Unacceptable Behavior



This policy is written bearing in mind “The Church of England is committed to encouraging an environment where all people and especially those who may be vulnerable for any reason are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety. Everyone, whether they see themselves as vulnerable or not, will receive respectful pastoral ministry recognizing any power imbalance within such a relationship.”[1] and “The Church is required by God to foster relationships of the utmost integrity, truthfulness and trustworthiness. Abuse, harassment and bullying will not be tolerated within the Church of England. All complaints of abuse, harassment and bullying are to be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”[2]

The Parish of Cirencester with Watermoor and Chesterton believes that unacceptable behaviour towards its staff, volunteers and visitors should not be tolerated within the Parish Domain[3] to ensure a safe environment.

All Parish Staff, volunteers and visitors should be protected to ensure that they can provide (and in the case of visitors receive) a quality service to all who ask for our help without fear of unacceptable behaviour.

We support everyone to work together to prevent unacceptable behaviour from occurring in the first place and be sensitive to the circumstances should it occur. Sensitive and informed pastoral care may be offered to anyone who has abused or suffered abuse, including support to make a complaint if so desired: help to find appropriate specialist care either from the church or secular agencies may be appropriate.

It is the responsibility of all to take reasonable care of the health and safety of him or her, and of other persons who might be affected by his or her actions.

Any allegations of mistreatment, abuse, harassment or bullying will be responded to without delay.

What is Unacceptable Behaviour?

Violence and aggression (whether physical or not) against another.

What is Non-Physical Aggression?

The use of inappropriate verbal (shouting or swearing) or written language, behaviour and gestures which causes, or is likely to cause, distress, fear, harassment, intimidation or threat.

What is Physical Aggression?

The intentional application of force against the person without justification which results, or is likely to result, in physical injury and/or personal discomfort. It is a citizen’s right to inform the Police if thought appropriate.

What can the Parish do as an employer to protect its staff and volunteers from unacceptable behaviour?

Be sensitively aware of the circumstances which may have led to perceived violence or aggression and to deal with accordingly.

Take preventative measures to minimise risk to staff, volunteers and visitors and to review this at least every two years.

Ensure that all paid staff and volunteers know to whom they must go for help, support and advice, when abuse of any kind occurs both in the first instance and thereafter.

Encourage the reporting of incidents of Non-Physical Aggression, Physical Violence and Persistent Unacceptable Behaviour to the appropriate authority.

What must a member of staff, volunteer or visitor do if they experience violence or abuse?

Receive immediate medical attention if physically hurt, record an entry in the site accident book.

Obtain names and addresses of the abuser(s) and any witnesses.

A member of staff or volunteer should inform their line manager or team leader of all the details of the incident both verbally and in writing.

A visitor should inform the Parish Office of all the details of the incident as soon as possible and as though they were a member of staff or a volunteer.

Complete any other “official” paperwork which may be necessary to record the incident.

Report the incident to the Police where appropriate.

[1]Church of England website

[2] House of Bishops 2001

[3] Parish Domain refers to its churches, halls and grounds associated with them

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