Resolution Number: C007
Subject: Use of Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement Agreements (NDAs)
Moved By: Jeffrey Metcalfe
Seconded By: Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

Direct the Chancellor of General Synod and all legal counsel hired by General Synod not to deliver or execute any future contract that has a non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreement with the purpose or effect of concealing the details relating to a complaint of sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, or harassment unless:

    1. Such an agreement is the expressed wish and preference of the person who experienced or made allegations of sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, or harassment (hereafter, the affected person); and
    2. There have been no undue attempts to influence the affected person and they have had a reasonable opportunity to receive independent legal advice; and
    3. Such an agreement is of a set and limited duration and includes a process for the affected person to waive their own confidentiality in the future; and
    4. Such an agreement does not apply to communication between the affected person and their support team (such as a priest, a community elder, a spiritual counsellor, a psychologist, a physician, a registered nurse, a social worker, a victim services provider, a lawyer, an ombudsperson, an investigator, or a law enforcement officer).

Source: Andrew Stephens-Rennie and Jeffrey Metcalfe

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications? 

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications? 

Yes     No


On May 17, 2022 Prince Edward Island became the first Canadian province to ban the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence victims of harassment and sexual misconduct. Similar bills have been introduced in the legislatures of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, and the “Can’t Buy Silence Act” in the Canadian Senate proposes to ban organizations that receive federal funding from using such NDAs. And on February 9, 2023 the Canadian Bar Association voted to lobby all levels of government to ban the use of NDAs to silence victims and whistleblowers.

Canadian society is turning against the use of NDAs to silence victims, and with good reason. Giving victims the choice to speak about their experience not only helps them heal, but also serves the public interest, protecting others from repeat offenders. The wider Church is also recognizing the problems with non-disclosure agreements. In April 2021 the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out against NDAs and instructed senior members of the Church of England not to use such confidentiality agreements.

In the coming years, more and more jurisdictions will enact restrictions on NDAs, but right now General Synod has an opportunity to lead by example. This resolution enacts leadership for Canadian Anglicans by providing freedom for victims and protection for wider society.

This helps us to more fully embody the fourth Mark of Mission: “To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”



In the normal course, an ordinary motion must be passed by a majority of the members of General Synod present and voting together.

Six members of General Synod may, prior to the question being put, require a vote by Orders, with a majority of each Order being necessary to pass. 

If a question passes on a Vote by Orders, any six members (two from each of three different dioceses) may immediately before the next item of business require a vote to be taken by dioceses.  A motion passes if a majority (or a tie) of dioceses vote in favour.

Source: Sections 4 and 5 of the Declaration of Principles and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Rules of Order and Procedure.

Resolution download and history

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”