Friday, 27 December 2013

From the "Can't Win Either Way" Files (c/o the Daily Telegraph)

The Telegraph complains about the degree to which the Church of England carries out CRB checks.

Among the posts for which people had to be CRB'ed were organist (somebody who is in a position of authority, including for young people); night-shelter worker (somebody in a position of care for vulnerable adults); bell tower captain (see organist), bell ringing instructor (see bell tower captain) and bereavement visitor (see night-shelter worker).

Yes, the most important thing is that procedures are in place, that policies are visible, taken seriously and enforced.

But if an Anglican church didn't check a bell tower captain, organist or Sunday club leader who later turned out to be a convicted sex offender, do you think the Telegraph would be charitable, and in favour of dispensing with such checks?

No, I don't think so, either.


  1. The reality is that DBS Checks are a necessary evil and good governance. Recent convictions of Clergy from Chichester Diocese highlight the issues that can develop when safeguarding is slack or non-existent. I was CRB's twice within 12 months. Once for my role in my parish and than again when I started the Discernment process. I had no complaints on either check and welcomed the opportunity to contribute towards my vocation to serve.

    The new DBS system makes it simpler with online working and the need to be checked only once instead of having separate checks for each area that you work in that might have people who fall into the safeguarding criteria.

    And finally, what on earth has it got to do with the Telegraph - nosy blighters.

  2. I am dubious about such checks, having worked in Probation and social work prior to being in ministry, as I think it is a box-tiding exercise rather than truly concerned with safeguarding, and certainly not about changing behaviour.

    But I certainly agree that the Telegraph is quick enough to condemn but will be slow to support..

  3. My thoughts exactly. The Church can't win in the eyes of the media - damned if we do and damned if we don't and something happens. Sigh....


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl