Bishops will have the power to demand that a priest undergoes a safeguarding risk-assessment under legislative changes proposed by the Archbishops’ Council last week. Priests who fail to comply “without good cause” will be guilty of misconduct under the Clergy Discipline Measure.
The proposal is one of 12, published on Monday of last week, which will be debated by the General Synod next month. They have been produced in response to the report of the Archbishop’s Chichester Visitation, which called for an “urgent” review of the Church’s safeguarding legislation.
The report that lists the proposals states that commissioning risk-assessments would be “the exception, rather than the norm”, and that bishops would need to give reasons to justify the direction. Priests would have the right to seek a review by the President of Tribunals of the diocesan bishop’s direction.