The witness of Scripture recognises and affirms God’s love for all members of the human family and the priority given in Jesus’ ministry to children and the vulnerable of society. His ministry was one of welcome for all.
To be free to worship and participate in the life of the Church, people need to feel safe and included. Good safeguarding practice helps to ensure that everyone is welcome in a church community. Good safeguarding practice is part of how we value people, and treat them with respect.
We therefore commit ourselves to take all steps within our power to keep vulnerable people in our Church communities safe from harm and from abuse of trust.
Please speak to the PVG Co-ordinator if you have a concern about how children or vulnerable adults are treated.
You can contact the Provincial Safeguarding Officer by telephone or email:
Tel: 0131 2256357 or 07720 162273
Ministry to children, young people and vulnerable adults is a cherished and important part of the work of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Every week, substantial numbers of people, some of whom are vulnerable in one way or another, visit church premises for worship or for social and recreational activities. Much of the Church’s ministry to them is only possible because of the dedication of the large numbers of volunteers who place their time and talents at the service of the Church.
We cannot ignore that there are some individuals in our society who represent a threat to the vulnerable. To acknowledge that the Church is not exempt from such threats is not to scaremonger, nor is it to suggest that those involved in a paid or voluntary capacity with such work are under suspicion. Rather, it reflects our desire to provide as safe and as happy an environment as we can in which the vulnerable can enjoy and explore Christian commitment.
The policies, codes of practice, information and advice in these pages are intended to assist in implementing the Church’s policies on promoting a safe environment for all who access the Church’s services but in particular those in our Church communities who are most vulnerable.
These Policies, Procedures and Codes of Good Practice recognise the special status of children, young people and vulnerable adults and the duties that are required of people in the Church in respect of them. Implementation of the Codes of Good Practice is intended to give vulnerable people the care and protection they deserve, and it should give those with the day-to-day responsibility of caring for the vulnerable the reassurance that all individuals are safe and protected in the Church’s groups and activities. It will also help safeguard the Church’s staff and volunteers from false allegations that might arise out of misunderstandings and it should reduce the risk of the Church being found liable for circumstances of abuse.
NOTE – Following the Church’s Safeguarding Audit, conducted in 2018/19 and presented to the General Synod in 2019, a group is currently undertaking work to implement the recommendations from the Audit. The Safeguarding Policy (2020) below is the first outcome of this work and the remaining publications, guidance and good practice material are in the process of being updated to reflect this work. Until that work is completed, references to policies relating to child protection and protecting vulnerable adults should be read in the context of the new, 2020 Safeguarding Policy. The content in the various publications remains accurate in other respects but any queries should be referred to the Provincial Safeguarding Officers.
Summary of Good Practice Cards
Hard copies of all of the above are available to Vestries free of charge from the General Synod Office.