A Hot & Contentious Topic......
Carrie raised an interesting question:
“Our parish has recently done Safer Recruitment training with everyone or it feels like everyone – and (it has) not necessarily (been universally) welcomed. The Parish tried to ‘Safer Recruit’ me as a Reader and I found out they couldn’t – it is the Diocese who does Safer Recruitment for Readers and I didn’t know this before. How many Readers realise this do you think? Do you think it’s worth a ‘did you know’ thought in the Blog?”
It is of course very important to safely recruit but as with all these things it raises a huge number of issues especially when you have a small congregation and an even smaller number of volunteers. Readers in training, those coming up for relicensing and those needing permission to officiate do go through a sort of safer recruitment process as they should all have the backing of their incumbents and their PCCs. Trainees will also have been through an extensive interview process and had to provide references. Then they are carefully assessed for suitability over a three year period so they are certainly safely recruited.
What about Readers who move in to the Diocese or move from another parish, what about Readers who have been in post for several decades- how is their suitability for role checked?
One would hope that regular meetings with their incumbent / ministry team and an annual / bi-annual review would help.
So although it is diocesan responsibility in that the ‘buck stops there’ it is also Parish responsibility to make sure that Readers along with everyone else are working safely.
I suspect there might be a few comments here…..