The Presbytery Ministers and Synod office have been working together to find a way for our vulnerable volunteers to return to serving the church, whilst caring for and considering their safety. The immediate-past Moderator Rev David Baker was recently in a meeting with the Chief Health Officer and the issue of vulnerable volunteers was raised. The Chief Health Officer emphasised those that have been identified in the vulnerable group need to limit the amount of interaction they have with other people. It was also acknowledged that we must keep our volunteers safe and limit any harm.
The definition of volunteers that has been adopted is “a person who, in a church activity, is rostered for a duty, involved in running the activity, and/or directed to perform specific tasks other than to join in communally”. A procedure document Assessing work for volunteers deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 and the Vulnerable worker risk assessment form have been developed collaboratively between the Synod office and Presbytery Ministers. A risk assessment needs to be completed and approved by the church council before a vulnerable volunteer is able to return to service. We care and value all those that serve in the church and encourage church councils to continue to consider the safety of all workers including those that are classed as vulnerable.