Parish Magazine Article - July 2018

    5 June 2018
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    Towards a Safer Church.

    Towards a Safer Church: some liturgical resources, is the title of some material published this month by the Church of England and available online.

    It contains a range of resources designed to suit a variety of pastoral circumstances. They range from a safeguarding prayer that could be posted on a church notice board or be used to conclude a day of safeguarding training, to a litany of penitence for past failure.

    As the introduction to the material puts it, “the prayers focus on wisdom, compassion, vigilance and pastoral care.”

    Safeguarding is an absolutely vital part of the church’s ministry, and safeguarding training cannot be seen as an optional extra. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to this and please continue to feed back any suggestions or concerns.

    The Bishop of Horsham, one of the bishops with particular responsibility for safeguarding, has written, “As a church we believe in the intrinsic value of training to facilitate culture change to promote the safety and welfare of all who access our churches.” The rest of his article is available at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/safeguarding-news-statements/safeguarding-training-optional-extra

    In this diocese, we are extremely fortunate to have Mandy McPhee as our Safeguarding Officer. But it’s not just up to Mandy: everyone who participates in the life of the church has a role to play in promoting a safer church.

    Here is one of the prayers from Towards a Safer Church:

    Loving God,

    we pray that this church may be a place of welcome,

    security and compassion.

    Keep us watchful yet caring,

    trusting yet ready to question,

    that all who worship here may do so

    in safety and in the knowledge of your love;

    through Jesus Christ our Lord.