You are here

Policies

Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Formal Policies (July 2018)

Policies

These policies include

  • Privacy
  • Mission
  • Conflict of Interests
  • Reserves
  • Environment
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Health and Safety
  • Safeguarding children and young people
  • Safeguarding Adults at Risk
  • The Deaconate
  • Complaints and grievance for volunteers
  • Disciplinary procedure for volunteers
  • Grievance Procedure for staff
  • Personal Safety plan

All policies are to be reviewed annually, usually at the December church business meeting

Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Data Protection Policy (May 2018)

Information that members are made aware of

Group

There are several groups which operate separately from each other in the church (see table below)

Members

Members are those who attend (see table below)

Administrator

Each group has a nominated administrator (see table below) who is the data  processor who processes the personal data, that is, data by which a living human being can be identified.

How, why and what information is processed

* Email redirection: sends generic church emails to particular people (name, position, password, email)

* Safeguarding incidents are dealt with having accurate records (name, incident details)

* Members sent event information, particularly closures and special events (name, email, phone)
* Attendance data allows staff to plan future and care for those who have been absent for a while
* Care for children can require contact with parents (name, parent name, phone, email) and knowledge of special needs (name, special needs)

* Hire of Family Centre requires contact with the organiser (name, email, phone, booking details)

* Care for the elderly via giving lifts, visiting homes and hospital  (name, date of birth, address, phone)

* Staff on Payroll  are paid (name, national insurance number, bank details)
* Group allocation is by age (Youth Group) and age and school (Holiday club)
* Mutual Care is given and received using opt-in contact list (name, Email, phone, address)
* DBS list is used to ensure supervisory staff have been checked (name, activity, date)

How is it obtained?

* Either Personal request (Church, Wider Church, Friday Friends, Men’s breakfast),
* Or Booking form (Family Centre, Holiday Club),
* Or Part of appointment process (Paid Staff, All Staff, Web Server),
* Or At information desk on first visit (Youth Group, Messy Dads, Messy Play, Community Choir)

How is it kept accurate?

Members are asked at the start of each academic year to check the information we have for them (except Safeguarding Incidents) Members can view, amend or remove their data at any time by request to the Administrator

Where is it stored?

Soft copy: The Group Administrator’s Laptop/PC, the Church Secretary’s laptop, and on their backup hard drives.  No further soft copies of the data is made.  Data is transferred from Administrator to Secretary using standard email.  (All except Messy Dads and Messy Play)
Hard copy: available to members’ contact List (Church, Friday Friends), Information desk Register (Holiday Club, Youth Group, Messy Play, Messy Dads, Community Choir), Card index (Youth Group),. 

Legal Basis for processing

Either: the individual has given clear, recorded opt-in consent for the church to process their personal data for a clearly stated specific purpose from which is easy for people to withdraw, which is not a precondition of a service.  (Pastoral Care)

* Or the processing is necessary for a documented contract the church has with the individual, or because they have asked the church to take specific steps before entering into a contract.  (Family Centre, Paid Staff)

* or the processing is necessary for a specific legitimate interest, in a way that the church uses people’s data in ways they would reasonably expect, and in a way that does not cause unjustified harm to the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms. (All others)

Photographs

All official church photos used for publicity on our website, magazine, summary sheet and notice boards must have the verbal or written consent of those who can be identified in the photo, or, in case of children and vulnerable adults, the consent of an appropriate adult.  No names or personal details are published except those choosing to be in the biannual Sunday morning group photo, and the church leadership team.  Photos are not more widely distributed - in particular they are not put on Social Media.  All personally taken photos at Church run activities must abide with this policy, and this policy is explained whenever official church photos are taken. Photographs are stored on the church website at ch-bc.org.uk (once uploaded  are removed from device) and on the administrator’s computer. 

Information made available to members

How is protected?

Hard and soft copies are not left unattended unless inside a locked building. 
Soft copies are in devices which are password protected.

In the event of a data breach all members would be alerted by email.

Who processes it?

The Group Administrator or, less frequently, the Church Administrator

Reason for legal basis

The processing of data clearly falls in this legal category

Length of time

Group members’ data (except name and attendance) is removed after two whole academic years of non attendance, or at the request of a member. (all except Safeguarding incidents which are not removed) 

Passing on to Third parties

No Personal Information held by/for Cherry Hinton Baptist Church is accessed by any other organisation or shared with another organisation, other than, if necessary, to the police (Youth Group)

Notes

The above ensures that our use of data is transparent, fair and lawful; That personal data is only obtained for “specified, explicit and legitimate purposes”; that data is “adequate, relevant, necessary, accurate  and kept no longer than necessary, with appropriate security, giving the data subjects right of access, rectification, erasure, being informed

As an organisation with a religious aim we could store information about religious beliefs, but currently do not.  We recognize the special status of ethnic, political, trade union membership, physical and medical health, sexual, and offence related personal data

Data Controller

The Church Trustees collectively determine the purposes and means of processing personal data

 

Personal information processed by Cherry Hinton Baptist Church

Group

Administrator

Members Those who ….

How, why and what information is processed

Church

Nic Boyns

Attend Gathered worship Sundays 10:30am-noon

Mutual Care (name, Email, phone, address)

Event information (name, email)

Wider church

Nic Boyns

Attend annual inter-church events

Event information (Name, email, phone, address),
Attendance (name, event, year)

Family Centre

Wendy Hart

Book to use the Family Centre

Family Centre  (Name, Organisation name, email, phone)

Paid Staff

Tim Wylie

Are paid by the church

Payroll (name, national insurance number, bank details)

All staff

Nic Boyns

Lead activities run by the church

Event information (Name, email, phone, address),
DBS check (name, Date)

Holiday club

Nic Boyns

Attend summer holiday Monday-Friday 10am-12:30pm

Event information (parent, email)

Group allocation (name, age, school)

Care for Children (Parent name, phone, address, special needs)

Youth Group

Jo Shields

Attend Term time Fridays 6:30-9pm

Event information (parent, email)

Group allocation (child name, age)

Child care (Parent name, phone, address)

Friday Friends

Jo Boyns

Attend weekly Friday s 1:30-3:30pm

Care of the elderly (name, date of birth, address, phone)

Men’s breakfast

Stuart Ross

Attend Monthly Saturday 9-10:30am

Event Information (Name, email )

Messy Dads

Chris Tanton

Attend Monthly Saturdays 10:30-Noon

Event information (name, child name, email)

Messy Play

Alison Hallam

Attend Term time Tues 9:15-11:15am

Event in formation (name, child name, email)
Attendance (name, date)

Community Choir

Mary Wylie

Attend Term time Wednesday 8-9:30pm

Event Information (Name, email )
Attendance (name, date)

Web server

Ruth I-Cook

Receive ex-officio emails

Email redirection (name, position, password, email)

Safeguarding incidents

Jo Boyns

Are involved in safeguarding incidents

Safeguarding incidents (name, incident details)

 

CHBC Mission Policy (January 2016)

“Seeking faithfully to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love our neighbours as ourselves”

Primarily this church is called to advance the Christian faith in Cherry Hinton through discipleship and evangelism.  To achieve this we seek to be an inclusive community which loves the God we have found in Jesus; which learns more about Him and His ways (discipleship); and proclaims His good news in word and action to others (evangelism).  We seek that all those inside and outside the church community are encouraged and challenged in their relationship with God, and that we are encouraged and challenged in our relationships with others (particularly family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues), both those who profess a faith in Jesus, and those who do not.

