Brunswick Uniting Church recently became the latest church to be presented with the Safe Church Recognition program certificate. Moderator Dan Wootton joined the congregation for worship to celebrate the achievement, which came after two years of work by a group of dedicated members.
They facilitated Safe Church training and developed a Code of Conduct for all volunteers. Recognising the church’s duty of care should extend to all vulnerable people (children and adults), they now refer to the program as a Culture of Safety.
Congregation secretary Saide Cameron said achieving Safe Church Recognition was an important milestone for those involved in the program.
“Our congregation is wonderfully diverse with close to 400 people on our rolls and includes at least 80 children ranging from babies to 17 years old,” Saide said.
“We are passionately committed to caring for people from all walks of life through our Olive Way Outreach program and relationship with the Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre.”
During his sermon Rev Ian Ferguson recognised the importance of ensuring the church is a safe place for all.
“Today in our service we focus on one particular stand we are called to take as the Uniting Church, the whole church, in light of the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Child Abuse… Jesus calls us saying stand up, stand up against abuse in all its forms… Stand with the vulnerable, the abused.”
In presenting the certificate Mr Wootton said: “Displaying the certificate sends a message to children, parents and the community that this is a safe church to worship and enjoy each other’s company.”