Sarah Wilkinson, the barrister entrusted with overseeing the independent review into the collapse of the Church of England's Independent Safeguarding Board (ISB), has set a deadline for the submission of evidence.
In order to meet the 30th November deadline stipulated in the Review's Terms of Reference, Wilkinson is asking for all pertinent evidence and significant information to be delivered by 4 p.m. on 31st October, before she compiles her report.
Wilkinson assumed her role just last month, tasked with untangling the complexities surrounding the dissolution of the ISB. The group was originally established to investigate allegations of abuse or serious safeguarding failures within the denomination but it was abruptly disbanded during the summer amid internal disputes.
According to the Terms of Reference, Wilkinson's overarching objective is to establish "a clear account of the events from the conception, design, and establishment of the ISB through to the announcement of the termination of members' contracts. Her mission is to identify the reasons behind the decision to terminate and extract valuable lessons based on the findings."
The ISB's collapse has exacerbated an ongoing safeguarding crisis within the Church of England, with numerous victims and survivors saying they have felt marginalised and overlooked, and insisting that the institution prioritise their needs.
Last month, the Church of England announced the appointment of an interim commissioner to oversee the resolution of existing safeguarding cases that were under investigation by the ISB when it dissolved.
In July, the church announced the former chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), Professor Alexis Jay, will be charged of developing proposals for a fully independent structure, to provide scrutiny of safeguarding in the Church of England.