Archdeacon Peter Bradley expressed his delight over the extremely positive reaction to the mandatory clergy safeguarding training which took place last week.
Archdeacon Peter Bradley expressed his delight over the extremely positive reaction to the mandatory clergy Safeguarding Training which took place last week. The training saw the excellent Geese Theatre Company explore the type of safeguarding issue likely to be seen in parishes. Using creative and moving drama interspersed with an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the unfolding saga the company effectively brought the seriousness of the issue firmly in front of the 200 clergy who attended.
Our training was set up in part as a diocesan response to recent scandals affecting the church nationally – not least the damning report of bad practice in the Diocese of Chichester. The Bishops and Archdeacons are determined to maintain our track record of displaying good practice showing potential offenders that there is no place for abuse in the Diocese of Liverpool. So we’re making it mandatory for all clergy and those who hold the Bishop’s Licence to attend Safeguarding Training every three years.
Peter said “I am delighted that so many clergy found this training useful, informative and thought provoking. But we must follow this with continued vigilance and action in our parishes. The biggest risk is complacency and failure to follow policies. And if the dramas showed anything they showed the devastating effect that that failure can have on families, congregations and clergy themselves.”
Peter urged clergy to continue to take this seriously, to take action and to make sure that every parish has the highest possible standards at all times. It is the PCC that is responsible for Safeguarding in the parish and the PCC must take appropriate action and monitor all church activities. So we will be able to announce soon the courses we'll in the autumnfor safeguarding co-ordinators .
This, the training made clear, starts with safe and proper recruitment of volunteers and staff. Tempting as it is to get anyone to fill those pressing roles in church life we must follow proper safer recruitment policies. Added to this churches must have proper and accountable procedures for reporting any incidents, or suspected incidents of harm to the appropriate authorities in the appropriate ways.
“Safeguarding is a serious business” said Peter “we want our churches to be welcoming to all. If we’re serious about that then we must make sure that they are safe places and that abuse, in whatever form, can find no hiding place in our diocese. Don’t make the training an excellent one off event – make safeguarding an important part of your church life”