We take our duty and obligation to safeguard and protect all people extremely seriously, and we have adopted the national Church of England's robust safeguarding procedures and guidelines. If you or anyone you are in contact with would like to talk with someone independently, please call the Safe Spaces helpline on 0300 303 1056 or via email. Alternatively, you may contact our Parish Safeguarding Officer via email or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in the Diocese of Chester, via email or phone: 07703 800031.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the Church of England House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy Statement, “Promoting a Safer Church”.
The Parochial Church Council of St Stephen’s Church undertakes to
- Promote a safer church for all in the church community, working to create an environment which is welcoming and respectful and enables safeguarding concerns to be raised and responded to openly, promptly and consistently.
- Endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures.
- Adopt, promote, publicise, communicate and display the House of Bishops’ “Promoting a Safer Church” safeguarding policy statement, and all House of Bishops’ and Diocesan safeguarding policies and practice guidance.
- Establish a Promoting a Safer Church Action Plan in order to ensure that safeguarding is taken seriously by all those in the church community.
- Establish a procedure to deal promptly with safeguarding allegations or suspicions of abuse in accordance with the relevant policy and practice guidance and in consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
- Ensure that all church officers who work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults are safely recruited following the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment practice guidance, work to House of Bishops’ safeguarding guidance and attend diocesan safeguarding training at least every three years.
- Ensure all safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers are immediately reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
- In consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, effectively manage and monitor known offenders or others who may pose a risk to children and/or vulnerable adults.
- In consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, ensure wherever possible arrangements are in place for the support of alleged victims and their families and also for those subject to allegations and their families.
- Ensure safeguarding is a standing agenda item at each PCC meeting and that an Annual Report is provided at the APCM.
- Provide appropriate insurance to cover for all activities undertaken in the name of the PCC which involve children and vulnerable adults.
- Display information about how to contact Church Officers and where to get help outside the church with child and adult safeguarding issues e.g. local authority contact details, domestic abuse and key helplines e.g. ChildLine.
- Ensure full compliance with all data protection legislation, especially in relation to storing information about any paid and unpaid workers and any safeguarding records.
- Ensure an “activity risk assessment” is completed and reviewed regularly for each church activity which is associated with either children or vulnerable adults.
- During a clergy vacancy, working with the churchwardens, ensure that all information about safeguarding matters is securely stored before passing the information on to the new incumbent. The departing incumbent must give the safeguarding information to the parish safeguarding officer who can pass the information on to the new incumbent when he/she takes up his/her new role.
- Ensure a safeguarding hire agreement is always used with any person/body wishing to hire church premises (i.e. a church building or a church hall).
The PCC have appointed Joan Potts as Parish Safeguarding Officer and Gill Monteith as Children’s Advocate.
This policy was adopted by the PCC on 16.1.18, and last reviewed on 20.10.20.