The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is our church’s governing body and also the board of trustees which oversees the church’s charitable works and money. It carries out its work in an open and transparent basis while ensuring it complies fully with its legal, spiritual and moral responsibilities. As such, it sets out its approach to a number of essential areas in a series of regularly reviewed policies, which are set out below.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 16 September 2021

In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy our church is committed to:

  • Promoting a safer environment and culture.

  • Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.

  • Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.

  • Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.

  • Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.

  • Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.

The Parish will: 

  • Create a safe and caring place for all.

  • Have a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.

  • Safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.

  • Ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.

  • Display in church premises and on the front page of the parish website the details of who to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.

  • Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.

  • Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance, including notifying the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and statutory agencies immediately.

  • Offer support to victims/survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.

  • Care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.

  • Ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.

  • Inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Team if we use an alternative DBS Umbrella Body to APCS and if we receive any DBS Disclosures that contain information.

  • Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices at least annually.

Each person who works within this church community will agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.

This church appoints Mr Roger Grant as the Parish Safeguarding Officer.

Incumbent: Rev Keith Johnson

Churchwardens: Mrs Julia Grant, Mr Frank Hawkins

Date: 16 September 2021


Our Safeguarding Officer is:

Roger Grant

safeguarding@​hughenden​parish​church.​org.uk

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 20th January 2022. It should be read in conjunction with the Health & Safety Local Organisation & Arrangements Document (LOAD), which sets out who is responsible for specific actions and the detail of what we are going to do in practice to achieve the aims set out in this Statement. Together these documents form our Health & Safety Policy.

As a church we understand that we owe a duty of care to ensure the safety of those who visit or use our church and associated grounds and buildings. We also seek to protect those people that work at the church, including volunteers and contractors, and we have a legal obligation to comply with applicable health and safety laws.

Our overarching objective is to ensure that:

  • so far as is reasonably practicable, our activities are carried out safely and do not pose a risk to the health of our workers, congregation, visitors and others who may use the church, churchyard or any other building we are responsible for;

  • our activities are carried out in accordance with good practice and that, where they apply, we always comply with any relevant statutory provisions.

The PCC accepts it has overall responsibility for achieving this objective and will ensure that adequate resources are made available to achieve it and that our decisions have due regard for it.

It is the duty of all of those who work in the church, to exercise personal responsibility for their own safety and that of others. We seek to ensure that everyone involved with the church plays their part in the implementation of this Policy. To help achieve this, the PCC seeks to create a culture of respect and responsibility amongst its committee members and those who work on its behalf such that, together, we strive to meet the following 3 aims every day:

  1. Zero incidents: Ensure that the church remains an incident-free environment that prevents injuries and illnesses by mitigating risk.

  2. Zero harm: Promote the wellbeing of others through safeguarding, pastoral care and engagement.

  3. Zero compromise: Empower people to feel that they can challenge any unsafe conditions, acts or disrespectful actions.

We will keep health and safety matters under review at appropriate intervals. We will monitor the effectiveness of the Policy, amending it where it is no longer valid or needs enhancing.

This Policy will be brought to the attention of all of those who work in the church (including volunteers and contractors). Furthermore, a copy of it shall be put on display at the Church and kept on our electronic ‘Sharepoint site’ (which can be accessed via the website), such that it can be made available to others on request.

The document was approved at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 20th January 2022. This document should be read in conjunction with our Statement of Health & Safety (H&S) Policy and our Environment Policy.

Organisation & Responsibilities

The Parochial Church Council (PCC), as governing body, has overall responsibility for implementing our policies. They will ensure that:

  • The standards set out in the policies are implemented and maintained;

  • Where necessary, specialist health & safety or environmental assistance is obtained;

  • Any hazards/unsafe acts are reported and where appropriate investigated, and that they are rectified/dealt with as soon as practicable;

  • Only competent persons will be put to work for matters of construction, repairs, modifications, inspections and testing;

  • Any accidents and significant near miss incidents are investigated, recorded and, if necessary, reported to the relevant enforcing authority (usually the HSE) in a timely manner;

  • Relevant documents and records, such as Health & Safety risk assessments are in place and retained;

  • They keep up to date on health and safety matters relevant to the Church;

  • They set a personal example on matters of health and safety.

The Churchwardens have day-to-day responsibility for implementing our Health & Safety Policy and our Environment Policy. So far as is reasonably practical, they will ensure that:

  • All workers are aware of their safety, health responsibilities including the provision of adequate information, training and where necessary, supervision, for those that need it;

  • In the role of controller of premises, they do not endanger those who work within the Church buildings, churchyard and carpark including the provision of safe access and egress;

  • Adequate precautions are taken (as set out in this document and related risk assessments) such that provisions for the purpose of work are safe including that:

    • people have access to personnel protection equipment (where required); and

    • that there is a safe means of handling, using, storing work related substances and equipment;

  • Adequate provision of welfare facilities for those at work;

  • Any hazards/unsafe acts are rectified/dealt with as soon as practicable;

  • Where hazards cannot be rectified satisfactorily in the short term, interim measures are put in place to prevent danger;

  • All accidents and significant near miss incidents are reported in-line with the requirements of this document;

  • Advice is sought where clarification is necessary on the implementation of this document;

  • They set a personal example on matters of health and safety.

All workers (including volunteers and contractors) have a responsibility to cooperate in the implementation of the H&S Policy and to take reasonable care of themselves and others while on church business or premises. They will ensure that they:

  • Read the policies and this document and understand what is required of them (seeking clarity from the churchwardens where there is doubt);

  • Complete their work taking any necessary precautions to protect themselves and others;

  • Comply with the law and any safety rules, operating instructions and other procedures related to their work;

  • Report any hazard, defect or damage so that this might be dealt with effectively;

  • Warn any fellow workers of known hazards;

  • Attend any briefings or training required to enable them to carry out their duties safely;

  • Do not undertake any construction, repair, modification, inspection or test unless they are competent to do so;

  • Report any accident or significant near miss to a churchwarden or other member of the PCC;

  • Do not misuse anything that has been provided for the purpose of ensuring the health and safety of people (workers and/or visitors);

  • Co-operate with churchwardens, Responsible Persons (identified in this document) or the PCC on matters of health and safety.

H&S Organisational Structure

See pdf for diagram of organisational structure.

Schedule of Responsible Persons and First Aid & Accident Provisions

Accountable: Churchwarden 1

Contact No.

 

Responsible Persons*

Named Person

Bell Ringing & Tower

First Aid (nominated First Aider)

Fire & Electricity

Personnel Wellbeing

 

Accountable: Churchwarden 2*

Contact No.

 

Responsible Persons

Named Person

Cleaning & Security

Churchyard Maintenance

Building Maintenance

Carpark

Special Projects

*where role is not fulfilled by another, the Responsible Person defaults to the Churchwarden

First Aid & Accident Reporting

In addition to the nominated First Aider above, the following First Aiders have made themselves known to the PCC in connection with this Church:

First Aider

Contact No. (optional)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Locations of First Aid boxes are as follows (look for the Green/White First Aid signs):

Building

Location

Church

Back of church on shelves adjacent to the Vestry

Church House

Back of kitchen adjacent to sink

The Accident Book is located in the Vestry at the back of church.

Definition of responsibilities

Responsible Persons

To support the Churchwardens in the effective discharge of their accountability (to ensure we comply with the Policy), Responsible Persons are appointed.

These persons will take ownership of matters of Health and Safety for their respective areas of responsibility by:

  • creating and keeping up to date such risk assessments as are required for their area of responsibility (building on those existing and identified in the Organisational Structure above);

  • taking the necessary steps to carry out the operations and affairs of the church in a safe, healthy and respectful manner;

  • ensuring that the precautions and risk controls identified within the risk assessments are in place;

  • ensuring that employees, volunteers and contractors working in their area of responsibility, are briefed on the hazards and risks that remain;

  • ensuring that there is a safe system of work (SSOW) in place for any high-risk activities and that personnel involved in such activity are competent.

