A formal complaint made to the National Safeguarding Team, NST, in June, that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not follow correct safeguarding procedure when responding to an allegation against Smyth, has not been substantiated. The complaint referred to Lambeth’s response to allegations which first came to attention in 2013 and information relating to the specific issues raised has been reviewed. Information relating to a further complaint sent to the NST in August, about wider issues, has now also been reviewed and no safeguarding concerns have been identified. All the information reviewed will now be sent to the Makin Review, due to publish next year, for further scrutiny.
Category : –Justin Welby
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the Bishop of London, have joined national faith leaders in calling on the Government to permit public worship during the forthcoming lockdown in England.
Read it all and the full letter at the link.
News: @JustinWelby @CottrellStephen & @bishopSarahM have joined with national faith leaders in calling on the Prime Minister to permit public worship during the lockdown in England. https://t.co/TbeyhkKttb
— Church of England in Parliament (@churchstate) November 3, 2020
A letter to clergy from Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell and the Bishop of London on the recently proposed Lockdown
We are grateful for people’s energy, hard work and creativity in making this happen and we hope and pray this will continue. We are grateful that the new guidelines being introduced on Thursday not only allow churches to remain open for private prayer but also enable online worship to be broadcast from the church building. We were cautious about these issues during the first lockdown – perhaps overly so – but in this second lockdown we want to encourage church buildings to remain open for private prayer wherever possible, making sure that their buildings are Covid secure in the ways that we have learned in recent months, and to broadcast services from their church buildings. However, if you do not have the resources or wherewithal to do this, please do not feel that you have failed in any way. The good thing about provision of worship online, is that people can join in from anywhere and therefore we can support each other more easily in this endeavour. Our national digital team will continue to offer training and support and provide national services each week.
However, worship online still means that the people of God do not have access to the sacraments which are so central to our life in Christ. This is a huge loss and since we were not consulted about the lockdown provisions, we fully intend to speak with government about why certain exemptions are made and not others, emphasising the critical role that churches play in every community. The sacramental life of the church cannot be seen as an optional extra. Nor can we separate out our worship from our service, it is always both and not either or.
Nevertheless, we will of course abide by the law and ask you to do the same. We must do all that we can to keep our communities safe and to enable the NHS to manage this crisis. The Recovery Group chaired by the Bishop of London will be issuing specific guidance in the next day or two.
Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.
'The sacramental life of the church cannot be seen as an optional extra' I will make this clear as I speak with Government Ministers today. https://t.co/RvO3Tu98Vm
— BishopSarah (@bishopSarahM) November 2, 2020
Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Durham urge Government to expand free school meals to avoid “harrowing” Christmas for thousands
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Durham have urged the Government to extend free school meals as they highlight the “harrowing” number of families who could be destitute by Christmas.
Writing in TES today, Archbishop Justin Welby and Bishop Paul Butler called on the Government to provide free school meals to every child whose family is on universal credit, andexpand holiday provision to all children on free school meals.
According to food bank charity the Trussell Trust, 46,000 food parcels will need to be provided by their network to people in crisis between October and December 2020 – an increase of 61% on last year.
They estimate an additional 670,000 people will be destitute by the end of the year, a prediction Archbishop Justin and Bishop Paul describe as “harrowing”.
The Archbishop and Bishop said it will be “vital for those most disadvantaged” that schools in their communities stay open, but that teachers “can only do so much on their own” and need appropriate funding to help tackle child hunger and poverty.
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) October 1, 2020
Divisions are deeper now — on the brink of a second wave of coronavirus infections — than they were six months ago when the nation first went into lockdown, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have warned in a joint letter to all bishops on Wednesday.
The letter speaks of the inevitability of further national and local restrictions as the winter months approach, and the responsibility of the Church to “avoid mistakes” and respond in the right way to a more complex situation than before. In March, the Church was criticised for going beyond the government advice at the time and ordering church buildings to close, even to clergy (News, 24 March).
“We will need to be more critical in our response to restrictions that are above and beyond government regulations,” the Archbishops write, “helping the Church at the local level, in parish and diocese, steer a course that is marked by responsible action towards each other, care for the most vulnerable, and witness for the poor and disadvantaged who are suffering disproportionately.”
