Mara Faithfulness in Service
Mara Faithfulness in Service
A Diocesan Code of Conduct
Anglican Aid has worked closely with the Anglican Diocese of Mara, Tanzania, to assist them in improving standards of child safety, financial integrity, and personal and professional conduct of all staff across the diocese.
All current and new diocesan staff (including church workers, volunteers, school staff, and development staff) will be trained to understand Faithfulness in Service. This is order for them to learn proper moral, godly behaviour, remain above reproach, and protect the most vulnerable in their communities and churches.
This Code of Conduct for the Anglican Diocese of Mara is modelled on Faithfulness in Service, a national code of the Anglican Church of Australia. Faithfulness in Service outlines standards for personal behaviour and pastoral ministry by clergy and church workers.
The first Director of the Diocese of Sydney’s Professional Standards Unit was supported by Anglican Aid to visit Mara as a consultant, providing advice on establishing a process for disciplinary action to support the code.
Protecting the vulnerable
In much of Africa, violence is traditionally part of the way of solving problems, with bloodshed and loss of life common. Children are not respected, polygamy is common, and women are treated as second class citizens and are commonly abused by their husbands. The coming of the gospel has changed much of this, but there is still a great need for church workers to understand their professional obligations and how they conduct themselves.
In Tanzania, corporal punishment and beating of children, although illegal, is common in schools. Staff and parents, even in Christian schools, commonly claim that children will not learn if children are not beaten. The development of this Code arose from evidence to the Bishop of Mara that corporal punishment was still used by teachers, and his subsequent directive that it cease immediately. The diocese undertook behavioural training for staff while it developed its own Faithfulness in Service policy. Three years of policy development will be culminated by the Code being presented to the Diocesan Synod in June 2021 for adoption.
Training throughout all 72 parishes
The project began in 2018, when the Diocese began reviewing and contextualizing the Australian Faithfulness in Service for Tanzania. Facilitators have been equipped to carry out the Code of Conduct training, and workshops have occurred for clergy in each deanery. Workshops for lay leaders often took place on Sundays after church services.
Outcomes of the Code of Conduct training include:
- Teachers and ministry leaders learn appropriate methods of disciplining children through student welfare programs, instead of beating children
- Orphans and vulnerable children are better cared for
- Children are respected and protected
- Corporal punishment is banned
- Financial integrity is respected
- Immoral behaviour by church workers is not tolerated
- Issues relevant to the local Tanzanian culture are covered (such as polygamy, female genital mutilation – FGM, child marriage, and wife-beating)
- A reporting system will ensure people can safely make their complaints and concerns known
The long-term goal is that other Dioceses in Tanzania will adopt this training, so that vulnerable people are protected and church workers carry out their ministry and personal lives with integrity and godliness.
In the case that a fundraising appeal has received sufficient donations, any surplus funds will be used for a similar activity or an activity in the same country.
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