The Bishop of Birkenhead, Julie Conalty, has been appointed a deputy lead bishop for safeguarding with a focus on survivor engagement. She takes over from the Bishop of Southampton, Debbie Sellin.
Bishop Julie said: “It is a huge privilege to take on this role and to work for and alongside survivors. I won’t always get it right, but I am committed to making the Church of England safer and to creating a better safeguarding culture. When meeting and speaking with individual survivors of Church-context abuse, I am often struck by how much grace is shown to me and I have found their insight and challenge to be invaluable. We, the Church, need to listen more and to respond with equal grace – only then will we make the changes that are needed.”
Welcoming the news of her appointment, Bishop Jonathan Gibbs, the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop said: “I am delighted that Julie has agreed to take on this role as we move forward in the Church’s safeguarding work, and in particular as we continue to learn how to respond well to survivors. I know Julie will bring both insight and challenge to all of us and I look forward to working with her.
Along with survivor engagement Bishop Julie will also sit on the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG), as well as working with Bishop Jonathan, and deputy lead bishop, Viv Faull, who liaises with diocesan bishops on behalf of the NSSG and speaks on safeguarding in the House of Lords.