“Our national situation is much more complicated than it was in March. The divisions are deeper. There is public and reasonable concern about hunger — especially amongst children — and homelessness, with an expected rapid rise in evictions.”https://t.co/WOxHFAiBO5
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) September 23, 2020
When the coronavirus pandemic began and lockdown took force across the country – shuttering shops and pubs, closing schools and barring places of worship – much of what we saw, heard and experienced was dictated and driven by “the centre”. Ministers and officials commanded our attention and determined the daily details of our lives. Few of us have experienced the sheer power of government like that in our lifetimes.
It makes sense to instinctively look for central direction in such an acute crisis, and we’re indebted to the roles many played in doing so, especially those who organised the NHS to cope with the increased demand. Within the Church there are lessons to be learnt about the role and importance of central guidance, and its crucial interplay with government rules that exist for the benefit of all.
But with a vaccine still far from certain, infection rates rising and winter on the horizon, the new normal of living with Covid-19 will only be sustainable – or even endurable – if we challenge our addiction to centralisation and go back to an age-old principle: only do centrally what must be done centrally.
As a country, this principle is in our DNA. In the Church of England, we have been committed to localism for centuries.
In today's Telegraph @bishopsarahm and @justinwelby write about localism “…it is our churches and our clergy on the ground that are its lifeblood. In the last six months, it has been they to whom we owe our deep gratitude.” https://t.co/RY2vIPDc5n
— London Diocese (@dioceseoflondon) September 16, 2020
Statement from Bishop Stephen
“Ten years ago I was approached about a safeguarding allegation regarding a priest. I was able to see the survivor and begin to hear what was a difficult and harrowing story. However, I was moving between roles at the time and although I did speak with colleagues about the actions that needed to be taken, I failed to ensure that these were properly documented and followed through in the way I would expect. Now that I have discovered that this incident was not followed up as it should have been, I am deeply distressed and extremely sorry. Because this has recently come to light, I am both thankful that it is being addressed properly now, but also mindful that in my new position as Archbishop of York it is absolutely essential that I am open and transparent about the need for the whole of our church to be scrupulously honest with each other about any failings in safeguarding.
“In the past, the Church of England has been too quick to protect its own reputation and slow to admit its failings. This must change. Those in public office should be subject to scrutiny. Good safeguarding is an absolute priority for the Church of England and for me personally.
“In the diocese of Chelmsford where I have served for the past 10 years, I have been helped by survivors I have worked with as well as a first rate safeguarding team to have a much greater understanding of why safeguarding itself is so important and how we must be prepared to confront our failings and learn from them. Therefore, although I am embarrassed that I did not follow this up as scrupulously as I should have done 10 years ago, I want to go on the record about what has happened in order to demonstrate a new spirit of openness and transparency over how we ensure that the church is as safe as it can be, that survivors are listened to and dealt with honestly, and perpetrators brought to justice.”
A statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to events in the United States of America
“Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy. Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear. God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity.
“As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’
“We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.”
“Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated.”
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) June 2, 2020
Pope Francis is to take part in an online service alongside senior UK church leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, for the first time.
He is set to call on people to turn away from the “selfish pursuit of success without caring for those left behind” and to be united in facing the “pandemics of the virus and of hunger, war, contempt for life and indifference to others”.
His special message is to mark Pentecost Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.
The virtual service is the finale of this year’s global prayer movement, called Thy Kingdom Come, which is usually filled with mass gatherings and outdoor celebrations involving 65 different denominations and traditions.
It has had to be adapted due to the pandemic so people can take part in their homes.
Pope to take part in online service with UK church leaders for first timehttps://t.co/D4XCASERMB
— Premier Christian (@PremierRadio) May 29, 2020
…[Today] the bishops of the Church of England will meet to consider the growing opposition to their policy of banning clergy from saying prayers in their churches.
To recap: on 24 March the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to the clergy of the Church of England with the following instruction: “Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own.”
The guidance of the government makes it specifically clear that clergy are allowed into their churches on their own to pray and to broadcast prayer. And the Roman Catholics and other churches continue to do so. But the C of E has banned its clergy from doing this, in some Dioceses with the threat of disciplinary action hanging over those who do.
The deep unhappiness about this continues to grow. Today a letter was sent to The Times signed by hundreds of clergy and lay people complaining about the current restrictions. And as the resistance grows so too does the counter-resistance — with arguments from those defending the official line appearing all over social media.
Let priests pray in their churches – The Post https://t.co/rjbvaGtWxG
— Robert Paterson (@marerskine) May 5, 2020
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will deliver a message of hope to school pupils across the country in the first assembly at Oak National Academy, it was announced today.
