Every person who comes to church should be able to feel safe, and to be safe.
We might at one time have thought that went without saying. Now, sadly, as recent and past cases have come to light across the country, we know that churches cannot take safeguarding for granted. We need to take positive steps to make it happen.
Safeguarding is a broader issue than Child Protection, in that it is about vulnerable adults as well as children, and about preventing harm as well as responding to it. It is also a responsibility that we share together. Here are three things that can help us.
- Safeguarding Officer
Our Safeguarding Officer at Wembley Park URC is Michael Robinson. If you have questions about safeguarding, or any concerns about someone who might be at risk, or who might pose a risk to others, contact Michael. If you can’t get hold of Michael or his deputy, John Oppong-Wiafe, try Derek Lindfield, the Synod Safeguarding Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07803 953483. This information is on the notice boards in the church.
- Safeguarding Policy
We have a new safeguarding policy, based on a pro-forma from the URC. It outlines our commitments and responsibilities, gives examples of good practice, and explains what to do if a concern arises. We encourage everyone in the congregation to read this. It will be on the church website, and I can send it by email. If you would like a paper copy, please see Pat Tachie-Menson.
- Safeguarding Training
Thames North Synod is providing tailored training sessions for Safeguarding Officers, Ministers and Elders. I attended the Ministers’ one and found it really clear and helpful. The Elders’ training is on Saturday 21st September, at Synod Office in Bayswater. We are also sharing ideas and practical help in the Area Group.