Reporting abuse to the Church
How to report to your diocese
There are Safeguarding Advisers in every diocese and Safeguarding Officers in every parish. If you are worried about someone, please contact your Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Details of Diocesan Safeguarding Teams can be found via the relevant diocesan website and can also be located using our Diocesan Safeguarding Teams map. This will take you to the relevant website where there will be contact information.
How to report to the National Safeguarding Team
The National Safeguarding Team manages safeguarding cases relating to senior clergy including bishops and deans. If you wish to contact the National Safeguarding Team regarding a safeguarding situation of this nature, please email us at [email protected], use the form at the bottom of this page, or write to us at:
National Safeguarding Team
Great Smith Street
Reporting abuse to other organisations
Reporting to police and social care
If someone is in immediate danger or needs urgent medical attention contact the emergency services on 999. If the situation you are reporting is not an emergency, contact details for your local police force can be found on the Police website.
Reports of children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect should be made to the children's social care team at their local council. You can find contact details for these teams via the Government website.
Adult safeguarding concerns should be reported to their local authority adult social care team. You can find contact details for these teams via the NHS website.
Here are the contact details of agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:
Reporting to Safe Spaces: an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse
Launched in September 2020, Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service for anyone who has experienced abuse in relation to the Church of England, the Church in Wales, or the Catholic Church of England and Wales. This could be abuse by someone who holds any role in the church or is linked to participating in a church-led activity or group.
Although the churches have funded the service, it is run independently by the charity Victim Support, who are one of the leading charities providing specialist support to survivors of abuse in England and Wales.
If you have been affected, however long ago, Safe Spaces can provide you with support. You do not have to have told the police or the church authorities, and you do not have to still be involved with the church. Your information will not be shared without your consent, unless you or someone else is in immediate danger.
- Tel: 0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times)
- Email: [email protected]
- WebChat - via the Safe Spaces website
- More information
Getting support from other organisations
- Past Cases Review 2 NSPCC helpline for Children and Adults: 0800 80 20 20
- 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: 0808 808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)
- National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999 and is open every day from 12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm.
- The Survivors Trust: 0808 801 0818 and is open Monday to Wednesday 10-7.30pm, Thursday 10-6pm and Friday 10-2pm.
- LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428 [email protected]
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 [email protected]
- Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602
- A fuller list of organisations offering support to survivors, including therapy and counselling resources, helplines and self-help resources, is available to download.
Parish Safeguarding Handbook
This Parish Handbook aims to further strengthen the Church’s approach to safeguarding by bringing into one place the safeguarding responsibilities for parishes as outlined in the House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. It has been designed to support the day-to-day work of all parishes in relation to safeguarding and those who have a key role to play with children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable.
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
For templates and resources relating to safeguarding policy and practice guidance, including those referenced in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, please see here.