The Archbishops have written a joint pastoral letter following the end of the hearing which took place over the last three weeks as part of the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse.
This is a letter which asks important questions, looks at what work is already being done and brings a mood of reflection to our churches during this Holy Week. There is much work already going on in our own benefice here in Woodstock and Bladon as we review, implement and strengthen our existing safeguarding policies and practices.
From the letter:
We want to emphasise the crucial importance for the Church of England to be a safe place for all who join in the worship of the living God, in God’s mission, and in ministry. Clearly, we need to hear what the Inquiry will say when they issue their report, but, we are convinced that there is much we are doing and much we can do better about safeguarding. Thank you for all that you do. As the Archbishop of Canterbury said last week at the hearing, the vast majority of our parishes are safe places and many thousands of people, mainly volunteers, are working hard to ensure church is safe and understand the need for training, good record keeping and are committed to having policies and practices in place and kept under review.
As we go through these days together again let us affirm our commitment to listen to God and to build up the relationships between us as those who are disciples of Jesus Christ. The various signs and powerful actions of this week; the Renewal of Ordination vows and the Blessing of the Oils on Maundy Thursday; the foot washing and stripping of the altars on Maundy Thursday evening; the starkness of the bare church on Good Friday; the waiting and dead silence of Holy Saturday; and the sheer unalloyed joy on Easter Day; all of these give us the opportunity to renew our trust, ensure we are open and honest one with another and commit ourselves with renewed energy to respond to the good news. Christ is alive and so we proclaim the gospel afresh and confidently in this generation. It is indeed the wisdom of God, the power of God for salvation.