Child and Adult Safety
As a community walking in Jesus’ footsteps, we follow this command, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself.” (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37, Luke 10:27) God calls us to love and care for all people and especially those who are vulnerable and marginalised – these are people who need special care, protection and support.
We offer our deep apology and regret that the church has frequently failed to meet the standards of respect, dignity, and safety, for vulnerable persons, including children, which our faith demands and public rightfully expects. These abuses were brought to light through growing awareness within the church as well as through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Anglican Church of Australia within the Diocese of Melbourne is committed to child safe practice. The safety and the wellbeing of children and vulnerable people are embedded in policies and practices which reflect a commitment to zero tolerance of abuse. Click here for more information about what the Anglican Church is putting into place. At the local parish level, such as St Stephen's Richmond, this includes doing the following:
1. Training all ordained and lay leaders in professional standards and processes for optimising ministry safety, plus a higher level of training for anyone working in children's ministry
2. Ensuring that any one working with children has a current Commonwealth Working with Children Card.
3. Ensuring that there are always at least two adults present whenever activities involving children are undertaken.
4. Having conversations with children, as part of programs, about their right to feel safe in church and asking them what they need to feel safe (listening and empowerment).
5. Having a nominated 'Safety Contact Person' in the parish, who is a lay person who anyone can talk to for advice and guidance on safety issues. Please use the Contact Tab in the menu bar of this website to find out the name and contact details for our Safety Contact Person.
6. Making information available to the congregation about who to contact to seek advice and/or report on cases of abuse.