St Peter & St Paul
South Petherton, with the Seavingtons
and the Lambrooks
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
Our three churches are committed to and will champion the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We undertake to do this both day-to-day in society as a whole and in our own community.
We believe passionately that everyone who meets us, comes to us, or works with us should feel safe and cared for. The wellbeing of all young and/or vulnerable people is absolutely paramount to us irrespective of their social background, culture, their abilities, religious belief or any other factor.
Young people are not just a part of our church; they are also our future. We understand that they are individuals in their own right and we commit ourselves not just to caring for them but also to listening to them and giving them opportunities whereby they can be actively involved and contribute.
We recognise that individuals with disabilities are particularly vulnerable due to communication difficulties and/or dependency on others for help and care. We understand that prejudice or thoughtlessness can prevent some people from getting the help they need, so we commit ourselves to preventing discrimination and to including those adults in need of extra support in all that we do.
We are thankful for the dedication of our paid and voluntary workers. We greatly value the time, support and commitment they give especially to our children and young people. We are therefore committed to providing support, resources, training and supervision to those who serve God in this way.
We strive to ensure that every member of our three churches accepts their individual responsibility for keeping those who are most vulnerable safe from harm and that they commit themselves to the welcoming, protecting and safe keeping of all and to treating everybody with dignity, respect, sensitivity and fairness.
We are open to hearing about safeguarding concerns with all due sensitivity and confidentiality. Should there be a matter of concern it should be brought without delay to the attention of our Safeguarding Officer who will work as appropriate with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and other external agencies to address the matter promptly. We acknowledge the prime responsibility of the statutory agencies to investigate any harm to a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Our Theological Approach
Every human being has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation of each of us in His own image and likeness. Christians see this as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things this implies a duty on every one of us to respect all people and to protect them from harm.
A Christian approach to safeguarding asks both individuals and communities to create a safe environment for young and/or vulnerable people, to act promptly on any complaints made, to care for those who have been abused in the past and to minister appropriately to those who have in the past abused.
The church seeks not simply to keep the law in relation to Safeguarding, but to promote best practice as part of its work for, and witness to, God’s kingdom. Therefore:
We recognise that God requires us to foster relationships of the utmost integrity, respect and trust.
Clergy and laity need to have awareness of their use of authority and position and never betray the trust that is given to them. In church they should seek to maintain the highest standards of conduct in all worship, pastoral, educational and recreational situations.
We seek to work with others to promote the welfare and safety of young and vulnerable people at all times, including as necessary working with statutory agencies to support anyone affected by abuse and to manage appropriately the presence in the congregation of an offender, including someone who is on the Sex Offender’s register.
The PCC has adopted the current Diocese of Bath & Wells Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy – please click on the graphic to view this in .pdf format. Alternatively, you can access the policy from the Bath & Wells Diocesan website
This policy is a valuable reference which
states the theological, moral and legal justifications for what we do;
defines the terms we use – ‘child’, ‘vulnerable’, ‘abuse’, etc;
describes abuse/forms of harm which we should all be able to recognise and from which we are bound to protect vulnerable people;
states obligations and procedures which the church must follow.
The person you can contact for help ……
Parish Safeguarding Officer: Mrs Sue Harrison
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