Appendix 7: Covenant of Responsibilities template for worship
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Covenant of Responsibilities
Between The Safeguarding Panel of [Insert name of church] Church of Scotland Congregation, and [Insert name of Subject]
[Name] wishes to worship with the Congregation and the Congregation welcomes/provides [amend accordingly] the opportunity for [Name] to attend worship, provided that the conditions contained in this Covenant of Responsibilities are met, in order to ensure the safety of children, adults at risk of harm [amend accordingly], as well as [Name] and others associated with the Congregation.
If the conditions contained in this Covenant of Responsibilities are not met, [Name] will be unable to attend Worship and any concerns about [Name] will be shared with the relevant authorities in terms of section 5 below if deemed necessary.
2. Key terms
In this Covenant:
'Children' means a young person under the age of 18.
'Adult woman' is a female over the age of 16 based on biological determinism.
'Adult male' is a male over the age of 16 based on biological determinism.
'Adult at Risk of Harm' means adults who are aged 16 years or over and:
- Are unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interest; and
- Are at risk of harm; and
- Because they are so affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.
'Church' means [insert name and address of the church building or buildings].
'Congregation' means [insert name of congregation].
'Safeguarding Panel' means those members appointed to the Safeguarding Panel by the Kirk Session of [Name of Congregation] or those persons who may be co-opted onto the Safeguarding Panel to assist in the management of this Covenant of Responsibilities as and when required.
'The Safeguarding Service' is the department of the Church responsible for ensuring a 'safe place for all', located at The Church of Scotland Offices, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN.
'Worship' means attending services and Bible study of the Congregation, discussion or faith development groups or any other similar activities which take place in the Church or any other buildings or places associated with the Church which, for the avoidance of doubt, could be a person's home [amend accordingly as required].
'Other Church Activity' means any other activities organised under the auspices of the Church and may include, for example, concerts, fundraising events and other social occasions.
3. Attendance at worship
[Name] agrees to sit [describe area or other aspects of attending worship] as agreed and designated by the Safeguarding Panel who will monitor [Name].
[Name] agrees to [add additional conditions e.g., covering entering or leaving worship, using toilet facilities, attending tea/coffee, singing in choir etc. as may be required].
[Name] agrees not to be in a situation where he/she is alone with children or adults at risk of harm or other persons [Delete as required] or to enter rooms or shared areas inside or outside the church where he/ she could be alone with children or adults at risk of harm or other persons [Delete as required].
[Name] realises that he/she will not be allowed to take up any post, position of trust, responsibility or leadership within the congregation. This includes any duty or responsibility on behalf of the Congregation which gives lone access to the Church and contact with children or adults at risk of harm or other persons [Delete as required]. It also covers duties or activities away from the church for any organisation or individuals where [Name] may be viewed as representing the Congregation or the wider Church.
The subject agrees to decline invitations to visit the homes of members and adherents of the Congregation for social visits, house groups or other congregational activities. Should the situation arise where the Safeguarding Panel deem this suitable, before approval they must seek advice from the Safeguarding Service.
Members of the Safeguarding Panel will provide the supervision and support of [Name] to enable him/her to be included in Worship.
[Name] should seek the guidance of a member of the Safeguarding Panel in the event of there being any issues related to this Covenant of Responsibilities where advice or support is required.
5. Sharing of information
The Safeguarding Panel fully understand the sensitive and confidential nature of the information contained within this Covenant of Responsibilities and will not disclose the information to a third party (i.e., someone out with the Safeguarding Panel) without the consent of [Name]. The Safeguarding Panel agrees that any disclosure of information will be kept to a minimum appropriate in the circumstances.
However, [Name] accepts that should any concern about their conduct arise, the Safeguarding Panel, at its sole discretion, will report that conduct to the Safeguarding Service, the police and any other relevant body, including the Criminal Justice Service.
6. Duration and review
This Safeguarding Covenant will remain in force for as long as the Safeguarding Service, in keeping with Safeguarding Policy, considers that this is necessary, having regard to the circumstances.
The Safeguarding Panel and [Name] will attend regular meetings to formally review this Covenant of Responsibilities at which will be present, where appropriate, representatives from the Safeguarding Service and those working with [Name] from Police, Criminal Justice and other agencies except where it has been agreed that such a review process has progressed to a more remote review.
The next review meeting will be held:
If there are concerns about [Name's] compliance or other factors relevant to the management of this Covenant of Responsibilities, a review meeting can be called at any time.
7. Support and pastoral care
For the duration of this Covenant of Responsibilities, pastoral care will be provided by [Name]
IN WITNESS WHEREOF: These present, consisting of this and the preceding [number] pages, are signed as follows:
In the presence of