Making a complaint
Step 1: Who to contact about a complaint
Within the Presbytery of Forth Valley and Clydesdale you should make initial contact with the Presbytery Clerk, Rev Julie Rennick. The Clerk can support and advise anyone thinking of making a complaint regarding a minister, deacon or officer bearer of the Church.
The Interim Presbytery Clerk is Rev Julie Rennick, email: [email protected] , Tel: 01698 285672.
You can email or telephone the Presbytery Clerk. Please always make initial contact with Presbytery Clerk in this way before following the more formal steps noted below.
If the person you want to complain about is the Presbytery Clerk, then please note that you should make initial contact with the Deputy Clerk. The Deputy Clerk, Rev Bryan Kerr, can be contacted via email: [email protected].
The Church hopes that wherever possible, initial discussion with the Presbytery Clerk (or Deputy Clerk) may well have been enough to allay your concerns or to establish that the matter does not require further investigation.
Step 2: Progressing a complaint – formal notification
If the matter is to be taken further, then the Presbytery Clerk must have some details from you in order for a complaint to be properly investigated. This means that you need to write to the Clerk, either in a letter or an email, setting out:
- Your contact details (and whether you are a Church member or office bearer).
- Details of the person you are complaining about.
- The nature of your complaint.
- Specific details of the circumstances (including, where possible, names of individuals, places, dates etc).
The Presbytery Clerk can assist you with this. Upon receipt of your written complaint, the Presbytery Clerk will acknowledge this in writing within 7 days. All information which you supply in connection with your complaint will be treated sensitively. So far as is possible while still enabling your complaint to be properly dealt with, the information which you give will be treated confidentially.
Step 3: Dealing with a complaint
On receipt of your written complaint, the Presbytery Clerk will send it to the Convener of the Presbytery's Complaints Committee. A meeting of that Committee will then be called to consider the complaint.
Following the meeting of the Complaints Committee, one member of the Committee will contact you to discuss your complaint and if appropriate, to arrange to meet with you.
The Complaints Committee will also forward a copy of the complaint to the respondent (the subject of the complaint).
The Committee may similarly meet with the respondent. The Committee shall make such enquiries as it considers appropriate and may hold more than one meeting separately with you, the complainer, and with the respondent. If it considers this to be appropriate and both parties consent, the Committee may facilitate a mediated meeting between you and the respondent.
On any occasion where the Committee meets with you, you are entitled to have present two other persons; where there is more than one meeting, these will ideally always be the same two persons.
On any occasion when the Committee meets with the respondent, the respondent shall be entitled to have present his or her pastoral adviser and one other person; again where there is more than one meeting, these will ideally always be the same two persons.
Summary notes will be kept of all meetings throughout the process.
The Committee will endeavour to provide you with an initial response on your complaint within a period of 20 working days from when it first considered the complaint.
Step 4: The outcome
Upon completion of its enquiries, the Committee will hope to have achieved one of the following possible outcomes (although this list is not exhaustive):
The Procedure outlined above is subject to a right of procedural review. Further information about this will be given to you if it applies
Text and information adapted from The Church of Scotland .