Role of the H&S Representative

There is no one individual that is accountable for matters of health and safety on the PCC. The PCC acts as a Body Corporate, with a H&S Representative who is responsible for the following:

  • Taking the lead on Policy review and on carrying out annual audit and inspections to check that it is being complied with on behalf of the PCC;

  • Acting as key contact for any H&S concerns raised by PCC or the congregation;

  • Supporting responsible persons in their duties, including in respect of creating and maintaining risk assessments;

  • Providing guidance for an incident investigation and advising on how lessons might be learned and implemented following incidents;

  • Advise on the need to seek external advice and expertise.

General Arrangements

This section sets out general details of what will be done in practice to achieve the aims & objectives of our policies and to ensure that the responsibilities set out above can be discharged.

Risk Assessment

We will complete and keep up to date risk assessments to identify what we need to do and provide to comply with health & safety law and other legislation relating to the environment.

We will record our findings and ensure that adequate and appropriate provisions are put in place. We will seek to follow good practice with regard to precautions and risk controls we put in place.

We will review and revise these where we consider that they are no longer valid.

Information and Training

We will provide any necessary information and briefings or specific training for our workers involved in hazardous activities, in a timely manner.

We will keep a record of what is provided.

We will also give relevant information to contractors and self-employed people who may need this to complete their work safely.

First Aid

We will appoint first aiders as we consider appropriate and provide adequate first aid facilities including – as a minimum – a suitably stocked first aid box and a person who will take charge of the first aid arrangements (the nominated First Aider).

We will also provide appropriate signage to help people to identify the first aid provisions.

Accident & Significant Near Miss Reporting

We will keep an accident book and record details therein. Entries will be archived appropriately including after any investigation.

All accidents or significant near misses must be notified to the PCC. A significant near miss is an incident which had the potential to cause a significant injury or death, and includes any dangerous occurrence as defined under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

We will report to the relevant enforcing authority (usually the HSE) and keep records of certain accidents to employees, volunteers and members of the public in accordance with the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Monitoring

We will make periodic checks to ensure that our precautions remain effective and adequate. We will also ensure that any work equipment, electrical equipment and church utilities are inspected in accordance with statutory requirements, to ensure that they remain safe.

Where appropriate, we will keep records of the checks we make.

Monitoring of any temporary works or hired lifting equipment shall be the responsibility of the external organisation providing it.

Contractors

If we engage contractors, we make sure that they have their own health & safety policy and Public and Employers Liability Insurance by asking to see copies of the relevant documents.

Record Keeping

Our Health and Safety Risk Assessments, records and other documents such as our Policies are held electronically on the Church Sharepoint site.

Specific Arrangements

This section is an overview of the specific risks identified in relation to health and safety at our Church. It is not the intention of this section to take the place of risk assessments, which have been prepared separately.

In this section, a hazard is something that could cause harm to our people, such as chemicals, electricity and working at height. A risk is the chance – however large or small – that a hazard could cause harm and takes account of the consequence should it occur.

Access & Egress

Where we anticipate busy services or events, we will take measures to manage the safe use of the carpark. We will prohibit the reversing of vehicles down the church footpath/driveway (only upwards) except where a specific banksman is in place. We will endeavour to avoid using the footpath/driveway for vehicles and deliveries during busy periods.

We will provide information and signage on the locations of exits.

Where we make a wheelchair available to assist those in need to gain access to the church, we will ensure that people providing such assistance understand how to use it safely, with particular reference to the sloped footpath/driveway.

Asbestos

Since removal of asbestos in the basement, the church is now free from the presence of asbestos.

Bell Ringing

We will ensure that adequate precautions are in place to protect bellringers and others who may enter the ringing room and bell chamber. This will include any emergency evacuation procedure, a safe means of heating, the provision of fire extinguishers, the provision of emergency lighting, and the briefing of safety procedures to visiting bellringers.

Church Buildings

We will ensure that the fabric of our buildings is regularly inspected to make sure it is safe. Defects will be repaired as soon as is practicable bearing in mind that a faculty may be required. Where necessary, temporary measures will be taken to prevent danger until permanent repairs can be made.

Churchyard

We will ensure that boundary walls and gates are kept in good repair. We will ensure that any trees of specific concern are inspected by a competent person and have any necessary work carried out to make them safe. Headstones, tombs and monuments will be checked regularly to ensure they are in a safe condition.

We will carry out grounds maintenance in accordance with Canon F13, having due regard for the biodiversity within it. Appropriate safety measures will be put in place for mowing, strimming, hedge-trimming and other associated activities.

Construction Work

Where construction, demolition, maintenance, refurbishment and restoration work is planned for our church, we will identify what we need to do to ensure the safety of all those concerned before work starts and engage with competent contractors to carry out work. We will determine if we have any responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and comply with these if necessary, appointing a competent representative or agent to ensure our Client duties are effectively discharged.

Coronavirus

We will comply with the latest government and Church of England guidance and provide measures such as sanitiser and encouraging people to wear face masks, in accordance with our assessment of the risk at the time.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

Where our workers regularly use computers daily in connection with church operations, for continuous periods of an hour or more, we will provide information on how to set up their workstation and assist with the provision of reasonable measures upon request, to help avoid injury.

Electricity

We will ensure that any electrical system, fixed machine and portable appliances are maintained so as to prevent danger, including annual check of the electrical system and PAT testing from time to time. Any defective equipment will not be used until it is repaired or replaced. We will keep records of the checks made where appropriate.

Events

Where we intend to hold large services or events, we will identify any additional precautions that are necessary and implement these.

Fire

We will complete a specific risk assessment to ensure there are adequate and appropriate fire safety measures to prevent, detect and provide safe egress in the event of a fire, and thus minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire.

We will record our findings and implement any necessary precautions and risk controls. We will review and revise these where we consider that they are no longer valid.

Grave digging

We will employ a competent contractor to carry out work, whose responsibility, amongst others, will be to ensure that safe digging practices are employed, and precautions are taken to safeguard the public against falling into open excavations.

Heating Systems

We will ensure that any oil or gas heating system is suitably maintained and checked annually by a competent person. Any defects found will be corrected in a timely manner and we will keep records of the checks made.

We will ensure that adequate precautions and risk controls are in place in relation to the basement, which we have classified as a Confined Space due to the potential for the presence of carbon monoxide and low oxygen in the atmosphere, and relatively poor access & egress.

Hazardous Substances

We only use domestic cleaning or horticultural products, fuels and lubricants. We will ensure that these are stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions taking, any necessary precautions that are specified. We will lock away substances that could cause harm if misused.

Lifting Equipment

Where we have such equipment on site, it shall be the responsibly of the external organisation providing it to ensure that it is properly maintained and thoroughly examined periodically by a competent person.

Manual Handling

We will identify circumstances where our workers could be put at risk of muscular-skeletal injury and provide advice where appropriate. We will avoid the need for lifting or carrying heavy objects as far as is possible. Where this is not practical, we will make use of lifting aids (such as trolleys) or other precautions including team lifting.

Mental Health

We will look out for each other and be alive to the potential for people around us to be suffering from poor mental health and seek to provide support through signposting to appropriate care. Where considered appropriate, we will do this in connection with our Safeguarding Policy.

Oil Storage

Where we continue to store large quantities of oil for heating purposes, we will take adequate precautions to ensure that oil cannot leak into the ground, basement or any water course. This includes storing the oil in a double skinned tank, deliveries by a competent organisation and regular checks.

