The following notes are to be read alongside:
1. The Bishops Guidelines for the Healing Ministry (Appendix 1)
2. Diocesan Guidelines for Visiting the Elderly (Appendix 2)
3. Promoting a Safe Church (Green Book) Church House publishing 2006
4. The technical definition of a Vulnerable Adult and subsequent explanation of terms of abuse (Appendix 3 and 4)
5. Steps for growing a Prayer Ministry Team (Appendix 5)
6. Confidential Declaration Form (Appendix 6)
Principles of good care
- Always ask permission before laying on hands and be sensitive to peoples personal space;
- When laying on hands, always explain and ask permission in such a way that the person may accept or decline without prejudice;
- Be aware of the difficulties that touch could generate;
- Always work in pairs;
- In pairs, ensure that a man is present for ministry with a man, and a woman for ministry with a woman;
- In a worship setting, ensure that prayer ministry is conducted in pairs and within audible reach of other adults;
- For the safety of prayer ministers, and when working outside of worship times, ensure that at least one other person is informed of the time and place of ministry;
- In a street setting ensure there are witnesses; and
- Ensure a high level of confidentiality see Bishops Guidelines no. 7.
Training and support
- Ensure rigorous recruitment to the team and follow the steps for Growing a Prayer Ministry Team (Appendix 5);
- Harm will be prevented through careful training, supervision, support and selection of the team members;
- All staff and volunteers should receive ongoing and appropriate training and support;
- During personal difficulties, it may be appropriate for team members to stand down temporarily e.g. during bereavement or trying personal times; and
- Do not undertake ministry beyond your competence and if in doubt speak to the team leader and refer on as appropriate.
The Team Leader
The team leader should be:
- DBS checked;
- Oversee any pastoral follow-up care and keep the P-i-C (Priest-in-Charge) informed appropriately;
- Keep resourced with agencies for onward referral;
- Mindful of both training and follow up care for the team members;
- Build the team by regularly;
- Praying together, worshipping together; and
- Sharing together, training together.
Vulnerable adults and Safe from Harm
- Be aware that anyone coming for prayer ministry may be regarded as vulnerable in some way and at some time (see Who is vulnerable Appendix 3); and
- Some opting to receive prayer ministry may fluctuate in and out of vulnerability.
Safe from Harm
- On recruitment to prayer ministry, use the Confidential Declaration Form on page 26 of the Green Book Promoting a Safe Church (Appendix 6).
- All parishes undertaking prayer ministry in any form should investigate their Parish Guard insurance.