The Diocese of Willochra does not tolerate harassment or abuse in its church community and is committed to ensuring a safe environment in all its ministries.
- Safe Ministry requirements for ordination candidates, clergy, paid church workers and volunteers
- Licensing of all people ministering to those under the age of 18 years.
- Application of a Code of Conduct
- Providing clergy, lay people engaged in ministry and lay employees with Safe Ministry Education, including mandatory notification
- Publishing Guidelines for the Protection of Children involved in activities within the Diocese
Commissioning of independent status and compliance reports
- Establishment of a confidential complaint procedure
- Commitment to resolve complaints in a pastoral manner
- Establishment of the Healing Steps process to resolve complaints
Within the context of a pastoral relationship, the burden of responsibility for appropriate and helpful behaviour rests on the church worker, ordained or lay. People who come to a church worker for help are particularly vulnerable to abuse of power and trust. Within a pastoral relationship, it is always a breach of professional ethics for overt sexual activity or sexually suggestive behaviour to take place, no matter who initiates it and no matter how willing the participants say they are.
Sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by a church worker may also be a breach of the criminal law. Whether or not there has been a breach of the criminal law, if the ethics of a ministry relationship are breached, the church must respond.
Church workers are accountable for all their relationships whether directly related to their role in ministry or not. Always, the church worker’s relationships must reflect the integrity between the church’s relationship with all people and its witness to the Gospel.
In all instances of sexual abuse the church will respond with a concern for justice and for the healing of those affected by it.
The Willochra Diocese has established an ordinance which outlines principles for the establishment and operations of a Professional Standards Committee and Director.
The Anglican Diocese of Willochra regards open communication and feedback as essential elements of satisfying and productive work and faith communities. The Diocese already has a comprehensive Professional Standards regime in place to deal with complaints where the complaint concerns behaviour by Church Workers that calls into question their fitness to hold a position in the Church.
However, the Professional Standards regime does not cover all complaints nor all members and employees of the Church. Grievance issues can be terribly damaging to communities. Interpersonal disputes and conflict between members of a parish and between employees in a workplace can fracture relationships and damage not just individuals but whole communities.
Diocesan Council has adopted an overarching Grievance Policy which implements the principles enunciated by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia in Being Together: Expectations of behaviour in our church community. The purpose of this Policy is to provide an avenue through which members and employees of the Anglican Church in the Diocese can resolve complaints as they arise, without fear of unfair treatment or victimisation and in the knowledge that their privacy will be protected.
Click on the links to download a PDF of the relevant documents.
The Professional Standards Ordinance 2016
The Professional Standards Protocol 2020
The Professional Standards Communications Protocol 2020
The Professional Standards Regulations 2020
The Professional Standards Checklist
Professional Standards Complaint form.