Clarification from Lambeth Palace of current safeguarding arrangements following publication of SCIE report.
An article in the Church Times on 10th March had some information which we would like to clarify.
The role of the Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (BACY) was reviewed at the time Bishop Emma Ineson was appointed to the See of Kensington. Both, with her and with her predecessor, Bishop Tim Thornton, safeguarding work on cases which came to Lambeth Palace always, and quite rightly, took priority and thus there was less time for other areas. In addition, it was clear that there could be a conflict of interest if the BACY handled the task, as there was a risk of 'marking our own homework', as IICSA put it.
Consequently, in the autumn of 2022 it was decided that the new BACY should not address safeguarding. Capacity at Lambeth Palace has been increased by augmenting the time of the Safeguarding Manager, who is now permanent and full-time, and ensuring that all safeguarding matters went to her under the responsibility of the Chief of Staff.
The SCIE report dated 30 January, contained an audit carried out during 2022 which described the safeguarding system accurately at the time the audit was done, but did not take account of the changes made.
There was never a question of Bishop David Urquhart or anyone else appointed as BACY overseeing safeguarding. The situation was a carefully planned follow-up to address the concerns described above, to avoid any conflicts of interest and to increase scrutiny.