We understand that much of the important discipleship is likely to take place in one to one relationships between people where we prayerfully encourage and challenge each other in our relationship with God and our relationships with other people.  Many of the formal activities of the church are frameworks in which this important pastoral care can take place. 

The formal activities of the church aimed at the worshipping community (discipleship) include meeting for worship, prayer and bible reading in gathered worship and Christian nurture groups, which include Value Builders for children, housegroups for adults and social events.  All activities primarily aimed at the worshipping community are of course partly evangelistic and open to all.  For some seekers, gathered worship may be their way in to faith. 

In addition to, and alongside the important work of personal evangelism outside formal church activities, the church aims to proclaim the good news in word and deed through a variety of activities, many of which serve the local community.  These include Messy Play, Youth Group, Holiday Club, Assemblies, Friday Friends, Community Choir and Polly’s Café.  We also proclaim the good news through our support of Tear Fund, BMS World Mission and Hope in Action

 

CHBC Fundraising policy (April 2016)

It was agreed that fundraising events are done on the basis of donations, rather than entry price.

It was agreed that the church would be happy to benefit from fundraising activities (e.g. cakes sales, quizes) undertaken by individuals to help with maintenance expenditure

CHBC Conflict of Interests Policy

All formal meetings will include at the beginning a item “declaration of interests” in which any church member present will indicate where they have a professional or business interest in transaction or decision where there may be a conflict between the church’s best interest and the best interest of the member concerned, or a family member* or an organisation of which the person is a associated. 

The member will withdraw from the part of the meeting at which there is discussion of, or vote on, any arrangement or transaction affecting that member if this is deemed necessary.

This policy is meant to supplement good judgment, and members should respect its spirit as well as its wording.

CHBC Reserves Policy

1) Income: 2.5% of all income (except loans and designated income) will be set aside into a reserves fund (which is stored in the same physical bank account as our general fund).

2) As a minimum, the fund should be maintained at £1,000. This is so that funds are available when required.

3) The fund is used to cover unforeseen or unpredictable costs, particularly regarding the maintenance of buildings and it also ensures that we do not incur bank charges by going overdrawn. 

Note: In the accounts the reserves fund is called ‘maintenance’

CHBC Environmental Policy

Statement

Our mission is to accelerate the building of a sustainable way of life, taking a positive, solutions-oriented approach. Our Environment Policy, together with our Health and Safety Policy and our Values Statement, express our community’s commitment to achieving this aim within our own organisation.

Through managing the environmental impacts of our fellowship, we aim to inspire our members, and encourage them to reduce their own adverse environmental impacts.

Impacts

Our most significant adverse environmental impacts are: •

  • Emissions to atmosphere from the use of carbon based energy in buildings
  • Consumption of resources by our use of energy, raw materials, and supplies
  • Production of waste materials

Objectives

Minimise resource consumption, and purchase goods which have the least environmental impact throughout their lifecycle

Reduce waste at source wherever practicable, and re-use and recycle remaining waste

Commitment

To deliver this Policy, there will be an annual evaluation of progress to include:

  • Continually improving our environmental performance, including prevention of pollution
  • Use our resources to meet this commitment in a manner that reinforces our activities
  • Measure our progress in pursuing this Policy and report annually to our members
  • Annual monitoring of waste reduction and recycling
  • Commitment to repair where possible rather than repurchase and to find new uses for obsolete equipment.
  • Encouraging people to walk/cycle to meetings and encourage car sharing where possible

Environmental officer

The church nominates John Rugglesto be our environmental officer, to report to the Church meeting in December of each year.  John’s report for 2013 is that

  • Sometimes waste material is not put in the correct bin: Blue, Black and Green
  • We have put a control onto the church heating system to reduce the risk of the heating staying on.
  • Youth Group needs to continue to be careful about the use of the kitchen bin

CHBC Equal Opportunities Policy

Statement of Equal Opportunities Policy

The Church is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity in all fields of its activity in accordance with this Policy Statement.

Definitions

“Protected Characteristic‟ refers to sex, sexual orientation, colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, disability, age, gender reassignment or religion or belief.

“Direct Discrimination‟ is where a person is treated less favourably than others are, or would be, for a reason related to one or more of the “Protected Characteristics‟.

“Indirect Discrimination‟ occurs where an individual is subject to a provision, criterion or practice which one protected group finds more difficult to comply with than another (even though on the fact of it the provision is neutral)

NEW: The Church’s Policy Statement for inclusion in Church Activities

The church is generally committed to including all members of the community in its activities and will not discriminate on the basis of Protected Characteristics, unless the focus of the activity naturally causes this to happen (e.g. a group for teenagers naturally discriminates on the grounds of age, and a choir naturally discriminates against those who have a disability which prevents them from singing).

NEW: The Church’s Policy Statement for hiring of Church Premises to external groups

The church is committed to giving all members of the community access to Hiring Church Premises and will not discriminate on the basis of the Protected Characteristics of the individuals using the Family Centre, other than when we seek to give priority in use of the centre, where there we are over booked, to members of the community who are in some way disadvantaged.  For example we may discriminate in favour of old people, and against younger people, if there is evidence that there is a particular need in the community for activities for older people.

The church does discriminate on the basis of the activities of those using the Family Centre.  We do not allow activities which are against a Christian ethos.  This would include acts of worship of other faiths, gambling, Halloween parties and drinking of alcohol.

The Church’s Policy Statement for employees

The Church is an equal opportunities employer and will seek to ensure that:

  • every job applicant and employee has the right not be treated less favourably as a result of one or more Protected Characteristics except in relation to religious belief where being a Christian or complying with a requirement related to religious belief is an occupational requirement having regard to the ethos of the Church and the nature of the employment or the context in which it is carried out;
  • persons already employed will be made aware of the provisions of this policy;
  • The application of any recruitment, training and promotion policies will be made on the basis of which candidate’s selection, in the view of the leadership and the wider church community, will most effectively enable the Church to love God and our neighbours.
  • Applications where being a Christian is considered a genuine occupational requirement will usually be assessed based upon the applicants’ character, evidenced via references and reports of the person gained through other organisations or our own, combined with an objective assessment of their ability to fulfil the responsibilities set out within the job description, which will be evidenced through training, qualifications and work history.
  • all persons responsible for the selection, management and promotion of employees will be given information and/or training to enable them to minimise the risk of discrimination;
  • appropriate training will be provided to enable employees to perform their jobs effectively and uphold the commitment to equality of opportunity;
  • encouragement is given to all employees to take advantage of opportunities for training;
  • any age limits imposed for entry to training will be objectively justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and will not unnecessarily exclude certain groups of employees;
  • Where we wish to make an external appointment we will seek to use effective methods to bring job vacancies to the attention of potentially disadvantaged groups.
  • If after prayer and reflection the church membership under the guidance of the leadership believes an internal appointment is favourable to advertising more widely a majority at the next suitable church meeting would have to support the decision.
  • applicants for posts will be given clear, accurate and sufficient information through advertisement, job descriptions and interviews, to enable them to assess their own suitability for a post;
  • The requirements of job applicants and existing members of staff who have or have had a disability will be reviewed to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to enable them to enter into or remain in employment with us. Promotion opportunities, benefits and facilities of employment will not be unreasonably limited and every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that disabled staff participate fully in the workplace
  • employment policies and procedures are kept under review, in appropriate cases by formal monitoring routines, to ensure that they do not operate against the church’s Policy Statement;
  • where it appears that the church’s Policy Statement is not being observed the circumstances will be investigated to see if there are any policies or criteria which exclude or discourage employees and, if so, whether these policies and criteria are justifiable;
  • appropriate action is taken where necessary to redress the effects of any action, policy or criteria which are found to have unjustifiably limited the observance of the church’s Policy Statement;
  • particular care is taken to deal with any complaints of unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of a Protected Characteristic;
  • a criminal record is not in itself a bar to being appointed to any post. Only relevant offences will be taken into account when appointing to a post where a Criminal Records Bureau check is required.
  • The requirements of job applicants and existing members of staff who have or have had a disability will be reviewed to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to enable them to enter into or remain in employment with us. Promotion opportunities, benefits and facilities of employment will not be unreasonably limited and every reasonable effort will be made to ensure that disabled staff participate fully in the workplace

The Church’s Policy Statement for volunteers

The Church seeks to ensure that all of the underlying principles of its equal opportunity policy for employees are applied to all those who seek to work as volunteers.

