Rev Chris’s Weekly Update – 10/07
I have a serious subject for you this week, although I like to think that every week has something important to say. This week I want to highlight the legal responsibilities that we have in terms of protecting children and vulnerable adults within our communities – the heading that this falls under is called SAFEGUARDING.
The Diocese are asking us to ensure that our procedures are up to date in terms of those that have completed the relevant Safeguarding training. The level of training required is determined by the role undertaken by any individual and applies to all situations where there is contact with those who are considered at potential risk, which is pretty much any situation you can think of regarding church and its associated activities. Such training must be carried out every three years.
The roles where training is required includes those who welcome at the church door (often called Sides persons or Welcomers), those who serve refreshments, group leaders (including Bible Study Groups), Prayer & Pastoral Care coordinators/workers, worship leaders, Authorized Lay Ministers (ALM’s), Parochial Church Council members, Churchwardens, Children & Families workers/ministers and Clergy. This is not an exhaustive list and other roles may be identified as we review matters and take Diocesan advice accordingly.
I have asked our Safeguarding Officers (Sarah Lavender at St Nicholas’ Church and Ann Lewis at St Paul’s Church) to carry out a review across the summer so that by the autumn all those that need to carry out the training have done so. Most of the training can be carried out online but where individuals do not have access to the internet arrangements can be made to make the training accessible, possibly with block sessions in church.
Both Sarah and Ann, together, will do their best to ensure that the training is accessible to those that need to undertake it, although there is a clear responsibility on individuals concerned to ensure that they make themselves available. Some of you will also have carried out Safeguarding training with other organisations, however there is still the need to undertake the Church of England training.
Let me thank all of you concerned, in advance, for your cooperation in this matter as I am sure that we all recognize the importance of this training and our legal and moral responsibility to ensure that church is a safe place for all.