The Archbishop’s address will be streamed through TES from 10am on Thursday 30 April 2020. It will then remain available on the Oak National Academy website.
In addition to the assemblies, the Church of England is also partnering with Oak National Academy to provide separate weekly collective worship sessions led by schools, which will be accessible to those of all faiths and none. This will be part of the Church of England’s forthcoming #FaithAtHome programme, which launches later in the week.
Archbishop @JustinWelby will lead the first assembly at the National Online Academy this week.
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) April 27, 2020
The world this Easter finds itself in strange and unusual times. The global Coronavirus pandemic has claimed many lives and continues to inflict pain, suffering and hardship on our world. We grieve with those who grieve and mourn with those who mourn. We pray for those who suffer and for those who care for them, and we commit the nations of the world and their leaders to God’s gracious care and protection.
In many countries around the world church buildings are closed and the observances of Holy Week and Easter must take place in a very different way. Around the world Churches and congregations are not able to gather together. Yet the people of God, in their homes, join their prayers and praises with the Church throughout the world. Our Alleluias are not silenced, but dispersed….
The good news of the resurrection pierces the darkness of despair.
My Easter letter to churches here and around the world: https://t.co/E5bjFpJm81
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) April 14, 2020
Who would recognise someone known to be dead?
Yet within a very short period we find Mary announcing that she has seen the Lord. Not long after Peter is telling Cornelius that Jesus had risen and that this was the foundation of hope for all people.
There are three astonishing things in what Peter says.
First, that someone could rise from the dead. Peter’s change from frightened denier of Christ to bold advocate is one of the great evidences for the resurrection.
Second, that God would reach in love to the whole world.
Third, that Roman occupier and Jewish occupied could be drawn together in unity.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia! pic.twitter.com/qrlCpvAuar
— St Paul’s Cathedral (@StPaulsLondon) April 12, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives
We are writing further to you given the rapidly changing nature of the situation in our country at present. We want to thank you for the ministry you are exercising and for the creative and imaginative ways in which you are responding to the crisis and showing the love and care of Christ to the communities we serve, particularly to the most vulnerable in our society.
As we move towards Passiontide, focussing on what Jesus did for us on the cross, more than ever this is brought into stark focus. We want to reiterate the advice we have already sent. The government is asking us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We call upon all our churches and church leaders, clergy and lay, to follow this advice.
Latest letter from C of E’s Archbishops on how to Proceed given the pandemic and the Government’s instructions
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, it is imperative that for the health of the nation and in order for the National Health Service itself to manage the increase in those
requiring medical help, the Church of England strictly observes the new guidelines on staying at home and only making journeys that are absolutely necessary, such as shopping for essential
items and to take daily exercise.
Our church buildings must now be closed not only for public worship, but for private prayer as well and this includes the priest or lay person offering prayer in church on their own. A notice
explaining this should be put on the church door (please find template attached). We must take a lead in showing our communities how we must behave in order to slow down the spread of
This is a particularly unusual and painful time for everyone, not least the many students and staff who have found themselves adjusting to such an unexpected change in educational provision. I know that children and young people will be feeling a range of emotions as they face their school year ending so suddenly and in such uncertain circumstances, and students, teachers and parents remain very much in my prayers.
I know I speak for all the bishops across the Church of England in expressing my heartfelt thanks to all the school leaders and teachers who are working hard in these extremely challenging circumstances to maintain educational provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers. Keeping these children safe in school is vitally important as we fight this pandemic together, and we cannot thank you enough for your continued efforts.
On top of this, you are putting a huge amount of effort in to provide food or distribute vouchers to ensure all those entitled to free school meals receive that support. Schools are also providing resources to help children staying at home to continue learning and make progress in their education. School leaders and teachers are serving their communities and caring for students in ways that are truly inspiring.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) March 23, 2020
We are good in this country at holding our nerve and steadying one another. But a pandemic is something else; you can’t touch the virus, see it or even know where it is. It may be spread by those who don’t even know they are infected. It is very serious for some, very mild for many. Nevertheless, the effect of the virus could drive us apart. To some extent it must do.
When someone we care for has it they must be isolated. That is particularly so for older people and the most vulnerable, the ones by whose bed we want to sit, and hold their hand, express our love with touch. As in epidemics throughout history the effects of this fear disturb us very deeply, and dread comes upon us.
