One of the joys and experience here in the Cookhams is the number of children who are part of our congregations. they bring life and vigour to our community and an infectious enthusiasm for life, faith and worship.
It is a privilege for all of us to share ouir faith with them and to encourage them to develop their own patterns of believing. Matching that privelege is our responsibility towards them as we seek to organise their involvement, encourage them in membership of the church and nurture their relationship with God.
Such a duty of care cannot be taken lightly, and it is the responsibility of the whole church community to ensure that the children we involvewith our church have an experience which is both positive and productive.
I commend to you "Children and Young People in the Benefice of the Cookhams: Our Policy and Practice", which is absed on advice given to us by the Diocese and which we are adopting to ensure that our responsibilities towards the children in our care are carefully discharged. Our Policy and Practice also seeks to protect members of our congregation working with young people and, if followed, will ensure that they meet the requirements of the Children Act. Please contact the Parish Office for a copy of our Policy and Practice document.
It may seem to some that we are adding bureaucracy to a ministry which has been going on in this church so effectively for years. However, it is essential that we not only reflect the concerns of the wider community about the safety of children, but also ensure good practice in our ministry to them.
As a congregation, we need to ensure that young people's experience at Holy Trinity is positive and rich. Our prayers are not only for the children but also for those who give their time, energy and skills to work with them, for they lay down patterns that are frequently life-determining.
Michael Smith, Vicar, Benefice of the Cookhams