The last meeting of diocesan synod for 2018 took place this weekend at County Hall in Truro.

Safeguarding formed the main part of the meeting with the Safer Recruitment policy currently being developed by the diocesan safeguarding team, being the focus.

Sarah Acraman, Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, and Sue Day, Diocesan Safeguarding Governance Manager, gave a presentation to members that not only clearly set out the importance of parishes taking safeguarding seriously, but also asked for help in developing the policy.

Sarah told members: “Not only do we need to do all we can to stop anyone wishing to do harm from having a role in church which gives them that opportunity, we also need to ensure we look after ourselves and our volunteers. It is important that we do not ask people to take on roles beyond their capabilities. That people have opportunities to say when they don’t understand or are struggling. Ultimately, it is about people feeling valued and respected.”

Sue and Sarah posed a number of questions for members before they retired to the Long Gallery to work in groups to answer those questions. Lively debate followed with previously unknown issues raised. It was questioned as to whether Church Representation Rules may need changing to enable a culture change within the church in regard to safer recruiting of PCC officer roles. There was also a suggestion that in terms of the Church, Safer Volunteering may be more appropriate.

The groups’ feedback will form part of the work the safeguarding team are doing on the policy with further parish input wanted in the lead up to May 2019.

The rest of the meeting included reports from the Diocesan Board of Education, Transforming Mission, Environment and Never Alone as well as a precis of the September synod’s group discussions around what their priorities for this next triennium are.

Having begun with worship in the form of prayer stations, which was very well received, Bishop Chris closed the meeting with prayer.

The synod presentations and the Presidential Address are available to view on the diocesan website at

To contact the Safeguarding team click here