Preparation of Food & Drink

We will ensure that on those occasions when we prepare or provide food and drink for the public (congregation or visitors), we use a clean and disinfected work surface, utensils and equipment and comply with food hygiene laws. We will store food and drink in such a way as to avoid contamination, providing hand-washing facilities and suitable arrangements for the disposal of waste.

Where people provide food prepared in their own premises, we will request that people apply the same principles as the above.

Safeguarding

Whilst this is subject to a separate Policy, we will follow statute, guidance and recognised good practice, in particular the Parish Safeguarding Handbook.

Slips and Trips

We will implement suitable precautions to prevent slips or trips, taking account of any difficulty the frail, elderly or disabled may have in negotiating access. We will make periodic checks to ensure that floors, coverings, steps and pathways remain in good condition, free from obstruction and that any precautions (such as, handrails or lighting) remain adequate. We will correct any defects identified, keeping records of the checks we make. We will have arrangements in place to manage pathways in winter weather.

Welfare facilities

We will provide suitable and sufficient welfare facilities for our workers including provision of a place to prepare food or hot drink with potable drinking water, toilets, as well as adequate lighting and heating.

Working at Height

Where possible we will try and avoid the need for work at height. Where this is not practicable, we will ensure that any work is properly planned to identify suitable precautions. We will make sure that these are implemented, including the provision of any training and checks to ensure the safety of any equipment used. Those using ladders will be requested to have a second person to assist them.

Work Equipment

Any work equipment (including any hand tools) we provide will be suitable, in good condition and properly maintained. Where necessary, some equipment (such as, ladders) will be regularly checked to make sure they are safe. Where required, we will keep records of any checks we make.

Where people provide their own tools, we will request that people apply the same principles as the above and take measures to do checks prior to their use, where we suspect equipment may not be suitable.

Working Alone

We will identify circumstances where our workers are at work alone and implement suitable precautions to ensure their safety. Where people are alone on the premises, we will encourage them to keep a phone on them and have the numbers of Churchwardens and Clergy readily available for their use if required.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 30th November 2021. It should be ​read in conjunction with the Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) Local Organisation & Arrangements Document (LOAD).

As a church we understand that our buildings and grounds are part of the natural environment and our community’s heritage. We seek to carry out our actions in a manner that protects, and where possible enhances, the environment, local biodiversity and the heritage of our buildings, to ensure that we continue to serve our community responsibly.

Our church and its grounds are nestled in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as The Chilterns and are within the grounds of Hughenden National Trust. Although a substantial amount of the original 1100’s church has been rebuilt, it remains a Grade II* listed building and has a rich history that is part of our local heritage. There is a need to provide an environment within the church that is suitable for meditation and worship. We have the use of the now fully restored Church House within the grounds, which was formerly a home for monks and a priory. The church is a prominent landmark within the grounds of Hughenden Manor and the recreational area known as Hughenden Park. The grounds themselves have great significance to the people who use them for reflection and restoration and to those who visit loved ones who are buried there. Furthermore, there is an ancient Yew Tree and many hedges and areas of meadow, which are home to a variety of biodiversity.

Thus, our overarching environmental objective is to be a socially responsible and sustainable church for future generations by ensuring that:

  • so far as is reasonably practicable, we limit our impact on the local environment and its biodiversity;

  • we invest in the upkeep of our churchyard and buildings;

  • we contribute to the preservation of our world by seeking to minimise waste & carbon emissions and maximise re-use & recycling;

  • we seek out opportunities to engage with our community and other stakeholders to use and enjoy the church;

  • our activities are carried out in accordance with good practice and that, where they apply, we always comply with any relevant statutory provisions.

The PCC accepts it has overall responsibility for achieving this objective and will ensure that adequate resources are made available to achieve it and that our decisions have due regard for it. We expect each employee, volunteer and contractor to exercise personal responsibility for the environment and we seek to ensure that everyone involved with the church plays his or her part in the implementation of this policy. We will keep environmental matters under review at appropriate intervals. We will monitor the effectiveness of the policy, amending it where we believe it is no longer valid.

This policy will be brought to the attention of all employees, volunteers and contractors. Furthermore a copy of it, and the associated LOAD, shall be put on display at the Church and kept on our electronic ‘Sharepoint site’ (which can be accessed via the website), such that it can be made available to others on request.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 16th November 2021.

Complaints about how our church discharges its safeguarding responsibilities should be addressed to our parish safeguarding officer or to vicar.

Complaints other than Safeguarding issues should be directed to the vicar.

Parish Safeguarding Officer

Mr Roger Grant

safeguarding@hughendenparishchurch.org.uk

Vicar

Rev Keith Johnson

keiththevicar@gmail.com

Complaints about the incumbent (our vicar) or the parish safeguarding officer should be addressed to the area bishop or archdeacon.

Bishop of Buckingham

Rt Rev Alan Wilson

bishopbucks@oxford.anglican.org

Archdeacon

Ven Guy Elsmore

archdeacon.buckingham@oxford.anglican.org

Concerns which someone feels they cannot raise through these channels can be directed to the diocesan bishop or, for safeguarding issues, to the diocesan safeguarding adviser with a request that the individual’s identity is withheld from those in our parish.

Diocesan Bishop

Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft

bishop.oxford@oxford.anglican.org

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser

Louise Whitehead

louise.​whitehead@​oxford.​anglican.org

Those who raise issues under this provision must have a reasonable belief that it is well founded.  However, appropriate action will be taken if a malicious allegation is made.

It should be understood that the church cannot act on anonymous allegations or take formal action in the absence of reasonably substantiated concerns. That stated, if an investigation is required, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that this is appropriate and practical in the circumstances.

The person raising complaints or concerns will be informed of the outcome subject to the normal rules on confidentiality of personal information.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 3rd March 2022.

Key principles

  1. The PCC is the body that oversees and controls the church’s money. The members of the PCC, appointed under the Church Representation Rules, are also the trustees of the PCC as a charity (Charity Commission number 1193227) and are stewards of the funds entrusted to them. They will strive for absolute transparency and accountability at all times in the management and handling of PCC finances.

  2. All Christians are called to be generous according to their means. Members of our congregation are encouraged to give to their local church, to help keep their heart and prayers rooted with their brothers and sisters in Christ.

  3. Prayer for God’s wisdom is at the heart of our financial decisions, in particular in finding income to meet the church’s needs, in determining the budgets for those needs and in handling our finances.

  4. The annual setting of budgets will be based on the vision for the church and the priorities that are determined from that, in addition to considering the views of PCC members and working group The financial objective should be to operate annual expenditure within income, with any excess transferred to the PCC’s reserves.

  5. This policy, and compliance with it, will be reviewed every two years or sooner if an amendment is required.

Financial administration

  1. Appointments.

    1. The Treasurer will be appointed in accordance with the Parish Representation Rules.

    2. The PCC’s Standing Committee, which is appointed in accordance with the Parish Representation Rules, will have day-to-day oversight of financial matters. This includes a remit to develop a report on the current financial position for presentation at each PCC meeting.

    3. An Assistant Treasurer will be appointed to collate congregation collections, pay cash into the bank, receive payments for funerals / weddings (unless paid by bank transfer) and provide records of such occurrences to the Treasurer.

  2. Financial year. The PCC’s financial year runs from 1st January to 31st December. The Treasurer and Standing Committee will prepare a proposed annual budget for the PCC to review and approve no later than the final PCC meeting of the preceding year.

  3. Annual financial statements. After the end of the financial year, the accounts for that year will be finalised and audited. The financial statements and auditor’s report will be presented to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, which usually takes place in April. Rule M5(1) of the Parish Representation Rules provides further detail of the annual reporting requirements.

  4. Regular financial updates. At each PCC meeting, the Treasurer should present an Income & Expenditure report along with their summary of the financial year to date and projected forecast.

Congregational giving

  1. Collections at services. Collections may be made during services and donors are encouraged to use gift aid envelopes if their personal circumstances Regular donors are requested to set up bank standing orders to ease the administrative burden of their giving.

  2. Cash donations. The sidespersons must count and record the money, before storing it in the safe. The Assistant Treasurer must bank the money as soon as possible, certainly within 7 days of the donation. All money must be paid into the bank; none should be used to pay, or part pay, Regarding recording:

    1. The sidespersons must:

      1. Record what is given on which day and at which service;

      2. Retain any gift aid envelopes, for the assistant treasurer to open and record;

      3. Count the money and sign the record.

    2. Cash sheets must be agreed with the bank paying in slips; and

    3. Cash sheets and paying in slips must be retained, along with the other accounting records, for 7 years.

  3. Electronic giving. The PCC has the ability to receive debit/credit card donations, for preset amounts using the in-church electronic donations box or for any amount through the Virgin Money Giving portal, via the church website.

  4. Use of donations. Money will be used for general funds, unless specified at the time of Where the donation is made for a specific purpose, the record should state that purpose and the money should only be used for such.

  5. Confidentiality. Only the Treasurer shall have access to donors’ giving details.

  6. Retiring or special offerings. At the vicar’s discretion, retiring or special offerings may be taken at funerals, in response to national or international appeals, for visiting speakers, In such cases, these are separate to PCC funds and the PCC will not retain any of the money.

Expenditure

  1. Supporting staff. The organist, verger and administrator are self-employed. Payments for services to individuals who are not on the PCC’s payroll should be carefully considered to ensure that the PCC does not become liable for a PAYE or national insurance liability.

  2. Expenses. People conducting business on behalf of the church or PCC may claim expenses for costs incurred, such as travel or training; where outside of the normal, they must be agreed in advance. The vicar’s expenses signed off must be reviewed and approved by a churchwarden; others’ expenses must be reviewed and approved by the vicar and a Any expenses paid to or on behalf of a trustee or a connected person must meet the following criteria, to help ensure there is complete accountability and that the trustees are seen not to have obtained an inappropriate benefit:

    1. It is supported by documentation for all elements of the expense, which should be ‘third party’ documentation wherever possible;

    2. Explanation of the purpose of the expenditure is detailed including who was involved (e.g. if a group is travelling, details of who is in the party – especially if there are close relatives of the trustee);

    3. The payment should be authorised by a responsible official other than the trustee in question; and

    4. No cheque should be signed or payment authorised by that particular trustee.

  3. Prior approval. Ordinarily, no PCC money should be spent without prior approval, whether budgeted for in the annual budget or by approval of the PCC. The Standing Committee may approve emergency payments of up to £2,000.

  4. Discretionary or hardship support. Any requests for assistance with someone’s basic needs will be considered jointly by the vicar (or associate minister, if the vicar is unavailable) and at least one churchwarden. Basic needs could include: accommodation costs (mortgage or rent), utility bills (electricity, gas, water or council tax), transportation to or from a place of employment, children’s school expenses or funeral Any support would only be provided on a short-term, interim basis and would be limited to £1,000. Needs that may not be met include, but are not limited to: needs of individuals who are wanted by the police or for paying fines as a result of breaking the law, penalties relating to late payments or irresponsible actions, business ventures or business debts, or gambling debts.

Prevention of fraud

  1. Regular review of records. At each Standing Committee meeting, the Committee must review the transaction log and bank account reconciliation sheet(s) for all transactions since the last meeting.

  2. Preferences. Payment by bank transfer should be used wherever Large cash payments should be avoided.

  3. Cheques. Where payment by cheque is necessary:

    1. No cheques should be signed in blank, i.e. without all details being completed prior to being signed.

    2. Persons authorised to sign cheques should ask to see supporting evidence (eg invoices, till receipts ) which they should initial before signing the cheque. The signatory should be satisfied that the proposed payment is a valid expense of the charity.

    3. Cheque books should be securely kept preferably locked away when not in use, so that none is accessible by any but those that have signing authority.

    4. All cheque stubs should be completed with the name of the payee and also a cross reference to a document which clearly explains the purpose of the payment.

    5. The accounting records of the bank accounts should contain the details of not only the purpose of the cheque but also the payee details, the date issued and the cheque Cheques should not be paid to ‘cash’ unless essential (see below in relation to cash payments).

  4. Documentation. Documentation for payments must be held in all cases. Wherever possible, third-party documentary evidence of the expense must be held (e.g. a supplier invoice) which has clear internal authorisation for the payment recorded on it plus, if paid by cheque, a reference to the cheque number of the cheque used to make payment. Where third party documentation is not available (such as ‘gift’ payments), an internal record must be made detailing the reason for the payment. The form should then be ‘receipted’ by the individual receiving the funds signing the form to confirm their receipt of the monies. All such documentation must be stored in a clear order and retained for 7 years.

  5. Information security. Passwords and anti-virus software must be used on any computer system processing the church’s financial information. Passwords must be securely stored and shared with an authorised person, such as an auditor, only if absolutely. Regular back-ups of the data should be taken and securely stored.

Bank accounts

  1. Overview. The PCC has a main bank account for ‘running income and expenditure’, a deposit account and an account to receive income via the electronic donations system. Any changes to bank accounts, such as changes of signatories, requires an approved PCC Any new bank accounts must be in the name of the PCC and not in the name of one of the trustees, staff or volunteers.

  2. Regular reconciliation. Each bank account held must have its income and expenditure recorded in accounting records, with that information reconciled to the bank statements monthly.

  3. Electronic payment authorisation. As part of their routine duties, the Treasurer may make electronic bank payments of up to £1,000 in a single Payments over £1,000 must receive additional approval, recorded by exchange of emails, from one of the following:

    1. Vicar

    2. Churchwarden

    3. Chair of the Standing Committee

  4. Cheque payment signatories. Two of the following must countersign any cheque payments:

    1. Main account and electronic donations account: Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Vicar, Churchwardens, Chair of the Standing Committee.

    2. Deposit account: Vicar, Chair of the Standing Committee, Churchwarden.

  1. Internal funds. The Treasurer must maintain separate internal funds to segregate money for ‘reserved’ These are: organ, financial inclusivity (see below), buildings & amenities, altar furnishings.

Considerations for trustees

  1. Trustees should be aware that under UK charity law and principles, remuneration and benefits to trustees are only permitted in very narrow circumstances. In most cases, specific legal authority is needed. “Benefit” includes any property, goods, or services which have a monetary This principle does not forbid the reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses, nor expenses incurred as a necessary part of fulfilling the trustees functions in the charity. ‘Expenses’ does not include a payment to a person for their time in acting as a trustee.

  2. In this context the rules apply not only to the trustees themselves but also their spouses, close relatives, business partners or sometimes others closely connected to them or their businesses.

  3. Particular situations that can arise in churches where care is required:

    1. Where a trustee or their business provides a service to the< church.

    2. Where the spouses or children of trustees are employed or considered for employment or sponsorship by the church.

    3. Where gifts in recognition of personal esteem, or additional financial support are given to the church to give to a trustee.

  4. The Charity Commission’s guide CC11 “Payment of Charity Trustees” should be read by all trustees so that amounts are not paid which inadvertently breach these principles.

General points

  1. Gift Days. Gift Days can be useful means of making up a revenue deficit or to raise money for specific The PCC will decide annually if it wishes to hold a Gift Day and what it wants to allocate the money to. Of note is that if the Gift Day is focussed on raising money for external charities, the church cannot claim the gift aid on the money donated.

  2. Stewardship. Each year, the PCC will decide if it wishes to include a place in the church’s programme to highlight Christian Stewardship and, in particular, ask congregation members to review their giving in the light of budgets.

  3. Mission. The Mission Support Group will oversee the allocation of financial support to external causes, in accordance with the annual budget as agreed by the PCC.

  4. Hiring out of rooms or facilities. The Standing Committee will determine a fee structure for the hiring out of Church House and other facilities, and present that to the PCC for endorsement.

  5. Church House and Cottage. Church House and Cottage is owned by a separate charitable trust: “The Church Hall Hughenden”, Charity Commission number 203042.

  6. Financial Inclusivity Fund. The PCC will hold a fund to enable all of the congregation, whatever their economic position, to attend more expensive events, such as a church weekend Congregation members should ask the vicar or event organiser if they would like to receive such support.

  1. Tax legislation. The PCC will comply with relevant legislation relating to VAT, PAYE, national insurance, National Living Wage and the provision of competent, external, financial The PCC will seek to reclaim VAT where possible in accordance with prevailing Government rules (see www.lpwscheme.org.uk/eligibility_checklist.html).

  2. Gift Aid. The PCC will seek to claim Gift Aid annually in accordance with prevailing Government rules.

  3. Insurance. The PCC will hold a comprehensive insurance policy that covers church and Church House activities; the Church Wardens will be responsible for this.

  4. Contractors and settling of invoices. Where the PCC has the need to appoint an external contractor, three quotations should be received prior to a contract being The church should pay invoices promptly, generally within 10 working days, as a sign of Christian witness to suppliers.

  5. Audit and compliance. An honorary auditor will be sought and appointed, to enable the PCC to comply with all legal requirements for submission of data, such as by the Charity Commission, HMRC, Oxford Diocese, etc.

  6. External funding. Should the PCC foresee the need to seek external funding for a major project, it will determine at the outset whether it wishes to seek money from external sources such as trusts, members of the local community, visitors, the National Lottery, etc.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 19th September 2019.

This policy applies to all members of the PCC, the Standing Committee and any other committees or working parties set up by the PCC.

Introduction

A conflict of interest is any situation in which a member’s personal interests or loyalties could prevent, or could be seen to prevent, the member from making a decision only in the best interests of the PCC. Such a situation may arise either:

  1. where there is a potential financial benefit to a member, whether directly or indirectly through a connected person (such as a close family member or business partner);

  2. or
  3. where a member’s duty to the PCC may compete with a duty of loyalty he or she owes to another organization or person (eg by virtue of being a trustee or committee member of a body which has an interest in the matter).

The Policy

  • It is desirable that any conflicts of interest are declared to the Chair of the meeting as soon as the agenda is circulated. They must also be declared at the meeting when the relevant agenda item is reached.

  • Where a conflict of interest arises in connection with a personal benefit, the member concerned must withdraw from the meeting and not take part in any discussions relating to it.

  • Where a conflict of loyalty arises, the PCC will consider what level of participation, if any, is acceptable on the part of the conflicted member, having regard to the duty to act in the best interests of the PCC. However, the normal expectation will be that the conflicted member should withdraw from the meeting during discussion of the item of business in question.

  • A member need not withdraw from a meeting if his or her interest (whether financial or non-financial) is common to a group of persons and is neither (i) significant nor (ii) substantially greater than the interests of other members of that group.

  • The existence of a conflict of interest must be recorded in the minutes, together with the decision as to how it should be dealt with.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 30th November 2021

  1. Purpose of this policy. This policy sets the Church’s understanding of data protection and the policies the PCC uses to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018, which encompassed the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  2. Why the PCC needs this policy. The Data Protection Act 2018 places a responsibility on all organisations that handle personal data to protect that information. It also states that charities and other organisations must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office under various circumstances, including if they use Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for crime prevention. The specifics of the church’s use of CCTV are covered in a separate

  3. Why the PCC collects information. The PCC may collect data on individuals for the following purposes:

    1. Administration of financial accounts and records.

    2. Advertising, marketing and public relations.

    3. Officer holder, subcontractor and volunteer administration.

    4. Administration of membership records, including the generation of the church’s Electoral Roll.

    5. Fundraising, including the generation of Gift Aid returns to HM Revenue & Customs.

    6. Realising the objectives of a charitable organisation or voluntary body.

  4. How the PCC collects information. The PCC may collect personal information when individuals contact with it, such as when they:

    1. Visit the church website.

    2. Register their details using a paper form or via an electronic form on our website. c.Make a donation, by completion of offering envelopes or by electronic means.

    3. Register for a course or other church event.

    4. Communicate with the PCC, such as face-to-face or by email, letter and telephone.

    5. Access social media platforms, such as Facebook.

  5. What the PCC does with collected information. The PCC processes and stores information in the form of paper and computer records; its preferred method of storing personal information is in its computer database called ChurchSuite. Data security and privacy information about ChurchSuite can be found on the ChurchSuite website: https://www.churchsuite.com

Policy statements - how the PCC will handle and protect personal information

  1. The PCC complies with all aspects of data protection legislation, adhering to the eight principles of the These principles specify the legal conditions that must be satisfied in relation to obtaining, handling, processing, transportation and storage of personal data.

  2. The PCC will not pass personal data to third parties without the explicit consent of individuals, except when permitted by law under the following exceptional circumstances:

    1. Where the PCC is legally compelled to do so.

    2. Where there is a duty to the public to disclose.

    3. Where disclosure is required to protect an individual’s interest.

    4. Where disclosure is made at an individual’s own request or with their consent.

  3. The PCC will use a standard statement whenever personal data is collected. Individuals submitting their information on a paper or electronic forms will be required to date the form (whether in writing or by electronic date stamp) to indicate they have given their consent. If individuals provide their personal data verbally, such as in person or over the telephone, the person receiving the information will read out the statement and record the date when the individual’s consent was given. The statement for use is:

    I consent that this information may be used to contact me about St Michael & All Angels Church activities, used for church administration purposes and stored in computerised or paper formats. I am aware that, in compliance with UK data protection law, the church will store my information securely and will never pass it to a third party without my explicit permission. I am aware that I can contact any of the church’s officers or administrators at any time to withdraw this consent and to ask that any information held about me is permanently destroyed.

  4. Under UK law, children are able to give consent at age 13, which means that consent should come from the child rather than the parent/guardian from age 13 unless there are other reasons why the child does not have the capacity to consent.

  5. The PCC will permit access to an individual’s own personal data upon request at no Such requests should be made to the Incumbent (the Vicar).

  6. The PCC will update an individual’s information when notified, typically through the My ChurchSuite tool.

  7. The PCC will delete all paper and electronic records about an individual when that individual, or their empowered representative, asks the PCC to do so or when the PCC no longer has a need to retain that This will apply unless that information is a legal record, such as an entry in the church’s registers, or where the information is required to support an investigation.

  8. The PCC will do its best to ensure all people acting on its behalf are conversant with data protection legislation and practice. All people with access to personal data, other than data which individuals agree to share with the church community, will be asked to read, understand and comply with this They will be requested to do so again every 3 years or whenever there is a material change to this policy.

Who will have access to personal data

  1. Individuals are able to share as much, or as little, of their personal contact information with other church members as they would like, setting that level of access using their individual ChurchSuite login.

  2. Individuals who are church officer holders or who hold voluntary roles within the church will be asked to confirm their consent before their contact information is published or

  3. Where individuals provide their own contact information for publication (such as on a poster, for a notice in the pew newsletter or for an article in Outlook magazine), their consent for that particular publication will be implied.

  4. Where individuals provide their bank account details, for the purposes of receiving reimbursement for expenses paid, their consent to share that information with the PCC’s bank will be implied.

  5. The PCC will control access to the main ChurchSuite database by:

    1. Providing individual logins and requiring people to set their own, strong passwords.

    2. Providing access to the various modules within the database on a “need to access” basis only; the modules containing Children’s and Giving information will have additional password controls applied. Examples of people who may need access to the main database include the Ministry Team, the PCC Administrator, members of the PCC and rota coordinators.

