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A message from the Right Reverend Dr Robert Innes, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe

Our Diocese first issued a formal policy on Safeguarding in 2012.  We produced a major update to the policy in 2015, which brought us up to date with the best advice available at that time.  But safeguarding knowledge and practice continues to develop.  And we have been able to learn from the practical experience of applying our own protocol across our Chaplaincies.  So I am now pleased that we are able to set out policy and practice which is consistent with revised Church of England guidelines as at 2019 in a form that is accessible and easier to use.

The requirements set out in this document, together with the linked guidance, are based on current best practice across the Church of England.  The requirements are there to help make sure our churches and communities are safe spaces and safe places.

I am well aware that the priority given to safeguarding matters varies from one country to another.  But that is not an excuse for doing safeguarding less well where custom and practice is less rigorous or sensitivity less heightened.  For me, safeguarding is a theological priority that is integral to the mission of the church.  It is an area where the church should lead and not just follow.

Diocesan safeguarding operates with proper care for personal data in line with the EU’s GDPR legislation*.  If your chaplaincy is in a territory outside the scope of GDPR where safeguarding data transfer is problematic then you must seek specific guidance from the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.  Operating in countries with different legal frameworks is not a reason for departure from the principle of doing safeguarding well.

Safeguarding continues to be a top priority for me – and I expect this to be the case across our Diocese.  We have a duty before our Lord to enable the church to be a safe and secure place for all vulnerable groups.  This document sets the standards and guidelines to which are all required to work.

Thank you for your co-operation and commitment to working with me in making our diocese a safe space.

Robert Gibraltar in Europe
Diocesan Bishop

* Should legal provisions on the applicability of GDPR to data transfers between the EU/EEA and the UK change following Brexit, this policy will be reviewed and amended accordingly.

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