The answer to conquering this fear is love that we receive. The tears of the child wakened by a bad dream are stilled by the embrace of someone who loves them. The uncertainty of someone of great age is often quietened with a familiar voice. The words of a friend can enable us to challenge the fears of illness to reduce our sense of threat. The UK has a culture of caring, expressed through the NHS, in Social Care, and in many other ways.
All of us, now, face a common threat, COVID-19. The question is, how do we find hope in these difficult circumstances? Hope comes both from what we can do and who we are.
Archbishops call for Church of England to become radically different as public worship put on hold to help stem spread of coronavirus
In a joint letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.
But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.
It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.
The Archbishops expressed the desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.
Today, Archbishop @JohnSentamu and I are calling @churchofengland to suspend public worship to help stem the spread of #coronavirus. We must be a radically different church for now – but one that’s hopeful, prayerful and committed to serving others: https://t.co/cU8ZQIdzcb
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) March 17, 2020
Local media sources report that the service of enthronement of the new Archbishop of the Church of Uganda will be attended by the President and First Lady, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of Parliament and many other government leaders.
In a statement, Church of Uganda revealed that its 39 active Bishops and more than 45 retired Bishops are expected to attend the service of enthronement. In all, they are preparing for 3,000 – 7,000 people.
The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of the Gafcon Primates’ Council is expected to preach at the enthronement.
The Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to the Archbishop of York at what would have been the latter’s final General Synod
Archbishop Justin Welby praised the Archbishop of York who is currently travelling in the Pacific. He said: “He (John Sentamu) has gone to visit parts of the world which are suffering the effects of climate change right now. He has gone typically to respond to an invitation for him to go and preach and be alongside those who are suffering: a pattern of his life throughout his ministry.”
The Archbishop continued: “Speaking about Sentamu when he’s not here is both dangerous but also deeply liberating for it means we can show our gratitude, thanks and love for him without him being able to stop us.”
Recalling the Archbishop of York’s work on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Archbishop Justin added that “he has said that he himself was stopped at least eight times by the police”. The Archbishop of Canterbury continued: “To honour his memory, his lifelong, bitter cruel and wicked experience of institutional racism which has existed and does exist within the Church of England we must be dedicated to actions not just words.”
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) February 14, 2020
Three weeks ago I was in Kenya. I was listening to Archbishop Jackson Olit Sapit, a Maasai by origin, who grew up in a small village and by some missionaries received his education after his father died at the age of three.
Archbishop Jackon told us a story of when he was a young man, 13 or 14 years old, and a herder. And on his first duty guarding the flocks and herds at night, his friends had told him that when a lion roared, it was preparing to charge, and that he had spent the night terrified. The joke by his friends is, of course, that lions are far more dangerous when they’re silent, because this means they are stalking their prey and preparing to pounce. They roar when wandering around looking for the prey they will then stalk. His friends told him that in the morning.
Shepherds, in other words, says Peter, need to have their wits about them, because to protect their sheep they need to know what might threaten them – the lions that pose a danger to the flock. The Lion of 1 Peter 5 is a warning to the churches – all of them together – not merely to individuals as we so often interpret it.
We can so easily turn or perceive other people or ideas into lions and consider them a threat, even an enemy. We can make a lion out of shadows, or we can be assailed the lion which has snuck up on us quietly. We as a church, as this Synod, need to be aware and yet not so cautious that we are paralysed with fear and communicate that fear to one another around.
The lion of our time has many faces, some of them modern, many of them as old as the church itself. Notice that in 1 Peter 5 it is described as ‘your enemy, the devil’. Not your enemy, those who disagree with you. Not your enemy, those who troll you on Twitter. Not your enemy, those who say nasty things in Synod – which would never happen. Not your enemy because they are of a different church or form of churchmanship. It’s your enemy, the devil. It echoes Paul in Ephesians saying, we do not fight against flesh and blood – our enemy is the principles and powers in the heavenly places, says Paul.
The lion, as I say, has many faces, but they are not the faces that we see around us. They are not human enemies. Some of them have been around forever. Culture, cruelty, lack of love are pre-eminent, and we can aid the biting of the lion through social media in a way we’ve never known before.
Archbishop @JustinWelby gave the presidential address at General Synod in London today.
