Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

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Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy
for Cheap Street Church (Methodist and United Reformed)
Cheap Street Sherborne DT9 3BJ

This policy was agreed at a Church Meeting held on 4th March 2021.
The Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church, along with the whole Christian community,
believe each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation in God’s 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 to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect
them from harm.
Cheap Street Church is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people
and adults and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable and at risk are
Cheap Street Church recognises that it has a particular care for all who are vulnerable whether as a
result of disabilities or reduction in capacities or by their situation. It is recognised that this increased
vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible, but that it does not
diminish our humanity and our wish to affirm the gifts and graces of all God’s people.
This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is intended
to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring
community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and
for those affected by abuse.
Cheap Street Church fully agrees with the statement reiterated in the Methodist report Creating Safer
Space 2007:
As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within
God’s purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community of all ages.
Cheap Street Church recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and
recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual,
discriminatory, domestic or institutional abuse or neglect, abuse using social media, child sexual
exploitation or human trafficking (slavery). It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and
their development, including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for
ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained. It
accepts its responsibility to support, listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders,
communities and those who care about them. It takes seriously the promotion of welfare so that each
of us can reach our full potential in God’s grace.
Cheap Street Church commits itself to:

1. RESPOND without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable
adult may have been harmed or may suffer harm, whether in the church or in another
context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.

2. IMPLEMENT the Methodist Church Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Guidance;
government legislation and guidance and safe practice in the circuit and in the churches.

3. PROVIDE support, advice and training for lay and ordained people to ensure that people
are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting
the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable.

4. AFFIRM and give thanks for those who work with children and vulnerable adults and also
acknowledge the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding children and vulnerable
adults who are on our premises.

Cheap Street Church appoints Christine Rogers as church Safeguarding Officer (Adults) and
as church Safeguarding Officer (Children) and supports her in her role, which is to:

  • provide support and advice to the minister and the councillors in fulfilling their roles with
    regard to safeguarding.
  • ensure that a suitable, signed church safeguarding policy is displayed at all times in the
    church on a safeguarding noticeboard, along with names of current safeguarding officers,
    national helplines and other suitable information. This must be renewed annually.
  • record all safeguarding issues that are reported to the church safeguarding officer,
    according to Methodist policy and procedure.
  • promote appropriate routes for reporting of concerns
  • identify and inform those who are required to attend safeguarding training and maintain
    records of attendance. Work with the circuit safeguarding officer and the district
    safeguarding officer to arrange training.
  • attend training and meetings relating to the role
  • work in partnership with the lettings secretary, councillors and user groups to promote good
    safeguarding practice on church premises. This will include gaining written confirmation that
    hirers of church premises are aware of the church safeguarding policy or are using an
    appropriate policy of their own.
  • check that safeguarding is included as an agenda item at all Church Council meetings and
    report to the Church Meeting annually.
  • inform all those with responsibility for recruitment, whether paid or voluntary, of their
    obligation to follow safer recruitment procedures.
  • advise the circuit safeguarding officer and/or district safeguarding officer of any issues with
    compliance with safeguarding training, policy or safer recruitment requirements and respond
    promptly to any request from them about audit of safeguarding activities.
• Purpose
The purpose of the church safeguarding policy is to check that procedures are in place and provide
clarity about the roles and responsibilities of those trusted with promoting the church as a safe space
for all its users. It is to be read in conjunction with the Methodist Church Safeguarding Policy,
Procedures and Guidance (2020).

