Elmslie Memorial United Church wishes to categorically state our abhorrence and condemnation of any indecent action affecting anyone and especially a child. This comes against the background of recent discussion in the media concerning an incident involving the former custodian, which took place on the church premises just over a year ago.
Elmslie obtains satisfactory character references for all its employees. In addition, a police clearance certificate was obtained for the custodian as part of his work permit application. Then in response to this incident, the church immediately suspended the custodian while the matter was investigated by the police. In recognition of his own admission of wrong doing he resigned of his own accord. We recognise how devastating such action can be and from the very beginning conveyed to the child and her mother, our deep regret over the trauma that this incident caused. Moreover, we have been committed to providing counselling support for the child.
Elmslie has an excellent track record of youth work over many years and continues to provide a wide range of programmes that are supervised by appropriately experienced people who are dedicated to the safety and well-being of all our children. This incident did not take place during one of our usual youth activities.
While Elmslie has always been vigilant in selecting and supervising all its personnel, Elmslie has reviewed its policy related to use of premises and supervision of youth and additional regulation has been written to help prevent this type of incident.
We remain committed to providing a safe environment for all our children. We urge the public not to rush to judgement and not to undermine the benefits that thousands of boys and girls receive through their participation in Sunday school and any of the numerous uplifting youth programmes sponsored by the many churches across the Island.