CHBC Health and Safety Policy

Statement

The church recognises and accepts its responsibilities for providing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe and healthy environment with a view to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all those who use the church premises.

Responsibilities

The church will, therefore, take all necessary steps within its power to meet its responsibilities so far as is reasonably practicable by, among other arrangements:

  • maintaining the church premises in a condition that is safe and without risk to health and providing and maintaining means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
  • providing and maintaining furnishings and equipment which are safe and without risks to health;
  • assessing the risk to the health and safety of those who use the church premises;
  • ensuring the safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles, equipment, furniture and substances;
  • the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of those who use the church premises;
  • the provision and maintenance of a proper environment for the church’s employees, leaders, helpers and volunteers that is safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare;
  • arranging for suitable induction programmes and training; consulting, where necessary, with all employees, leaders, helpers and volunteers on the effectiveness and implementation of this policy; and any necessary changes.
  • ensuring that adequate funds and resources are made available for carrying out this policy.

Health and Safety Officer

The church’s trustees have overall responsibility for health and safety. They have given responsibility for the fulfilment of this policy to Alison Hallam, Deacon, 49 Eland Way as the church’s Health and Safety Officer but subject hereto the trustees will be responsible for carrying out the implementation of the church’s policy and for the issue of supplementary policy statements where this may be necessary.

The Health and Safety Officer will:

  • carry out appropriate risk assessments (these to be reviewed annually) of the church’s premises and activities and report to the church’s trustees as necessary
  • co-ordinate the implementation of the church’s Health and Safety Policy (including Fire Safety);
  • carry out investigations of any accidents and recommend measures for preventing their recurrence;
  • ensure that accident and other appropriate records are maintained and returned to the appropriate bodies;
  • ensure that all appropriate arrangements are made to provide for first aid;
  • ensure that all food safety legislation is complied with;
  • arrange safety training courses, as may be necessary or desirable, so that specific legal requirements are adhered to and that any changes in such requirements are complied with and communicated to employees, leaders, helpers and volunteers as necessary;
  • ensure that, where necessary, all relevant safety regulations are prominently displayed, that all emergency procedure notices are properly exhibited and clearly visible at all times;
  • ensure that access to and from emergency exits and fire equipment are not impaired and that corridors and stairs are kept free from obstructions other than of a temporary and partial nature.

Other responsibilities

All volunteers, ministers, employees, leaders, and helpers will:

  • take reasonable care of their health and safety, and of the health and safety of other persons who may be affected by a person’s act or omissions while working or helping.
  • as regards any duty or requirement imposed on the church or any person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, co-operate with the church so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with;
  • ensure that they shall not intentionally or recklessly neither interfere with nor misuse anything provided in the interest of health, safety or welfare, in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions;
  • make themselves familiar with and conform to the Health and Safety Policy of the church at all times;
  • observe all safety rules, procedures, and codes of practice at all times, and in particular be fully conversant with the procedures to be followed in the event of a fire or any other emergency;
  • conform to all the food safety regulations that are applicable to themselves;
  • co-operate with the church to enable it to carry out the duties and requirements under the provisions of all health and safety legislation, including participating in any initial or other training if called upon to do so;
  • report to the church’s Health and Safety Officer all accidents or hazardous occurrences or dangers whether persons are injured or not as soon as is reasonably practicable;
  • ensure that all working equipment and materials used by them are in a safe and serviceable condition and that no cables or wires are left in such a position as to be likely to cause anyone to trip;
  • have regard to the possible consequences of their actions on the health, safety and welfare of all those persons who at any time and for whatever purpose may or will use the church premises.

Kitchen Policy

Access: Kitchen door should be kept closed at all times.

Children are only allowed in the kitchen when being supervised.

Hatches: The Hatch shutters should be closed when leaving the building.

Hand washing: Hands should be washed with warm soapy water before & during handling of food.

Cleaning: The kitchen should always be left clean and tidy.

Please wipe down surfaces, put things away in correct cupboards, clean the sinks, empty kettles of water, brush & mop the floor.

Rubber gloves: Please provide your own rubber gloves & dispose of dirty ones.

Tea towels: Take home & wash all dirty tea towels, returning them to the kitchen as soon as possible. 

Cloths: Only clean cloths should be kept by the sink. Dirty cloths should be disposed of.

Cleaning Products: All cleaning products should be kept in cupboard under the sink & in their original containers.

Bins and Recycling: All rubbish should be placed in correct bins.

Food waste should be emptied after each use and the caddy washed out.

General waste & recycling should be emptied when full and the bin bag replaced in the general waste bin.

Food storage: All food should be stored at the correct temperature, using the fridge. All food should be stored in original packaging containing it’s use-by-date.

Please take home any left over food, unless it has been agreed that it can be used again.

Use-by-dates: Only use food within use-by-dates and throw away any food past it’s use-by dates.

Food Preparation: Always wash hands before and during Drink/food  preparation. Always keep fresh and raw ingredients separate.

Dishwasher: Please set off dishwasher and if at all possible empty it before you leave. Do not leave dirty dishes in the Dishwasher.

General:

The Accident Book is kept in the Top draw of the filing cabinet in the Family Centre kitchen

The First Aid box is kept in the Family Centre Kitchen

The Fire Extinguisher is generally kept by the external door of the Family Centre.  The Extinguisher may be moved to the kitchen for the duration of an activity, if, in the opinion of those organizing the activity there is a significant risk that the Extinguisher may be tampered with (e.g. during Youth Group).  Those organizing the activity must return the fire extinguisher after the activity to the original location.

Portable Appliance Testing takes place every five years.

Policy statement on Safeguarding children and young people in the Church Cherry Hinton Baptist Church (referred to as ‘the church’ in the Policy Statement) (April 2018)

The Vision of this church is to seek to faithfully love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbours as we love ourselves.  In fulfilling this vision the church

  • Has a programme of activities with children, young people and Adults at Risk.
  • Welcomes children and young people into the life of our community.
  • Makes our premises available to organisations working with children, young people and Adults at Risk

The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability, as set out in the Childrens’ Act 1989 and 2004 (Safe from Harm 2004 & Working together to Safeguard children 2010)

As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with the church and will pray for them regularly.

In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to the following policies and to the development of procedure to ensure their implementation.

Prevention and reporting of abuse.

It is the duty of each church member and each member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people, and the duty of all to respond to the concerns about their wellbeing and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected. The church will fully cooperate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers.

The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with the appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.

