charity Commission. We know the experience of many survivors has been worsened by the failures of the systems which should protect and support them, and we call for immediate change.