May 27, 2021
May 27, 2021 Michelle


Canon Ailsa writes…

Dear friend,

You may have seen in the June/July newsletter that our safeguarding arrangements are to be externally audited by the Social Care Institute for Excellence in July.

Before they come they have asked us to find out what your experience is of how we care for people involved in or visiting the cathedral. It would help us hugely if you could complete the questionnaire to which there is a link below. It won’t take long but the views of those connected with Ripon Cathedral will be vital in helping the auditors do their work. So we really encourage you to take a few minutes to give them the benefit of your views.

The link is this:


If you have choristers in your family or children, this is the link for a separate one for the children to give their views about the cathedral:


The closing date for the questionnaires is June 25th and we would be grateful if you complete the questionnaire as soon as possible and in any event before then.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), a leading improvement agency is conducting these safeguarding audits. Two SCIE auditors will be visiting Ripon Cathedral for a visit lasting 2.5 days. As well as looking at safeguarding files, policies and training, they will meet with safeguarding professionals and key members of Chapter, including the Dean.

In addition, they are keen to hear from people who have direct experience of receiving help or trying to get help from cathedrals to keep themselves safe, or people who have sought safeguarding help from the cathedral on behalf of a friend or family member. So if you or someone close to you:

  • Has been abused or mistreated by clergy or someone in a church-related role – be they lay or clerical, paid or volunteer
  • Have approached the cathedral to talk about abuse or harm that happened in other places – for example in the family, at work, or in another organisation
  • Has raised concerns about unsafe situations in the cathedral, where you’ve feared children or vulnerable adults may be at risk of harm or abuse
  • Needed help to keep safe because circumstances – such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, redundancy, physical or mental ill health, drug or alcohol dependencies, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, old age, or emotional distress – led you to seek pastoral support from the cathedral
  • Has needed to complain about how one of the above concerns was handled by the cathedral

then the auditors would be interested in having a conversation with you, to talk about your experiences.

The auditors want to hear from people with good and bad experiences of cathedral responses. You can be a lay person, clergy or lay Church officer. You can be a friend or family member, as well as people with first-hand experience.

The kinds of questions the SCIE auditors will want to hear from you on are:

  • In what ways did the cathedral respond well to your situation and concerns?
  • In what ways did the response not meet your expectations?
  • Are there any lessons that you feel the cathedral should learn from your experience?
  • What do you see as the top three most important things for making a cathedral a safe place for everyone, where the welfare and protection of all people is well tended to?

It is important to stress that the auditors will not be able to arbitrate on issues of dispute in particular cases.

If you have first-hand experience of turning to someone in the cathedral for help to keep yourself or someone else safe, and would be willing to speak to the auditors, please contact the safeguarding adviser for your cathedral on If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please contact SCIE directly on  Either way, SCIE will arrange a time at your convenience to meet with the auditors. What you tell SCIE will be confidential and will not be shared with the cathedral except as part of an overall report which will absolutely not identify you.  Thank you.

Many thanks,

Canon Ailsa

The Revd Canon Ailsa Newby

Canon Pastor

Ripon Cathedral



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