Safe Church Commission will be the focus of next Lambeth Call discussions

Posted Mar 20, 2024

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Lambeth Call on Safe Church will be the next theme in the “Add Your Voice to the Call” discussion series being delivered by the Anglican Communion Office. It is part of Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference, which is exploring each of the Lambeth Calls, inviting churches to take them forward in their settings.

The Lambeth Calls were discussed by the bishops of the Lambeth Conference in 2022. They relate to themes in church and world affairs, including Mission and Evangelism, Discipleship, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Safe Church, Anglican Identity, Christian Unity, Inter-Faith Relations, Peace and Reconciliation, Science and Faith and Human Dignity. So far, the Lambeth Calls on Discipleship, Environment and Sustainable Development and Anglican Identity have featured in the Phase 3 series.

The Lambeth Call on Safe Church is scheduled for April and will be explored with a webinar on April 17 and 18 hosted by the Anglican Communion Office and featuring members of the Safe Church Commission. The Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, said, “Safe Church is about how churches embed safeguarding processes that uphold the safety of all people in our church settings. The Lambeth Call on Safe Church was shared by the bishops at the Lambeth Conference. The Anglican Communion also has a Safe Church Commission that is working to share guidelines on safeguarding practices. I hope that many people will join the webinars in April, to learn more about the important work of the Safe Church Commission and the resources they have developed.”

The Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission was created at the request of the Anglican Consultative Council at its 16th plenary meeting (ACC-16), held in Lusaka, Zambia, in 2016. The establishment of the commission was a development of the work of the Safe Church Network, an officially authorized international voluntary group of lawyers, campaigners and clergy who worked to bring about change in the way the Churches of the Anglican Communion undertake safeguarding.

At the 17th plenary meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-17) held in Hong Kong in 2019, the council approved new “guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons – especially children, young people and vulnerable adults – within the provinces of the Anglican Communion.” Since then, the commission has acted as an advisory body to help member mhurches to effectively implement the guidelines through the development of resources, training and liaison with provincial representatives.

Chair of the Safe Church Commission, Garth Blake, said, “Along with resources that the Safe Church Commission is producing, I am hoping that the Call and its focus in April to June this year and particularly the webinar will help energize church leaders to take or continue the first steps that they are taking to make their churches safe.”

The Lambeth Call on Safe Church affirms the importance of churches in the Anglican Communion being safe places for everyone. The webinar will include members of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission and special guests. It will focus on the following: The Lambeth Call on Safe Church; the work of the Safe Church Commission; why building a safe church matters; how to safeguard people in our churches and respond to safeguarding concerns; safe church resources.

The webinar is open to all. It is for bishops and spouses who attended the Lambeth Conference in 2022 and wider church groups and individuals that want to take the Lambeth Call forward in their setting.