    3. Controlling access via a Data Controller and other specified administrators, who will be the only people who can access and set these security parameters.

Oversight of personal data

  1. The PCC has appointed the Parish Administrator to be its Data Their role is to:

    1. Maintain a record of who has access to which elements of personal data, including paper records.

    2. Implement controlled access to personal data.

  2. The PCC will appoint a Data Protection Officer whose role is to:

    1. Review and update this policy as required, such as if the applicable data protection legislation is updated or at the direction of the PCC.

    2. Handle and investigate any discovered, alleged or reported misuse or mishandling of personal data by the PCC.

    3. Conduct an audit of the PCC’s personal data handling policies, procedures and practices at least once every 2 years or sooner if requested by the PCC.


Additional guidance

This guidance expands on, but does not supersede, the statements set out in the main Data Protection and Privacy Policy

  • All personal data held must be secured against unauthorised access and theft:

    • IT systems used to process information should be made as secure as possible from unauthorised access, including via the Internet, and should have anti-virus software installed that automatically installs updates as soon as they are available.

    • Church PCs should be password protected and are locked or logged off when individuals are away from their desk.

    • Paper records should be locked away when not in use.

  • Information about any individual that enables that individual to be identified must not be given to any person outside the Church without the express permission of the individual concerned.

  • Churchsuite must be used as the primary means for storing and accessing personal information, for sending of messages to the church community, for signing-up people for events, activities or groups, or for arranging rotas.

  • If emails must be sent and if they are being sent to multiple addressees, blind copies (using the BCC line) should be used to avoid sharing individuals’ email addresses.

  • Consent must be obtained from individuals before their information is put on the website or in a publication. This can be implied if someone provides their contact details for a notice or Outlook article but, if that person provides another individual’s contact information, the consent of that other individual should be checked.

  • Personal data must be securely deleted or destroyed when it is no longer required. As a guideline, information about a person should be archived a maximum of 18 months after not having contact with an individual and deleted 1 year after archival (or sooner if the individual requests it).

  • Personal data must not be accepted from another organisation without the consent of the individual concerned.

  • Should people performing roles for the church or PCC ignore or disregard this guidance or the Church’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy, they may become personally liable for any harm or loss caused by the misuse or mishandling of personal data entrusted to them.

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 26th May 2022.

Summary

  1. The church of St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden uses social media to engage with its congregation and other members of the local parish. This policy defines the procedures and guidelines for that use of social media. It should be read alongside the church’s Safeguarding Policy, with any concerns regarding Safeguarding reported immediately.

Introduction

  1. Social media can be a useful tool for engaging with the worshipping church and wider It is used freely by a wide range of age groups and might include, for example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. It also includes joining web page discussions and forums.

  2. This policy is a living document that reflects the current needs of the church. To help facilitate safe spaces for conversation, community and dialogue with the church on social media outlets, the PCC will observe this policy in its management of user-generated content submitted to social media platforms.

  3. As a church it is right that we engage in using these platforms as However, we have a responsibility to ensure that we safeguard against risks which may include:

    1. Forming inappropriate relationships

    2. Making offensive, sexual or suggestive comments

    3. Blurring boundaries between public work/ministry and private life

    4. Grooming and impersonation

    5. Bullying and harassment.

  4. Social media, in this policy, refers to all online communication in a public space, from Blogging, Zoom, Teams, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, e-mail and other recognised social media platforms.

  5. Engagement through a computer or smartphone screen should not change our understanding of confidentiality, responsibility, good manners and Christian Safeguarding and compliance with GDPR and data protection standards remain paramount.

Policy

  1. This policy is designed to ensure that we communicate within the law and in a way consistent with our Christian character. It recognises that the Christian faith has communication (the word – written or spoken), at its heart and that electronic communications are now a central part of everyday life. In this sense it has a vital role in updating, co-ordinating and improving the experiences of Christian groups (such as youth groups, community care groups, house groups and prayer ministry). It is also recognised that with this comes risk, and the guidance and responsibilities section defines how risks are minimised and mitigated.

  2. The PCC recognises the following activities may involve the use of social media:

    1. Advertising services and events.

    2. Offering support to the parish and local community.

    3. Providing updates on matters affecting the congregation, such as short-notice changes to service times.

    4. Offering collective prayers or scripture passages relevant to local, national or international events.

  3. The PCC will ensure the use of social media maintains the high standards set in the following below guidance and the additional guidance and responsibilities at Annex A. Any breach of these standards will be considered a breach of this policy and appropriate steps will be taken to address the matter.

  4. Applications such as Snapchat, that routinely delete information and files/attachments shared after they are seen, are not permitted for use in church activities.

Guidelines

  1. Being online is an extension of church life and the expectations of the parishioner remain as high in this context as in any In general, those engaging online will conduct themselves in a Christian manner and demonstrate these values at all times. In particular:

    1. Be safe. The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained at all If you have any concerns, ask our safeguarding lead (Parish Safeguarding Officer).

    2. Be respectful. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise Unkind and inappropriate reference to someone’s race, gender, disability, religion or similar demographic factor will not be tolerated.

    3. Be kind. Treat others how you would wish to be treated and assume the best in If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use.

    4. Be honest. Don’t mislead people about who you are.

    5. Take responsibility. You are accountable for the things you do, say and Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t post it.

    6. Be a good ambassador for Christ’s church. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.

    7. Disagree well. Some conversations can be places of robust disagreement and it’s important we apply our values in the way we express them. Individuals will not engage in online disputes and arguments contrary to group harmony or that may cause wider offence and distress.

    8. Credit others. Acknowledge the work of others. Respect copyright and always give credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.

    9. Follow the rules. Abide by the terms and conditions of the various social media platforms themselves. If you see a comment that you believe breaks their policies, then please report it.

Annex A - Social media policy guidance and responsibilities

  1. Public domain. The law views anything shared online as being in the public domain. Sharing thoughts and reflections with friends using social media or email might feel personal and private; but if more than one person can access what we have written, it is highly likely that the law would class it as "published". It is subject to the law touching libel, copyright, freedom of information and data If we wouldn't say something in the local newspapers, we shouldn't say it online. There must be no swearing or offensive language.

  2. Permanence. Anything said online can be assumed to be permanent. Even if we delete a comment made on a website, it could still have already been seen by other people, re-published, or had a screenshot picture taken. It is easy to say something in the heat of the moment that we regret later, but it could remain permanently online for all to see.

  3. Security. It is absolutely not safe to assume anything electronic is automatically secure. Privacy settings on social media tools might mean comments going only to accepted "friends" or "followers" but there is no guarantee that they will not pass (repost) them outside trusted circles.

  4. Gossip. Social media can pose a risk to confidentiality and be intrusive. Social media does not change our fundamental understanding about confidentiality in the life of the Church. When telling a story about a situation which involves someone else, it is always useful to pose the question "Is this my story to tell?" Furthermore, we should ask if the story is likely to cause distress, inconvenience, upset or embarrassment to others if they discovered it had been shared in this If in any doubt at all, it should not be shared online.

  5. Representatives. If we are church members, youth leaders or church employees, anything we do or say in the public domain will be interpreted by the public as representative of attitudes and behaviour in the church. Controversial, hasty or insensitive comments can quickly attract the attention of the media. In the web environment, the person pressing the keys is ultimately responsible for their own online activities, but they can tar a lot of others with their own brush in the eyes of the media.

  6. Separation. Keep a clear separation between personal and corporate accounts. If you tweet/message as yourself, mark the account clearly as “my own views” so there is no suggestion your opinions represent a wider church or organisation. If you tweet/message from an account representing the church, then make sure you avoid expressing personal opinions. Any account which carries the logo, address or website of the church should be seen as a corporate account and only speak for the church.

  7. Recommendations. Take care with external When you link to material, check out the website you are linking to – is its overall focus one you are happy to publicise and promote?

