What’s it all about?

In the Introduction to The Church of England’s “Safeguarding Policy for Children, Young People and Adults” we read:

“The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities is the responsibility of the whole Church.  Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all.”

And in the introduction to “Safeguarding” taken from the Diocese of Chichester’s website it is said:

“It is our fundamental belief that safeguarding in a Christian context is Gospel work - it is an expression of our love for God and each other, and in particular of our obedience to the command to 'Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God' (Micah 6:8)
When we are 'doing' safeguarding, we are not just filling in forms or following procedures. No-one was ever protected simply by a piece of paper! Following procedures is vital but it is not the heart of what safeguarding is about. Fundamentally, safeguarding is about the use and misuse of power, and the exploitation or protection of the vulnerable.”

Safeguarding is a big issue. 
We are taking it seriously – we cannot – we must not be complacent ….. 
We must avoid thinking:  “this is church – we care –  “it”  can’t happen here !!”. 
We have to acknowledge that “it” COULD happen here !  We have to be prepared to face the “unthinkable”.
The emphasis of Safeguarding has changed from “vulnerability” to “being at risk”. 
It was “reactive”, it is now aimed at being “preventative”.

Did you know …..

  • There are 10 Statutory categories of abuse of adults, 4 of child abuse.
  • “Spiritual” abuse is deemed to be part of psychological or emotional abuse, and is now of concern both within and outside faith communities including the Church.
  • Safeguarding is now about everyone …..
  • Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility …..

So we need to think:  “Safeguarding is FOR everyone BY everyone”.
Each and every one of us has a responsibility for the Safeguarding of anyone who may be at risk.  We all have a duty to ensure that all the activities of the church are being carried out in a way that protects anyone, and everyone, who may be “at risk” – a child or an adult receiving care and attention, as well as the person providing that care and attention on behalf of the church.

Please contact me if you have any questions and / or comments.

Roy Buchanan

Safeguarding Officer for the Parish of Frant with Eridge
Tel. No.        01892 750791