Respecting children and Young people

The church has adopted the code of behaviour in Safe to Grow (2011) for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that everyone is shown the respect that is due to them.

Safe working practices

The church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities and will adopt ways of working with children and young people to promote their safety and well being.

A safe community

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.

Responsible people.


Stephen Hall

The church has appointed Stephen Hall (4 Comfrey Court, 213155- pictured to the left) and Annabel Roberts (19 Keates Rd, 411923- pictured to the right) as the Designated Persons for Safeguarding to advise the church on any matters relating to the safeguarding of children and young people brought to their attention through the church family and to take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected. The church has appointed Chris Tanton (129 High Street), as the Safeguarding Trustee to oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures; advising the church on any new legislation or changes relating to the safeguarding of children and young people


Annabel Roberts

Policy and Procedure

A copy of the Policy Statement will be displayed permanently on the noticeboards in the main church building and in the Family Centre

Each worker with children and young people will be given a copy of the policy and will be required to follow it.

A full copy of the policy and procedures (contained within Safe to Grow-2011) will be made available on request to any member of the church, the parents or carers of any child or young person from the church or any other person associated with the church.

The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually, usually in April

Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy (May 2018)

Summary

The Vision of the Church is: ‘To seek faithfully to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbours as we love ourselves.’  In fulfilling this vision the Church

  • Has activities that cater for, and are accessible to, Adults at Risk.
  • Welcomes Adults at Risk into the life of our community
  • Makes our premises available to organisations working with Adults at Risk

The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Adults at Risk, as set out in Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Adults at risk

An “Adult at Risk” is any adult aged 18 or over who due to disability, mental function, age, illness or traumatic circumstances may not be able to take care or protect themselves against the risk of significant harm, abuse, bullying, harassment, mistreatment or exploitation.

Prevention and reporting of Abuse.

It is the duty of each Church member and each member of the wider Church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse and exploitation of Adults at Risk. It is the duty of all to respond to the concerns about their wellbeing and to report any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.

The Church will fully cooperate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the Church.

Designated person

The Church has nominated Jo Boyns (95 High Street, Cherry Hinton - 01223 561139) as designated person with special responsibility for Adults at Risk protection issues.

Any concerns or reporting of suspected abuse of an Adult at Risk should go to the Leader of the group responsible for that person and also to Jo Boyns.

In pursuit of these aims, the church meeting will approve and annually review policies and procedures with the aim of:

  • Raising awareness of issues relating to the welfare of Adults at Risk and the promotion of a safe environment for the Adults at Risk.
  • Providing procedures for reporting concerns
  • Establishing procedures for reporting and dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff
  • The safe recruitment of staff

Whole church responsibility

 The Church will ensure it

  • Provides a safe environment for Adults at Risk
  • Identifies Adults at Risk who are suffering
  • Takes appropriate action to see that such Adults at Risk are kept safe from harm

Policy and Procedure

  • A copy of the Adults at Risk Policy Statement will be permanently displayed on the notice boards in the main Church building and the Family Centre.
  • Each worker with Adults at Risk will be given a copy of the policy and will be required to follow it.
  • A full copy of policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the Church and those working with Adults at Risk

Safeguarding Adults at Risk - More Details

Protecting Adults at Risk under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Chapter 5 defines an adult at risk as a person aged 18 and over who is in receipt of any of the following services –

  • Health care from a regulated health care professional - provided by, or under the direction or supervision of a regulated health care professional
  • Personal care for adults  involving hands-on physical assistance - with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting; prompting and supervising an adult with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability; or teaching someone to do one of these task
  • Assistance with social care - provision by a social care worker of social work which is required in connection with any health services or social services
  • Assistance with paying bills, shopping because of age, illness or disability arranged via 3rd party
  • Help with conducting own affairs under a formal appointment
  • Being conveyed for reasons of age, illness or disability to a place where they will receive health care, personal care or social work arranged by a third party
  • Note that a person is not deemed vulnerable simply because of age or a disability they must be in receipt of any of the aforementioned welfare services covered by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Regulated Activity with Adults at Risk under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Anyone providing an adult at risk with any of the above services in paragraph D 1 is considered to be undertaking a regulated activity under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and must therefore have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check in order to perform the role.

Note that the specified establishment (a care home) has been removed by the protection of Freedoms Act. The focus is now on activities needed by the adult at risk, not where the activity takes place.

An individual only needs to engage in the activities listed above once to be carrying out regulated activity relating to adults.

Note that a person whose role includes the day-to-day management or supervision of any person engaging in regulated activity, is also in regulated activity even if they are not directly involved in providing the service.

Note also that regulated activity relating to adults excludes any activity carried out in the course of family relationships, and personal, non-commercial relationships.

Definitions of Abuse

The church meeting recognises the following as definitions of abuse:

Physical abuse causes harm to a Adults at Risk person.  It may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning, scalding, drowning or suffocating.  It may be done deliberately or recklessly, or be the result of a deliberate failure to prevent injury occurring.

Neglect is the persistent or severe failure to meet a Adults at Risk basic physical and/or psychological needs.  It will

result in serious impairment of the Adults at Risk health or development.

Sexual abuse involves a Adults at Risk or young person being forced or coerced into participating in or watching sexual activity.  It is not necessary for the Adults at Risk to be aware that the activity is sexual and the apparent consent of the Adults at Risk is irrelevant.

Emotional abuse occurs where there is persistent emotional ill treatment or rejection.  It causes severe and adverse effects on the Adults at Risk or young person’s behaviour and emotional development, resulting in low self worth.  Some level of emotional abuse is present in all forms of abuse.

Dealing with Disclosure of Abuse and Procedure for Reporting Concerns

If an adult at risk or young person tells a trustee about possible abuse:

  • Listen carefully and stay calm.
  • Do not interview the adult at risk, but question normally and without pressure, in order to be sure that you understand what the Adults at Risk is telling you.
  • Do not put words into the Adults at Risk mouth.
  • Reassure the adult at risk that by telling you, they have done the right thing.
  • Inform the adult at risk that you must pass the information on, but that only those that need to know about it will be told.  Inform them of to whom you will report the matter.
  • Note the main points carefully.
  • Make a detailed note of the date, time, place, what the adult at risk said, did and your questions etc.
  • Staff should not investigate concerns or allegations themselves, but should report them immediately to the Designated Person.

The procedures apply to all staff, whether trustees, administrative, management or support, as well as to volunteers.  The word “staff” is used for ease of description.

Because of their frequent contact with Adults at Risk, staff may have allegations of abuse made against them.  Cherry Hinton Baptist Church recognises that an allegation of vulnerable made against a member of staff may be made for a variety of reasons and that the facts of the allegation may or may not be true.  It is imperative that those dealing with an allegation maintain an open mind and that the investigations are thorough and not subject to delay.

Duty to refer to the DBS

The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 also makes it mandatory to refer anyone known to pose a threat of harm to vulnerable people to the DBS. The designated trustee responsible for safeguarding must not knowingly employ anyone who poses a risk of harm to Adults at Risk, this includes anyone who is believed to have committed a relevant conduct while on the job or who has a record of such conduct.

The organisation has a legal duty to refer an employee or volunteer who poses a risk of harm to children or Adults at Risk to the DBS, failure to do so can result in a fine and/or up to 5 years imprisonment. There must be sufficient and solid evidence that the employee or volunteer poses a risk of harm before they can be referred to the DBS. The DBS will not consider evidence based on rumour or unsubstantiated reports. The employer should also inform the police and other relevant authorities if they believe a relevant conduct has occurred.

