York Minster’s governing body, the Chapter of York, is responsible for ensuring that the Minster is a safe place for everyone who steps inside. This means managing and minimising risk to people and the building and includes safeguarding, health and safety and security.
Earlier this summer, it was necessary for the Chapter to take action regarding a member of the bell ringing community on safeguarding grounds. This came after complex multi-agency activity involving City of York Council, York Diocese Safeguarding Adviser and the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Officer.
The decision was taken in line with advice from safeguarding professionals, and with regard to national policies and guidance, including the Church of England’s on minimising risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Some members of the York Minster Society of Change Ringers have consistently challenged the Chapter’s authority on this and other important matters.
Repeated disregard of the Chapter’s attempts to fully implement the Church’s national policies for safeguarding, health and safety and security meant that decisive action was required.
This is why the Chapter took the decision to disband the bell ringing team last week. New arrangements for bell ringing at the Minster will start in the New Year.