3. Putting This Code Into Practice

Preamble

3.1 This Code will only be effective if it is widely known and available throughout the Church, practised consistently and implemented justly.  Clergy and church workers will protect the safety of others and themselves by observing its standards and following its guidelines.

3.2 The absence of any reference to particular conduct in this Code does not imply that it is acceptable for clergy and church workers.

3.3 All clergy and church workers have a responsibility to ensure that personal behaviour and practices of pastoral ministry that are inconsistent with this Code are neither tolerated nor covered up.

3.4 Failure to meet the standards of this Code will indicate an area where clergy and church workers require guidance and specialised help.  Such failures may result in formal disciplinary action if the conduct infringes an applicable disciplinary rule of the Church or is a breach of an employment contract.

3.5 Clergy and church workers are encouraged to follow the guidelines of this Code.  Where this is impractical, the exercise of judgement will be required to ensure the safety of those to whom they minister and themselves.  Wilful disregard of the guidelines may indicate an area where clergy and church workers require guidance and specialised help.

Standards for clergy and church workers

These standards state the Church’s expectations for personal behaviour and the practice of pastoral ministry.

3.6 It is your responsibility to be aware of and meet the standards of this Code.

3.7 If you have overall authority in a church body, you are to ensure that all clergy and church workers for whom you are responsible are made aware of this Code.

3.8 You are not to penalise, discriminate or take action against other clergy or church workers because of any action taken in good faith under this Code.

Guidelines

These guidelines explain and illustrate best practice and highlight practical ways to achieve it.

3.9 If you know or have reason to believe that another member of the clergy or another church worker has failed to meet a standard of this Code, other than for child abuse, (the reporting of child abuse is addressed in paragraphs 5.14 and 5.15), you should:

  • where you believe that a person has not suffered harm or is not at the risk of harm, approach the member of the clergy or church worker and identify the concern; or
  • where you believe that a person has suffered harm or is at the risk of harm, report this to the church authority having responsibility for the member of the clergy or church worker or the Director of Professional Standards.

If in doubt seek advice from a colleague or supervisor or the Director of Professional Standards without identifying the member of the clergy or church worker.

3.10 If you know or have reason to believe that another member of the clergy or another church worker has not followed a guideline of this Code, you should approach the member of the clergy or church worker and identify the concern.  If you consider that the member of the clergy or church worker is persisting in disregarding the guideline without good reason and a person has suffered harm or is at the risk of harm, you should seriously consider reporting this to the church authority with responsibility for the member of the clergy or church worker or the Director of Professional Standards.  If in doubt seek advice from a colleague or supervisor or the Director of Professional Standards without identifying the member of the clergy or church worker.