We are living in increasingly regulated times. As churches we need to come to terms with a variety of requirements.
Christian Safeguarding Services is not intended to analyse the complexities and subtleties of the legal position. We are specialists in safeguarding and not legal experts. We approach this theme in a manner that is consistent with our beliefs, by seeking to help churches to exceed minimum legal requirements and to encourage churches to glorify God by achieving best practice minimum standards.
We will reference to relevant legislation and guidance as well as highlighting resources and legislation which is helpful in developing effective systems that embrace best practice principles.
It is essential that we meet our legal duties, however the legislation is obviously written primarily for legal purposes and is sometimes difficult to apply practically. The guidance that is provided both nationally and locally can be regarded as the “How” of the legislation but for those without the legal background, the guidance is more helpful. It is important that we have a good grasp of legislation and of our legal duties.
It’s also important to note the difference between legal duties and national and local expectations. Many of the legal duties apply to other organisations and are not technically applicable to churches. That said, the Local Authority has a legal duty to protect children and to work with partners (including churches) to keep children safe. Although the legal duty does not rest on churches, if we fail to play our part we are hindering the Local Authority’s ability to fulfil its duties.
These complexities are extensive, so, for practical purposes, we are approaching this from a safeguarding perspective in a church context.