a) Good practice
We believe that good practice means:
  • i) All people are treated with respect and dignity.
  • ii) Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or
    vulnerable adult where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral
    reasons, in which case a written record will be made and kept noting date, time and place of
  • iii) The church premises will be assessed by the church safeguarding officer with the chairman
    of the property committee and/or their representatives at least annually for safety for
    children and vulnerable adults and a written risk assessment report will be given annually to
    the Church Meeting. This will include fire safety procedures. The Church Council will
    consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made
    more suitable.
  • iv) Any church-organised transport of children or vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure
    that the vehicle is suitable and insured and that the driver and escort (where required) are
    appropriate. (See of the Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Guidance for the
    Methodist Church). A record to be kept in the church file for each driver/car.
  • v) Activity risk assessments will be undertaken before any activity takes place to minimise the
    risk of harm to those involved. Approval will be obtained from the event leader/minister. A
    written record of the assessment will be retained securely.
  • vi) Promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all
    God’s people to reach their full potential. The Church Council will actively consider the
    extent to which it is succeeding in this area.
    These things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may
    be vulnerable.
b) Appointment and training of workers in the church
Workers will be appointed after a satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) disclosure and
following the safer recruitment procedures of the Methodist Church. Each worker will have an
identified supervisor who will meet at regular intervals with the worker. A record of these meetings will
be agreed and signed and the record kept. Each worker will be expected to undergo Foundation
Module (2020 Edition) safeguarding training, within the first 6 months (agreed by Methodist
Conference in 2011 - Creating Safer Space Report) of appointment. The other training needs of each
worker will be considered (such as food hygiene, first aid and lifting and handling).

c) Pastoral visitors
Pastoral visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of Foundation Module (2020 Edition)
safeguarding training upon appointment. If they are undertaking tasks for which a DBS disclosure
would be required, this will be undertaken prior to appointment.

d) Guidelines for working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
A leaflet outlining good practice and systems should be given to everyone who works with children,
young people and vulnerable adults. This leaflet will be reviewed annually*1.

e) Ecumenical events
Where ecumenical events happen on church premises, safeguarding is the responsibility of this
Church Council.

f) Events with church groups off the premises
Adequate staffing, a risk assessment and notification of the event will be given to the church
safeguarding officer PRIOR to the agreement for any event or off-site activity. Notification of the event
will be given to the church secretary: Janet Le Moignan.
If the activity is unusual or considered to be high risk the church safeguarding officer will contact the
circuit safeguarding officer in order that it can be ratified or any queries raised.

g) Other groups on church premises
Where the building is hired for outside use, the hirer signing the letting agreement
( will be given a copy of that
agreement. The lettings secretary will consider the various users of the building in making lettings. All
lettings will be notified to the church safeguarding officer who will keep the records and take advice as
appropriate from both the district safeguarding officer and circuit safeguarding officer.

h) Complaints procedure
There is a formal complaints procedure within the Methodist Church, which allows issues to be raised
about actions or behaviour by a member or officer of the Church. In addition, employed staff will be
subject to relevant contractual procedures. All complaints will be responded to with care, diligence
and impartiality. The provisions of Part 11 of the Constitutional Practice and Discipline of the
Methodist Church will be followed.

*The Code of Safer Working Practice can be found at Appendix V of the Methodist Church Safeguarding
Policies, Procedures and Guidance.
A complaint should be addressed to the superintendent minister, the Reverend Paul Arnold. If a
complaint is made to another person it should be referred to them. Meetings will be arranged with the
person making the complaint and, usually, the person against whom the complaint has been made, in
an attempt to resolve it. If the complaint is against the superintendent, it should be sent to the District
Chair, the Reverend Andrew de Ville (phone: 07935 758329, email:
Safeguarding officers must be informed of any complaint or issue relating to the potential abuse of
children or adults who may be vulnerable. They will support prompt action to respond to the
circumstances of any safeguarding concern, whether or not any party involved wishes to make a
formal complaint through the Methodist Church.

i) Review
This policy will be reviewed annually by a Church Meeting. Next review date: not later than: March 2022.

j) Key concepts and definitions
  • i) A child is anyone who has not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. The fact that a child
    has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, a member of
    the armed forces, in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change their status
    or entitlements to services or protection.
  • ii) Vulnerable adults: any adult aged 18 or over who, owing to disability, mental function, age or
    illness or traumatic circumstances, may not be able to take care or protect themselves.
  • iii) Safeguarding: protecting children or vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing
    impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
  • iv) Adult/child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the
    activity, which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at
    risk of suffering significant harm, including neglect.
  • v) Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, a community or an institution. It may be
    perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers;
    by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.
Signed .......................................................... Chair of Church Meeting

Date .............................