Parish Safeguarding Policy
We take the safeguarding of Children and Adults seriously here at St. Mary & St Helen Parish of Neston
If you or someone you are concerned about is in immediate danger, please call the police on 999
We subscribe to national policies of the Church of England with regards to safeguarding Adults and Children and are committed to the following:
Promoting a safer environment and culture
Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people, and vulnerable adults within the church
Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.
Further information can be found on the Diocese of Chester website
Or in a Church of England document entitled 'Promoting a safer church' located at https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2017-12/PromotingSaferChurchWeb.pdf
I write following two recent publications. Firstly, The Anglican Church Investigation report is part of The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Secondly, the Pearl Report. The latter is a review into the activities of Victor Whitsey, formerly Bishop of this Diocese. The former is a report by IICSA into The Anglican Church.
On reading both of these reports I am filled with horror, deep concern and as a Christian Priest within the Church of England, shame at the evil people in positions of privilege and trust have inflicted upon innocent young and vulnerable lives.
Though in one sense no words here can take away the effects of abuse on victims and survivors. I do understand that talking with the right people can give relief and can bring healing. It is clear from the reports that engagement with and support for victims and survivors needs improvement.
The reports also make clear that robust policies and procedures can vastly improve how the Church handles Safeguarding responsibilities so to build a Safer Church. In recent years much has improved, in terms of governance, training, audit, personnel, policies, and procedures. However, there is still more to be done.
The Parish of Neston is committed to Safeguarding and we fully engage with the ongoing work of the Church of England to build the safest place it can be.
Chester Diocese has information readily available about the reports as well as responses from senior leaders within the Church of England. This includes a videoed response from Bishop Mark.
If you have been affected by the publications or have any concerns that you feel drawn to speak about at this time support is available to you. I detail below the specialist support from the Diocese webpage. Equally, I welcome any requests to speak further on my response.
If you are a victim, or you or someone you know is affected by the publication of the Pearl Review, please know that support is available.
For more information about support available to you, including how to access the diocesan listening service, contact Margaret Andrews, the PA to the Bishop of Stockport. Your email will be treated in the strictest of confidence and Margaret can help signpost you to further support.
Email: email@example.com / Telephone: 07590 396 782
If you want to make a disclosure, contact the Acting Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Sean Augustin. If someone has made a disclosure to you, you have a standing duty to pass on this information to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Telephone: 07704 338885
Contact Safe Spaces, a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal, and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales, or the Church in Wales.
Email: email@example.com / Telephone: 0300 303 1056 / Website: www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk
Parish Safeguarding Officer
If you have any concerns in our Parish please contact our trained safeguarding officer for the Parish of Neston, Liz Ledsham.
Liz may be contacted on telephone: 0151 336 4781 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assisted by Michael Maden: 0151 336 8586