Methodist Church makes further progress on safeguarding

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The Methodist Council has heard of the progress made by the Church in addressing the concerns of the Past Cases Review.

The independent review, which reported in May this year, made 23 recommendations about how the Church could become a safer space for all, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults.

The Council, meeting from 12 to 13 October in Hoddeston, heard that significant progress had already been made in implementing the recommendations of the report. This includes the creation of a draft supervision policy for ministers, guidance on best practice for record-keeping and storage and a review of the Church's safeguarding training material. Until the Methodist Church has more robust accountability processes in place, there will be an annual independent audit of progress on the recommendations.

"The recommendations invite us to explore ways of developing excellence in our practice in accountable ways," said the Revd Helen Cameron, Assistant Secretary of the Methodist Conference and a member of the Past Cases Review implementation Group. "They also invite us to ensure that ministries offered in the name of the Methodist Church promote the fullness of life for which Christ came."

The Methodist Council also received a report from the Methodist Academies and Schools Trust (MAST) and which detailed how MAST might work to more effectively help its schools to navigate the process of academisation.

The report stated that; "If the Methodist schools can become successful academies with a confident witness to the Christian/Methodist ethos at their core...the Church will be fulfilling its responsibilities to nourish and celebrate strong and productive schools."

Other matters discussed by the Council included the Church's response to the refugee crisis, property matters and a report from the Methodist Heritage Committee.

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