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Wallington Baptist Code of Behaviour

Good Practice Guidelines for a Safer Church

(Adults at Risk) Presented 23.1.19 Church Meeting

 

Premises

Provide:

Accessibility-ramps, toilet 

Hearing Loop

Reserved seating if requested

Area for babies and parents, changing area

Annual Health and Safety Review

 

Insurance

We will take reasonable steps to Safeguard Adults at Risk and will implement any specific requirements laid out by the Insurance Company.

 

Personal Security

When opening for meetings- 2 people should be present before the doors are left open. 

If you are on the premises alone, you are advised to ensure someone knows you are there and tell them when you leave. (eg flower arranging)

 

Language

Raise awareness by example, use appropriate language and suitable vocabulary to promote inclusivity, accessibility and value our diversity.

Give opportunities to use languages other than English.

Help individuals to access the Bible in their preferred language. 

 

Worship

Provide some copies of large print type for all printed materials.

Speakers should always face the congregation and not cover their mouths when talking, thus enabling those who rely on lip-reading. Be aware of pace.

Use a microphone at all times, including during times of open prayer.

Describe what is being presented on a screen for those who cannot see it clearly.

Use large clear print on screen.

Use inclusive language.

Use a variety of liturgy and resources to cater for different levels of education and understanding.

Is the layout of the room suitable for all?

Financial Integrity

Arrangements are in place for dealing with money, financial transactions and gifts; as outlined below.

Those who work with adults at risk may become involved in some aspects of personal finance eg collecting pensions or benefits, shopping or banking, etc. 

When handling money for someone else, always obtain receipts or other evidence. Keep a log of what was done and when. Any expenses (eg petrol) should be claimed from the Church not the individual.

 

Church workers should not seek personal financial gain from their position beyond their salary or recognised allowances or expenses. 

Church workers should not be influenced by offers of money.

Any gifts received should be reported to the deacons and elders, who should decide whether or not the gift can be accepted. 

Any money received by the church should be handled by two unrelated lay people. 

 

Care should be taken not to canvass for church donations from those adults who may be at risk, such as the recently bereaved. 

Church workers should ensure that church and personal finances are kept apart to avoid any conflict of interest.

 

If someone alters their will in favour of an individual known to them because of their church work or pastoral relationship, it should be reported to the deacons. We strongly recommend that church workers (including ministers) should not act as Executors for someone they know through their work or pastoral role, as this may lead to a conflict of interests. 

 

Expert advice should be sought for matters such as Power of Attorney and Appointeeship, to ensure the situation is clearly understood and is the most appropriate course of action.

Financial Help

For immediate needs, it is better to offer foodbank vouchers or other practical help, rather than giving cash.

In some cases, the Church may offer an Interest Free Loan. 

The agreement of at least two of the Church Officers should be sought for both items directly above.

Photographs

Make sure that you have the person's permission to take a picture, and that the subject is happy with the intended use of the picture. When taking group pictures remember to get permission from everyone who will be photographed.

Bear in mind that there may be many reasons why someone doesn’t want their picture on public display, from simply not liking their photo being taken, to not wanting an abusive ex-partner to be able to identify their current location.

 

Computers

We will work towards putting this in place:

If the church has computers which others may have access to, make sure that there are suitable parental controls and blocks put on. Although this is not failsafe, it will make using the computers for inappropriate behaviour more difficult, whilst also protecting any vulnerable users. In the future WBC will create a policy specifically for church computer use, including terms and conditions for use as well as what will happen if someone breaches these conditions, such as using the computer to look at pornography or to send abusive messages. 

Systems will be set up to include, those who do not use technology, in communications.

 

Record Keeping 

It is good practice to record pastoral visitsor meetings, noting the date, time, location, subject and any actions which are to be taken. This information should be passed on to Sylvia Tucker who will then have an overview of Pastoral Work. The record of these meetings should stick to facts and try to avoid opinion. 

Any safeguarding allegations, concerns or disclosuresshould be taken to a Designated Person- Fran Poole, Jan Stone, Chris Poole, records of abovewill be stored in a safe and secure manner for at least 75 years. 

 

Confidentiality

With adults at risk, confidentiality means that someone’s personal business is not discussed with others, except with their permission. This is not always possible when considering passing relevant information about abuse or concerns to the Designated Person for Safeguarding, the statutory authorities or the local association. However, it is possible to keep the information confidential to the relevant parties. This means not telling or hinting to others what someone has disclosed, not even for prayer ministry. 

 

 

 

Prayer Chain 

Each message should be carefully agreed with the person concerned who should be asked whether to send it to the Leadership Team only, or to the wider fellowship.

 

Pastoral Relationships

All those involved in pastoral ministry should work in a way that follows clearly defined procedures, agreed by the church. These procedures set out the boundaries for pastoral care so that all parties can understand their position and that they protect those carrying out the pastoral ministry as well as those receiving it. 

When providing personal support for a person, whether visiting their home or praying/talking to a person on the Church Premises, consider carefully whether it would be best to involve another person, preferably of the same gender as them. Sometimes, to meet in a public place- such as a library or Coffee Shop would be advisable. 

 

 Workers should be aware of the power imbalance within pastoral                relationships and the potential for abuse of trust.

 

  • Behaviour that suggests favouritism or gives the impression of a special relationship, should be avoided. 

 

  • Workers should be aware of the dangers of dependency within a pastoral relationship. 

 

  • Workers should never take advantage of their role and engage in sexual activity with someone with whom they have a pastoral relationship. 

 

  • All people receiving pastoral ministry should be treated with respect and should be encouraged to make their own decisions about any actions or outcomes. 

 

  • Workers should not pastorally minister to anyone whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

 

 

  • Workers should recognise the limits of their own abilities and competencies, and they should not hesitate to get further help when working with situations outside of their expertise or role. 

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