Lone Working Policy
of St Albans and St Andrews & St George Stevenage recognises that during
the course of their work, church officers, including clergy and volunteers may
find themselves working alone. This may be in church premises, visiting
individuals in their homes or receiving people in their own home. This may
occur regularly or occasionally but will be necessary part of the role. Where
the work involves home visits, the safety of both the visitor and the person
being visited is paramount.
The work of
clergy may carry additional risks. It is important that these are fully
understood and that a risk assessment and adequate arrangements are made to
ensure they are as safe as possible.
alone in church
workers should ensure they know where all exits are situated.
workers must ensure that someone knows where they are, what you are doing and
for how long you expect to be there. This person would be most likely be a
family member but if this were not the case it could be a friend or one of the
people listed below.
Rev’d Karen Mitchell
the premises, the person you have informed must be made aware.
3. Lone workers must ensure they have a
charged mobile phone with them at all times.
4. Lone workers planning to work for an
extended period should arrange to make calls at regular intervals.
5. Whilst working alone in the building all
external doors must be kept locked for security and safety reasons.
6. Ladders (other than a short step ladder) should
not be used whilst working alone.
7. Tasks that can not be safely carried out by
one person. eg: Heavy lifting or use of certain equipment should not be
that you know where to find the first aid kit.
and locking up the church after an event should always be done by two people
Visiting adults alone in their homes
Visiting adults, who may be vulnerable, in
their homes, is an essential element of many church officers’ roles. The Church
of England defines a church officer as “anyone appointed by or on behalf of the
Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.”
Many parishioners will be well known to the church officer and where there have
been no previous concerns the level of risk to the church officer or
parishioner during visits will usually be low. However, unexpected
circumstances can be encountered, some of which may place a church officer at
risk. For example, the unexpected presence in the home of a relative or friend
with a history of violence or threatening behaviour. Unfortunately, case
histories also show that a parishioner may be at risk from a church officer.
For these reasons it is very important to ensure that church officers and
parishioners are as safe as they can be, and that there is accountability and
transparency in the manner in which church officers engage in lone working or
visits to residential homes.
10. A risk assessment should always be
undertaken for a first visit, whether the person to be visited is known or not
11. If there are any concerns or risks known,
a risk assessment should be undertaken prior to each visit, using the questions
below. In these circumstances, careful consideration should be given as to whether
the visit is absolutely necessary, or whether it would be better to be
accompanied by another adult.
12. Risk assessments should be undertaken
periodically in relation to all parishioners visited at home.
13. A written record should be kept of all
risk assessments undertaken. To assure the person being visited of their
safety, and for the safety of the church officer, and irrespective of whether a
risk assessment has been made:
14. A charged mobile phone should always be
carried on a home visit.
15. The church officer should tell someone
where they are going and when they are expected to return. Ensure that someone
has a record of car and mobile phone details.
16. Wherever possible, the church officer
should avoid calling unannounced but by arrangement (this may be a telephone
call just before going).
17. If the church officer is not known to the
person they are visiting, they should carry identification, photographic, if
possible, or a note of introduction from the church.
18. The church officer should always knock on
the door before entering a room or home, respecting the person’s home and
19. If appropriate and necessary, the church
officer might leave information about how and where they can be contacted (by
telephone or email) and a central contact point for the church (Rev’d Karen’s
details). Unless absolutely necessary they should not give their home address.
church officer should always endeavour to be clear about what behaviour from a
vulnerable adult is acceptable and what is not, as well as about the purpose
and limitations of any pastoral care / support that they are able to offer.
21. The church officer must never offer
‘over-the counter’ remedies to people on visits or administer prescribed
medicines, even if asked to do so.
22. The church officer should not accept any
gifts from adults other than token items, to avoid misunderstandings or
subsequent accusations. If someone wants to make a donation to the church, it
should be put in an enveloped, marked on the outside as a donation, and a
receipt obtained from the church.
23. Where the church officer considers it
necessary to refer the person to another agency, they should talk this through
with the vulnerable adult, seeking his/her permission before passing on
personal information. If it is more appropriate for the vulnerable adult to do
so themselves, make sure they have all the information they need and that their
contact will be expected. If the church officer is concerned about a person and
they do not wish to be referred, they should consult with the Diocesan Safeguarding
24. If the church officer is uncertain about
what to do, they should seek advice from the Incumbent, Parish Safeguarding
Officer and/or Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
25. Please report
to the Rector any incident that has happened to you as soon as possible so that
you can be supported.
the PCC 17th July 2023