  8. Real-time relationships. Interactions in the virtual world need to be Healthy boundaries and practices must be adhered to just as they should be in the physical world. In the virtual world, “friend” or “follower” can mean anyone with whom you are willing to communicate through that medium. In the physical world, friend can mean much more in terms of intimacy, self-disclosure, mutuality and expectations for relationship.

  9. Web cameras and livestreaming videos. Videos may not be posted unless authorised by the administrator, member of the ministry team or appropriate designated person. They must be relevant, appropriate and Christian in appearance and content and must comply with copyright legislation.

  10. Using ‘Zoom’ or live streaming platforms safely. More detailed guidance on Safeguarding guidance for churches using video conferencing as part of their ministry can be found at: https://exeter.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Guidance-on-safeguarding-whilst-using-videoconferencing-platforms-for-ministry-v1-1.docx

  11. Safeguarding. Laws regarding the reporting of suspected abuse/neglect/exploitation of children, youth, elders and vulnerable adults apply in the virtual world as they do in the physical Very clear boundaries must be maintained when communicating with children and young people. The law and policies on Safeguarding apply in communications with children and young people by whatever means, and Safeguarding guidelines apply fully online. Communications should be public and in the view of whole groups, not individuals. Private messages should not be exchanged with young people via social media.

  12. Email. Face to face communication is always preferred, please try to speak to people face to face or via the telephone. Use e-mail as a last resort. When email is used, carefully check that you are representing what you are trying to say in the best manner, keeping within the above Make sure you are sending it to the correct recipient and for the right reason. Only write what you are comfortable to say face to face. Only copy other recipients into an email when it is expedient to do so. When sending an email to multiple recipients, always use BCC, known as Blind Carbon Copy. This is to avoid disclosing other people’s e-mail addresses. Only use CC (Carbon Copy) if you purposefully want recipients to see all other copied recipients e-mail addresses. When replying to an email with visible multiple recipients, only ‘reply to all’ when the sender has asked you to do so. Replies should be personal and not public. Never copy recipients into a thread of emails. This is a quick way to lose confidentiality and cause damage. Emails are to be precise and easy to read.

  13. Pictures. Photos, files and attachments will not be posted by members unless first vetted and authorised or unless written consent is given. Pictures of children should be discouraged, and prior permission needs to be obtained, e. authorised by the administrator, member of the ministry team or appropriate designated person for any photographing of children.

  14. Personal accounts. Personal social media accounts should be kept distinct from accounts relating to church roles and responsibilities and should be clearly labelled so that the views expressed cannot be taken to represent those of the Parish. Nonetheless, church members administering online duties for the church should ensure that their personal social media use is conducted in a manner consistent with their Christian character and this

Other sources of useful guidance

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 26th May 2022.

Summary

  1. The church of St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden uses photographs and images, including video, to communicate with its congregation and local community. This is balanced with continuing to provide a safe and secure environment for all. This policy captures the guidance principles for use of such photographs and It should be read alongside other PCC policies, including Safeguarding, Social Media, and Data Protection & Privacy. Any concerns with regard to Safeguarding should be reported immediately.

Consent

  1. Images can count as sensitive personal data under the Data Protection Act As with all such data, they should only be used with the consent of the person in the image.

  2. Photographs of children and young people involved in church activities can be very positive and bring useful publicity, but there are important issues to note. The issues are the same for still photographs, digital images or film and, for convenience, all referred to as images. The list below provides a simple point of reference for gaining consent regarding the use of images of children:

    1. Children under the age of 13: consent should be gained from their parents

    2. Children aged between 13 and 16: consent should be gained from parents and the children themselves

    3. Children aged 17: consent should be gained from the children themselves.

  3. The above list shows ‘all you need to do’, rather than ‘all you might want to do’. It is good practice to ask a child younger than 13 years before you use their photograph, and to inform the parents of a 17-year-old that their child has agreed to the use of their image

  4. Parents (and children over 13) should be informed where and in what context an image may be used – for example, on a public website, through social media or in a printed resource.

  5. Consent is not needed if children appear in a wide-angle group photograph in a public space (for instance, a photograph of the church fete). A church is not a public place in this sense but there may still be occasions when it would not be reasonable, practical or proportionate to secure consent for every individual child who appears in the photograph. In these circumstances, organisers should make clear to all participants and parents that these kinds of images will be taken, and for what purposes. For instance, if the event is a church service, nativity play or similar, then a verbal notice can be given out at the beginning for the leader of the service or event, asking that any parent who objects to images being made of their child should either remove their child from view of the camera or approach the leader afterwards to ensure that any image they object to is not used.

  6. In the case of live streaming, a notice is visible to the congregation on arrival, put on the screen if applicable and announced by the service leader at the start of the service. Also, the camera should pan away from children leaving the church to go to their respective group setting.

  7. Consent can also be implied. If an activity leader invites people to be part of a group photograph, then those who gather for the photograph have given their consent by virtue of having done so.

  8. Complete a Contributor Release form for use of images of children, possibly as part of the process for registering and consenting the child’s participation in the activity or event (see model registration template).

Best practices with photography

  1. Think carefully before taking any images showing children, young people or vulnerable adults on your website, social media or other publications.

  2. Put in place arrangements to ensure that any ‘official’ photographers can identify (or be informed about) which children should not be subject to close-up photography.

  3. Consider what the images will be used for and whether consent will be required (see consent form below).

  4. Do not supply full names of children along with the images, unless it is considered necessary (e.g. celebrating a performance or achievement) and the child and parent(s) / carer(s) have consented.

  5. Only use images of children in suitable dress or kit, being particularly mindful of activities, such as swimming, which involve partial states of dress. Additionally, avoid pictures of children in school uniform where the name of the school is visible.

  6. Keep images of children securely: hard copies of images should be kept in a locked drawer and electronic images should be in a protected folder with restricted access.

  7. Images should not be stored on unencrypted portable equipment such as laptops, memory sticks or mobile phones. If such storage is unavoidable, the images should be kept in a password protected folder or on a device protected with a code or other secure method of access such as fingerprint identification.

Photography/filming by parents and others at activities/events

  1. There will be circumstances in which parents, carers and other attendees at activities want to take photographs, for instance concerts, plays, and choirs. For youth events in particular, many young people will have a camera on their mobile phone and will regularly post images of themselves and their friends on social media. It will be important in the planning stages of events to:

    1. Decide on the activity approach to photographs/filming for This does not apply when, for instance, parents are taking photographs of children’s events for their own use.

    2. Clarify and promote the photography rules for the event in advance to all participants.

    3. Warn parents, carers and attendees and young people that there can be negative consequences to sharing images linked to information about their own or other people’s children on social media – and care should be taken about ‘tagging.

    4. Children who are in care should not be photographed as this could put them at risk.

    5. Make sure that there are procedures to respond to and manage any concerns arising, including a named person to report any concerns to.

    6. For young people and vulnerable adults, you may wish to consider a discussion amongst your group regarding how they wish the images they take of each other to be used, and what restrictions they feel should be This will be more meaningful and effective than a set of rules imposed by adult leaders.

Other sources of useful guidance

The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 26th May 2022.

Summary

  1. The church of St Michael and All Angels, Hughenden has in place a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance This policy details the purpose, use and management of the CCTV system and details the procedures to be followed in order to ensure that the church complies with relevant legislation and Codes of Practice.

  2. This policy and the procedures therein detailed apply to all of the church’s CCTV CCTV images are monitored and recorded in strict accordance with this policy.

Introduction

  1. The church uses CCTV images for the prevention, identification and reduction of crime and to monitor the church buildings in order to provide a safe and secure environment for workers, congregation, visitors and others who may use the church, and to prevent the loss of or damage to church contents and property.