— Lambeth Palace (@lambethpalace) February 10, 2020
Thousands of people will take action to help tackle Climate Change as part of the Church of England’s first ever official green Lent campaign, launched today by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Environmentalists, activists and climate experts gathered at Lambeth Palace for the official launch of LiveLent 2020 a set of 40 daily reflections, actions and prayers.
It comes on the same day Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially launched the UK’s COP26 strategy ahead of the crucial UN climate talks in Glasgow in November, alongside Sir David Attenborough, climate expert Lord Stern and the outgoing Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
Those attending the launch were invited to add personal climate commitments to a ‘pledge-tree’, before a panel of expert climate academics, influencers and activists was chaired by the Archbishop.
#LiveLent 2020 is based on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life, by Dr Ruth Valerio.
— Sarah Greenwood (@sayssarahg) February 4, 2020
Martin is no stranger to the Midlands, having previously served as Vicar of ‘Shakespeare’s Church’ in Stratford-upon-Avon where he was also Chaplain to the Royal Shakespeare Company and as Vicar of Smethwick Old Church and Area Dean for the Black Country Deanery of Warley.
The new bishop said he is keen for the church to play a role in regenerating the Black Country.
Speaking after the service, Martin said: “I’m delighted to be joining Bishop John and the people of Dudley along with all across the Diocese of Worcester as we discover together how best to be the Church for England in this new decade. As a Black Country bishop I look forward to the church playing its part in the regeneration of Britain’s heartland in the West Midlands, and to working in partnership with all people of good will.”
— BBC Midlands Today (@bbcmtd) January 28, 2020
We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.
At our meeting of the College of Bishops of the Church of England this week we continued our commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project which is about questions of human identity, sexuality and marriage. This process is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England.
Jesus is light, life and love.
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) December 25, 2019
The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks of the rise in rough sleeping, foodbank use and increasing personal debt over the last decade of austerity.
He said: “It has got worse over the last nine years. Rough sleeping has gone up. That is a matter of fact. People will argue about the causes but it is a fact it has gone up.
“Foodbank use has risen. There has been a huge rise in the client base of Christians Against Poverty, the debt-counselling charity. Also, people’s tolerance for minorities has gone down. Minority groups have had a much harder time, asylum seekers, immigrants. The use of vitriolic language has gone up significantly. We have had an MP murdered. I am not saying we are in a crisis, I am just saying the direction of travel is not what we want.”
Asked whether he thought politicians realised the damage austerity has done he said: “Yes. Not all of them, obviously. But the vast majority do and they are really concerned about it….”
Inside this week’s Big Issue, The Archbishop of Canterbury delivers his Christmas message, discussing food banks, austerity and rough sleeping.https://t.co/wDik1OuDvc
— The Big Issue (@BigIssue) December 16, 2019
The prophet Isaiah, writing some half a millennium before Christ, spoke of judgement for society’s injustices and sins. When it all happened and much of the nation was enslaved, he wrote of the hope of return, of God’s transforming power. It is some of the most beautiful and passionate poetry of the Bible – and the return happened. Isaiah’s readings accompany the Church through Advent. He paints a vivid picture of a time when all nations will be at peace, when there will be no more tears and pain, no weapons or division and justice will prevail. It can all seem removed and unreal. Something to dream of, but not a reality.
On the contrary, Isaiah the prophet was utterly realistic. He lived in a country that preferred the illusion of all being well to the reality of social sin. Reality was his stock in trade. It was in reality that he held the vision for what could be if the people co-operated with God, if a value-based nation, albeit occupied and dominated by others, could seek the common good, as we might call it. We too can see how our hope for the future may start to change the present. Hope, in the sense of purposeful expectation, motivates action. Hope inspires us to follow God where God already is: at work in the world.
That is why Christian waiting and looking forward is never passive. It empowers hope to take courage and aspire to change the world. It makes space for God to work in our lives, being open to the challenge of the Spirit.
That is the hope-filled invitation that Jesus Christ offers to each of us – and that is why we wait both by praying, and by living out this joyful call to walk with God who brings light out of darkness, and purpose out of waiting.
That the Chief Rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews: pic.twitter.com/DNxr0Qxht5
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) November 26, 2019
The leader of Anglicans worldwide, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has said he hopes the emergence of conservative Anglican body Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) will not lead to a schism.
“I hope and pray not because we are called to love one another. I value them, I talk to them, I listen to them, I’m not proud enough to think I am right and they’re all wrong,” he said at Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on Saturday night.