Safeguarding

Safeguarding children and adults who may be vulnerable

The safeguarding officers for St Matthew’s Church are Alex Bousalengas and Dorothy Edwards . If you have any questions about policies and procedures or if you suspect a child or vulnerable adult is not being adequately safeguarded, you can contact them, or members of the clergy.

Theology – why does safeguarding matter in a Christian community?
Jesus talked of the kingdom of God ‘belonging to children’; he gave them status, time and respect. Jesus also showed himself to be compassionately on the side of those without power, reaching across social barriers with the inclusive love of God.

A Christian approach to safeguarding children, adults who may be vulnerable and those in abusive relationships therefore asks both individuals and communities to create a safe environment for them, 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 been abused.

Purpose – why these policies, procedures and guidelines?
St Matthew’s Church, as part of the Diocese of Southwark and Church of England, is committed to establishing an environment where:

  • Children and young people are nurtured and protected
  • All people, especially those who may be vulnerable for any reason, are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety.

In collaboration with the Diocese of Southwark, St Matthew’s Church is committed to working in accordance with the national legal and procedural framework for safeguarding children and adults who may be vulnerable, and Church of England policy and practice. These policies and procedures provide protection for children and young people and adults who may be vulnerable at St Matthew’s.

Church policies and Procedures
Safeguarding children and young people and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults policies are in place at St Matthew’s Church and have been adopted by the Parochial Church Council.

All of our Sunday School leaders have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance (now known as Disclosure and Barring Service – DBS) and follow the guidelines and procedures given in the Safe Church Manual produced by the Diocese of Southwark in relation to youth activities and work with vulnerable adults. All leaders also undertake necessary training specific to their role.

More information can be found on the Diocese of Southwark website.

In accordance with best practice a copy of ‘A Safe Church’ manual is available to read in the church office. It’s kept in the bottom right hand drawer of the desk, or browse it online here:

www.southwark.anglican.org/what/diocesan-policies-procedures