City Group Leaders' Page.
Thanks for leading a City Group this coming term. Leading the actual group sessions is about 90% of the role and is probably the part that you signed up to do. The remaining 10% is administration, the majority of which needs to be done before the start of your City Group.
The following page will walk you through everything you need to know in order to lead a City Group as part of City Church (we're a registered charity and so have to meet certain standards), as well as setting up and managing your City Group in ChurchSuite. If you think that there is anything that should be on this page that isn't, please email Joe.
You can navigate to the different sections of this page using the menu bar on the left hand side or, if you're familiar with leading a City Group, you can jump to 'Quick links' to download the forms and documents you need.
Before your City Group can begin, the following steps will need to be completed:
Update/check your City Group details
Complete a Risk Assessment and email it to Joe
Complete the Confidentiality Agreement form if you are a new City Group leader
Read the Safeguarding Policy
Read the Volunteers' Handbook
First-time City Group leaders.
If you are leading a City Group for the first time, please can you do two things for us:
1. Read and sign the confidentiality form
2. Read the Volunteers' Handbook (see Caring and safeguarding)
Editing your City Group details.
Once your City Group has been give the green light, Joe will set up the City Group in ChurchSuite and add you and anyone leading with you to the group. You should be able to access the group under 'My Groups' in the ChurchSuite app on browser. Navigate to group and click 'Edit' to amend the details.
Please watch the video or work through the written instructions below.
Name: This will already be populated for you, but feel free to edit if you think another name is appropriate.
Frequency: You can select a value from the dropdown list. For most, groups either 'Weekly' or 'Fortnightly' will be appropriate.
Day: This will contain the day of the week.
Time: The official 'hard' start time for your City Group.
Location: Select 'Online' if meeting on Zoom and Joe will populate the URL field with your City Group's Zoom link. Select 'Physical' if meeting in person and provide the the venue name or, if meeting in someone's home, the village/town/city area. Please do not put in the postcode.
Description: This is your place to 'sell' your group and describe what you plan on doing. It's helpful to mention here any book(s) or resources that people might need to get or any dates when you will not be meeting e.g. half term.
Group Leader: Insert your full name and the full name of any other person leading with you.
Open to: Please select a value from the drop-down list. You or one of your leaders need to have a valid DBS check if unaccompanied under 18s are to join your group.
Meeting length: Please select a value from the drop-down list.
And that's it. Your City Group details have been updated and are ready to go live.
Working with under 18s.
We are always delighted when under 18s want to get involved with our City Groups, and we welcome them wholeheartedly. However, there are a few extra legal requirements that we need to take into account.
1. Parental media consent form for all under 18s.
If you want to have direct contact with all group members via social media, email, or mobile phone AND your group contains under 18s, please ask their parent/guardian to complete a CG parental media consent form and send a copy to Joe. Please do not include under 18s in any Facebook communications for the group.
2. Parental permission form for unaccompanied under 18s.
For each unaccompanied child or youth, please ask their parent/guardian to complete a CG parental permission form and keep this form accessible during this term's group sessions in case of emergency.
Completing a risk assessment.
The one time you wish you had written a risk assessment is when an accident takes place in your group. With a risk assessment, you are minimising the chances of that happening and ensuring that you are considering the well-being and safety of your group members.
To fill out a risk assessment, consider your average City Group meeting (and definitely any 'out of the ordinary' meetings) from start to finish, and ask yourself two questions:
What potential risks might a City Group member come across?
What steps can you take now or in advance to mitigate the risk?
For example, you are likely to serve hot drinks in a City Group meeting which, if spilt, could burn someone. You could reduce this risk by making sure that everyone has a flat surface on which to place their hot drink.
Download the risk assessment form and watch the video below or follow the instructions to help you complete your risk assessment for your City Group. If you are meeting with your City Group online, then you can begin your risk assessment with this template. Once completed, please email a copy to Joe.
Pastoral care and safeguarding.
Leading a City Group is a wonderful thing, but it is a position of responsibility, both spiritually, pastorally and legally.
Please put aside a half hour to read and digest the following documents.
Pastoral care at City Church Cambridge. (link)
This will help you understand how pastoral care is structured at City Church Cambridge and how best to support people in your City Group.
Safeguarding Policy. (link)
God cares about all people, with a special place for the vulnerable – the orphans and widows in Biblical times. In our modern situation, this translates in particular to children and vulnerable adults. We want to operate in such a way that the vulnerable are protected and cared for, as well as protecting and caring for you as the leader.
Volunteers' Handbook. (link)
This is a comprehensive overview of everything that volunteering with City Church entails. Download it and read the appropriate sections to your role as City Group leader.
Managing your group in My ChurchSuite.
There are a number of scenarios where you may want to add a member to your City Group manually rather than asking them to sign up.
They may have been in the City Group last term and they want to continue. You want to add them before sign-up opens.
Sign-up has closed but you want to add them anyway.
You should be able to access the group under 'My Groups' in the ChurchSuite app on browser. Navigate to group and click 'Edit' to amend the details.
Please note, if someone is new to City Church and you has not registered their details with us, then you cannot search for them and add them to your City Group. They will first need to fill out the 'Connect' form on the website.
Emailing your group.
MyChurchSuite allows you to email group members without publicising their contact details to each other.
Taking attendance is an important part of leading a group. It allows us to care for people well and follow up with them if they miss one or two meetings in a row. It helps from a safeguarding and fire safety perspective, and gives Joe an indication of how to develop City Groups. Download the instructions or watch the video below.
Working with Zoom.
Many of us became acquainted overnight with Zoom due to the CVOID-19 pandemic in March 2020 with all of church life shifting online. While meeting online brought certain challenges, it also created opportunities, and it's likely that we will have a mixture of online and in-person City Groups each and every term.
You may find the "Using Zoom for church" guide helpful when leading your City Group.
Prior to your City Group starting, Joe will email you with details of the church Zoom account that you can use to host your City Group meeting, as well as the Zoom meeting details (URL, meeting ID and passcode). Please do not share the Zoom account password with other people and remember to sign out of the Zoom account at the end of your meeting.
Claiming City Group expenses.
If leading a City Group generates costs for you, you are welcome to claim them back from City Church Cambridge.
Books or resources purchased for the City Group
Extraordinary food and beverage costs e.g. an end of City Group celebration or community outreach event
Expenses that cannot be claimed back:
Petrol costs associated with travelling to the venue or transportation for City Group members.
'Normal' beverage and snack costs.
Download the expenses form and watch the video below to help you complete it. You will need to select '5420 – Small Groups' as the budget code. Once completed, please email a copy and scanned or photographed receipts to Joe.
Here is a list of all the files and forms you might need to read, download or complete:
Confidentiality agreement (new leaders' only)
CG Parental Media Consent form (if working with under 18s)
CG Parental Permission form (if working with unaccompanied under 18s)
City Group Risk Assessment template (in-person)
City Group Risk Assessment template (online)