Keep safe all those under our care is our highest priority, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults. As Christians, we believe that every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from the creation of people in God’s image. We must do all we can, therefore, to protect everybody within our care from harm.
In order to do all we can in this regard, St Richard’s follows the principles, policies, and best practice described in the Church of England’s policy statements Promoting a Safer Church (2017), Protecting All God's Children (2010), and Promoting a Safe Church (2006).
This means that we are committed to:
the care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children and adults
the safeguarding and protection of all children and adults
the establishment of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is a culture of informed vigilance regarding the dangers of abuse.
recognizing that safeguarding is the responsibility of the whole church.
In particular, this means we will:
Carefully select and train all those with any responsibility for children within the Church in line with safer recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration with the relevant vetting and barring schemes.
Respond without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult or child may have been harmed, co-operating with the police and local authority in any investigation.
Offer informed pastoral care with anyone who has suffered abuse.
Challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.
Offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to proper authorities, of any member of our church community known to have offended against a child or vulnerable adult.
In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognized good practice.
Reporting Abuse and Finding Support
If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention call the emergency services on 999. Do not delay.
Our Church Safeguarding Officers are the first people to speak to if you have any concerns around the welfare of a child or vulnerable adult. Currently our CSOs are Emma Hughes and Gill Coombes.
Our Children’s Champions are here to be an advocate for all children in every area of parish life, making sure children’s views are heard and their needs are thought of. If you’d like to raise any issues regarding children and young people please contact either Ray Rosario or Julie Adams.
Reporting abuse may be very difficult and distressing to you and it may add to your hurt by our not being able to immediately assist you. Therefore here are the contact details of other agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 ((lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 ( free phone Monday to Friday 9 - 5 pm)