Saint Mary is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of the children and vulnerable adults within our church community. We are also committed to providing an environment where all people, especially those who may be vulnerable are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety.
The PCC has adopted the House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy Statement together with the supporting safeguarding policies and practice guidance. The Policy Statement can be viewed on line.
Safeguarding is at the heart of the gospel. As a church, we believe we are called, to welcome and show compassion to the oppressed and vulnerable and be a voice for the voiceless victims of injustice.
Our vision is to be “loving, growing, serving”. Sound safeguarding practice helps is a long way in doing this.
Duty of Care
All members of our PCC, along with the incumbent, have a duty of care to ensure the protection of the vulnerable in their church community. As charity trustees PCC members are legally accountable for ensuring good safeguarding practice in the parish and that safeguarding is a governance priority. Safeguarding Responsibilities of the PCC and Incumbent. The national church document Know your Safeguarding Role further describes the specific tasks and responsibilities of other roles in the church.
A Safeguarding Report is brought annually to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting which outlines a summary of the key steps that the PCC have taken to have “due regard” for safeguarding in the church. This may include steps taken during the year to ensure a safer environment for all e.g. Risk Assessments, Safer Recruitment Practice. A Self Audit is completed each year.
The new national training guidance make Core 1 safeguarding training mandatory for PCC members.
The House of Bishops Policy Statement outlines the Church of England commitment to safeguarding and underpins all policy and practice guidance. This is adopted by the PCC after the APCM annually. A signed copy is displayed on the church notice board at both St Mary’s and St John’s.
Safeguarding Parish Handbook
The Parish Handbook has been released by the national safeguarding team and distils all the key elements of the practice guidance we as a parish need to know on a day to day basis about implementing the national policies and practice guidance in our parish.
Paid workers and Volunteers
All those who undertake work in a specific activity provided for children, young people and/or vulnerable adults (regulated activity) in the parish on a voluntary or paid basis will be required to:
– Complete a Confidential Self Declaration Form
– To complete the necessary vetting application (Disclosure and Barring Service DBS)
– Undertake relevant Safeguarding training through the Diocese of Guildford
DBS checks will be required for the following parish posts:
– Youth Leader/Youth work Staff/Volunteer Assistants working on a regular basis
– Sunday School Leaders/Volunteer Assistants working on a regular basis
– Staff/Volunteers working on a regular basis at children’s and young people’s activities
– Crèche staff and volunteers working on a regular basis
– Pastoral staff
– Volunteers who work on a regular basis with vulnerable adults.
Current National Policies
Promoting a Safer Church Policy Statement 2017–This is the Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy for children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Protecting All God’s Children 2010– Safeguarding policy for Children
Promoting a Safe Church 2006– Safeguarding policy for Adults
The Diocese of Guildford notes that the majority of the two policies Promoting a Safer Church and All God’s Children have been superseded by the National Practice Guidance below. Once the final Practice Guidance is approved by the House of Bishops, the polices will be formally withdrawn.
Current National Practice Guidance
The Parish Safeguarding Handbook has been released by the national safeguarding team and distils all the key elements of the practice guidance our church needs to know on a day to day basis about implementing the national policies and practice.
Further safeguarding practice guidance approved by the House of Bishops can be viewed on the Church of England website.
Other helpful information:
Reporting and Recording Concerns
All safeguarding concerns must be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser as soon as possible and at the latest within 24 hours. This is usually via your parish safeguarding officer or incumbent and all those with safeguarding responsibilities should be equipped with the necessary contact details to make a referral.
Hire of Church Premises
All those who book or use the church hall on a regular basis shall be required to sign a copy of the parish booking agreement and a declaration that they have read and understood the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, or evidence that they have their own organisation’s safeguarding procedures, which they implement. Our Parish Safeguarding Officer can be contacted through this link https://www.oatlandschurch.org.uk/about/key-contacts/