The Future of Church Safeguarding Programme (the Programme) has been set up to help Professor Alexis Jay OBE recommend a model for fully independent safeguarding within the Church of England.
The Programme will help Professor Jay to gather a range of views to better understand what needs to be improved or what is already working well in Church safeguarding processes – processes in place to protect people from harm.
We have sought various opinions about how to achieve a safeguarding body that is independent, fair and impartial.
Professor Jay, who previously chaired the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), expects to complete her report for The Archbishops of Canterbury and of York by the end of December 2023 and will publish the report herself to ensure full transparency.
The Programme operates entirely independently from the Church, and is staffed by Crest Advisory and a number of other independent safeguarding and policy advisors.
The Future of Church Safeguarding Programme (Programme) has sought the views of a wide range of people on how to make safeguarding for the Church of England fully independent.
There have been two ways for people to share their views, either through an in-person interview or an online survey.
By the end of autumn 2023, Professor Jay and the Programme team will have visited 6 dioceses across England.
The in-person interviews with Professor Jay and her team have been held in:
Anyone who wished to participate in the interviews has been able to register their interest on this page from 15th August 2023 to 26th October 2023.
The interviews have now been completed in every area except one. In the remaining area, the interview schedule is now fully booked. As a result, we are closing the ‘register your interest’ option on our website for these visits.
To ensure that everybody has the opportunity to share their views with the Programme, we are keeping our survey open until Friday 17th November 2023.
The Programme is running an online survey to ensure that everybody who wishes to share their views has an opportunity to do so.
The survey will remain open until Friday 17th November 2023.
This is open to anyone who meets the participation criteria, being (i) you have experiences of recent (within 5 years) safeguarding in the Church of England; and (ii) that you are over 18 years of age.
This could include
Professor Jay will use the results of the survey to inform her recommendations to the Archbishops’ Council and publish them in her report by the end of December 2023.
Professor Jay and the Programme team have also interviewed staff from within the Church of England and key stakeholders from relevant organisations outside the Church.
In addition, the team have analysed documents, data and other information. This information will be provided by the Church at the request of Professor Jay.
This information will inform the final report and recommendations which will be independently published by Professor Jay by the end of December 2023.
Your welfare and well-being while participating in the Future of Church Safeguarding Programme (the Programme) is really important to us.
You are welcome to tell us as little or as much as you like during your engagement with the Programme. Any information you share with us will remain confidential and will be anonymised before being used in our final report – this means there is no risk of you, or anyone else, being identified.
We are unable to support you with safeguarding issues you may have already raised, or wish to raise, about an individual, or individuals, within the Church of England. These issues remain subject to Church of England safeguarding processes.
However, we have our own process for safeguarding the welfare of participants during our work, including how we respond to information you share with us that leads us to believe that:
This process is not linked to the Church of England.
We will speak with you if we need to take action and pass information to organisations that can take protective action, like the police or social care. However in some cases, we will have to break our confidentiality with you to pass information without your consent where we have a legal obligation to do so.
To find out in more detail what we mean by safeguarding and how we will respond during our work, please click here.