The motion quotes Peter Hancock, who was the C of E’s lead bishop on safeguarding until last year, who told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) that “issues of clericalism and deference have allowed abuse to be covered up and the voices of the vulnerable to be silenced”.
The Church of England is being urged to abolish the title of Reverend as part of efforts to tackle a culture of deference.
Instead of titles such as Reverend, Right Reverend, Very Reverend, Most Reverend or Venerable, clergy should be addressed using the names of their roles, such as vicar, rector, bishop or archbishop, says a motion submitted to the C of E’s ruling body next month.
The motion, submitted by James Dudley-Smith, the vicar of St John’s in Yeovil, Somerset, is unlikely to pass the threshold of 100 supporting signatures to be debated at next month’s General Synod. A C of E spokesperson said: “This is a private member’s motion tabled in February which is not due to be discussed at synod.”