The Parochial Church Council of St Giles, Durham is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and nurturing environment for everyone, especially for children, young people and vulnerable adults. It has adopted and approved the Church of England policy for promoting a safer church. This policy deals with all aspects of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. A full text of our parish policy can be found below:
St Giles Church, Durham
At the Parochial Church Council (PCC) Meeting on 10 January 2023 the St Giles’ PCC formally re-adopted the House of Bishops’ Document “Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy statement”, and agreed the following Safeguarding Policy Statement:
In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy our church is committed to:
• 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.
The Parish will:
• Create a safe and caring place for all.
• Have a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.
• Safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
• Ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.
• Display in church premises and on the Parish website the details of who to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
• Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.
• Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance, including notifying the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) and statutory agencies immediately.
• Offer support to victims/survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.
• Care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.
• Ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
• Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices at least annually.
Each person who works within this church community will agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.
This church appointed Matthew Foskett as the Parish Safeguarding Officer
Churchwardens: Michael Richardson, Slavka Petrovich
Reviewed: 10 January 2023
Appendix 5: Parish statement on domestic abuse
Parish of Durham St Giles. Policy for Responding to Domestic Abuse
All forms of domestic abuse are wrong and must stop. We are committed to promoting and supporting environments which:
- ensure that all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse;
- protect those vulnerable to domestic abuse from actual or potential harm;
- recognise equality amongst people and within relationships;
- enable and encourage concerns to be raised and responded to appropriately and consistently.
We recognise that:
- all forms of domestic abuse cause damage to the survivor and express an imbalance of power in the relationship;
- all survivors (regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity) have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;
- domestic abuse can occur in all communities;
- domestic abuse may be a single incident, but is usually a systematic, repeated pattern which escalates in severity and frequency;
- domestic abuse, if witnessed or overheard by a child, is a form of abuse by the perpetrator of the abusive behaviour;
- working in partnership with children, adults and other agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of any child or adult suffering abuse.
We will endeavour to respond to domestic abuse by:
In all our activities –
• valuing, listening to and respecting both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.
In our publicity –
• raising awareness about other agencies, support services, resources and expertise, through providing information in public and women-only areas of relevance to survivors, children and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.
When concerns are raised –
- ensuring that those who have experienced abuse can find safety and informed help;
- working with the appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into domestic abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the church community.
In our care –
- ensuring that informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse;
- identifying and outlining the appropriate relationship of those with pastoral care responsibilities with both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.
If you have any concerns or need to talk to any one please contact
Beth Miller, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07968034075, email@example.com
Reviewed: 10 January 2023
If you are concerned that a child or vulnerable adult has been harmed or is at risk of harm, do not hesitate to contact the local safeguarding officers or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for advice and support. If you wish to report an allegation of abuse from the past, or in the present, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your information will be treated appropriately and kept confidential.
Parish Safeguarding Officer
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Address: Cuthbert House, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY
For further information please also see the Diocese of Durham safeguarding pages: https://durhamdiocese.org/category/safeguarding/)
If you are unable to speak to the Safeguarding Adviser and a child, young person or adult is at immediate risk of harm please call 999 or First Contact 03000 267979.