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Introduction

“The Church of England is called to share the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. The life of our communities and institutions is integral to how we address this task. The good news speaks of welcome for all, with a particular regard for those who are most vulnerable, into a community where the value and dignity of every human being is affirmed and those in positions of responsibility and authority are truly trustworthy. Being faithful to our call to share the gospel therefore compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has.” 

(From ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, The Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy Statement)

 

  • This policy and practice guidance is based on the National Safeguarding Team’s Parish Handbook, which brings into one place the key safeguarding responsibilities that are outlined in the House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance.
  • The policy is web-based, meaning that amendments can be made to the policy as and when they are required.  Within the body of the policy, you will find hyperlinks to forms and more detailed guidance.
  • The policy is aimed at all those who have a key role with children, young people and adults in a chaplaincy.  Section 1 is specifically aimed at the incumbent and those who chair on the Chaplaincy Council.  Sections 10, 11 and 12 are specifically aimed at leaders of the chaplaincy’s work with children, young people and adults.
  • It is hoped that the use of the policy and practice guidance will contribute greatly to promoting a safer culture and building good safeguarding practice in a chaplaincy.
  • The law of the country of your chaplaincy must take precedence over the requirements stated in this Policy and Guidance.  Please do advise the Diocesan Safeguarding Team of any such instances.
  • The duty to have ‘due regard’ to guidance under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 applies to the policy.  This means that the “relevant persons” as defined in the 2016 Measure (who include but are not limited to the incumbent, the chaplaincy council and the churchwardens) will need to comply with its terms unless they can point to cogent reasons for not doing so.  (To be ‘cogent’, such reasons must be clear, logical and convincing).  It does not apply to the model templates and additional practice reference material that have been offered to complement this policy.
  • The promotion of good practice for Safeguarding across the Diocese includes the raising of legitimate whistleblowing concerns and complaints.  The Diocese in Europe's Whistleblowing and Complaints Procedure provides further information.
  • In addition, failure to have due regard to House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance may have direct consequences for the validity of your insurance and the insurance of the Diocese.

KEY MESSAGES:

  • The welfare of the child, young person and vulnerable adult is at all times paramount and takes precedence over all other considerations.
  • The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser must be consulted whenever a safeguarding concern of any kind arises in your parish.
  • Safeguarding is part of our core faith and an integral feature of Christian life in our parish churches.
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