*** DEBUG END ***

Lambeth Palace sets out safeguarding action plan

01 December 2023

Lambeth Palace

LAMBETH PALACE has published a Safeguarding Action Plan, in response to the publication of an independent audit by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) this year (News, 28 February).

The SCIE audit, which was conducted last year (News, 11 February 2022), is part of a national audit of Church of England safeguarding, covering all dioceses, cathedrals, and the two archbishops’ palaces (News, 4 April 2019).

The purpose of the SCIE audit of Lambeth Palace was to assess current safeguarding policies and practice, alongside the wider culture surrounding safeguarding. The work was undertaken by reviewing documents, conducting one-to-one interviews, and holding focus groups.

The SCIE report, published on 30 January, recommended 65 “questions” for Lambeth to consider. The published action plan is a progress report on the response to those questions. There will be annual updates.

Among the steps set out in the action plan are the routine monitoring of the safety of Lambeth Palace staff and residents, ensuring that all employees are recruited in accordance with the Safer Recruitment and People Management policy, ensuring that staff respond consistently well to anyone who makes contact about a safeguarding issue, reviewing the complaints process, and collecting feedback from victims and survivors.

The SCIE report had noted the absence of “independent, experienced, and expert safeguarding advice” at Lambeth Palace, which has now appointed Sir David Behan. A former social worker, who has worked for many years in the health and social-care sector, and more recently in policy, regulation, education, and leadership development, he will provide independent strategic safeguarding advice to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Progress in implementing almost all of the recommendations in the SCIE audit report is described in the action plan as “ongoing”. The Chief of Staff and Strategy and safeguarding lead at Lambeth Palace, the Revd Ijeoma Ajibade, said on Wednesday that the action plan was “only the beginning” of a long-term process.

“We have considered very seriously how we strengthen our safeguarding response, and we believe this Action Plan is a robust start,” she said. “But this is only the beginning. We will keep on reflecting and monitoring, and, most crucially, we will make sure we respond to victims and survivors with warmth, compassion, and professionalism.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that the action plan demonstrated his “ongoing commitment” to safeguarding. “I want victims and survivors to be at the front and centre of any process that involves them, and this plan is designed to do exactly that. I am committed to their continued safety and well-being, which is of paramount importance to build up the necessary trust and confidence in the Church that has been lost through past failures. It is right that we listen and act to improve safeguarding here at Lambeth Palace and across the Church.”

The full action plan is available here.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)