Safeguarding Information April 2019
This document is a brief introduction to safeguarding within the church in the Diocese of Hereford. It gives information relevant to a parish. It explains how safeguarding is managed in the Diocese. It also details all National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. Where possible you are encouraged to access more detailed information contained on the safeguarding pages of the Diocesan website or alternatively the safeguarding pages of the National Church of England website.
If you have any queries in relation to anything contained within this document, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team (see below).
Safeguarding Concerns !!!!!
If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from a Safeguarding Adviser, or if necessary, report the matter to your Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police without delay.
Please see below for useful contact numbers:
Hereford Diocesan Safeguarding Team: -
Mandy McPhee, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org 07875757396 or 01746785168).
Cheryl Combstock, Diocesan Safeguarding Admin Support (email@example.com or 01432 373316).
Suki Gregson-Smith, DBS Administrator/Safeguarding Training Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01584 871084).
Angela Ayliffe, Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, (email@example.com) is currently working on a self-employed basis to assist the DSA.
Information relevant for a Parish
New - Parish Safeguarding Handbook
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. This Policy is available to download from the Diocesan website, the Church of England website or from any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. It is also referred to in the new Parish Safeguarding Handbook.
Items to be displayed on notice boards and parish websites
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. Both posters can be obtained from any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or can be downloaded from the Diocesan website. Where a parish has its own website there is a requirement to display information about who to contact if someone has a safeguarding concern. This should mirror the information displayed on your poster.
Parish Safeguarding 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 in the form of a checklist. It is also an effective means of tracking a parish’s progress. A template for such an Action Plan is available from any member of the Safeguarding Team or can be downloaded from the Diocesan website.
A key way of protecting children and adults from harm is to ensure the careful recruitment and support of those working with them. The National Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance on Safer Recruitment sets out safer recruitment practices for people working or volunteering with children and adults. The most important and legally binding aspect is the completion of the criminal record checks known as Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS). The guidance outlines who should undertake a criminal record check in accordance with their role. The guidance is available from any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or via the Diocesan website or the Church of England website.
You can obtain a DBS application pack, which contains full details to aid completion and where to return the forms to, from either the Diocesan Offices in Hereford or from Suki Gregson-Smith at Diocesan Offices in Ludlow.
Each parish must adhere strictly to the requirements of the Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance and must take full responsibility in obtaining a DBS Check for all relevant paid and volunteer workers within the church, PRIOR to them commencing their church roles and activities. This is a legal requirement and not optional.
Advice and Guidance regarding Safer Recruitment
Each parish will be different in terms of the activities it does, and hence it will have different requirements in terms of what it needs to do to adhere to safer recruitment principles. If you are unsure of what your parish is required to do, please get in touch with Mandy or Angela from the Diocesan Safeguarding Team who will be happy to advise.
National safeguarding policy dictates that the church ‘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.’
Attendance at Diocesan Safeguarding Training is mandatory for anyone performing certain roles connected with church activity. It is also a requirement to refresh training every three years. Details about what is required in relation to safeguarding training can be found within the new Parish Safeguarding Handbook and is detailed within the template for a parish safeguarding action plan.
Advice and Guidance and how to book on to Safeguarding Training
Information on all available Diocesan Safeguarding Training will be published on the Diocesan website and advertised within the regular Diocesan monthly e-bulletin. If you wish to book a space on a safeguarding course or have any queries in relation to any aspect of safeguarding training, please contact any member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
Parish or Benefice – C1 Foundation Training
The Church of England website provides the C1 Foundation training with an on-line version www.churchofengland.org This is often a better way for people at parish level to access this material. It is delivered in a stimulating way with a mix of styles to engage the person completing the training. When on the Church of England website, please go to Safeguarding/Training/E-learning (at present it only refers to C0 training but keep following the link and you will be able to access C1)/Visit the website and view the instructions/On-line Courses/Create new Account (if you need to).
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 for Parish Safeguarding Officers during the year. They 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 particular that you would like included at an event, please do let us know.
