‘The Church of England is called to share the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. The life of our communities and institutions is integral to how we address this task. The good news speaks of welcome for all, with a particular regard for those who are most vulnerable, into a community where the value and dignity of every human being is affirmed and those in positions of responsibility and authority are truly trustworthy. Being faithful to our call to share the gospel therefore compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has’.
From ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, The Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy Statement.
Message from the Most Revd. and Rt. Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Safeguarding is at the heart of our Christian faith.We are all made unique and in the image of God. Jesus came that we might have life and have it in abundance (see John chapter 10 verse 10). ‘Safeguarding’ means the action the Church takes to promote a safer culture in all our churches. In order to achieve this, we need to do a lot of hard work. We will promote the welfare of children, young people and adults. We will work to prevent abuse from occurring. We will seek to protect those that are at risk of being abused and respond well to those that have been abused. We will take care to identify where a person may present a risk to others and offer support to them whilst taking steps to mitigate such risks. The Church will take appropriate steps to maintain a safer environment for all. In order to do this, we must be obedient to Christ who placed a child in the midst of his disciples and encourages us all to be childlike in our faith (see Matthew chapter 18 verses 1 –5). So, we must practice fully and positively a ministry to all children, young people and adults; to respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.
I hold in my prayers all who are directly involved in this crucial work and let us all pray that we may strive to be a safe church for all.
Yours in Christ’s fellowship,
Archbishop Justin Welby