Complaints

The Church of Scotland strongly believes that a person with a legitimate grievance must be listened to and their complaint should be properly and fairly addressed.

The Church has three different complaints procedures in place to deal with inappropriate or unethical behaviour and to ensure that the Church is a safe and caring environment for all.

The role of the person being complained about will dictate which complaints procedure is followed.

I am complaining about a...

Minister, deacon or office bearer

These roles include Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Ordained Local Ministers, Deacons, Elders, and Readers

Local, regional or national member of staff

These roles include youth workers, organists, parish assistants, Mission Partners, and staff employed centrally in 121 George Street, Edinburgh

Council, committee or court

These include all councils and committees of the Church of Scotland.

Church member

An issue which involves a Church member (but not a minister, deacon or office bearer) will be referred straight to the local Kirk Session to be dealt with. Contact the Presbytery Clerk for your local area to discuss your complaint.

Contacting the police

In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to refer the matter to the police. This will be where criminal behaviour is alleged, such as where there are allegations of sexual misconduct, where vulnerable groups are involved or where allegedly there has been financial impropriety.

Anyone who becomes aware of offending of this nature is urged to contact the police immediately.

Safeguarding

If harm or abuse is suspected or witnessed, or is reported to you, you must immediately report it to the Church’s Safeguarding Service safeguarding@churchofscotland.org.uk

This information may then be shared with Police Scotland or local authority social work departments. The Safeguarding Service supports the whole Church in the UK and abroad.