The parish of St Mary’s Church at Whitkirk is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer. The Diocese of Leeds’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, who advise our Safeguarding Officer.

You can contact our Parish Safeguarding Officer by emailing [email protected].

If you need to talk to someone, you can always call any of the following numbers free of charge 24 hours a day:

  • If someone is at immediate risk of harm, always dial 999.
  • The NSPCC Church Abuse Helpline, for both children and adults, to report any abuse within the Church: 0800 80 20 20
  • The Samaritans Helpline, if you are struggling and need to talk to someone: 116 123
  • Childline, if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything: 0800 1111
  • The National Domestic Violence Helpline, if you are experiencing or are worried about domestic violence: 0808 2000 247

You can reach the Diocese of Leeds’s safeguarding team by calling 0113 353 0257 or by emailing [email protected].

You can also contact the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team by emailing [email protected], and read more about safeguarding in the Church of England on their website.

Our policy

The following policy was adopted at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 16 November 2021.

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.
  • 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 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 policy was adopted on 16 November 2021.