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Church Urged to Maintain Safeguarding Standards

Thursday May 25 2023


The Church of Scotland has been reminded that tiredness is no excuse for not maintaining high safeguarding standards.

On the final morning of the General Assembly, Adam Dillon, the convener of the Safeguarding Committee, acknowledged that ministers and members might be tired under the weight of everything the Church is currently going through.

But, he said: “Let me be abundantly clear, in a world where people in positions of trust have maliciously and sinfully and criminally abused and sexually assaulted young children, vulnerable adults, women and men, we cannot say, I’m too tired for all that.

“And in a society where trusted leaders, and at times too, trusted religious leaders have violated every norm, expectation and ounce of integrity when they prey on women and girls, using the pastoral tool for misconduct and abuse, assault and infidelity whilst destroying lives and congregations, we cannot say, ‘I’m too tired for all that.’

“We must humbly say that this Kirk, imperfect as it is, must do everything it can to robustly safeguard its people, its volunteers and those it reaches out to in Christ’s name from the fear of abuse, assault or harm of any kind.”

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The convener of the Pensions Trustees, Graeme Caughey, told the Assembly that each of the Church of Scotland pension scheme sections was either in surplus, or very close to it. “(This) is the gold standard to which the Pensions Regulator aims all schemes towards. We are already there,” he said.

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The convener of the Nomination Committee, the Rev Julie Rennick, said that for the first time in her tenure as convener they had received enough nominations for all the positions they were required to fill. She said: “There are still those who are prepared to offer their services to the wider church, there are still those who are prepared to give their time and skills and share their knowledge and understanding to help us move forward, embracing necessary change and finding a new and hope-filled future – this gives me hope, even in these demanding days.”


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