Safe Ministry revamped
A new policy model for safe ministry in parishes was launched at Synod and includes a new website and video apology from Archbishop Davies.
The Professional Standards Unit (PSU) made a major presentation to Synod members during which the model, as well as a new logo and website, was unveiled.
“Last year we asked Sydney University’s Professor Patrick Parkinson to undertake a review of the diocesan child protection policies.” said PSU director Lachlan Bryant. “Out of his recommendations has come a new, easy-to-understand, policy model called the ‘Safe Ministry Journey’.”
A suite of documents supports the new model, aimed at groups such as senior ministers, youth leaders and Sunday school teachers, parish councillors and the parents themselves.
“Senior ministers and parish councillors will have the Map – a comprehensive policy document for safe ministry with children and youth” Mr Bryant said. “Then there are seven Pathways documents, each written for youth group leaders, Sunday school teachers, Safe Ministry Representatives and so on, containing just the information that’s relevant to their role.
“The other documents are known as Signposts, aimed at parents and congregation members so they can be aware of the guidelines and also so they can spot when something is not quite right.”
The documents can all be downloaded from the website, safeministry.org.au. A key feature of the new site is a video apology by Archbishop Davies.
“As I meet with [these survivors] I am appalled as I listen to their stories,” Dr Davies says in the video. “It is an abhorrent situation to find that they have been abused by those who should have looked after them, cared for them and in whom they put their trust – and yet they had abused their trust by behaving in such terrible fashion with these people.”
PSU chaplain, Catherine Wynn Jones, said, “There is enormous power in an apology and it can be so significant in promoting healing for a survivor. Our hope is that it will set a tone that will encourage people to come forward and to access the care and nurture that we can offer.”
Photo: A screen shot of the new website safeministry.org.au