Harm or abuse of children and adults at risk can happen anywhere – even in Church communities. Abuse is incompatible with our Christian values and is never excusable. We have a duty to ensure a safe Church for all. This means protecting children and adults at risk. This activity is also known as child protection and adult protection.
The Church of Scotland has a zero tolerance approach to harm or abuse of people: any type or level is unacceptable.
The Church’s first safeguarding priority is to prevent abuse where possible. Harm or abuse cannot be eliminated. But the Church’s safeguarding structures demonstrate that we will minimise the risk of harm occurring. If harm or abuse occurs, with appropriate support and training, it will be recognised and reported. Appropriate and timely action will be taken. This includes working with the police and social work services where appropriate.
We all have a duty to protect vulnerable people in our Church communities and services. We also have a duty to meet the needs of Church members who have been affected by abuse.
In 2010 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland agreed a policy statement for our safeguarding activities.
Ensuring a Safe Church for All
The Church of Scotland has a deep concern for the wholeness and well-being of each individual. Through its congregations, working together with the Safeguarding Service and statutory agencies, the Church seeks to safeguard the welfare of all people who come into contact with the Church and its services.
The Gospel proclaims that it is the responsibility of everyone within the fellowship of the Church to prevent harm, be it physical, sexual or emotional, and we will always seek to reduce risk.
The Church’s commitment to safeguarding reminds us that God cares passionately about the welfare and well-being of all people.
To this end Greyfriars has appointed a safeguarding co-ordinator, Helen Paget, who is involved in the recruitment, training and checking of employees and volunteers who wish to get involved in the work of the church family involving children, young people and vulnerable adults.
The Safeguarding Coordinator is appointed to act on behalf of (not instead of) their Kirk Session, to help to ensure that the instructions, recommendations and legislation relating to safeguarding practice in the Church are implemented.
All activities working with children, young people and vulnerable adults within Greyfriars Parish Church are carried out in accordance with the Church of Scotland's policies on safeguarding.
Further details of the safeguarding service and policies of the Church of Scotland can be found on the Church of Scotland's website.
If you have any questions relating to safeguarding issues in Greyfriars Church you can contact our co-ordinator confidentially by email: [email protected].