Attendance at other Parish / Benefice/ Deanery Meetings
Mandy and Angela from the Diocesan Safeguarding Team are very happy to attend any meeting in order to answer any queries or questions that you may have in relation to safeguarding including any aspect of safer recruitment.
Useful Summary Points for Parish / Benefices -
Diocesan Perspective – Safeguarding Management and Strategic Oversight
Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan
The Diocese has formulated a Safeguarding Strategy and a Safeguarding Action Plan. These are two in depth documents setting out exactly what the Diocese needs to do to ensure all activities connected with the church are safe for both children and adults. The Hereford Diocese Safeguarding Strategy explains the strategic objectives. It is reviewed, refreshed, and presented to Diocesan Synod on a yearly basis. The Hereford Diocese Safeguarding Action Plan details every element of safeguarding delivery and serves as the blue print for all future activity and is updated every other month. It also provides an effective means by which to record our progress. All levels of the organisation including parishes are referred to in this action plan. Both documents are available to view on the Diocesan website, any queries - please do get in touch.
Diocesan Safeguarding Working Group
The Diocese has formed a Safeguarding Working Group. This group’s membership consists of key personnel from within the Diocese and Cathedral; and both lay and clergy parish representatives (including Parish Safeguarding Officers). We are currently seeking to gain wider representation from all the key Statutory Partnership Agencies and other relevant charities. The working group meets quarterly and is led by an Independent Chair who has a background in safeguarding at a senior level. The working group’s role is to oversee all work streams detailed within the Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan.
In May 2017, the Diocese underwent an Independent Safeguarding Audit. The Audit was commissioned by the Archbishop’s Council and was part of a national programme of diocesan audits. The Audit involved an inspection of safeguarding case files, clergy files and diocesan staff files, detailed interviews with key diocesan staff and a focus group drawn from parish representatives. The Diocese received a detailed Audit Report containing a series of findings and corresponding recommendations. The Diocese welcomed the feedback it received and has incorporated its response to all its findings and recommendations in its ongoing activities detailed in the Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan.
Safeguarding Complaints Procedure
The Diocese has a procedure for people to use, if they wish to make a complaint about how a safeguarding issue has been handled. This procedure is detailed on the Diocesan website.
The Bishop wants to support people who feel genuinely aggrieved to make a complaint and will ensure that all complaints are taken seriously and are handled fairly and promptly. All information about a complaint will be treated in the strictest confidence. Complaints should relate to the process followed, not to the original incident which gave rise to the allegation.
National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance (see over)
The Archbishop’s Council funds a National Church of England Safeguarding Team. This is a team of expert safeguarding professionals based at Church House, in Westminster, London. One of the many functions of the National Safeguarding Team is to produce National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. This is done by extensive research and lengthy consultation with internal and external safeguarding experts. All Policy and Practice Guidance is regularly updated and reviewed. You can learn more about the National Safeguarding Team and their activities by accessing the Church of England website.
We, in Hereford Diocese, will always adhere strictly to all National Safeguarding Policy and Practice guidance. We will not seek to develop our own policy and practice guidance but may produce additional supplementary information leaflets and pro-forma documents to assist in safeguarding activity.
Important - Word of CAUTION. The Ecclesiastical Insurance Group have made it clear that their insurance cover is only valid where National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance is being followed. In addition, the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016, requires all clergy authorised to officiate; other relevant Church Officers (e.g. Church Wardens) and parochial church councils to have “due regard” to safeguarding policy and practice guidance issued by the House of Bishops. A duty to have due regard to guidance means that a person under that duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow such guidance unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so.
All Current National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance:
Parish Safeguarding Handbook (2018). This is a new document and is the starting point for any parish in terms of knowing what to do regarding safeguarding in church.
Protecting All God’s Children (2010) - (Safeguarding Policy for children and young people). This is the main policy document regarding safeguarding children and young people within the church.
Promoting a Safe Church (2006) - (Safeguarding Policy for adults). This is the main policy document regarding safeguarding adults within the church.
Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Office Holders and Bodies – Practice Guidance (2017). This makes clear every church officers’ responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
Safer Recruitment (2016). This is the Church of England’s current guidance on what steps need to be taken to recruit and work with paid or volunteer church workers. Every PCC is required to adhere fully to this practice guidance.
Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers (2017). This policy outlines how to respond to safeguarding allegations involving church officers.
Learning and Development Framework – Practice Guidance (2017). This is the Church of England’s framework for learning and development in respect of safeguarding, outlining key roles and responsibilities and training modules to be undertaken.
Responding Well to those who have been sexually abused (2011). This outlines how the Church of England will respond to those who are survivors of sexual abuse. If you are giving pastoral care to a survivor, this is a useful point of reference for information relevant to that activity.
Responding to Domestic Abuse (2017). This outlines how pastoral responsibilities of those responding to domestic abuse within the church. If you are giving pastoral care to someone you believe may be experiencing domestic abuse; again this may be a useful source of information.
Joint Safeguarding Guidance for Single Congregational Local Ecumenical Partnerships (2015). This outlines the responsibilities of single congregational LEPs in coming under the safeguarding policies of their respective denomination. This is a joint policy with the Methodist Church.
Safeguarding in Religious Communities – Practice Guidance (2015). This outlines expectation of religious communities to come under the umbrella of local diocesan safeguarding policies and training.
Joint Safeguarding Records – Practice Guidance (2015). This outlines good practice in respect of recording safeguarding incidents. This is a joint policy with the Methodist Church.
Glossary Reference Guide (2017), this offers a useful guide on terminology and language used within its work and policies.
Responding to Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations that relate to Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults (2018). This is new guidance on dealing with allegations.
New Guidance on Reporting to the Charity Commission:
How to make a Safeguarding Serious Incident report to the Charity Commission – Practice Guidance (2019).
Guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities: Identifying and Reporting Safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission (2019).
Guidance for PCCs: Reporting non- safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission (2019)
If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, or if necessary, report the matter to your Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser:
DATA PRIVACY NOTICE
The Parochial Church Councils (PCC’s) of Holy Trinity Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock
1. Your personal data – what is it?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).
2. Who are we?
The PCC’s of Holy Trinity Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock are the data controllers (contact details below). This means they decide how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
3. How do we process your personal data?
The PCC’s of Holy Trinity, Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock comply with their obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.
We use your personal data for the following purposes: -
To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public in a particular
geographical area as specified in our constitutions;
To administer membership records;
To fundraise and promote the interests of the charities;
To manage our employees and volunteers;
To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid
To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at Holy Trinity, St. Luke’s,
and St. Lawrence’s;
To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed
about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.
4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and keep you informed about diocesan events.
Processing is necessary for carrying out legal obligations in relation to Gift Aid or under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: -
o the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and
o there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.
5. Sharing your personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other
members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We will only share your data with third parties outside of the three parishes with your consent.
6. How long do we keep your personal data1?
We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the guide “Keep or Bin: Care of Your Parish Records” which is available from the Church of England website [see footnote for link].
Specifically, we retain electoral roll data while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate; and parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals) permanently.
7. Your rights and your personal data
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: -
The right to request a copy of your personal data which the PCC’s of Holy Trinity Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock hold about you;
The right to request that the PCC’s of Holy Trinity Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock correct any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;
The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for the PCC’s of Holy Trinity Coalbrookdale, St. Luke’s Ironbridge, and St. Lawrence’s Little Wenlock to retain such data;
The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
The right to request that the data controllers provide the data subject with his/her
personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data
controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable)2
The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your
personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) 3
The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.
8. Further processing
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.
9. Contact Details
1 Details about retention periods can currently be found in the Record Management Guides located on the Church of England website at: - https://www.churchofengland.org/more/libraries-and-archives/records-management-guides
2 [Only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject and in either case the data controller processes the data by automated means].
3 [Only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics]
To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact the PCC Secretaries at
You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.