  2. The CCTV system is owned by the PCC. The PCC is the system operator, and data controller, for the images produced by the CCTV system, and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, registration number The system is operational and is capable of being monitored for 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Purpose

  1. This policy governs the installation and operation of all CCTV cameras at the CCTV surveillance is used to monitor and collect visual images for the purposes of:

    1. protecting the buildings and assets.

    2. promoting the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and visitors.

    3. reducing the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour (including theft and vandalism).

    4. supporting the Police in a bid to deter and detect crime.

    5. assisting in identifying, apprehending and prosecuting offenders.

Scope

  1. This policy is applicable to everyone involved in the operation of the CCTV They will be made aware of this policy and will only be authorised to use the system in a way that is consistent with the purposes and procedures contained therein.

  2. All systems users with responsibility for accessing, recording, disclosing or otherwise processing CCTV images will have relevant skills and training on the operational, technical and privacy considerations and fully understand the policies and procedures.

Policy statement

  1. The church will operate its CCTV system in a manner that is consistent with respect for the individual’s privacy with its CCTV policies based on guidance from the Church of England. The church complies with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) CCTV Code of Practice 2017 to ensure CCTV is used responsibly and safeguards confidence in its continued use.

  2. The CCTV system will be used to observe the areas under surveillance to identify incidents requiring a response. Any response should be proportionate to the incident being witnessed. The use of the CCTV system will be conducted in a professional, ethical and legal manner and any diversion of the use of CCTV security technologies for other purposes is prohibited by this policy.

  3. Cameras will be sited so they only capture images relevant to the purposes for which they are In addition, equipment must be carefully positioned to:

    1. cover the specific area to be monitored only;

    2. keep privacy intrusion to a minimum;

    3. ensure that recordings are fit for purpose and not in any way obstructed (e.g. by foliage);

    4. minimise risk of damage or theft.

  4. CCTV will not be used for the purposes of streaming live services held in the church. CCTV is not suitable for live streaming of services, as it is intended solely for safety and security purposes.

  5. Interior CCTV will not record areas set aside for private devotions where one would not expect to be filmed while praying. Similarly, where sacramental Confession or other ministries of individual pastoral support, such as healing, are practised, there will be no filming in the part or parts of the church set aside for such Interior cameras will not be in use during any form of service, whether regular worship or occasional offices. Exterior CCTV, or cameras in areas that are not used for public worship, will remain in operation during services.

Location and signage

  1. Cameras are sited to ensure that they cover the premises as far as possible, installed throughout the site including the entrances. The location of equipment is carefully considered to ensure that images captured comply with data protection requirements. Every effort is made to position cameras so that their coverage is restricted to the church’s premises, which may include outdoor areas.

  2. Signs are placed at all entrances to inform staff, church officers, visitors and members of the public that CCTV is in Signage templates are at Appendix 1.

Monitoring and recording

  1. Images are recorded on a device installed in a locked office. They are viewable by church officers, church wardens, the data protection officer and the system’s technical support adviser. Recorded material will be stored in a way that maintains the integrity of the image and information to ensure that metadata (e.g. time, date and location) is recorded reliably, and compression of data does not reduce its All images recorded remain the property and copyright of the church.

  2. Viewing monitors are password protected and switched off when not in use to prevent unauthorised use or The cameras installed provide images that are of suitable quality for the specified purposes for which they are installed.

Data protection

  1. In its administration of its CCTV system, the church complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 and in accordance with the church’s Data Protection The writing of this policy fulfilled the requirement of a Data Protection Impact Assessment, which mitigated any risks related to the installation and ensured full compliance with data protection legislation.

Applications for disclosure of images

  1. Requests by individual data subjects for images relating to themselves via a Subject Access Request should be submitted to the Data Protection Officer together with proof of In order to locate the images on the system sufficient detail must be provided by the data subject in order to allow the relevant images to be located and the data subject to be identified.

  2. Where the church is unable to comply with a Subject Access Request without disclosing the personal data of another individual (or individuals) who is identified or identifiable from that information, it is not obliged to comply with the request unless satisfied that the individual has provided their express consent to the disclosure, or if it is reasonable, having regard to the circumstances, to comply without the consent of the individual.

  3. A request for images made by a third party should also be made to the Data Protection In limited circumstances it may be appropriate to disclose images to a third party, such as when a disclosure is required by law, in relation to the prevention or detection of crime or in other circumstances where an exemption applies under relevant legislation. Such disclosures will be made at the discretion of the PCC, with reference to relevant legislation and where necessary, following advice from a legal advisor.

  4. A log of any disclosure made under this policy will be held by the Data Protection Officer itemising the date, time, camera, requestor, reason for the disclosure, lawful basis for disclosure, date of decision and/or release, and name of the authoriser.

  5. Before disclosing any footage, consideration should be given to the potential impact to any third parties whose images are captured. Where information is disclosed, the disclosing officer must ensure information is transferred securely. Images may be released to the media for purposes of identification; any such decision to disclose will be taken in conjunction with the Police and/or other relevant law enforcement agencies.

  6. Surveillance recordings must not be further copied, distributed, modified, reproduced, transmitted or published for any other purpose.

Retention of images

  1. Unless required for evidentiary purposes, the investigation of an offence or as required by law, CCTV images will be retained for no longer than 31 calendar days from the date of Images will be automatically overwritten or destroyed after this time.

  2. Where an image is required to be held in excess of the retention period, the Incumbent will be responsible for authorising such a request, and recordings will be protected against loss or held separately from the surveillance system and will be retained for 6 months following the date of last action and then disposed of as above.

  3. Images held in excess of their retention period will be reviewed on a three-monthly basis and any not required for evidentiary purposes will be deleted. Access to retained CCTV images is restricted to those people listed in paragraph 15.

Complaints

  1. Complaints concerning the church’s use of its CCTV system or the disclosure of CCTV images should be made by following the general complaints procedure available on the church’s website: hughendenparishchurch.org.uk/Policies

Review

  1. There will be a regular review of the use of the CCTV system and this policy to ensure it remains necessary, proportionate and effective in meeting the stated purposes. As part of the review, the church will assess:

    1. whether the location of cameras remains justified in meeting the stated purpose and whether there is a case for removal or relocation;

    2. the monitoring operation, g. if 24 monitoring in all camera locations is necessary or whether there is a case for reducing monitoring hours;

    3. whether there are alternative and less intrusive methods for achieving the stated purposes.

Responsibilities

  1. The PCC is responsible for the overall management and operation of the CCTV system, including activities relating to installations, recording, reviewing, monitoring and ensuring compliance with this policy. The PCC is also responsible for ensuring that adequate signage is erected in compliance with the ICO CCTV Code of Practice.

  2. The Data Protection Officer is responsible for authorising the disclosure of images to data subjects and third parties and for maintaining the disclosure log.

APPENDIX

1. CCTV Signage [PDF]

The document sets out the plan to regularly check compliance with, and to review, the policies that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has adopted. It will be presented to the PCC annually, at their first meeting after the Annual Parochial Council Meeting.

Policy / document

Date adopted

Review period

Compliance check and review due by

Safeguarding

16 September 2021

Annual

16 November 2022

Health & Safety

20 January 2022

Three years

20 January 2025

Health, Safety & Environment Local Organization & Arrangements

20 January 2022

Three years

20 January 2025

Environment

30 November 2021

Three years

30 November 2024

Complaints & Whistleblowing

16 November 2021

Three years

16 November 2024

Finance

3 March 2022

Three years

3 March 2025

Conflicts of Interest

30 November 2021

Three years

30 November 2024

Data Protection & Privacy

30 November 2021

Three years

30 November 2024

Social Media

26 May 2022

Two years

26 May 2024

Photographs & Images

26 May 2022

Two years

26 May 2024

CCTV

26 May 2022

Three years

26 May 2025