School Scripture

Smithfield Baptist Church is an accrediting body for our SRE (school scripture) lessons. As a result we are required to provide the relevant information for interested parties regarding :

Please direct any questions to Pastor Chris (see Contact Us).

Background: Smithfield Baptist Church Safety Policy

Our mandate comes directly from God. God identified classes of vulnerable people who were to be protected and given special care and treatment in society because of their powerlessness (e.g. Ex 22:21-22, Deut 10:17-19, Jer 22:2-4, James 1:27).

Protection of vulnerable people is our responsibility. This policy takes into consideration all vulnerable people in our churches, whether they be children, young people, elderly, those with disabilities or the emotionally and or spiritually vulnerable (i.e. those under the authority of church leaders).

We affirm that all people have the right to be emotionally and physically safe, respected, and have their views and opinions valued at all times.

We also live in a country that legislates for people’s safety, particularly in the area of child protection. Our policy has been developed to help us live out our Biblical mandate and our responsibilities under NSW legislation.

Our policy has the following goals:

  • To minimise the risk of abuse, ministry misconduct and the misuse of positional power within the church and outside our church building.
  • To ensure that all cases of suspected abuse and ministry misconduct are handled in a consistent, unbiased and thorough manner.
  • To ensure that leaders and programs are safe.
  • To ensure that all people are respected and valued, irrespective of their gender, age, country of origin, cultural heritage, socio-economic background or ability.
  • We also comply with all safety & reporting procedures in all the schools that we teach in.

The next sections will explain our commitment to :

  • Being Safe Leaders/SRE teachers/volunteers
  • Having Safe Programs

Being Safe Leaders/SRE teachers/volunteers

We commit to:

a. Safe recruitment of leaders:

  • We will screen all prospective Ministry Coordinators, Team Leaders and Team Members in our ministries, before they are appointed.
  • For those working with children we will recruit using the Working with Children Check Guidelines for NSW leaders.
  • We will have a minimum church attendance policy for all prospective volunteer leaders.

b. Adequate training of leaders.

  • We require that all leaders attend a Safe Church Awareness Workshop within their first year of ministry and attend a refresher workshop every 3 years.
  • We require all leaders to attend additional Safe Children training every year.

c. Continued supervision of leaders.

  • We commit to ongoing leadership training, supervision and support for leaders.
  • All leaders will agree to follow our Leader’s Code of Conduct.

d. Responding to allegations of risk of harm (abuse) and serious ministry misconduct.

  • All leaders will report disclosures or suspicions of child abuse, according to state legislation by using the procedure in the Safe Church Manual.
  • Where a leader has an allegation of ministry misconduct made against them the Baptist Union Complaints Process will be followed.

Having Safe Programs

We commit to:

a. Emotionally safe environments.

  • We will offer participants, including children, the opportunity to provide input in the programs and the activities in which they participate by fostering and valuing their ideas, and encouraging participation in all areas of the life of the church, as far as is sensible and practical.
  • We will obtain appropriate information relating to the program participants, including children’s health and family situation, to ensure that we are able to care for their physical and emotional needs.

b. Safe physical environments.

  • All leaders to will follow the Safe Church Procedures for Safe Physical Environments.
  • Leaders will exercise a duty of care through the use of forms, checklists and templates in the Safe Church manual for establishment and maintenance of safe environments in our church.
  • Leaders will adhere to the safety and report procedures in place in the various schools that qualified members minister to.

c. Church Safety Team

  • A “Church Safety” Officer or team will be appointed to ensure that the following areas are incorporated into establishing and maintaining a safe physical environment: fire safety, building safety, first aid, food safety practices, and risk assessment for activities, adequate ministry supervision for activities, transport, critical incident and emergency recommendations.

d. Yearly Approval for Ministry

  • Team Leaders are to complete a written ministry approval process annually. Team Leaders submit their plans to their Ministry Coordinators or Senior Church Leadership who grant ministry approval.

**Those that are deemed qualified to teach and have a desire for it will be sent by the church fully equipped and aware of safety issues and conduct requirements in the schools.