Over the past two nights a story aired on A Current Affair raising a number of issues relating to C3 Australia, including our governance policies and an extremely unfortunate situation which occurred last year relating to marital infidelity by one of our former pastors.
We do not believe the portrayal of the facts by A Current Affair is reasonable and set out below are our detailed responses to the key issues raised on the program:
In June 2018, a C3 pastor was removed from his Church after allegations emerged of marital infidelity.
As soon as C3 Church became aware of these allegations, a comprehensive investigation was commenced and the allegations were confirmed as true. C3 Church acted decisively to remove the pastor from his role and to support people affected, with external counselling support.
C3 Church takes claims of sexual misconduct seriously and our primary concern in such matters is for the wellbeing of the person who has brought a claim to our attention.
An independent consultant was also engaged to implement a full review of the Church’s policies and procedures resulting in a range of additional measures, including implementing a hotline for people to report abuse in a confidential forum.
The pastor concerned died earlier this year.
We expect all of our pastors to live according to scriptural standards. Our focus is on supporting survivors of abuse situations, including providing access to counselling and ongoing support.
Ps Kong Hee
Ps Kong was convicted in 2015 in the Singapore courts and was sentenced to imprisonment in Changi Prison until 22 August 2019.
Ps Kong has served his sentence and has publicly apologised to his congregation for his actions.
C3 Church and Ps Phil have stood with him during his dark hours believing this to be consistent with our ongoing relationship and as a Christian Brother.
National Redress Scheme
C3 Church takes the safety of Children as of paramount importance and has robust policies and procedures in place regarding the protection of Children.
The deadline to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme is June 2020.
The C3 Church movement comprises a number of autonomous churches operating under the C3 umbrella: each church operates as an independent entity with its own pastor and governance arrangements including a board. Each church has been encouraged to consider its response to the National Redress Scheme.
C3 Church is evaluating the best way for churches within the C3 Church movement to meet best practice guidelines with respect to child protection, including but not limited to whether to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme.
C3 Church is in advanced discussions with its insurer, ACS Mutual, about a mechanism for individual C3 Churches to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme via ACS.
C3 Church has robust governance policies in place regarding remuneration of Pastors which extends to the remuneration of Ps Phil Pringle. All remuneration is set by an independent board of Directors and the quantum is benchmarked to organisations of a comparable size in the Education sector and he is paid the equivalent of a Headmaster’s salary.
C3 Church complies with the disclosure guidelines articulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
C3 has a regular program of giving to important causes which over the past 7 years has seen more than $3.6 million donated to external causes.
C3 Cares, a mission to the community in Sydney, has over the past 7 years:
Cooked and served over 125,000 meals to people in need
Distributed 55,000 food hampers
Distributed 30,000 items of clothing
Facilitated 250 work placements
Given over $1million of goods, furniture, clothing and assistance
As a movement, C3 has been very active in supporting a diverse group of organisations bringing care into the community, including well known groups like “Humptys” and Surf Life Saving Australia.
More recently, C3 Australia has been extensively involved in bringing drought relief assistance to farmers impacted by the national drought.