Swanland St Barnabas' Church is committed to maintaining high standards in the area of confidentiality. This policy is designed to safeguard the rights to privacy and confidentiality of information of those people who have contact with Swanland Church. This policy document gives guidelines on the maintenance of confidentiality and explains the circumstances where disclosures may be necessary. All paid and voluntary workers are expected to abide by this policy.
The general rule is that information isn't shared without the consent of the individual concerned. However there are some situations defined below where information will be shared further.
It is expected that personal information disclosed in small groups should not be discussed outside the group. Church members should avoid "gossiping" about others and should not discuss information about another person with others.
The church exercises pastoral care towards the members of its congregation. This obviously involves talking with people about their lives and the lives of their friends and families. In the normal course of a pastoral conversation, confidential information will be shared. The general rule is that all such information should be kept between the church member and the person offering pastoral care. If the pastoral person wants to share this information with others, he/she should ask for permission before doing so. However if it is clear that someone’s behaviour is negatively affecting another person in the church, the issue should be discussed by the PCC. Issues relating to doctrine, involvement in church activities and breaches of or concerns relating to the Morality Policy will also be considered by the PCC.
* If the client/church member has done or intends to do serious harm to themselves or others, or if they pose a significant risk to others within the church or the wider community, we have an obligation to take the matter further.
* In cases where there are concerns relating to the abuse or neglect of children, our child protection liason officer will be informed, and will take the necessary action. The statutory authorities may be involved. These instances are outlined in more detail in our Child Protection Policy and Safeguarding Policy.
Anyone is free to come to Swanland St Barnabas' meetings as a visitor. We believe that it is the role of the church to make every person that comes feel welcomed and valued, irrespective of their life-style, existing church membership, marital status or their doctrinal beliefs. We will not disclose to others the identity of those who come to our meetings without the prior permission of the person involved, including to the leaders of any other church that the person may have been involved in before.