Conference explores signs of healthy Christian culture

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Conference explores signs of healthy Christian culture

Replenished Life was the theme as 35 delegates from across East Anglia met in Newmarket for the annual Safeguarding Conference in September.  

Simon and Caroline Plant from the charity Replenished Life spoke about Spiritual Abuse: Coercion and Control within a Religious Context – Recognising, Responding and Supporting Well within Healthy Cultures. 

The conference took place September 24 and looked at recent research carried out in the UK (Oakley and Humphreys 2019) which has identified the characteristics of a healthy Christian culture. These include:

  • Safeguarding as a foundation and root
  • Everyone is respected, valued and nurtured
  • Biblical teaching guides and empowers but allows for discussion, autonomy and choice
  • Leadership nurtures and is nurtured. Everyone is supported, can thrive and flourish
  • Whole Life service is recognised. What happens outside of church is ministry and needs to be valued
  • There is healthy accountability in a healthy Christian culture 
  • Boundaries are agreed and there is choice within accountability, relationships and arrangements
  • There is an exception here in relation to safeguarding agreements, but these should still be delivered with respect, value and nurturing
  • A healthy culture models inclusion
  • Behaviour is guided but choice is respected. The Gospel is a choice  

Replenished Life aims to be the leading multi-faith and inclusive support charity for abuse and trauma within faith. The charity works to equip faith organisations to understand and develop healthier safer cultures and to highlight the risks of belonging to an unhealthy faith culture. It offers appropriate sources of support if people do experience abuse and trauma within faith. The charity’s helpline has supported 450 people in the last four years.

Further information can be found at 

Pictured above are (left to right) Joan Wall, Parish Safeguarding Representative from Ely, Caroline and Simon Plant from the charity Replenished Life and Mick Thurley, Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator.