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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Anglican Church Investigation Report

Contents

C.1: Introduction

1. The Church in Wales is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It was disestablished in 1914,[1] taking effect in 1920. In 2018, the Church’s electoral roll showed more than 42,000 worshippers in the Church in Wales,[2] which equates to 1.4 percent of the Welsh population.[3]

Table 1: Church in Wales statistics

  • 6 dioceses/cathedrals
  • 349 benefices (parishes or groups of parishes to which clergy will be attached)
  • 594 parishes
  • 1,295 churches
  • 417 stipendiary clergy
  • 139 non-stipendiary clergy
  • £437 million of general funds

Source: ANG000538

2. The most recent iteration of Welsh safeguarding practice reflects the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. It includes a duty upon statutory bodies to report to a local authority where there is a “reasonable cause to suspect abuse of a child, but this does not apply to religious organisations.[4] Investigations of child protection concerns are run by local police forces or local authorities.

3. Statutory guidance is provided to school settings in Keeping Learners Safe.[5] The All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008 provide guidance to social care bodies and authorities.[6] Neither of them apply directly to religious organisations.

4. While there is no requirement that voluntary organisations must operate in line with safeguarding requirements of statutory bodies, there is an expectation by the Welsh government that they will operate in a similar manner.[7] The Welsh government does not regulate, audit, inspect or have any oversight of the safeguarding policies or practices of the Church in Wales. Concerns about such practice and policy could be reported to local authority safeguarding boards, which may make enquiries but have no statutory powers to intervene.[8]

References

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