Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

It sad to read that these days it is common practice for some organisations to assume that people are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.

Such is the case wrt the Church of England and its attitude towards volunteer bell ringers, florists and organists.

The Telegraph recently reported that figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that at least 58,000 people have been vetted by the Church in the last 12 months alone, before being allowed to work in parishes or take back office roles.

Over 80% of the checks carried out by individual dioceses were on volunteers. The checks usually used in relation to adults working with children in Sunday schools and church crèches (a target of the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)).

However, the research also found that large numbers of volunteers with positions including organists, choir members, bell ringers, altar servers, welcome stewards and tour guides had also been subjected to criminal record checks.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, seems to be driving the zealous approach; as he has said that the Church was being “utterly ruthless” in its approach to criminal record checks even though cases of abuse are “negligible”.

The Archbishop said that volunteers refusing checks will be told:
You can’t come to church”.
Why do flower arrangers need to be checked?

The CofE insisted it would "make no apology for taking action to ensure our systems our as robust as possible".

An atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion hardly sounds welcoming, what will the church turn itself into if it suspects everyone of being guilty?

Just ask Annabel Hayter!

Annabel Hayter quit after more than a decade arranging the flowers at Gloucester cathedral after being ordered to undergo a criminal record check.

Despite having minimal contact with children, church authorities were concerned that the volunteer and her fellow flower-arrangers – with an average age of around 70 – shared a lavatory with choirboys.

The move – in 2010 – led to the resignation of six members of the cathedral’s flower guild.
Mrs Hayter said she had been "deeply insulted" by the demands for criminal record checks.

Mrs Hayter said:
I had worked in that cathedral for 15 years – I’d had the clergy to dinner in my house – and I felt it was offensive to be told I’d have to go through a criminal records check.

It is an imposition that just creates suspicion and changes people’s perceptions of the church.

A DBS check is only as good as the day it is done as has been proved time and time again. What is required is awareness and vigilance by everyone. 

A DBS check gives everyone a false feeling of security and people’s guard is down.”
The church welcomes all comers, so long as they can prove their innocence.

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  1. There are many areas now where guilt is assumed unless you can prove otherwise. Blue Badge applications come to mind as do taxation matters.

    It is sad that, as a result of this type of legislation and the over the top, lacking 9in commonsense aaproach that so many organisations take, that there is a shortage of adult volunteers amongst many youth organisations and indeed, within the caring professions. I accept that some screening may be required but, let's get it into proportion and adopt a policy of commonsense.

  2. A strange interpretation of the Christian message is it not. Common sense is in very short supply these days, if not totally dead. But then, I believe that the Archbishop was once a corporatist, high up in some large Corporation and has taken that attitude with him.

  3. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Frankly that photo of the Archbish on the Telegraph page would make me want to keep all children away from him . . .