This section should equip you with all the knowledge and tools necessary to undertake your work within each parish or benefice relating to safeguarding.
Parish Safeguarding Handbook (August 2019) (New Edition)
The new national Parish Safeguarding Handbook is your first port of call for information on all aspects of safeguarding in a parish. The most up to date version of it is available to download from both the Diocesan website and directly from the Church of England website. This is a very useful document and is essential for all parishes to read and take direction from. If you require a hard copy, please get in touch with any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
Please do not purchase printed hardcopy versions of this document as the National Safeguarding Team intend to update it on a regular basis.
Parish Safeguarding Policy
There is a requirement for each PCC to formally adopt and work to all the House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policies.
Furthermore, each PCC is required to sign up to the safeguarding policy statement: ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, this is very basic and only 7 pages long! It explains the principles of safeguarding, details the fundamental requirements, refers to (larger and) specific policies and finally details action points that need to be undertaken in order to ensure that the ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ Policy is valid and active.
Items to be Displayed on Notice Boards
There is a requirement for each PCC to display relevant safeguarding notices on church notice boards. These come in the form of 2 posters. One poster details ‘who to contact if there are any safeguarding concerns’ and the second poster is a one page summary of the above ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ Policy.
Parish Websites & Safeguarding Information
If you have a parish website – please can you ensure you display relevant safeguarding information and that it is prominently linked from the homepage of your website. If the Church of England's A Church Near You (ACNY) is your main web presence, then you may want to offer this information on there. Additionally, every page on ACNY has a link at the base of it which directs visitors to the diocesan safeguarding adviser. It is a requirement of the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, please see Page 9.
‘Promoting a Safer Church - Action Plan’
The easiest way for a Parish/Benefice to meet its safeguarding responsibilities is for the PCC to draw up a Parish/Benefice Safeguarding Action Plan. This is a document that details all the actions that need to take place. It is also an effective means of tracking a parish’s progress. The Parish Safeguarding Action Plan will be used as the basis for a Parish Audit, which we will be undertaken in the latter half of this year.
Support for Parish Safeguarding Officers/Reps
The Diocesan Safeguarding Team value and appreciate the work of Parish / Benefice Safeguarding Officers / Reps. We acknowledge how difficult and challenging the role can be, and we are keen to help support you in your roles. We are planning to hold a number of safeguarding engagement events 'Network Meetings' for Parish Safeguarding Officers each year. The events will consist of a briefing on all current and emerging issues relating to church safeguarding but will also represent an opportunity for Safeguarding Officers / Reps to raise concerns and highlight issues and feedback to us. If there is something specific that you would like included at the event, please do let us know.
Obviously, these Network Meeting are not taking place at present, however we will resume these when able to meet safely.
We will be developing more resources for Parishes to use over the next coming months to fit in with updates from the National policies. These will be made available on the website when completed.
Please do contact anyone from the Team if you would like to have more information on any of the above aspects.