Standards for Clergy and Church Workers

The standards applying to clergy and church workers are contained in Faithfulness in Service.

A full copy of Faithfulness in Service can be found here: Faithfulness in Service – Anglican Diocese of Newcastle – August 2019

These standards apply clergy and to church workers which means a lay person who is licensed by the bishop of a diocese, a lay person employed by the parish, a lay person in a parish who, for payment or not, holds a position or performs a function with the actual or apparent authority of a church authority or church body, including an office, position or function including leadership in a parish, or ministry as a churchwarden, member of any parish council or member of any committee constituted by a parish council.

PUTTING FAITHFULNESS AND SERVICE INTO PRACTICE

3.6     It is clergy or church worker’s responsibility to be aware of and meet the standards of Faithfulness in Service.

3.7     If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) have overall authority in a church body, you are to ensure that all clergy and church workers for whom you are responsible are made aware of Faithfulness in Service.

3.8     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not penalise, discriminate or take action against other clergy or church workers because of any action taken in good faith under Faithfulness in Service.

PASTORAL RELATIONSHIPS

4.6     If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) have overall authority in a church body, you are to ensure that clergy and church workers for whom you are responsible are provided with:

  • a safe working environment, including safe housing, where housing is provided;
  • opportunities to maintain and enhance their ministry skills; and
  • personal encouragement, support and regular feedback.4.8     When exercising pastoral ministry you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not inappropriately to discriminate between people.

4.9     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to disclose confidential information received in pastoral ministry to your spouse, family, friends, colleagues or any other person without the consent of the person providing the information, except where:

4.7     When exercising pastoral ministry you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to act in the best interests of those to whom you are ministering. You must recognise any potential conflict of interests and take steps to resolve it.

  • the information is known publicly;
  • as required or allowed by law; or
  • it is in the public interest (such as to avoid the risk of serious injury or harm to any person).

4.10    When you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are on leave or unable to fulfil your responsibilities through illness or any other reason, you are to make alternative arrangements for pastoral ministry.

CHILDREN

5.8     If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) have overall authority in a church body, you are to ensure that:

  • proper systems for the safety and welfare of children participating in the church’s pastoral ministry are implemented and maintained;
  • all applicable requirements of the civil authorities, the church authority and the church body are complied with; and
  • all clergy and church workers for whom you have responsibility and who work with children:
    • comply with all civil and Church screening and selection requirements;
    • receive regular training in child protection; and
    • are aware of the provisions of Faithfulness in Service relating to children.

5.9     If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are exercising a pastoral ministry involving children in a church body you are to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and welfare of the children in your care.

5.10   You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not abuse children.

5.11   When engaged in pastoral ministry you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not administer corporal punishment to children in your care.

5.12   You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not make available to children any prohibited material, except wine in the context of a Holy Communion service.

5.13   Before you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) allow a person who is currently charged with or convicted of an offence against a child to participate in activities involving children, you are to:

  • consult the Director of Professional Standards;
  • ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken; and
  • be satisfied that no child will be at an increased risk of harm.

5.14   If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) know or reasonably suspect that a child is at risk of harm from child abuse, you are to report this to the appropriate civil authorities.

5.15   If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) know or reasonably suspect that another member of the clergy or a church worker has abused a child, you are to report this to the appropriate civil authorities and the Director of Professional Standards.

PERSONAL BEHAVIOUR

6.3     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not engage in:

  • bullying;
  • emotional abuse;
  • harassment;
  • physical abuse;
  • sexual abuse; or
  • spiritual abuse.

6.4     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not abuse your spouse, children or other members of your family.

6.5     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to be responsible in your use of alcohol and other mind altering or addictive substances or services.

6.6     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not undertake any pastoral ministry when you are impaired by alcohol or any other mind-altering or addictive substances.

6.7     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not use any prohibited substance.

6.8     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to take property belonging to others, including intellectual property.

6.9     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not knowingly to make statements that are false, misleading or deceptive.

6.10   You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not knowingly to use offensive language.

6.11   Without a legitimate purpose you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to not view, possess, produce or distribute restricted material.

6.12   You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to observe the law, other than any law that:

  • is contrary to the Holy Scriptures;
  • unjustly prohibits the practice of religion; or
  • prohibits civil disobedience.

SEXUAL CONDUCT

7.4     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to set an example of integrity in relationships and faithfulness in marriage and not engage in disgraceful conduct of a sexual nature.

7.5     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to:

  • sexually abuse an adult;
  • sexually abuse a child;
  • engage in prostitution;
  • visit brothels and other places associated with the sex industry without a legitimate purpose;
  • view, possess, produce or distribute restricted material containing sex or nudity without a legitimate purpose; and
  • view, possess, produce or distribute any form of child pornography or child exploitation material.

FINANCIAL INTEGRITY

8.4     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to avoid payment of your just debts and family support obligations.

8.5     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to engage in tax avoidance.

8.6     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to seek personal advantage or financial gain for yourself or your family from your position or from a pastoral relationship, beyond your stipend or wage and recognised allowances and deductions.

8.7     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are not to allow yourself to be influenced by offers of money or financial reward.

8.8     You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to avoid situations of conflict between your personal financial interest and your pastoral ministry responsibilities.

8.9       You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to arrange your personal and church finances to ensure that clear account and transaction boundaries are maintained.

8.10   You (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) are to fully disclose and be publicly accountable for all church monies which you handle.

8.11   If you (as a member of the clergy or a church worker) have overall authority for financial management in a church body, you are to ensure that:

  • proper systems for financial integrity and accountability are implemented and maintained;
  • all clergy and church workers for whom you have responsibility and who have authority for financial management in a church body are informed of their roles and responsibilities; and
  • all stipends, wages and allowances payable are adequate, and paid promptly and in full.

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