Melbourne Anglicans safeguard child protection

Amendments passed to seven church laws at Melbourne Synod

By Barney Zwartz

October 21 2017Melbourne Anglicans have updated their child protection procedures and accountability in line with recommendations by the Royal Commission and last month’s national Anglican General Synod.

The Melbourne Synod, meeting at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday night, passed amendments to seven church laws dealing with child protection and accountability. The various amendments were designed to make bishops and clergy more accountable, to improve processes for removing clergy offenders from office, and to update a safe ministry for children law.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has told the Anglican Church that it regards consistent national policies within the Church as a priority. The General Synod in Queensland last month adopted several policies, but they must also be adopted by each of the 23 dioceses.

All legislation needed to make Melbourne consistent with the national child protection legislation was passed on Friday night.

Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier told the Synod in his opening address that the General Synod had a clear focus on legislation in the areas of child safety, redress for victims and standards for bishops.

“Given that the General Synod only concluded one month ago, it has been a herculean task for all involved in bringing the legislation for us to adopt these General Synod measures,” he said.

“Our work consists in adopting the General Synod measures and in some cases modifying existing diocesan legislation to harmonise it with the arrangements agreed at General Synod.”