Awareness & Safeguarding in our Catholic Communities

Sunday, 29 January 2017

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The Catholic Church's safeguarding programme involves us all: the Parish Priest, the Parish Co-ordinator, volunteers and the whole parish community.

ln St Margaret's we have a number of families with children of all ages and at all stages of their faith development. We are fortunate in having a number of Catechists who undertake the task of introducing the children to their faith and of preparing them for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, the Eucharist and Confirmation. We also have a number of volunteers who provide support to the children by presenting the Liturgy of the Mass of the day through a range of appropriately planned learning activities aimed specifically at meeting the needs of the age range of the children.

A further group of volunteers undertake the role of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, taking Communion to the sick or housebound.

As a parish, we warmly welcome and fully appreciate the contributions made by all those who volunteer, in whatever way and using whatever skills they may have, to enhance the spiritual and temporal life of our parish. ln law, anyone who works with children or adults at risk is obliged to undertake a PVG check, and in our parish this process is carried out by Rosemary Thomson, who has been approved by the Diocese to carry out the administration work involved.

The Bishops' Conference of Scotland has a further requirement that anyone who offers their services as a volunteer with vulnerable groups must complete an application form, self-declaration form and provide two character references. They are provided with a role description and go through an interview procedure with the Parish Clergy and/or the Parish Co-ordinator and, finally, all volunteers are obliged to attend appropriate safeguarding training for their role.

This information is presented to reassure you that all possible steps are taken to ensure that the children, young people and vulnerable adults in our parish are as safe as they can be when they are in our care. To anyone thinking of volunteering their services in this parish community please let this information be an encouragement and not a deterrent.

Please feel free to read the 'Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities' folder for more detailed information about the current Safeguarding Policy of the Catholic Church in Scotland or click here to go the Safeguarding website. As you may be aware the Safeguarding Policy will be subject to review following the report of the McLellan Commission.