The Safe Church program provides training to both clergy and lay volunteers to ensure our churches are places of safety from the harm of misconduct that can occur in situations when there is an imbalance of power. Safe Church training is offered online through the Praesidium Academy training platform, which is used by all the diocese' in the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and the Yukon.
Criminal record checks are a requirement in the Diocese of British Columbia for clergy and lay volunteers. We accept certified copies of CRCs from other organizations.
Safe Church training is designed to:
- Ensure our parishes are places of safety and wholeness for those who come to us seeking the love of Christ.
- Ensure all of our volunteers and employees are aware of their own personal safety and are equipped to manage their own personal risk.
Training is modular and includes topics such as:
- recognizing and preventing child or elder abuse
- preventing bullying and harassment
- social media safety
- risk management
- preventing sexual misconduct
Who is this training for?
- clergy and paid parish staff
- parish council members
- choir director and/or organist
- treasurer, envelope secretary and all others who handle money
- children and youth workers, camp leaders and volunteers
- honorary assistants
- pastoral visitors
- refugee volunteers
- volunteer staff including admin, grounds and janitorial
Re-certification of Safe Church training and a renewed criminal record check are required every five years. Parishes are required to comply with Safe Church and to report to the synod annually. The Safe Church compliance form can be found on the Forms page of our website.
For other serious Safe Church matters (i.e. inappropriate behaviour, bullying, harassment, power inequities, etc.), please report as follows:
- To your parish incumbent or priest-in-charge; and if they cannot address the issue,
- To your regional archdeacon; and if they cannot address the issue,
- To the executive officer, Barry Foster.
For very serious incidents, such as suspected child abuse or elder abuse, immediate threats to someone’s personal safety, or sexual assault, please contact the police.
For all questions relating to Safe Church training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org