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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

Recommendations

Recommendations arising from the case studies of the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball

The following recommendations arise directly from the case studies of the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball.

Recommendation 1: Introduction of safeguarding guidance for religious communities

The Church of England should introduce appropriate guidance which deals with safeguarding within the context of a religious community affiliated to the Church. It must ensure that these organisations meet adequate requirements for safeguarding and child protection. The needs of victims should be prioritised when designing safeguarding policies and practices.

The regulation and management of religious communities should include a mandatory requirement both to have and to follow safeguarding guidance. The requirement to comply with this safeguarding guidance should be the same as would be expected in any other Church institution. There needs to be clarity in respect of how safeguarding should be managed in these communities, along with appropriate auditing of compliance.

Recommendation 2: Amendment of Canon C30

The Church of England should amend the current canon requiring clerics to comply with the Bishop’s Guidance on Safeguarding. The use of the words ‘due regard’ in Canon C30 is an acceptable term of art,[1] but lacks sufficient clarity. Very few individuals who gave evidence to the Inquiry said they understood what this meant, including the Archbishop of Canterbury himself.

Recommendation 3: Amendment of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

The government should amend Section 21 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 so as to include clergy within the definition of a position of trust. This would criminalise under s16–s20 sexual activity between clergy and a person aged 16–18, over whom they exercise pastoral authority, involving the abuse of a position of trust.

Recommendation 4: Sanctions for failures to comply with safeguarding procedures

Individuals engaged in regulated activity who have failed to undergo a DBS check or complete compulsory training should not be permitted to hold voluntary offices within the Church. Failure by ordained clergy to comply with either requirement should result in disciplinary proceedings.

Recommendation 5: Disclosure of internal reviews to the national review body

If religious organisations have undertaken internal reviews or enquiries into individual safeguarding incidents, their findings should be sent to the national review body (set up under the Children and Social Work Act 2017).

We will make further recommendations directly related to the findings of this report following the hearing in July 2019, which will focus upon the wider Anglican Church.

References

Footnotes

  1. A term of art is a word or phrase that has a specific meaning in a particular field or profession.
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