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Summertime and cameras are easy

Here’s a reminder as summer breaks out and church family events start to take place out of doors, to make sure that you and your church leaders are clear about your policies and practice in respect of taking photographs. Not only of children but adults as well, and the issues involved relate to consent, how the photos are used, and crucially as we countdown to GDPR, how they are stored.

On Saturday I enjoyed a walk over local heathland near our church, led by one of our

congregation whom I never knew was such an environmental activist. She has inspired people who live near her to get involved in clearing paths, building wooden seats and learning about the wildlife of the area. As someone born and brought up in the town, I’m ashamed to say that I never really knew much about the space before – I thought it was derelict land - but it’s been transformed into a green oasis on the edge of suburbia.

When we got back to her house for the obligatory tea and cake, her husband started to take photos of this distinctively mature group of walkers – not a person under 55 in sight. It seemed the most natural thing to do, to take out the camera and record the scene for posterity – or more likely for one Facebook page or another. I suppose it’s my safeguarding sixth sense but as I smiled for the camera, the issue of consent loomed large in my mind. Many of us are shy of cameras for all sorts of reasons and so I don’t know if all present were happy – but there did not seem to be any dissent and it was a great afternoon for all.

But the key message is to make sure that all people – children, parents and adults - are content with being photographed at church events, that they are aware of how the images will be used, and how they are able to decline politely their inclusion. We also need to make sure that visitors attracted to what we have on offer also abide by our requirements.

If you need help with reviewing your policies and procedures, follow this helpful link from the NSPCC.

The new Connexional Safeguarding Policy echoes this guidance at sections and

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