Keeping our congregations safe

On Saturday 4th November, Unitarian New Meeting Church in Birmingham played host to a Local Leadership Strategy Group training day on Safeguarding, led by Rev. John Harley, the General Assembly’s Safeguarding Officer, and Liz Hills, of Lewisham Unitarians.

It was a fascinating and insightful day. 25 Unitarians from around the District, and further afield, worked together on various aspects of safeguarding. Perhaps the most fascinating part was when we were divided up into small groups, and each group was given a scenario to consider, and asked: If this happened in your congregation, what would you think? what would you do? and what would you record? The scenarios were very cunningly written, and one of the main learnings I took from the day, is not to judge from partial information, but to ask open questions in order to get the full story. The other was how important it is to have good safeguarding practices in place, so that risks are minimised, and to keep a logbook to record any incidents.

The MUA of Lay Preachers and Service Leaders is very grateful to John and Liz for taking the time to share their wisdom with us.