The Safe Church regulation of the Diocese of Fredericton aims to ensure a working, learning and spiritual environment that is safe for all members of our communities. In our Bishop’s words “It is a matter of us getting our house in order.” The Safe Church training programme intends to reach these goals by systematically educating all church leaders and those who minister about the regulation, policies and standards held officially in the Diocese of Fredericton.
Both the implementation of standardized complaint procedures and the maintenance of Safe Church event standards are intended to allow for easy adoption throughout the diocese.
“Safe Church” means the protection of clergy, lay leaders and ministers, employees, volunteers, congregation members, families and visitors so that all may share ministry in a secure atmosphere.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Comprehensive training of the Safe Church regulation, policies and standards
- Helpful forms and templates for ease of implementation
- Knowledge of all complaint procedures
- A variety of learning aids, including video, diagrams, quizzes and activities
- Two delivery methods tailored for groups and individuals
- Convenient Safe Church Event Checklist makes planning simple
- Diocesan Safe Church Training Certificate after the program is completed
FACT OR FALLACY?
With Safe Church, we can never rent our hall again.
Fallacy! Under the Safe Church program, other community and church groups will still be able to rent the church hall. The community group will be asked to sign the “Agreement to Use a Diocesan Facility,” which maintains several Safe Church standards, and sets the conditions of use.
With Safe Church, we won’t be able to use our old buildings anymore.
Fallacy! Many of the older buildings may not meet complete safety standards, but will be required to update when future renovations take place. If an older facility does not include washrooms or emergency release doors, these standards need not be implemented unless the parish decides to make renovations, at which time the building should be brought up to standard. With Safe Church, we will not be able to maintain our programs for children or youth.
Fallacy! For most parishes, Safe Church should be easily implemented, with only minor changes such as the police record check, two adult standard and the open-room standard to ensure each program or ministry complies with the regulation. Safe Church has been designed to allow for a smooth, uncomplicated transition.
Safe Church is intended to prevent misconduct.
Fact! The Safe Church program is intended to create an environment of understanding and respect for all members of the church, by applying procedural and planning standards. This safe environment protects clergy and lay leaders in their ministry, as well as volunteers, employees, congregants, families and visitors.
TWO WAYS TO TAKE THE COURSE
Online: The online Safe Church programme allows (will allow) individuals to take training both on their own time and at their own pace. The online course involves five modules and quizzes that systematically provide an overview of the Safe Church regulation and, the course is completed on the participant’s schedule. The link to online training will be available here when available!
Group: The group Safe Church programme is for whole parishes/congregations or groups in which multiple people need the training and would prefer to participate together. The group course involves a two-hour presentation on the content of the Safe Church regulation, delivered by a diocesan Safe Church training team member, followed by a brief group activity that applies the information to potential scenarios.
It is suggested that most parishes/congregations offer initial group training on the regulation.