These really light mornings can either inspire you to get up and get going, or conversely remind you that you still need some sleep. But with the sun shining through the curtains it’s sometimes a challenge. It’s also about whether you are naturally a morning or evening person. Do you come alive at the prospect of another evening church meeting (hang on, there may be other reasons why this doesn’t excite you) or do you relish the idea of a breakfast meeting to get the day off to a flying start?
Our body clocks may be different, and even change as we get older, but medical research testifies to our ongoing need for a good few hours’ sleep every night. But are there thoughts that seem to keep you awake, maybe more often than you would like to admit? It’s sometimes a question I ask of people in supervision, or of their managers, as we aim to capture the real sense about what’s happening in their particular area of safeguarding. What’s worrying or making you feel less certain about key situations? What do you need to do about it? What measures are required to promote a good night’s sleep in the future?
The levels of concern we all have will, of course, vary according to our circumstances and our role. Is the thing that we are concerned about within our gift or capacity to resolve? Have we assured ourselves that we have done everything according to policy and that we have made solid, defensible decisions? Can we do anymore?
The really important question as we turn in for the night is perhaps ‘is everyone safe here?’ This is our safeguarding benchmark and one that we posed at the beginning of our Past Cases Review process. Certainly the investment of time, energy and resources since publication in 2015 points to a much more professional and resilient safeguarding structure and a stronger church culture that should help provide us with a cushion of re-assurance, but it’s the little things, the ‘what ifs’, or human unpredictability that can gnaw away in the small hours.
This column is not offering advice as to how to achieve a good night’s sleep! There is plenty of advice available about night-time routines, ambient temperatures and herbal remedies. But as usual, its aim is to provide a means of sharing the idea that nothing is unsurmountable. We have the policy and practice means to assess situations and plan our responses. We should know who we need to talk to and where to get help. As a Church we have the power of prayer to inspire us. Hopefully, we should feel that ‘blessed assurance’ and be able to unwind properly at the end of our day.
If you can, do sleep well!