10 July 2014, The Tablet

Synod to discuss tough safeguarding rules

All office holders in the Church of England are to have a “duty” to follow the guidance and standards in safeguarding procedures for the first time under proposals to be debated at the General Synod in York.

There is currently no general duty on office holders in the Anglican Church to have “due regard” to safeguarding policies. The measure will apply to all licensed clergy, archdeacons, ­bishops, readers, lay workers, churchwardens and members of parochial church councils. It is being introduced following the long history of child-abuse problems in the Diocese of Chichester.

Other changes in the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure will include making it easier to suspend clergy where abuse is alleged, and enabling bishops to force clergy to undergo risk assessments.

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