The Digest, our Parish magazine, comes out monthly. Here are a couple of articles from April’s edition. To read more, pick up a copy from Church when you are next there
From our Lay Reader….
I hope you have all had a happy Easter, I find it to be one of the best times of the year with the promise of new hope, new life and a looking forward to the future.
my job as a post office clerk I often have to deal with people who would be classed as vulnerable. They may have mental health issues, special needs or disabilities. Some may need extra care or help because of their age or lack of understanding. How we care for and treat those who need help defines what sort of society we live in. There have been times when I have been at a loss on how to handle someone because of the type of problem they may have had. Although I have taken many courses on how to do my job the Post Office has never seen it as important to teach me how to care for my customers.
Life with Jesus for the disciples was one long course he was constantly teaching them about God, about himself and about how they should care and treat other people. In Mark 10:13-16 people brought little children to Jesus for him to touch and bless them. The disciples tried to stop them they even spoke sternly to them. In those times children did not count as very much, to their parents they were very important, and they were loved and cared for, but society as a whole did not regard them as worth anything until they became adults and if you were female, then you were still second class. Jesus turned that on its head he treated everyone the same, women, children, poor, sick and old. He saw the worth in everybody and he cared for all. Over the three years of his ministry he tried to teach to his disciples that they had to care for the vulnerable as well as those who society deems useful.
church has not always followed Jesus teaching and individuals within the church have mistreated and abused those they should have been protecting. It is important that the church not only condemns such abuse but is seen to be doing something to ensure that vulnerable people are safe and protected within our churches and that we as church members have guidance, so we may be able to spot someone who needs help.
DBS checks are one way of protecting the vulnerable but there are probably abusers out there who would pass those checks. So, it is also important that we know what to look for and do if we suspect someone is being abused or is an abuser. The safeguarding courses the Diocese has offered to church members are another way that awareness can be raised so we can make our churches safe havens for all. I have been on these courses, they are not hard or onerous, there is no exam at the end, they were interesting and informative and opened my eyes to things I had not been aware of before.
Jesus could see into the hearts of those around, we cannot, so it is important that we are equipped to make our churches safe havens for the vulnerable in our society.
God bless us,
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