At St Peter's Church, Brackley, we take safeguarding very seriously, believing that the Christian church ought to provide the safest environment on the planet. Yet, all too often, that has not been the case historically.
We subscribe to the following six overarching commitments outlined in The Church of England’s safeguarding policy statement for children, young people and adults, Promoting a Safer Church (2017):
1. Promoting a safer environment and culture
We will strive to create and maintain environments that are safer for all, that promote well-being, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church for children, young people and vulnerable adults. Our Church Officers will respect all children, young people and vulnerable adults and promote their well-being.
2. Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church
We will select and vet all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church, in accordance with the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance. We will train and equip Church Officers to have the confidence and skills they need to care and support children, young people and vulnerable adults and to recognise and respond to abuse.
3. Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
Anyone who brings any safeguarding suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or non-current abuse to the notice of the Church will be responded to respectfully and in a timely manner, in line with statutory child and adult safeguarding procedures and the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance.
4. Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
We will endeavour to offer care and support to all those that have been abused, regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred. Those who have suffered abuse within the Church will receive a compassionate response, be listened to and be taken seriously
5. Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
The Church in exercising its responsibilities to suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations of abuse will endeavour to respect the rights under criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law of an accused Church Officer including the clergy. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and Church inquiry processes. The Church will take responsibility for ensuring that steps are taken to protect others when any Church Officer is considered a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
6. Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others
The Church, based on the message of the gospel, opens its doors to all. We will therefore endeavour to offer pastoral care and support to any member of the church community whom may present a known risk. The Church will ensure that any risk has been assessed and is being managed in a safeguarding agreement in accordance with House of Bishops policy and practice guidance.
If you have any safeguarding concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer:
Tony Holden (01280 704271, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alternatively, make contact with one of the individuals, institutions or helplines below:
Beverly Huff, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: 01733 887040 or e-mail at: email@example.com
Christine Lamb, Diocesan Safeguarding Team: 01733 887041 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)
Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything
Cruse: 0800 808 1677 bereavement helpline
MACSAS: Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors. 0808 801 0340 support for those abused by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the church
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
NAPAC: National Association for People Abused in Childhood. 0808 801 0331. Support for adults abused as children.
Safer Spaces: A free and independent support service providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with the Church of England, Catholic Church of England and Wales or the church in Wales. 0300 303 1056 or email: email@example.com.
Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
Stop It Now: 0808 1000 900 preventing child sexual abuse.
Survivors Trust: 01788 550554. Support for men who have experienced sexual assault or rape.