Image of a heart with bandages on a table
General Synod Resolution A-128 committed the General Synod to:

  1. Adopt The Anglican Communion Charter for the Safety of People and the Protocol for the Disclosure of Ministry Suitability Information between the Churches of the Anglican Communion;
  2. Commend the Charter to dioceses and other bodies of The Anglican Church of Canada for use in the revision and creation of policies and training materials for safeguarding and right conduct;
  3. Direct Council of General Synod to review the policy base of the General Synod in light of the Charter, reporting back to the General Synod of 2022 on developments and with revised policies
  4. Offer its gratitude to the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission for its work in creating the Charter for the Safety of Persons and itsProtocols; and
  5. Direct the Council of General Synod to include discussion of safe church policy and practice in the agenda of each triennium.

The Anglican Communion Charter for the Safety of People, and the Protocol for Disclosure of Ministry Suitability by Provinces of the Anglican Communion were adopted in May 2019 by the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting in Hong Kong (ACC-17). The Charter is the result of several years of work by the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network and can be seen as a model for best practice standards. Both lay persons and clergy of the Anglican Church of Canada were active participants in this global initiative that led to the Charter.

As set out in the Charter, the witness of Scripture recognises and affirms God’s love for all members of the human family and the priority given in Jesus’ ministry to children and the vulnerable of society. The five Commitments provide a framework for effective Safe Church policies and procedures.

The Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion upholds the following commitments:

Pastoral support where there is abuse

    1. We will provide pastoral support for the abused, their families, and affected parishes and church organizations by:
    2. (a)  listening with patience and compassion to their experiences and concerns;
    3. (b)  offering spiritual assistance and other forms of pastoral care.

Effective responses to abuse

    1. We will have and implement policies and procedures to respond properly to allegations of abuse against clergy and other church personnel that include:
    2. (a)  making known within churches the procedure for making complaints;
    3. (b)  arranging pastoral care for any person making a complaint of abuse;
    4. (c)  the impartial determination of allegations of abuse against clergy and other church personnel, and assessment of their suitability for future ministry;
    5. (d)  providing support for affected parishes and church organizations.

Practice of pastoral ministry

    1. We will adopt and promote by education and training standards for the practice of pastoral ministry by clergy and other church personnel.

Suitability for ministry

    1. We will have and implement policies and procedures to assess the suitability of persons for ordination as clergy or appointment to positions of responsibility in the church including checking their background.

Culture of safety

    1. We will promote a culture of safety in parishes and church organizations by education and training to help clergy, other church personnel and participants prevent the occurrence of abuse.

The Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission (ACSCC) is an international body which was established at the request of the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in 2016 (ACC-16). Its creation was recommended by the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network with an objective of developing “International Guidelines to enhance the safety of all persons—especially children, young people and vulnerable adults—within the provinces of the Anglican Communion… The establishment of the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission was requested in one of four safeguarding resolutions approved by ACC-16. Its creation builds on the adoption by ACC-15 of the Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion”. The Commission, made up of thirteen representatives of the provinces of the Communion, including Ms. Mary Wells of Canada, has produced draft Guidelines for the Safety of People.

Safe Church Select Bibliography

FaithTrust Institute is a national, multifaith, multicultural training and education organization with global reach working to end sexual and domestic violence. Founded in 1977 by the Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, FaithTrust Institute offers a wide range of services and resources, including training, consulting and educational materials. We provide communities and advocates with the tools and knowledge they need to address the religious and cultural issues related to abuse. We work with many communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander, Buddhist, Jewish, Latino/a, Muslim, Black, Anglo, Indigenous, Protestant and Roman Catholic.

Women’s InterChurch Council of Canada
Far too many women are caught in the web of violence. We want to end the reality of women being abused by their partners, and we want women and children to live without the fear of being sexually assaulted or abused. This resource is designed to provide helpful information about abuse and how to respond to it in our lives, communities and churches.

Praesidium, Inc., is a provider of safeguarding training to a wide variety of organizations, including churches. They have created custom programs for The Episcopal Church as well as for the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Church of England Safeguarding resources

Church of Ireland Safeguarding resources

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Code of Conduct

United Church of Canada resources