Thirtyone:eight is pleased to announce that we have recently appointed Bishop Dr Joe Aldred as a patron of our charity.
Bishop Aldred is responsible for Pentecostal and Multicultural Relations at Churches Together in England and is also a Bishop in the Church of God of Prophecy.
In taking on his role as patron, Bishop Aldred will seek to raise the profile of safeguarding within churches, and highlight the support that is available through Thirtyone:eight to help churches respond to God’s call to create a world where every child and adult can feel, and be, safe.
Following the announcement of his appointment, Bishop Aldred said he is hopeful of the role churches can play in fulfilling this vital part of God’s mission.
Bishop Aldred said: “Agape love towards one another as individuals and groups is an essential component if the Church is to function as God’s missional instrument. In the midst of its imperfections, the Church manages by the grace of God to be a catalyst for God more often than might be though possible."
“Thirtyone:eight has been helping churches create and maintain safe spaces for many years, but it is not sufficiently well known in some spaces. I hope that my ambassadorial role as patron can assist even a little in making the organisation more visible, and its services taken up in more churches in the sector I work with and beyond, so that more lives may be protected.”
Safeguarding in churches is increasingly making headlines, in part due to the government’s ongoing Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which has broadened its scope to focus on Christian denominations outside of the Anglican and the Roman Catholic Churches. When it comes to their safeguarding responsibilities, churches are expected to take reasonable steps to follow good practice guidance given by the charity commission.
Bishop Aldred says: “I am afraid the Church’s record on safeguarding issues is not as good as it has needed to be. Some of the reasons may be that society as a whole has not taken safeguarding seriously enough, and churches are part of society. I for one welcome the current and increasing focus on keeping people safe. Whether children, older people or vulnerable adults, everybody must both feel safe and be safe in our custody."
"Jesus, in his earthy ministry, shows how to be welcoming to people from all walks of life, typified by his ‘Let the children come to me’ rebuke to his disciples for shushing them away. The gospel is about salvation, redemption, flourishing in this life and the next, and the Church at all levels must simply work harder to ensure the value we place on the image of God ‘in the least of these’ is reflected in how we care for everyone.”
Speaking following the appointment, Justin Humphreys (Joint-CEO at Thirtyone:eight) said "We're continually looking for ways to raise awareness of safeguarding and to get the message out about the importance of creating safer places with more diverse and harder to reach communities. To help us do this even more effectively we're starting to work with a small group of charity patrons. I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Bishop Aldred as our first patron, who has been a long standing friend and advocate of thirtyone:eight for many years. We're looking forward to see what we can achieve together."