Pastor’s Corner for the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ

Progress Report on Safeguarding


Each child shall be cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity of life and bodily integrity which shall be respected, nurtured and protected by all.

  • The Archdiocese is committed to safeguarding all children who interact with the Church;
  • The Archdiocese recognises that in all matters concerning a child, the child’s best interest is of paramount importance;
  • The Archdiocese recognizes that children have a right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect and abuse;
  • The Archdiocese has a duty to ensure that the rights to protection, the right to participation and to have their best interests considered in all circumstances in which children interact with the Church.

The extract above is taken from the Archdiocesan Safeguarding Policy, the result of a process which began in the 2019 Archdiocesan Synod. The policy was finally promulgated on the 8th of December 2020. The work of implementation has been a slow process, as we always knew it would be, but progress has been made across the Archdiocese.


Earlier this year signs and posters went up in our public spaces and offices with the phone numbers of both the parish and archdiocesan contact people, as well other resource people in the broader community.


By the end of November virtually all the members of the PPC, PFC, Catechists, Clergy and Employees of the parish will have been to a safeguarding workshop run by the Archdiocese and have their police clearance certificate. At a cost of R180 each this is a significant investment, both by the parish and by those who individuals who have volunteered to pay for themselves.


We would also have strengthened our safeguarding committee by the addition of Mrs Anne Baker of the Catholic Institute of Education. The committee now needs to establish a routine of meetings and a process of ongoing support for our community.


These are important steps that we have taken to make our parish as safe as possible for the young and vulnerable in our parish. While the safeguarding committee is meant to take the lead in these matters, it is the responsibility of the entire community to create an environment of welcome and safety for all.


Fr Bruce Botha SJ