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Church locks in Safe Church Charter

The General Synod te Hīnota Whānui meeting Nelson last week voted to install the Anglican Communion’s Safe Church Charter as a permanent feature of this Church’s policy.

Taonga News  |  04 Nov 2022  |

The General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui has voted to install the principles framework contained in the ‘Safe Church Charter’ as a Standing Resolution.

The 'Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion’ was first presented to the October 2012 Anglican Consultative Council(ACC) meeting in Tāmaki-makaurau Auckland by the Anglican Communion Safe Church Consultation. That 2012 meeting of the ACC passed a resolution calling on all Anglican churches to adopt and implement the charter as a basis for regional and national safety policies adapted for local context.

At the 2014 Waitangi meeting of General Synod te Hīnota Whānui, Rev Jo Crosse and Rosa Filoi moved that this Church adopt the Charter. That Synod adopted the Charter as a framework for promoting the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people in the Church, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults and recommended its implementation to all Hui Amorangi and Dioceses in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. However that decision stood only until 2016.

Last week Fe'iloakitau Tevi and Archbishop Philip Richardson presented the Charter back to Te Hīnota, which reaffirmed the Charter and adopted it as a Standing Resolution. The Charter now becomes a permanent safety policy framework for this Church, which sits alongside the work of the Ministry Standards Commission and the provisions of Title D Canon I.

The full Safe Church Charter follows below.

Charter for the Safety of People within the Churches of the Anglican Communion

Pastoral support where there is abuse

1.     We will provide pastoral support for the abused, their families, and affected parishes and church organisations by:

a.     listening with patience and compassion to their experiences and concerns;

b.     offering spiritual assistance and other forms of pastoral care.

Effective responses to abuse

2.     We will have and implement policies and procedures to respond properly to allegations of abuse against clergy and other church personal that include:

a.     making known within churches the procedure for making complaints;

b.     arranging pastoral care for any person making a complaint of abuse;

c.     the impartial determination of allegations of abuse against clergy and other church personnel, and assessment of their suitability for future ministry;

d.     providing support for affected parishes and church organisations.

Practice of pastoral ministry

3.     We will adopt and promote, by education and training, standards for the practice of pastoral ministry by clergy and other personnel. 

Suitability for Ministry

4.     We will have and implement policies and procedures to assess the suitability of persons for ordination as clergy or appointment to positions of responsibility in the church including checking their background.


Culture of Safety

5.     We will promote a culture of safety in parishes and church organisations by education and training to help clergy, other church personnel and participants prevent the occurrence of abuse.