Reporting allegations of Abuse against Members of Staff

Referral forms can be downloaded from the DBS’s website www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs

The DBS’s barring process

Whenever new relevant information (such as a conviction or caution) becomes known, the information will be sent to the DBS. The DBS will consider this information, together with other information known on the individual, and decide whether it indicates that the individual poses a risk of harm to vulnerable groups. If so, the DBS will commence its barring process and the DBS will issue a disclosure certificate to the applicant with the barring information.

The applicant should be advised by the designated trustee to make a representation to the DBS regarding the barring information. The DBS will assess the barring information and representation and decide whether to bar the applicant. If there is sufficient barring evidence, the applicant will be placed on either the Children’s Barred List or the Adults at Risk Barred List or both depending on the offence. The applicant must then be removed from regulated activity.

The applicant has the right of appeal to a tribunal and must be advised of this right. Serious offences committed against vulnerable people will lead to automatic barring and the applicant will have no right to make representations or to appeal against a barring decision.

Ensuring safer recruitment and selection

Cherry Hinton Baptist Church will already have safer recruitment and selection procedures.  These should be reviewed in order to ensure that they take account of the following:

  • The procedures should apply to staff and leaders who work with Adults at Risk.
  • The post or role should be clearly defined where appropriate
  • The key selection criteria for the post or role should be identified.
  • Obtain professional and character references (for employees only)
  • Verify previous employment history. (for employees only)
  • Obtain a relevant enhanced disclosure check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Use a variety of selection techniques (e.g. qualifications, previous experience, interview, reference checks)

Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers.

In addition, the church meeting accepts the following definitions of relevant conduct under Schedule 3 of the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 in relation to the barring of those who pose of a risk of harm to Adults at Risk. A relevant conduct is a conduct which must be referred to the DBS and which could lead to a barring decision. It includes any:

  • conduct which endangers an adult at risk or is likely to endanger adult at risk
  • conduct which if repeated against or in relation to a adult at risk would endanger that adult at risk.
  • conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings
  • conduct of a sexual nature involving a adult at risk (or in the case of a adult at risk -  an act that is considered inappropriate)

Designated person (more detailed)

She has a key duty to take lead responsibility for raising awareness within the organisation of issues relating to the welfare of Adults at Risk and young people, and the promotion of a safe environment for the Adults at Risk and young people.

She is responsible for ensuring that exempted questions are asked on relevant volunteer and employment application forms.  The question can be worded accordingly 

This post meets the requirements in respect of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, any applicants for this post who are offered employment or who become volunteers for this organisation will be subject to a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service before the appointment is confirmed. This will include details of cautions, reprimands or final warnings as well as convictions. A criminal record will not automatically bar a person from successfully taking up this post”.

She has appropriate training and should keep up to date with developments in Adults at Risk protection issues. She also has responsibility for making new staff and volunteers aware of the existing Adults at Risk’ protection policy.

He/she will be the main contact point for Adults at Risk’ Protection issues and will have contact details for relevant organisations available for employees and volunteers. This list will usually include contact details of relevant individuals and the local police.

Partner project: Hope House

The Church has partnered with Hope into Action to provide support to formerly homeless people, some of whom may fall within the remit of this policy. Hope into Action has its own policy for safeguarding procedures which contains the following clause ‘In the event of a safeguarding incident, Hope into Action will lead on responding and the Hope into Action policy will take precedence. However, if the allegation of abuse is against a church volunteer then the church will lead on the investigation.’ Where safeguarding concerns exist on the Hope House project we will defer to the policy of Hope into Action unless one of our own volunteers has had an allegation of abuse levied against them, in which case we will follow the processes set out in this policy. We will share information with the partner organisation conducting an investigation in so far as it is deemed necessary to safeguard adults at risk.

Code of behaviour with children, young people & Adults at Risk

I am committed to

a   the nurture, protection and safekeeping of the children and young people

b   passing on the Christian faith by my prayers, example and teaching to children and young people

c   the prevention of the abuse of children and young people (including physical, sexual and emotional abuse),  and will report any abuse discovered or suspected to the Designated Persons for Safeguarding (Stephen Hall and Annabel Roberts).  I understand that Illustrative examples of cause for concern are:

  • unexplained injuries on areas of the body not usually prone to such injuries
  • an injury that has not been treated/received medical attention
  • an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent
  • a child discloses behaviour that is harmful to them
  • unexplained changes in behaviour or mood
  • inappropriate sexual awareness
  • signs of neglect, such as under-nourished, untreated illnesses, inadequate care

I will endeavour to

d   treat all children and young people with respect and dignity befitting their age: watching language, tone of voice and posture

e   listen well to children and young people, paying attention to my assumptions and their body language and tone of voice.

f    not be alone with a child where their activity cannot be seen – including not being alone in a car

g   learn to control and discipline children and young people without using physical punishment, or shouting

h   not let children and young people involve me in excessive attention-seeking (including overtly sexual or physical attention)

i     speak to another member of staff if I believe that some staff behaviour may be misconstrued.

I will endeavour to NOT engage in any of the following in relation to children or young people:

j     invading privacy when they are using the toilet

k   rough, physical or sexually provocative games

l     making sexually suggestive comments about or to them

m inappropriate or intrusive touching of any form

n   scapegoating, ridiculing or rejection

  • inappropriate use of electronic communications (including texts, emails and social networking sites)

In the case of those over the age of 16 I understand that I am in a position of trust and that it is inappropriate to have a sexual or romantic relationship.

Deaconate Policy (November 2014)

What a deacon is

  • The Greek word Diakonos means servant.
  • The Deaconate is responsible for the leadership of the church, the fulfilment of its purpose, the pastoral care of its members and its day-to-day management and administration (Baptist Union Guidelines).  In giving the Deaconate this responsibility, the church members meeting also gives the Deaconate the authority necessary to undertake these tasks.  The Deaconate is individually and collectively accountable to God for its actions.  As part of this accountability, the Deaconate is accountable to the church members meeting
  • The Deaconate is made up of the Deacons and Minister (Deeds)
  • Baptist Churches are charities and get significant benefits (e.g. Gift Aid).  Those responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the charity are Charity Trustees and are responsible in law for the church’s decisions.  (Charities Act 1993). 

Current Working practice

The work of deacons takes place

  • as they meet together for a Monthly Deacons’ meetings and in the Monthly Church Members meeting
  • as they prepare the Annual Report (covering all church activities)  and present it at the Annual General Meeting
  • as they fulfil their individual responsibilities of overseeing activities in the church.

The items for discussion at Deacon’s meetings are:

  • any proposed change or cause for concern in any church activity, brought to the Deacons’ meeting by the Deacon with responsibility for the activity
  • any item flagged up at the AGM for consideration during the coming year.

Current Responsibilities

Note: These responsibilities evolve over time - as a result the following may not be completely accurate or exhaustive.

