At Holy Hermits Online we value fellowship and unity alongside difference, and discourage the bringing of anything that is intentionally divisive or hurtful to our shared space where everyone is welcome. 

HHO has zero tolerance for all forms of abuse and is committed to safeguarding everyone involved in activities, ministries and services.

Bullying, cyber stalking, abusive language and controlling behaviours are not welcome in our space where everyone, lay and ordained, has the right to feel safe.
We are committed to working with those who struggle to love others in appropriate ways, but if behaviour continues after repeated efforts to transform it, we reserve the right to withdraw membership and communications to keep our community safe.
We adopt the Being Together statement of expectations as a guide for behaviour in our community life:
Jesus told us to love one another as he loves us.  

As Christians we know our life together is strengthened when our behaviour is consistent with our faith. However, our experience of being together as Christians can be difficult, particularly when there are differences. So, it is important to be clear about how we will behave towards each other.

  • As a community we value the wellbeing of others, encourage each other to participate in the life of the church, and will consider the impact of our behaviour on others.

  • As we relate to each other we will treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of ability, gender, sexuality, race, age or contribution to the church and act with integrity and honesty in our interactions.

  • We will communicate respectfully with others and in no way threaten, belittle or humiliate but speak with integrity and honesty – refraining from speculation and gossip.

  • We acknowledge that we are all different, created in God’s image.

  • Therefore, we will respect those who are different from us and not isolate or ridicule them, and we will listen to and seek to understand the beliefs, opinions and practices of others, even when we do not share their views. 

  • We will accept responsibility for our part in a conflict.

  • We will be willing to play our part in resolving a conflict.

Why do we safeguard?
Because God loves us and asks us to share that love with one another. By treating one another fairly, respectfully and with kindness we are growing closer to God.
All of our spaces and groups at HHO will be made up of humans, who are not perfect and can make mistakes in relationships. Please keep this in mind to authentically bear with one another in times of strain with compassion, patience and forgiveness. Remember that everything we do is in the name of Jesus and glorifies God – we do this by bearing with one another in love.

Below are some extra guiding principles to keep in mind when interacting in our community spaces. 

Owning and Grounding
Owning your opinions as belonging to you helps avoid confusion and ambiguity

Grounding what is said with intentional language is helpful

Eg. “I feel that…” “In my opinion…” “I have noticed…” "In my experience..."

By taking responsibility for your experience and perspective, you make space for others to express different views and share their unique positions. This practice enhances our community life and resiliance so that we can remain in unity with difference.

Questions are the answer
Nurturing curiosity is a safeguarding practice.

By posing questions we are honouring Jesus’ teachings (which often featured more questions than answers) while encouraging one another to grow deeper in faith. 

All questions are welcome as long as they are put forward in a spirit of respect.

The R.E.S.P.E.C.T ethos
We are governed by our principle of mutual respect at all times.

 R – Responsibility. Take responsibility for what you share. Use “I” statements.

E – Empathetic listening. Use empathetic listening and apply grace to what others share. We don’t all have to agree to be community together.  

S – Sensitive. Be sensitive to differences and the limitations of the online space. Some words mean different things to different people and it can be harder to convey things over written communications than in person.  

P – Ponder. Ponder what you hear and feel before you speak. Taking a few deep breaths before sharing is always a good idea.  

E – Examine. Examine your own assumptions and perceptions. Think carefully about how you are interpreting what is being shared. Every person comes from a unique position and might mean something different to what is first assumed. It’s ok to respectfully clarify and ask questions to better understand another’s position.

C – Confidentiality. Confidentiality is different than secrets. Share constructively to uphold the well-being of the community but be respectful of what others share. Experiences and opinions belong to the person who has shared them and the space that they have shared them in – so check before relaying another person’s words outside of the space.

T –Trust. Trust ambiguity, we are not here to debate who is right or wrong, but to playfully explore and grow our faith in a safe space. 

Online Safety
We take the safety of our members very seriously and undertake to make being part of community as safe as possible. 

Personal info

Our members are encouraged not to give personal information away in Virtual reality or on Zoom - even when we are gathered with other members we know well. We must remember that being online is still a public space even if we are connecting from home or other places that feel safe for us.   

First names only

Members are encouraged to think carefully about using their full names when they join spaces. Whenever a community member is mentioned in send-outs, on the liturgy screens or in other communications, only their first name will be used.

Be aware

Being part of any online activity represents some risk. Although we do our best to create a safe space, we must live with the reality that being online can expose us to scams, unwanted and uninvited content and varied behaviours from others also participating as well as those who seek to gain access to intentionally take advantage or disrupt the space.    

Be responsible

Online safety is the main reason signing-up is necessary to get the Zoom links for worship and gatherings, and why we don't have them listed on our website. By ensuring that those who have signed up are genuinely wanting to connect in or become part of the community, we have less risk of internet 'trolls' or 'bots' gaining access and disrupting our space.

Members are welcome to share Zoom links to join with family members and friends, who they might like to invite to try HHO out, but are asked not to post the links on social media or in public forums.

All member data and information for those on our send out list is kept securely through the ChMs system.  

While engaging with other HHO members on social media and communication accounts
Also including Zoom chat function in gatherings and in email communications
  • Be safe. The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained. 
  • Be respectful. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful.
  • Be kind. Treat others how you would wish to be treated and assume the best in people. If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use.
  • Be honest. Don’t mislead people about who you are.
  • Take responsibility. You are accountable for the things you do, say and write. Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t share it.
  • Be a good ambassador. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.
  • Disagree well. Some conversations can be places of robust disagreement and it’s important we apply our values in the way we express them. 
  • Credit others. Acknowledge the work of others. Respect copyright and always credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.    
  • Follow the rules. Abide by the terms and conditions of the various social media platforms themselves. If you see a comment that you believe breaks their policies, then please report it to the respective company.   

From the Church of England’s social media community guidelines.

If you have any questions or need for conversation about safeguarding you can contact...

Dean Peter Catt
  • Dean of Cathedral
The Rev'd Canon Julia Van Den Bos
  • Cathedral Canon Pastor
The Rev'd Dr Gemma Dashwood
  • Cathedral Honourary Assistant Curate
The Rev'd Dr Ann Solari
  • Cathedral Honourary Deacon
Bishop Bill Ray