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May 2020 News


Dear [subscriber:firstname | default:reader],
Welcome to the May SMR news - especially if it's your first as Safe Ministry Rep.

We have a couple of important matters to share with you in this newsletter

Key Points:
  • Frontline - a safe ministry podcast is launched!
  • New 'Safe Ministry To Children 2020' Ordinance
  • Updates to safe ministry COVID-19 resources and guidelines
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Frontline - a Safe Ministry Podcast is live!


I have mentioned this in the last couple of newsletters and have finally managed to pull together the first episode.

You can find the details on the new Frontline page on the website.

Why a podcast?
We hope that this will be a way of reaching more people in your church with Safe Ministry information and in a format that is flexible and easy to digest.
We also believe that more information can be communicated in that format than just in emails and web pages.

So please try the podcast out for yourself, but also please spread the news about it to you pastoral staff at church and any lay leaders that would benefit from the content.

Safe Ministry To Children 2020 - Ordinance

Many of you will recall the Safe Ministry To Children Ordinance 2018, and the Safe Ministry Assessment and Safe Ministry Check processes that were part of it.
This was a major part of our response to the General Synod Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017, which in turn was part of the Anglican Church's response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

After much feedback during and after Synod last year, Standing Committee has
moved ahead in its major re-think of the Ordinance and the Safe Ministry Assessment and Check processes.
There will a LOT more information about this flowing in the near future, but here are some key points (note: this info is also in the podcast):
  • The new Ordinance – called The Safe Ministry To Children Ordinance 2020 – is a major re-write and completely replaces the 2018 Ordinance of the same name. It also includes other Safe Ministry bits from other Ordinances, all wrapped up in one comprehensive package. You can find it on the Ordinances page on the Safe Ministry website now
  • It redefines the process called a Safe Ministry Assessment which every ‘church worker’ (ie: someone who works with children) will need to go through.
    There is a separate Assessment process for clergy and paid lay workers which is administered entirely by the Diocese, but the part that will probably interest you the most is the Safe Ministry Assessment for volunteer church workers.
  • This means that every person in our churches who works with children will need to undergo this Safe Ministry Assessment process and be cleared to work with children - including all current workers.
  • At the core of the Assessment process for volunteers is a document called the Safe Ministry Check. This is a much simplified form compared to the first version released for comment last year – and in particular character references will only be required for a very small number of people.
  • We are developing an online version of form which will be available for all volunteer church workers in the Diocese, and designed to minimise the admin load on parishes. Of course, a pdf version of the form will also be available for people unable to use the online version.
  • The implementation date for the Safe Ministry Assessment process is set as January 1st 2021, so there should be plenty of time for your church to work towards compliance.
Now, there are lots of implications for parishes that flow out of the new Ordinance, and the next episode of Frontline will cover many of those in detail.
Within the next month there will also be a comprehensive web page on safeministry.org.au that sets out everything, along with the release of the Safe Ministry Check pdf forms for adults and under 18'yrs workers (Junior Leaders)
Watch for news of these things here and in your podcast feed.

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COVID-19 Resources

Since the last newsletter, we have added to the list of COVID-19 resources and tweaked a number of the existing documents.
To keep up on the latest recommendations, please goto:
COVID-19 Resources

Some exemptions to training requirements during COVID-19

Just a reminder that due to the inability to hold any face to face training for the foreseeable future, the following conditions are in place:
  • Any person currently training who is 70 years of age or older and is not capable of online training - they get an automatic 12 month extension to their training. Simply extend their expiry date by that period in your records.
  • Anyone else who has a specific reason for needing face to face training (eg: due to a disability of some kind) can apply for an extension by emailing the details to: smt@safeministry.training
    Note: This does not cover a person's preference for face to face training. They must have a sound reason for not being able to do online training.
The good news is that online training is very quiet at the moment, so it is an excellent time for people to get in and Refresh their training - especially if they have the extra time at home!
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Keeping up to date with news

Email alerts
We have revamped our email alerts system for new content on the safeministry.org.au website, and you can subscribe to those alerts here:
https://safeministry.org.au/site-updates-sign-up-2/

Twitter
Likewise, alerts for new content are posted to our Twitter account, and you can find that account and follow us to get those alerts here:
http://www.twitter.com/neilatwood
That's it for this edition.
Praying that you and you church are managing life and ministry well during these times. It looks likes being a long time before our church ministries go back to anything like conditions we enjoyed before Coronavirus, so staying on top of doing ministry safely is more important than ever.

More news as it comes to hand,

With warm regards

Neil Atwood
Parish Consultant
info@safeministry.org.au
02 9265 1547
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