Safeguarding: everyone’s wellbeing, everyone’s responsibility?
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Do we understand what safeguarding is really about, and how it is fundamental to wellbeing, and to a healthy ministry? Churches try to do the right thing of course, appointing a Safeguarding Officer, and with PCC members and others trained and aware. But is safeguarding seen as what it really is – everyone’s wellbeing? In fact, shouldn’t we be focusing on fostering a culture of whole-church safeguarding, and of understanding that it is everyone’s responsibility?
In this Briefing Bishop Joanne, the Bishop of Stepney, leads us through a rethink in order to assure ourselves that we understand what safeguarding and wellbeing actually mean and that everyone is responsible. The webinar reflects on what makes a healthy ministry – lay, ordained, and collaborative. Do we care enough about the wellbeing of everyone in the church community? Do the clergy and the lay leaders need more guidance or support?
She looks at the importance and need to understand professional conduct, as well as the definitions of safeguarding, its growing importance to everyone, the need to understand what it means, and the lessons from historic legacy. Sexuality, intimacy, spirituality are all parts of being human, and we must encompass that in our thinking – to be open and inclusive, but to be aware.
The Briefing reviews some examples of misconduct – how did it happen? how was it allowed to happen? was it hiding in plain sight? was it grooming of individuals or congregations? We will consider examples of what happens when ministry goes wrong, when boundaries are transgressed or power abused.
Bishop Joanne reflects on Colossians – about being renewed, clothed with the new self, rooted and built up in Christ.
Join us to think through these issues and to reflect on what more your Deanery can or should do to ensure that the people of its member churches, ordained and lay, appreciate the need for a whole-church community culture of wellbeing for all.