GLOBAL safeguarding guidelines will be discussed by members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) when they meet next year in Hong Kong.
The guidelines are being drawn up by an international Anglican Safe Church Commission, established by the council when it last met in 2016, in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. The guidelines will be finalised when the commission next meets in November, and will be made available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
They will cover five areas: pastoral support, effective response, the practice of pastoral ministry, suitability for ministry, and a culture of safety.
A written report to the Standing Committee by the chair of the commission, Garth Blake, an Australian lawyer, said that the first meeting had identified “a number of challenges . . . not least different understandings of terminology associated with safe church and safeguarding, and the reality that the Provinces of the Anglican Communion are at different stages of response to the need to enhance the safety of all people within Anglican churches, especially children, young people, and vulnerable adults.”
The guidelines will include a template protocol for disclosure of “ministry suitability information” between the Churches of the Anglican Communion, to ensure that abusers and alleged abusers are unable to avoid investigation or punishment by moving between Provinces.