Ted Allen, the independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel is to step down from the post after seven years. The diocese is currently advertising for a new person to fill the role.
Bishop Ruth thanked Ted for the dedication and commitment he has shown. She said, “A huge ‘thank you’ to Ted for the wisdom and experience he has brought to his work as Chair of our Safeguarding Panel. The care and attention to detail he has shown; along with his empathy for survivors and the most vulnerable; and his support for our safeguarding team has been much valued. Making the Church a safe place for all to discover God’s love for them has been a priority for us within Bath and Wells and Ted’s careful oversight has grown our confidence that we can achieve that.”
During his tenure, safeguarding in the Church of England has undergone a programme of significant change. Ted says his time as chair has been characterised by those changes and the on-going work being undertaken to help make the church a safer place for everyone.
He said, “Safeguarding is such an essential element for everyone of us, in all walks of life, and the church has always been seen as not only a place of worship but a place of sanctuary and, most importantly, a place of safety.
“Historic cases and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted significant issues and the Church of England is working very hard to redress the moral authority of the church. The aim is to update culture and behaviour to ensure that the church continues to be a place that all people, children and adults, can turn to – not only to respect and partake in their religious beliefs and ceremonies, but in times of crisis to receive appropriate support and help with confidence in an entirely safe and proper environment.
“The role of the Panel is to oversee safeguarding arrangements in the diocese and to offer advice and external expertise. Not to undertake the operational aspects of the work, but to ensure that all the right policies, processes and procedures are being considered and that all the right steps are being taken to make sure that safeguarding continues to be integrated thoroughly across the whole diocese. It is a difficult task and there are inevitably challenges, but I have had the blessing of some fantastic panel members who have provided invaluable support over my years as Chair.”
Ted was previously a Chief Superintendent with Avon and Somerset Police. Since he left the force he has worked with a national maritime youth charity and a children’s medical charity operating in Kenya. His is also a deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.
He says of his time as Chair, “It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of such a dedicated group and I am indebted to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and especially to the Statutory Authorities, organisations and agencies that have supported the panel and provided such committed individuals with whom it has been such a pleasure to work.”