A pastoral letter from both our bishops has been sent to clergy and churchwardens across the Diocese in Europe drawing attention to a fully revised Safeguarding policy which has just come into effect.
Bishops Robert and David (pictured above the the Archbishop of Canterbury) write; “Abuse of children and vulnerable adults continues to be a serious issue affecting many institutions. Abuse manifests itself in different ways and across the whole spectrum of society. Sadly, churches are far from immune.
Many safeguarding experts within the Church of England consider the Diocese in Europe to be especially at risk from predatory abusers. We are committed to ensuring that, as a Diocese, we do all in our power to protect children and vulnerable adults. It is essential that people know themselves to be safe and secure in our congregations.
In the light of this challenge, the Diocese has undertaken a major review of our approach to safeguarding, overseen by Charles Clark, the chairman of our Safeguarding Advisory Committee. The outcome of the Review is a completely revised ‘Diocesan Safeguarding Protocol’. This went live on the diocesan website on the 9th December. The protocol has been produced with the needs of Chaplaincies at the forefront, and a representative group of clergy and congregational members were consulted during its development.
The Protocol includes an introduction by Bishop Robert, a short explanation of safeguarding, and the actual policy, together with detailed requirements for the diocese, archdeaconries and chaplaincies. The website presentation includes simple links to help you access the detailed requirements. Please do have a look at the now completely rewritten safeguarding section of the website: http://europe.anglican.org/what-we-do/safeguarding. The essential chaplaincy requirements are set out in a single part of the Protocol.”
New confidential phoneline launched
Another development outlined in the bishops’ letter is the establishment of a dedicated phone-line for safeguarding issues. They say; “A key part of our approach is to ensure that whenever anyone has a concern they are encouraged to raise this as soon as possible. To support this we have introduced a confidential telephone line (+44 (0)20 7898 1163) together with a ‘Managing Concerns Methodology’ (also published on the website). This will be used to address every concern, to ensure that people can be confident that their worries are properly considered.”