Corporate responsibility of the Deaconate: Morning Gathered Worship, Prayer and Praise, Seasonal Gathered Worship, Social Events including Polly’s, Pastoral Care (including newcomers, sick, elderly), Prayer

Delegated to a group in which a Deacon takes the lead: Value Builders and Safeguarding policy (Jo Boyns), Friday Friends (Jo Boyns), Messy Play (Alison Hallam), Messy Bible (Jo Boyns / Alison Hallam), Holiday Club (Nic Boyns), Youth Group Nic Boyns), Church at Lunch time (Nic Boyns), Morning worship Tea/Coffee and Welcoming (Alison Hallam), Morning Worship Intercessions and Readers (Nic Boyns) Music (Nic Boyns), Cleaning (Alison Hallam)

Delegated to a group in which the Deacon does not take the lead: Refurbishment (David Unit – Nic Boyns), Community Choir (Mary Wylie – Nic Boyns)

Delegated to an individual in the deaconate: Assemblies (Nic Boyns), Fair Trade (Wendy Hart), BMS (Alison Hallam), IT (Nic Boyns), External Bookings (Nic Boyns),  Health and Safety (Alison Hallam), Adults at Risk Policy (Wendy Hart), Church Secretary (Nic Boyns), Publicity (Nic Boyns), Gathered Worship Preaching, Leading & Themes (Nic Boyns), Funerals, Baptism, Weddings (Nic Boyns), Thurs evening housegroup (Chris Tanton),

Delegated to an individual not on the deaconate: Treasurer, including reserves policy (Tim Wylie – Alison Hallam, Nic Boyns), Morning housegroup (Emilie Fletcher - Nic Boyns), Newsletter (Ruth Ivimey Cook – Nic Boyns), Mon housegroup (Deb Unitt – Nic Boyns), Maintenance & Environmental (John Ruggles–Nic Boyns), Tear Fund (John Ruggles–Nic Boyns), Credit Union (Norman Braddick- ?? ), Counting Offering (Norman Braddick – Alison Hallam),

Eligibility of a Deacon (and Charity Trustee)

The requirement for a deacon in the early church were (1 Timothy 3) “8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  11In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  12A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.”   We believe that we need to apply the underlying principles of the above paragraph in our own social context, taking into account other scriptures, in particular “In Christ there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28), and “it is good to stay unmarried, as I am” (1 Corinthians 7:8)

No person may be a Deacon who is not a member of the church. No person may be a member of the church unless they:

  • hold the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ;
  • hold the authority of the Holy Scriptures and that interpretation of them usually called Evangelical; and
  • have made a confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Deeds).

A person cannot serve as a Charity Trustee if they: are under 18 years of age; have any unspent convictions involving deception or dishonesty; are an un-discharged bankrupt or insolvent; have been convicted of a serious offence involving children; have been removed from trusteeship of a charity for misconduct or mismanagement; have been disqualified from being a Company Director; or are unable to manage their own personal business affairs.  Charity Trustees may not be paid for their services out of charity funds, except for reasonable expenses or the minister’s stipend.

 

Eligibility of the Deaconate

  • A majority of Deacons shall be persons who have been baptised by immersion upon a confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Deeds)
  • A majority of Deacons shall be persons who are not, and are not married to, paid employees of the church. (Charity commission)
  • Given the current size of the church it is current view that less than 5 deacons would be less than satisfactory, and that it would be beneficial to have 6 or 7 (particularly in cases where deacons have significant responsibilities, either paid or unpaid, outside the church)

Charity Trustee job description

A good trustee will always act with integrity; in the best interests of the charity; and without regard to their own interests.

A good trustees group is: active; businesslike; communicates well with colleagues, volunteers, employees, and beneficiaries; enthusiastic about the work of the charity.

Charity Trustees should ensure

  • good management, taking as much care, and being no more reckless as a reasonable and prudent person would in dealing with their own affairs and finances
  • mutual accountability and openness.  This means sharing information clearly and openly with other trustees and members as appropriate and the church meeting, presenting information in a clear and complete way and inviting the views of others before taking a decision.
  • Good financial management, which includes regular review of income and expenditure against budget; a reserves policy; proper maintenance and annual presentation, examination and reporting of accounts; preventing expenditurewhich is outside the objectives of the charity, staying solvent, preventing fraud and scams, faithfully paying bills and expenses, collecting income,
  • That the charity is managed in accordance with the governing document.  Our Deeds say that our buildings are to be used by the church ‘in accordance with the principles of Protestant Dissenters of the Baptist Denomination’ as a place of worship for the Service of Almighty God, Instruction of adults and children and for the promotion of other charitable purposes in accordance with these principles.  Our Current document “Being Church” states that “It seems to be the New Testament model that people belong to a community in which has a focus on teaching, prayer, fellowship and service enabling people to freely repent and believe. (Acts 2:42,45). 
  • That the work of the charity is advanced (.e.g. strategy).  We are seeking ways in which we can faithfully embody the Five Core Values of the Baptist Union of being a prophetic, inclusive, sacrificial, missionary and a worshipping community.   We also seek to be a healthy church in which we are energised by faith, outward looking, seeking to find out what God wants, facing the cost of change and growth, building community, making room for others and doing a few things well.

Prayer and a desire to see God’s kingdom extended goes to the heart of being a Christian, so be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus  (1 Thessalonians 5.16 )

Becoming a Deacon

  • The election takes place at a Special Church Meeting which is announced for the previous two Sundays (Deeds)
  • Deacons need the support of not less than ⅔ of the members personally present, entitled to vote & voting.  (Deeds)
  • No distinction is made in the process of becoming a deacon between those who have previously served as Deacons and those who have not.

Our recent custom is

  • to pray at the church meeting (ideally two months before the election – usually in November) for guidance as to who should stand for election to the Deaconate
  • for members to nominate and second people to stand, and find out if they are willing to stand as Deacons, and then inform the church Secretary in writing.
  • for those to who are willing to stand who have been proposed and seconded to speak at a church meeting a month before the election (usually in December) and to answer questions about their calling
  • for an election to the Deaconate to take place at the start of the Annual General Meeting in January.
  • for the Church Secretary and the Treasurer to be selected by the deacons from among the deacons
  • for deacons serve for a term of three years, after which they may or may not feel called to serve again and be put forward for election again - we do not currently have a requirement for deacons to retire in rotation, (to avoid a complete change every three years) and we don’t have a requirement to stand down for a year after a term of office.
  • to conduct the election by secret ballot rather than by a show of hands.
  • For newly elected deacons to be given copies of: the trust deeds, the last annual report, the current policies, the current “Being a Christian” and “church membership” booklets and this “Being a Deacon” paper.

Complaints and grievance for volunteers (February 2015)

POLICY

CHBC recognises that volunteers have the right to raise grievances about any matter related to their volunteering (this could be in relation to another volunteer, a member of the paid staff, or the manner in which they are being treated by CHBC). In addition, any other person is entitled to make a complaint about the organisation.

It is hoped that most issues can be resolved through regular communications. However, where this is not possible, this complaints and grievance procedure is in place to ensure that all difficulties, issues or problems are dealt with in a prompt and fair manner.

PROCEDURE

  • If a volunteer, young person, parent or member of the public has a complaint against a member of staff, a volunteer or the organisation in general they should first discuss this with the Deacon responsible for the activity.  A note of the meeting and any action agreed should be written, signed by all parties, kept in a secure place and a copy given to the complainant.
  • If the Deacon responsible for the activity is the person whom the complaint is against then the matter should be referred to another member of the Deaconate
  • If the matter is not resolved at this initial meeting the complaint should be made in writing to the Deaconate. This will require a special meeting of the Deaconate. It will be dealt with within fourteen days and treated in a confidential manner
  • If the grievance or complaint remains unresolved the complainant has the right to request that the issue is referred to a mutually agreed Third Party.

