Safe Ministry Policy

Bathurst Evangelical Church

Safe Ministry Policy

Adopted 12/3/2015


Bathurst Evangelical Church seeks to take seriously the Bible’s mandate to be proactive in the welcoming, spiritual nurture, protection, safety and care of those in our ministries – both adults and children (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Matthew 18:1-6; Mark 10:13-16)
Bathurst Evangelical Church also aims to enable and protect those ministering to children.
To build and maintain a safe community for our children and adults, we are committed to ensuring that;

  1. all leaders are appropriately screened, trained and appointed,
  2. all programs are led and run in a safe and appropriate manner,
  3. there are clear reporting procedures in place, and
  4. the leadership at Bathurst Evangelical Church regularly reviews these policies and processes.

1. Screening, Training & Appointing of Leaders

All those involved in leadership to children and adults on behalf of Bathurst Evangelical Church, are required to undergo a full screening and training process as outlined below.

  1. Appropriate leaders will have been regular participants at Bathurst Evangelical Church for at least twelve months (or have been given special approval by the church leadership). Each will be assessed for suitability for the position and have their roles and responsibilities clearly outlined for them.
    1. For employees, inquires are to be made with two referees as to their suitability for the position.
    2. For volunteers:
      1. The approval of the Church Council is required, and this is to be recorded in the church minutes.
      2. Where appropriate, inquires are to be made into previous positions held to ascertain suitability.
    3. For both employees and volunteers, a declaration is required stating that they have never been convicted for sexual abuse, assault or a sexual offence of any kind.
  2. Appropriate leaders will have provided references to confirm their character. If working with children & youth, they must provide Bathurst Evangelical Church with their unique Working With Children Check number and Date of Birth to be legally approved by the Commission for Children and Young People.
  3. Have completed an approved Safe Ministry Training Course which outlines appropriate behaviour as well as training in how to identify and report cases of abuse (e.g. Leaders will be asked to do revision training every two to three years.

Under no circumstances will a person with a criminal record of child abuse, molestation or similar offences be allowed to be involved in children’s or youth ministry.

2. Appropriate Behaviours and Guidelines for Safe Ministries

To provide for, build and maintain a safe community for our children and adults where they may grow as followers of Jesus, we must ensure that our programs and events are safe and appropriate for those attending. For this to happen, all those ministering to children and adults at Bathurst Evangelical Church are to behave and act according to the values of the community, society and above all as followers of Jesus.
Our programs and events must be safe and appropriate to the children and youth attending. Careful consideration will be made of things such as the activities chosen, the venue, safe ratios of supervision, appropriate child toileting practices, transportation, occupational health and safety, parental or guardian permission and confidentiality of records kept. With regard to safe ratios of supervision, the ‘two person rule’ is to operate wherever adult leaders have charge of one or more children.
Guidelines for these safe practice procedures are highlighted and discussed in the Safe Ministry Training Course.
To help maintain appropriate standards, all leaders and helpers will be given access to ongoing training and adequate supervision in their roles and responsibilities.

3. Reporting Procedure

If any leaders suspect a child or adult has experienced abuse they will not take action on their own or approach the person accused. Leaders will raise the matter with one of the Bathurst Evangelical Church Safe Ministry Supervisors. There may be a perfectly good explanation for the injury or behaviour observed.
The Safe Ministry Supervisor will respond to all reports appropriately. Any allegations of criminal activity (whether adult-to-child or adult-to-adult) will be reported to police. Any allegations of child abuse will be reported to the NSW Government according to the Online Mandatory Reporter Guide. The insurer of Bathurst Evangelical Church will also be advised of any allegations of abuse. Leaders may be required to provide a statement to the Police and/or to Family and Community Services if it is confirmed that the child is at risk.
In various circumstances Bathurst Evangelical Church will appoint an Independent Ministry Investigator (IMI) to explore allegations of inappropriate behaviour. The steps involved in responding to allegations of abuse are outlines in the Bathurst Evangelical Church Safe Ministry Incident Response Process.

4. Regular Review Periods

It is the responsibility of the Senior Pastor and Overseers to ensure that this policy and the Incident Response Process is implemented, maintained, and reviewed every two years or as required. This policy is in accordance with the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 No 157.

Contact Details

Senior Pastor
Mark Sutton
Mob: 0435 256 857

Safe Ministry Supervisors
Jane Corbett-Jones
Michelle Trembath

Bathurst Evangelical Church
PO Box 1020
Bathurst NSW 2795
Ph: 0435 256 857

We welcome any questions or comments about this policy and the ways in which we carry it out.