Safe Spaces for Worship and Work

The policies on sexual misconduct, workplace violence and harassment, and police records checks are particularly relevant to safety.

Three policies are particularly relevant to making United Church ministries and workplaces safe for all who use them.

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (under Downloads, below), formerly called the Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response Policy, responds to complaints of abuse of power by those in leadership within the church.

The United Church will not tolerate, and will seek to eradicate, any behaviour by its members, lay and order of ministry, adherents, or employees that constitutes sexual abuse or child abuse…. Complaints of sexual abuse or child abuse will be taken seriously and will be dealt with in a spirit of compassion and justice.

Several changes to this policy came into effect on July 1, 2017:

  • the decision to be made on receipt of a complaint is whether the respondent should be placed on administrative leave with pay and benefits (formerly, suspension)
  • ministry personnel are required to take a refresher on boundaries training every five years
  • a national pool of consultants are available to work with the parties through the complaint process

For more information on this policy, contact

If you are at risk and in need of immediate assistance to ensure your personal safety, call 911 for police services.

If you are aware of behaviour that is inappropriate, but you are not in immediate danger, please contact Complaint Response for information about how to bring a complaint.

Complaint Responsecomplaintresponse [at] united-church.ca1-800-268-3781 ext. 7788

If you wish to contact a consultant directly, a list of consultants who are trained and available to respond to you is available under Downloads, below.

Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy

The Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy (under Downloads, below), in effect as of July 1, 2017, provides a mechanism by which complaints of violence or harassment toward employees of the church will be taken seriously. “It is everyone’s responsibility to raise concerns about harassment, violence, and discrimination within the workplace.”

For more information on this policy, contact your Conference executive secretary or speaker.

Police Records Checks Policy

Under the Police Records Checks policy (under Downloads, below), as of July 1, 2017, police records checks, levels one and two, are required on entry (or re-entry) into the United Church of members of the order of ministry, designated lay ministers or DLM applicants, candidates, and those seeking admission, readmission, or ministry partnership status. Thereafter, an online form is required to be completed by June 29 each year (under Downloads, below) that certifies that the person has not been charged with a criminal offence in the preceding year. The first filing is due by June 30, 2018. Ministry personnel are still required to comply with The Manual (J.10.2) provision that they notify their court of accountability if they are charged with a criminal offence.

For more information on this policy and its implementation, please contact your Conference personnel minister.