 

Disciplinary procedure for volunteers  (February 2015)

1. Introduction and Purpose of the Procedure

Cherry Hinton Baptist Church is committed to creating an environment where all volunteers are able to perform to their best ability and achieve job satisfaction.  Cherry Hinton Baptist Church  also recognises that there will be occasions when disciplinary and/or performance problems arise.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that if such problems do arise, they are dealt with fairly and consistently.  This policy sets out the action that will be taken when problems occur.

The aim of the policy is to encourage improvement in individual conduct and performance and to minimise disagreements about disciplinary matters thereby reducing the need for “counselling out”.

2. Principles

If a volunteer is subject to disciplinary action:

  • The procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal consistently with disciplinary issues.
  • At every stage the volunteer will be advised of the nature of the complaint and given the opportunity to state their case in a meeting before any decision is taken on whether to impose a warning or other disciplinary sanction.
  • The volunteer will be given the opportunity to be represented or accompanied at any disciplinary meeting
  • In some cases an investigation will be required before any final decision is taken on whether to impose a warning or other disciplinary sanction. 
  • There is a right to appeal against any disciplinary action taken against a volunteer.

3. Informal Discussions/Counselling

Most disciplinary problems can be solved by informal discussions or counselling.  Before taking formal disciplinary action, the Pastor will make every effort to resolve the matter by informal discussions, which may include mediation, additional training, or support for the volunteer.  This would not be recorded as disciplinary action and would be seen as a process of constructive dialogue.

Only where this fails to bring about the desired improvement will the formal disciplinary procedure be implemented.

4. Formal Verbal Warning

If, despite informal discussions or training, the conduct or performance still does not meet acceptable standards, the volunteer may, following an appropriate disciplinary meeting, be given a formal verbal warning by their Line manager.  The volunteer will be told:

  • the reason for the warning
  • what the volunteer needs to do to improve the situation
  • a time frame within which the conduct or performance needs to be improved
  • any support or training that Cherry Hinton Baptist Church might provide to support the volunteer
  • that the verbal warning is the first stage of the disciplinary procedure

A brief note of the warning will be kept but it will lapse after 6 months, subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance.

5. Written Warning

If there is no improvement in standards within the prescribed time, or if a further offence occurs, the volunteer will receive a letter from their manager. The letter will contain:

  • details of what the volunteer has alleged to have done wrong
  • the reason why the current behaviour or performance is unacceptable
  • an invitation to attend a disciplinary meeting with the Pastor at which the problems can be discussed
  • information about the right to be accompanied at the disciplinary meeting
  • copies of any documents that will be referred to at the disciplinary meeting

The disciplinary meeting should take place as soon as is reasonably possible but with sufficient time for the volunteer to consider their response to the information contained in the letter.  The meeting will be an opportunity for both the volunteer (with their representative) and the Pastor to talk about the allegations being made, review the information with a view to establishing whether to progress the disciplinary action.

Where, following the disciplinary meeting, it is decided that no further action is warranted, the volunteer will be informed in writing.

Where, following the disciplinary meeting, the volunteer is found to be performing unsatisfactorily or their behaviour is deemed unsatisfactory, they will be given a written warning which will set out:

  • the performance and/or behaviour problem
  • the improvement that is required
  • the timescale and date for achieving the improvement
  • any support that Cherry Hinton Baptist Church will provide to assist the volunteer
  • a statement that failure to improve could lead to a final written warning and ultimately dismissal
  • a review date
  • the appeal procedure

A copy of the written warning will be kept on file but the warning will lapse after 12 months subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance.  Where a written warning is given, the Chair of the Board of Directors will be advised and kept up to date with any progress.

8. Final Written Warning

If the conduct or performance still remains unsatisfactory by the stipulated date, or if the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant only one written warning, a further disciplinary meeting will be called with the volunteer, their representative and the Pastor.  The disciplinary meeting will be an opportunity for the volunteer to answer the issues raised by Cherry Hinton Baptist Church.

Where this meeting establishes that there has been a failure to improve or change behaviour, then a final written warning will be given to the volunteer.  The final warning will:

  • give details of and the grounds for the complaint
  • set out the improvement that is required and a time frame
  • make it clear that any recurrence of the offence, lack of improvement or other serious misconduct within the stipulated period of time will result in dismissal
  • refer to the volunteer’s right of appeal

A copy of the final written warning will be kept on file but the warning will lapse after 12 months subject to satisfactory conduct and/or performance.

9. Dismissal

If the volunteer’s conduct or performance still fails to improve or if further serious misconduct occurs, the final stage in the disciplinary process may be instituted and the volunteer dismissed.  The decision to dismiss will be taken by the Deaconate following an appropriate hearing and the volunteer being given the opportunity to state their case and put forward any mitigating circumstances. Following the hearing the volunteer will be informed as soon as possible as to the outcome and if relevant the reason for the dismissal, the date on which the employment contract will terminate and the right of appeal.

10. Gross Misconduct

Where an volunteer is found guilty of gross misconduct, they will normally be subject to summary dismissal and the above procedures regarding progression of warnings will not apply.  Where there is an allegation of gross misconduct, a Deacon will carry out an immediate investigation. The volunteer will have an opportunity to participate in that investigation and put their case and answer the allegations of gross misconduct.  While the alleged gross misconduct is being investigated, the volunteer may be suspended, during which time they will be paid at the normal rate.  Such suspension is not to be regarded as a form of disciplinary action and will be for as short a period as possible.  Any decision to dismiss will be taken only after an investigation and a disciplinary hearing.

If, after investigation and disciplinary hearing, it is deemed that the volunteer has committed an offence of gross misconduct, the normal consequence will be dismissal without notice or payment in lieu.  The volunteer will be notified of the dismissal and appeal process as soon as possible.

The following list is a non exhaustive list that indicates the type of actions that may constitute gross misconduct,

  • theft, fraud, deliberate falsification of company documents
  • violent behaviour, fighting, assault on another person
  • deliberate damage to company property
  • harassment
  • being unfit for work through alcohol or illegal drugs
  • gross negligence
  • gross insubordination.

11. Appeals

If a volunteer wishes to appeal against any disciplinary decision, they must appeal, in writing within five working days of the decision being communicated to them to one of the Deacons.  The Deacon concerned will convene an Appeals Sub committee to hear the appeal and the volunteer will be invited to a meeting with the Appeals sub committee.  The volunteer will have the right to be accompanied to the appeal meeting.

The Pastor will not form part of the Appeal sub – committee and the decision of the Appeal sub-committee will be final. 

Grievance Procedure (February 2015)

The grievance procedure is intended as the tool by which a member of staff may formally have a grievance, regarding any condition of their employment, heard by the management of the Church. The aggrieved employee has the right to representation by a Trade Union Representative or a work colleague

In the event of a member of staff wishing to raise a grievance, it is preferable for the grievance to be satisfactorily resolved as close to the individual and their line manager as possible. It is understood however that this is not always possible and that a formal procedure is required to ensure the swift and fair resolution of matters which aggrieve the Church’s employees.

Time scales have been fixed to ensure that grievances are dealt with quickly, however these may be extended if it is agreed upon by both parties.

This procedure is not intended to deal with:

1. Dismissal or disciplinary matters which are dealt with in a separate procedure.

2. Disputes, which are of a collective nature and which are dealt with in a separate procedure.

Stage 1

An employee who has a grievance, should raise the matter with his line manager / supervisor immediately either verbally or in writing. If the matter itself concerns the employee’s immediate manager, then the grievance should be taken to their superior.

