Culture Review Recommendations
Below are some recommendations for church culture suggested by the culture review group. We will endeavour to be putting these into practice from now on.
1. Safeguarding training (online and in-house) should cover all those working with vulnerable adults (anyone in a ministry/pastoral role). It could also be available to anyone else who would like to do it.
2. Life group leaders should be safer recruited. In addition, the Diocese recommends that all
voluntary roles have a recruitment process, which may be more or less thorough depending on the role.
3. One-to-one pastoral leadership/ministry arising out of church or life groups should have some safeguards in place and be transparent. Leaders should consider whether it is realistic to meet in public, or have someone else in the house if meeting at a home. If meeting publicly or with someone else present is not practical, leaders should make another leader aware of the meeting.
4. At ACM, the safeguarding officer should speak about healthy culture.
5. In the welcome to new people, they should be told who the safeguarding officer is and
signposted to how to raise issues. They could also be given a copy of the safeguarding policy.
6. A section about the church ethos should be added to the website (which would cover the
healthy culture we want to embody).
7. At council meetings, roughly twice a year, the council members should be able to discuss the leadership without paid staff present.
8. Insofar as is practical, there should be a rotating chair of the council meetings.
9. Before the appointment of elders/wardens/council members, the congregation should be
made aware that there is going to be such an appointment. The Biblical model of leadership can be explained and people can be encouraged to pray. When a person/people are selected to potentially be appointed, the congregation should be made aware in advance so that they are best prepared to vote when the time comes.
10. In the church family news, once a quarter, there should be a safeguarding section.
11. The mission committee should establish that mission partner agencies/organisations also
have suitable safeguarding policies in place.
12. Different roles in the church, including the safeguarding officer, should be introduced –
potentially with a ‘role profile’ in church family news on a fairly regular basis.
13. We should seek to have diversity in those who lead the service, including more women.
Some of the youth would also be willing to lead.
14. The pastor, elders, paid staff and those in ministry should take time to consider healthy
cultures and self-reflect, as well as ensuring they are speaking to one another about it for
accountability. (This can be incorporated as part of their spiritual walk and personal holiness)
15. There should be an accountability chat between the pastor and elders at least termly where they can ask the difficult questions.
16. There should be regular teaching on healthy cultures, which can be incorporated into
sermons and general teaching.
17. It is preferable not to have members of the same family on the leadership team. With the
church being a young plant this happened out of necessity, but over time as the church grows we should look not to appoint members of the same family.
18. A risk register and a whistleblowing policy should be set up.
19. When there is recruitment of new church attendees into pastoral roles, any exceptions to the normal best practice policy should be justified and documented in the wardens’ meeting, and the documentation available on request.