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Safeguarding People

Diocesan policies, procedures and guidelines

A Safe Church

‘A Safe Church’, Diocesan policies, procedures and guidelines for safeguarding children, safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable, and responding to domestic abuse, is published in the form of a manual; two copies were distributed to each church in the Diocese in March 2009.

The policies, procedures and guidelines build on and update our robust child protection policies, and for the first time incorporate polices and guidelines relating to adults who may be vulnerable, in line with the Church of England policy ‘Promoting a Safe Church’.  They also incorporate information and practice in responding to situations of domestic abuse, in line with Church of England guidelines, ‘Responding to Domestic Abuse.’

The contents of ‘A Safe Church’ can be downloaded here in sections.  The manual is designed to be used as a tool as and when necessary: some sections will be of more relevance to some people than to others; and you may need to find specific sections in a hurry, depending on your particular concern.  We recommend you download the section, ‘How to use this manual: a quick guide’ in order to assist you in deciding which sections you need.

A Safe Church - updates

Parish Safeguarding Officers have been sent a pack containing replacement pages for copies of A Safe Church, numbered and dated June 2010, and a replacement CD of the whole manual for the sleeve in the front.  To help with implementation, the significant changes are listed here. The instruction sheet for inserting the changes can be downloaded here.

The most recent version of A Safe Church can be downloaded in sections below. 

A Safe Church - Downloads:



How to use this manual: a quick guide

Section 1 - Introduction

Section 2 - Diocesan policies for:

  • Safeguarding Children
  • Safeguarding Adults who may be vulnerable
  • Responding to Domestic Abuse

Section 3 - Roles and responsibilities in the diocese and the parish

Section 4 - Procedures and Guidelines for keeping safe

  • Health and safety
  • Identifying and assessing risk
  • Activities:
    • with children and young people
    • with adults who may be vulnerable
  • Physical contact
  • First Aid and administration of medication
  • Holidays and residential trips
  • Children's care provision on your premises: Ofsted registration
  • Transport - minibuses, coaches and cars
  • Electronic communication, and using the internet with children and young people
  • Taking and publishing photographs and videos, including on websites
  • Drugs and alcohol use and children and young people
  • Acceptable behaviour by children and adults who may be vulnerable
  • Record keeping and personal data
  • Insurance
  • Hirers of church buildings

Section 5 - Procedures for selecting, recruiting and supporting staff

  • Selection for ordination and of licensed/commissioned lay ministers
  • Recruitment to Diocesan and parish paid and voluntary posts
  • Criminal Records Bureau/Independent Safeguarding Authority
  • Support, supervision and training

Section 6 - Procedures for allegations and concerns

  • Complaints and grievances
  • Whistle-blowing
  • Receiving and responding to disclosures or observations of abuse
  • Allegations against clergy and church officers
  • Information sharing, confidentiality and consent
  • Press enquiries

Section 7 - Guidelines for Care

  • General standards of practice in pastoral care
  • Care of survivors of abuse and their families
    Survivors of domestic abuse
  • Care of perpetrators of abuse and their families

Section 8 - Procedures for Supervision of offenders and those who pose risk

  • Risk assessments
  • Management and agreements

Section 9 - Information sheets

  • A summary of the law and guidance in safeguarding
  • A range of theological perspectives on safeguarding
  • What is child abuse and neglect?
  • What is mistreatment, abuse and harm of vulnerable adults?
  • Whatis domestic abuse?
  • Accessible publicity
  • Children with special needs
  • Witchcraft and spiritual possession
  • Diocesan contacts
  • List of organisations
  • Further reading and websites

Section 10 - Forms and templates for use by parishes (pdf)

  1. Parish Policy for Safeguarding Children (rtf)
  2. Parish Policy for Safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable (rtf)
  3. Parish Policy for Responding to Domestic Abuse (rtf)
  4. Role of the Parish Safeguarding Officer (pdf)
  5. Change of Parish Safeguarding Officer Form (rtf)
  6. Risk Assessment Form (rtf)
  7. Registration Form for Activities (rtf)
  8. Transport of children and vulnerable adults in private cars -
    Undertaking by Voluntary Driver (rtf)
  9. Transport of children and vulnerable adults in private cars -
    Passenger’s Consent for Transport (rtf)
  10. Consent Form for Taking Photographs of Children (rtf)
  11. Consent Form for Taking Photographs of adults who may be vulnerable (rtf)
  12. Form for Regular Hirers of Church Buildings (rtf)
  13. Sample application form: paid post (rtf)
  14. Sample application form: voluntary post (rtf)
  15. Sample confidential declaration form, new and renewal (rtf)
  16. Safer Recruiting – interim guidance from 10/09/12 (pdf)
  17. Employers of paid posts - checking on the right to work in the UK (pdf)
  18. Policy statement regarding Recruitment, Disclosures and the security of disclosure information
  19. CRB Umbrella Body Disclosure agreement (rtf)
  20. A model complaints and grievances procedure (pdf)
  21. A model disciplinary procedure (pdf)

Glossary of terms


Additional procedures and guidelines which complement or expand on A Safe Church

Procedures are non-negotiable; you must adopt them in order to comply with the law and/or national and Church of England policy.

Guidelines are the Diocese's recommendation for best practice.