The debate was opened by the lead bishop for safeguarding, Bishop Peter Hancock who shared personal reflections on his time as lead bishop along with outlining the Church’s response to the IICSA recommendations. The Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, takes over as lead safeguarding bishop in April.
The Archbishop of Canterbury reaffirmed his personal apology to the survivors and victims saying they are voices we need to hear and heed. He also reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to listening to and implementing the recommendations from IICSA He led a tribute to the work and commitment of Bishop Peter Hancock and quoted a message from a survivor who thanked Bishop Peter for creating a safe place of care and bringing light into darkness.
The full Synod motion including an agreed amendment from the Bishop of Huddersfield.
That this Synod;
“(a) endorse the Archbishops’ Council’s response, set out in GS 2158, to the five recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in its investigation report Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball (May 2019) at pages 206 to 207.’:
(b) welcome the statement in paragraph 4.1 of the response that the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) “remains committed to ensuring that words of apology are followed by concrete actions”;
(c) urge the NSSG to bring forward proposals to give effect to that commitment that follow a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors;
(d) request that the NSSG keep the Synod updated on the development and implementation of responses to recommendations relating to the Church of England that are made by the Inquiry, including by submitting a report for debate by the Synod not later than July 2021.”.’