Bishop Brian Annual Safeguarding Message to Parishes
Diocese of Argyll and the Isles – Annual Safeguarding Message to Parishes 2020
To be read at all Masses on the weekend of 7th/8th November 2020
Dear brothers and sisters,
This year has been dominated by Covid-19. The Church’s response to this deadly virus has been formed by a Christian desire to protect the most vulnerable in society. Since March every decision our diocese has taken has been shaped by our commitment to keep the medically vulnerable safe. I think, for example, of the painful and sacrificial decision to close our Churches and suspend public worship as well as the careful preparation and ongoing efforts that have allowed our Churches to reopen, thus ensuring that the celebration of Mass is safe both for us and, consequently, for wider society. I thank each one of you, our clergy and parishioners, for making this possible.
While I am delighted that our diocese has so quickly embraced a culture which protects the medically vulnerable, we know that such care is natural for humans and rooted in the Gospel. In the same way our diocese constantly strives to develop the culture of keeping our children and vulnerable adults safe. We desire that Safeguarding underpins everything we do precisely because it is a Gospel value. We are not content with merely keeping regulations. Earlier this year I arranged Deanery Masses so that everyone involved in any area of Safeguarding could gather and prayerfully reflect together on this core Christian virtue.
The fact that during lockdown our Diocesan Safeguarding personnel, our Diocesan Groups, Parish Co-ordinators and clergy all continued to work, that our Safeguarding Training has been overhauled and put online demonstrates that our commitment to keeping children and vulnerable adults safe is part of who we are as Argyll and the Isles. Aware that the lockdown and present restrictions may have put some in a dangerous situation while survivors may find themselves reflecting on past traumatic events, we have improved information about getting help on our diocesan website. All our clergy have also just completed training.
Brothers and sisters, this past year has presented us with new challenges. Our response of putting the medically vulnerable first has been rooted in the Gospel. I pray that as a diocese and within parishes we will be inspired to similarly recognise Safeguarding as a core Gospel value which shapes everything we do.
Please know that you and your families remain in my daily prayers,
Yours in Christ,
Right Reverend Brian McGee
Bishop of Argyll and the Isles