The Diocese of Christchurch has employed a safeguarding officer this year to bring “safeguarding practices” up to speed. As a result, we as a parish were encouraged to adopt policies and procedures that reflect what is required of a charitable organisation in today’s world. While the Diocese provided some of the templates for this, Ruth had to search far and wide for possible examples of other policies and procedures. These were adapted to the circumstances of St Paul’s. At the last vestry meeting these policies were accepted, so that we are now one of the most up-to-date parishes in the Diocese. Some of the policies and procedures are quite lengthy and few of us know the details, but they are there to be consulted should we need them. While there is no immediate “sanction” if they are not followed, they clearly set out what’s expected. Some action is happening—for example we are compiling a hazard and risk register.
|POLICY NAME||WHAT IT IS?|
|KEEPING US SAFE|
|Fire Emergency Evacuation Procedure||What to do if there is a fire|
|Earthquake Policy||What to do if there is an earthquake|
|First Aid Procedure||What to do if First Aid is needed|
|First Aid register||Paperwork for the above|
|Health and Safety Policy||Overarching document of Health and Safety|
|Keeping them safe Policy||Looking out for children|
|Lockdown Procedure||Procedure if occupants onsite need to be protected|
|PRIMARILY FOR GROUPS WITH CHILDREN|
|Off-site Activities Procedure||Procedure if taking children off-site / camps|
|Transport Policy Permission Form||Form to be filled in if taking anyone offsite|
|Anti-Bullying Policy||Explains bullying, consequences, and follow-ups|
|Privacy Information Storage Policy||How to correctly obtain and store personal information|
|Engaging a Contractor||How to correctly engage a contractor for onsite work|
|Complaints Procedure||Where and how to lodge a complaint, and against whom|
|Hazard and Risk Management Identifier and Register||Paperwork if you find / know of a Hazard or Risk|
|Code of Ethics||As title says|
In addition, there are of course the church canons and diocesan statutes.
A new national complaints process is part of that. Complaints about office bearers of the Anglican Church can now be made to a national office, which assesses the complaint. Just to make it clear: clergy and wardens are office bearers (though clergy are held to more detailed standards), the parish administrator is not. The process is outlined on the website of the Diocese of Christchurch:
While all these policies may seem somewhat burdensome, they are necessary in today’s world and I hope that they may serve us well.