Taking the Lambeth Call on Safe Church forwards in our Province

Ena Barclay, from the Province of the West Indies, is a member of the Safe Church Commission. Bishops from the West Indies attended the Lambeth Conference in 2022. She shares what the Province has been doing to advance the Lambeth Call and guidelines on Safe Church in her setting. 

The Province of the West Indies is one of the member provinces in the Anglican Communion. It is comprised of eight dioceses spread out over much of the West Indies. We have two dioceses on the South American continent and six dioceses in the islands of the Caribbean Sea. The Province encompasses a range of peoples, races, languages and cultures. 

Bishops and the Lambeth Call on Safe Church 

The church should always be seen as a safe place for everyone, especially for children, young people and vulnerable adults. The Bishops of the Province were present at the Lambeth Conference in London in 2022 and participated in seminars and plenary sessions on Safe Church.  

The Safe Church Guidelines, Charter and Protocols were introduced, and opportunities offered for discussion. The Lambeth Call on Safe Church was also unanimously accepted.  

At the Provincial Synod, the Bishops of the Province of the West Indies adopted the Safe Church Guidelines, Charter and Protocol and these are to be implemented in the Province. Codes of Conduct are being used in the dioceses of Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.  

Sharing the Guidelines in the Province of the West Indies

Since the Lambeth Conference, the following activities have taken place: 

  • Presentation made to the Clergy Conference/Retreat in St. Ann, Jamaica 
  • Presentation at the Annual Synod in 2022 in Montego Bay, Jamaica 
  • Presentations made to Junior and Senior Campers at the Annual Youth Camps 

The Education and Youth Department has adopted as its theme for 2024: Safe Church and Safe Schools for All 

The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has a large number of institutions from Early Childhood institutions to Teachers Colleges, hence the emphasis on Safe Schools where many church workers function as principals, teachers, chairmen, counsellors and chaplains.  

Plans are well-advanced for workshops and training sessions for church workers, committees and the clergy, so that Safe Church implementation can take place.  

It is also envisioned that webinars will facilitate the inclusion and participation of people from dioceses across the Province.  

As a Commissioner it has been my pleasure to attend the monthly meetings of the Safe Church Commission, the planning meetings held in London (2023) and Malaysia (2024).  

Materials such as Safe Church: How to Start Guide, Dealing with Allegations of Abuse by a Church Worker and Responding Well when Abuse is Disclosed produced by the Commission will provide a strong foundation for our planned training initiatives. 

Next Steps 

It is our intention to ensure that the province actively implements policies and procedures to promote the safety of church communities, to prevent harm and abuse, to protect those who may be of greater risk of being abused and to respond effectively when abuse is reported.  

The awareness programme is on-going. Our next step in bringing awareness to the wider church community is to identify the key persons who will be involved in implementation and to discuss the allocation of resources to begin that process. 

Safe Church work is important and needed. 

Announcing: 'Safe Church'.
Next in Phase 3 of the Lambeth Conference

open to all:
the Phase 3 webinars