The post of Connexional Safeguarding Adviser is a combined post with the Church of England. Elizabeth Hall took over this combined role as from 1 September 2010 following a four month period shadowing the Revd Pearl Luxon.
In addition to the Safeguarding Adviser, the two Churches jointly fund a half-time administrative assistant. The post-holder has been on long term sickness absence since September 2010. The work has been covered in-house but this absence has inevitably limited some important developments, especially website development.
The Church of England and the Methodist Church have this year been able to realise a long- term aim of combining the committees which overview safeguarding. There is now a Joint Safeguarding Liaison Group, chaired jointly by the Revd David Gamble and Bishop Anthony Priddis (the safeguarding lead in the C of E House of Bishops). This group meets annually. During the year the business is carried out by two sub-committees focusing separately on Vulnerable Adults and Children & Young People – they meet three times with the facility for further meetings if required. The Terms of Reference are attached for approval. This document is also being submitted to the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.
In November 2010, the Church of England and the Methodist Church held a combined launch for a suite of revised and new safeguarding policies. In the Methodist Church, these now form the new Safeguarding Handbook. The contents are:
- Safeguarding Children and Young People (final draft approved by Methodist Council, March 2010)
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (final draft approved by Methodist Conference 2010)
- Recruiting Safely. This was approved in outline by the Methodist Conference 2010, but it was recognised that it can only be an interim document given the Coalition Government’s very late suspension of the Vetting & Barring Scheme. The document has been published as a web resource only. It should be printed off and inserted into the Handbook.
- Guidelines for working with Domestic Abuse / Violence. These were produced to support the Methodist Conference 2005 report ‘Taking Action’ but never widely circulated. They have been updated and are now included alongside the other safeguarding resources.
- Model policies for church, circuit and district level.