Churches trained to welcome child abusers - news from ekklesia

Churches trained to welcome child abusers - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
4 May 2005

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Churches trained to welcome child abusers

-04/05/05

Churches are to receive training in how to welcome those who have abused children, into their congregations.

The first-ever training programme to help churches respond to the growing number of former sex offenders at services and other church activities, will be launched next week.

It follows the success of Christian work in prisons and other initiatives which mean a growing number of ex-offenders are joining churches.

The programme, which is part-funded by the Department for Education and Skills, is to be unveiled at the National Christian Resources Exhibition.

The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has produced a DVD training programme in close association with the police, social services and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation - recognised experts in the field of working with offenders.

A clip from the DVD shows a sex offender speaking about how he groomed children in a church for abuse.

CCPAS will also launch a series of leaflets, with titles such as: ëHelpÖ A sex offender has joined my churchí and ëHelpÖ my childís been abused ñ now what?í

Simon Bass of CCPAS commented; "Churches know that the Gospel commands Christians to receive back the repentant sinner ñ even former child abusers - and the success of the Alpha Course in prisons and other initiatives means there are growing numbers of offenders now looking to join church communities.

"But we must not be naÔve about this, as some churches have been in the past. It is vital therefore that those in charge in our churches take protection issues seriously and implement proper, rigorous, protection procedures. This important new DVD shows churches exactly how to achieve this".

The Christian Resources Exhibition takes place next week at the Sandown Park Exhibition Centre

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