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We need to 'own' safeguarding
14 November 2017 IN: Bishop
Safeguarding is too important to be left to the church alone, but it’s also too important to be franchised out to some external body to do it for us. We need to own it, and move steadily to a place where we can take justified pride in our church being as safe as we can make it for those who come to us as children or in their vulnerability.
This external safeguarding audit of Manchester has been compiled by an independent body who are conducting similar work with all other CofE dioceses. There is much in it to give us reassurance. The audit report identifies how we are building a safeguarding culture and embedding policies and practices which recognise our responsibilities and enable us to discharge our duties with greater confidence. It also identifies some areas where we can learn and improve.
It is important that, wherever possible, an external report into such a vital matter should be made publicly available. Both our diocese and the wider community have a role to play in knowing what we are doing, and in seeing that we are being held properly to account by wise and informed outsiders.
In commending it to you, I especially thank Abbey Clephane-Wilson, our safeguarding lead, Kathy Batt, our independent safeguarding chair, and all who work hard in our parishes, chaplaincies and across the diocese, to help us be a safer church.