If the manager is unable to resolve the matter at that time then a formal written grievance form should be submitted.  It should state “I wish to take a formal grievance out against [Name] in line with the Church Grievance Procedure.  The details of my grievance are as follows [details].  Signed [signature].    The manager should then respond within 2 working days (i.e. the managers normal working days) to the grievance unless an extended period of time is agreed upon by both parties. The response will give a full written explanation of the mangers decision and who to appeal to if still aggrieved.

Stage 2

In most instances the Church would expect the mangers’ decision to be final and for the matter to come to a close. However, in some circumstances the employee may remain aggrieved and can appeal against the decision of the manager concerned.

The appeal, to the manager next in line, must be made within ten working days of the original response to the employees grievance. The appeal must be in writing and contain the original formal Grievance form. It should state “on [date] my grievance against [name] was heard by [name].  I am not satisfied with the outcome of this meeting and would like to appeal to yourself for a further hearing of my grievance, in line with the Church Grievance Procedure.  I enclose a copy of the original letter regarding this matter and other correspondence and information related to it.  Signed [Signature[“ 

This manager will attempt to resolve the grievance. A formal response and full explanation will be give in writing, as will the name of the person to whom they can appeal if still aggrieved, within 7 days.

Where the ‘next in line’ manager at this stage is a Deacon, then the grievance should immediately progress to stage 3.

Stage 3

If the employee remains aggrieved there will be a final level of appeal to the Deaconate. This appeal must be made in writing, enclosing a copy of the original Formal Grievance form, to the Deaconate within ten working days of receipt of the Stage 2 response, and should say “On [date] I appealed to against the decision made at my initial grievance against [name].  I remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this meeting and would like to appeal to you for a further hearing of my grievance, in line with the Church Grievance Procedure.  I enclose a copy of the original letter regarding this matter and other correspondence and information related to it.”

The Deaconate will arrange and hear the appeal with another management representative and respond formally with a full explanation within 20 working days.

Where a grievance is raised against a member of the Deaconate then the grievance will be heard by other Deacons

There is no further right of appeal. Where however both parties agree that there would be some merit in referring the matter to a third party for advice, conciliation or arbitration, arrangements will then be made to find a mutually acceptable third party.

Using mediation

An independent third party or mediator can sometimes help resolve grievance issues before it is necessary to invoke the formal procedure. Mediation is a voluntary process where the mediator helps two or more people in dispute to attempt to reach an agreement. Any agreement comes from those in dispute, not from the mediator. The mediator is not there to judge, to say one person is right and the other wrong, or to tell those involved in the mediation what they should do. The mediator is in charge of the process of seeking to resolve the problem but not the outcome.

The Church will seek to identify employees who have been trained and accredited by an external mediation service who can act as internal mediators in addition to their day jobs. When this is not appropriate the Church will source an external mediation provider. Mediators will work individually or in pairs as co-mediators.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for when mediation is appropriate but it can be used:

  • for conflict involving colleagues of a similar job or grade, or between a line manager and their staff
  • at any stage in the conflict as long as any ongoing formal procedures are put in abeyance
  • to rebuild relationships after a formal dispute has been resolved
  • to address a range of issues, including relationship breakdown, personality clashes, communication problems and bullying and harassment.

Mediation is not part of the Church’s formal grievance procedure. However if both parties agree to mediation, then the grievance procedure can be suspended in an attempt to resolve the grievance through that route. If mediation is not successful, then the grievance procedure can be re-commenced.

Personal Safety Plan

  • Always know how to get out of a situation. If you’re at home, in the church or visiting others, try not to be alone, and make a mental note of where the doors are
  • Always have your mobile phone to hand, and programme emergency contacts in on speed dial
  • If you’re meeting someone you don’t know, take along a personal attack alarm. Try to meet in a public place, or somewhere where trusted friends or relatives can check on you
  • At the meeting, make sure you know your surroundings. Check if there are locks near the door, and have an excuse prepared in case you start feeling worried and want to leave
  • Have your car parked and your keys available if you need to get away quickly. You have to make sure that people who work, volunteer in or visit your church are reasonably protected.

Electronic Communication

There are dangers associated with electronic communication that call for vigilance:

  • electronic communication is often an extremely informal mode of communication which can create the potential for communication to be misunderstood
  • because of the informal style of electronic communication, workers can easily cross appropriate boundaries in their relationships with children and young people
  • some adults who are intent on harming children and young people choose to use electronic communication as a way to meet and ‘groom’ children and young people

These guidelines regarding the safe use of electronic communication are designed to maintain healthy and safe relationships between adults and children. They acknowledge electronic communication as a legitimate means of communicating with children and young people only as long as strict protocols are followed concerning the nature of the communication.

Electronic communication must never become a substitute for face-to-face contact with young people. With the world of electronic communication changing so rapidly, it is not possible to issue guidance that covers all eventualities. However, there are some general principles that can help to ensure that the church’s overriding concern is for the well-being of the children and young people.

  • parents or carers and children and young people themselves have the right to decide if a worker is to have email addresses or mobile phone numbers etc.
  • workers should only use electronic means of communication with those children and young people from whom appropriate consent has been given
  • workers should not put any pressure on children or young people to reveal their email address, mobile phone number etc.
  • direct electronic communication with children of primary school age is inappropriate and should be avoided
  • only workers who have been appointed under the church’s agreed safeguarding procedures should use any electronic means of communication to contact children or young people on behalf of the church or one of the church’s organisations
  • contact with children and young people by electronic communication should generally be for information-giving purposes only and not for general chatter
  • where a young person in need or at a point of crisis uses this as a way of communicating with a worker:
  • significant conversations should be saved as a text file if possible, and
  • a log kept of who and when they communicated and who was involved
  • workers should not share any personal information with children and young people, and should not request or respond to any personal information from the child or young person other than that which is necessary and appropriate as part of their role
  • workers should be careful in their communications with children and young people so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation of their motives
  • clear, unambiguous language should be used, avoiding the use of unnecessary abbreviations
  • electronic communication should only be used between the hours of 8.00 am and 10.00 pm
  • e-mails to young people should include a church header and footer showing this to be an official communication from a youth team member

Mobile phones

  • mobile phone usage should be primarily about information-giving
  • ‘text language’ should be avoided so that there is no misunderstanding of what is being communicated
  • ‘text conversations’ should usually be avoided (that is a series of text messages/emails being sent to and fro between mobile phones)
  • the use of the phone camera should comply with the church’s policy on photos/videos (click here for further information on photography)
  • workers should not retain images of children and young people on their mobile phone

Instant Messaging Services (IMS)

  • the use of instant messenger services should be kept to a minimum
  • where a child or young person in need or at a point of crisis uses this as a way of communicating with a worker:
  • significant conversations should be saved as a text file if possible, and
    • a log kept of when they communicated and who was involved Social Networking sites
    • if youth leaders are going to communicate via social networking sites consideration should be given to creating a separate profile for the church group
    • alternatively youth leaders should consider having a site that is used solely for youth work communications which is totally separate from their own personal site
    • if youth leaders are going to use their own personal site they should ensure that all of its content is appropriate for young people to see
    • lower age limits of social networking sites should be adhered to (this varies for each site)
    • be aware of the content of photos that may be uploaded on to your site
    • be aware that children and young people could view photos and communications of other people linked to that social networking site
    • all communication with young people should be kept within public domains
    • workers should ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny
    • copies of communications should be retained and where possible other workers should be copied in on communication

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti, inspired by Maksimer