Please note that this posting was previously sent as an email to those listed directly below.

This email communication has been sent to all licensed Active Clergy, clergy who hold the bishop's Permission to Officiate, Retired Clergy, Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers, Churchwardens, Lay Chairs, PCC Secretaries, and the members of the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees.

Dear colleagues in ministry,

We wish to update you today in regard to safeguarding as well as changes to the Churchwardens Measure 2001.

Safeguarding

In relation to safeguarding there are some key considerations particularly with regard to volunteers during these unprecedented times. The newsletter from the National Safeguarding Team, which is attached to this email is a useful resource with some answers to questions being faced on a daily basis. Another point of reference is the FAQs in the safeguarding section of the Church of England website.

The following is a message from Debbie Johnson our Diocesan Safegarding Advisor. 

The important thing to remember is that our established safeguarding principles and the House of Bishop’s practice guidance offer protection to the most vulnerable and enable us all to minister safely. In these unprecedented times we are seeing wonderful expressions of neighbourliness and love for each other. However, we are also seeing selfishness, greed and people willing to exploit the vulnerability of their neighbours.  Continuing to pay due regard to the established safeguarding protocols ensures that our outreach remains safe for all. Adhering to policy also offers protection to those people serving the church and helps them work safely and keep themselves protected.  Adhering to safeguarding guidance is fundamental to offering the very best care to those most in need of our support and protection at this time.

Whilst working remotely contact details for the safeguarding team can be found on the diocesan website. For safeguarding advice out of office hours, please contact our Christian Safeguarding Partners, 31:8 on 0303 003 1111. They are a specialist service who are able to provide you with support and will share information with us accordingly. To discuss existing case work or to discuss an allegation against a church officer, please email our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors, Penny Turner and Debbie Johnson on [email protected] or call 07432 522 412.

Churchwardens Measure

Please find attached an instrument that makes changes to the Churchwardens Measure 2001 in regard to annual meetings and church representation rules. There are some useful explanatory notes at the end of the document. There is also supplementary guidance we mentioned on Monday. This includes that PCC officers take office from the date of the 2020 APCM, that deanery synod lay members will not take office until 1 December 2020, and we are asking churchwardens already in post to continue till such time as new wardens can be admitted to office.

Just to mention

We do commend to you reflections on resilience from Archdeacon Justine that are on the diocesan Facebook. These begin with 'A' is for adversity. Thank you also for your interaction with the Bishops' Office Facebook page. We have also been asked by our technology advisors Mansys to be vigilant in regard to the opening of emails with cybercriminals taking advantage of the pandemic using the term 'coronavirus' and others as clickbait. Please be wary about emails from unknown sources.

Finally we do wish to mention again the need to be kind to yourself as we learn to work in new ways. We have a structure of meetings in place on a daily basis as we try to hear what is happening right across the diocese and that will include rural deans in a virtual meeting next week. Please also keep our colleagues in education in your prayers as they manage caring for children of key workers in schools alongside staff also falling ill.

With our best wishes and prayers,

 

Bishop David                                                         Bishop Nicholas

The Right Reverend Dr David Court                     The Right Reverend Dr Nicholas Chamberlain                      

Bishop of Grimsby                                                 Bishop of Grantham

Acting Bishop of Lincoln