Safeguarding

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.

The National Safeguarding Team, NST, is working to increase the capacity and expertise of parishes, dioceses and other Church of England institutions to respond to safeguarding concerns and support victims and survivors. We are not able to offer either an emergency or 24-hour response but there are Safeguarding Advisors in every diocese and Safeguarding Officers in every parish. Details of the safeguarding team based in your diocese can be found via the relevant diocesan website. Take a look at the map of the dioceses and click on the diocese where you live. This will take you to the relevant website where there will be contact information.

If you wish to report any safeguarding concerns directly to the NST please email [email protected]. We will ensure that any concerns are referred to the relevant diocese and/or statutory agency, as appropriate.

Finding support

We understand 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: 08457 90 90 90 (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 9-5pm)
John Smyth case - support for survivors
More info on safeguarding questions

Policy and practice guidance

All the policy and practice guidance on this page have been approved by the House of Bishops and must, where relevant, be followed by all Church Bodies* and Church Officers**.

Please note under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016*** all authorised clergy, bishops, archdeacons, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs must have 'due regard' to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops (this will include both policy and practice guidance).  A duty to have 'due regard' to guidance means that the person under the duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow it unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so. ('Cogent' for this purpose means clear, logical and convincing.) Failure by clergy to comply with the duty imposed by the 2016 Measure may result in disciplinary action.

 

*Church Bodies includes PCCs, diocesan bodies, cathedrals, religious communities, theological training institutions and the National Church Institutions. This policy will apply to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications). There is also an expectation that the policy will apply to the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man unless there is specific local legislation in a jurisdiction that would prevent adoption.

**A "Church Officer" is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.

***The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 applies to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications), with the exception of the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man.  In order to extend the 2016 Measure to the Channel Islands or Sodor and Man legislation will need to be passed by the relevant island jurisdictions in accordance with section 12 of that Measure.

How we work

Statement of safeguarding principles

We are committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our community.

The Church of England will:

  • Promote a safer environment and culture
  • Safely recruit and support all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church
  • Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation 
  • Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
  • Care pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
  • Respond to those that may pose a present risk to others

These policy commitments are based on our five foundations:

  • Gospel
  • Human rights and the law
  • Core principles
  • Good safeguarding practice
  • Learning from the past

Information on the National Safeguarding Team (NST)

  • National Advisor - Graham Tilby
  • National Policy Manager - Heather Reid
  • National Casework Manager - Moira Murray
  • IICSA Policy and Information Manager - Patricia Durr
  • IICSA Administrative Officer - Barbara Chapman
  • Provincial Casework Manager (Lambeth) - Caroline Venables
  • Provincial Casework Manager (Bishopthorpe) -  Anna Flower
  • National Learning & Development Adviser - Andrea Watkins (maternity cover)
  • Office Manager - Hannah Sinclair
  • Communications - Rachel Harden

Contact

Reviews and reports

Training and resources

Training
Theological texts

IICSA

The Anglican church in England and Wales is one of 13 investigations being looked at by IICSA, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, chaired by Professor Jay.

Details of past hearings can be found here - a final preliminary hearing is expected in January 2018 before the case study into the diocese of Chichester is heard.

Response from Church of England to IICSA's  October 2017 preliminary hearing 

"We welcome todays detailed update on the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales focusing on the Chichester case study to be heard in March 2018. The Inquiry acknowledged and welcomed the contributions from all core participants in responding to its detailed request for information.  It is clear that there will be a real focus on learning to make the Church a safer place for all and we will continue to work cooperatively with IICSA. First and foremost our commitment must be to listen to survivors who take the courage to come forward and who will play a vital part in the Inquiry."

Bishop Peter Hancock, Church of England's lead safeguarding bishop