Our churches take the protection of children and vulnerable adults seriously.
For any safeguarding queries or concerns please contact our Safeguarding Officer, Jill Oldham via EMAIL.
Jill Oldham has been appointed by our PCC as our Church Safeguarding Advisor and Officer. As Safeguarding Advisor, she is the first person to speak to if you have any concerns around the welfare of a child or adult with vulnerability.
Christian communities should be places where all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse, and are particularly called by God to support those less powerful and those without a voice in our society. St Matts and St Thomas à Becket is therefore working towards creating a safe and non-discriminatory environment and has therefore adopted the Bath and Wells Diocese Safeguarding Policy.
Summary of the St Matts and St Thomas à Becket Safeguarding Policy
We are committed to:
- The care and nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with all children, young people and all adults within our church community.
- The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable.
- The establishing of safe caring communities which provide an environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse.
- We will follow safe recruitment procedures to carefully select and train all those with any responsibility within the church for children, young people and vulnerable adults, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration with the relevant vetting and barring schemes.
- We will respond to every complaint made which suggests that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, co-operating with the Police and Local Authority in any investigation.
- We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with him or her an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care.
- We will care for and supervise any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
- We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially anyone in a position of trust.
- We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.
You can also contact one of the following organisations who can provide support for those suffering abuse:
- NSPCC Child Protection Helpline:
0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
- 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:
080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)