Safeguarding help for parishes

Safeguarding help for parishes

We are committed to ensuring that our churches and buildings are safe places for all. We want to make it easier for parishes to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities correctly. 

On this page you will find all the information you need to guide you, your parish or church group in how to fulfil its safeguarding responsibilities.

Here we cover:

We also have separate pages dedicated to:

Safeguarding training modules
Serious incident reporting
Diocesan Safeguarding Season
Past Cases Review
Frequently asked questions


The Parish Safeguarding Handbook

A parish's first step should be to take a look at the Parish Safeguarding Handbook.

Produced by the Church of England's National Safeguarding Team, it is a comprehensive guide, summarising the key areas a parish will need to address with regards to safeguarding. It is designed to support the day to day safeguarding work of parishes and signposts to more detailed guidance.

Policies that need to be adopted and implemented

You need to adopt and implement

Your PCC needs to record annually they have adopted these in their minutes. 

Where to find safeguarding forms, policies and guidance

Roles that need to be appointed

Your PCC needs to appoint:

  • A Parish Safeguarding Officer: at least one appropriately experienced designated Parish Safeguarding Officer to work with the incumbent and PCC.  This Parish Safeguarding Officer should be a lay person.  They should be supported, trained and given a copy of the parish safeguarding policy and procedures.   
  • A Lead Recruiter: One person known as a Lead Recruiter to be the DBS administrator, this can also be the responsibility of the Parish Safeguarding Officer or the PCC can choose to appoint another individual to this role.  Churches can also appoint an additional recruiter to assist with this work. 

Training for parishes and clergy

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.

To support this, the House of Bishops Safeguarding Training and Development programme provides a framework for safeguarding training for those undertaking any role - paid or unpaid - within the Church of England.  A range of core safeguarding training modules is a mandatory requirement for particular Church roles. 

Some are available online, others are delivered face-to-face.

Safer recruitment

You need to make sure that all church officers who work with children, young people, and/or vulnerable adults are:

  • recruited following the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment practice guidance;
  • aware of and work to House of Bishops’ safeguarding guidance 
  • attend diocesan safeguarding training at least every three years;

Ensure volunteers who work with children and adults at risk are provided with a copy of the Code of Safer Working Practice

Ensure that PCC members, as trustees of a charity are DBS checked (at Enhanced level and covers both the Child and Adult Workforce)  and have completed a PCC Member Trustee Eligibility and Fit an Proper Persons Declaration 

You should provide appropriate insurance to cover for all activities undertaken in the name of the PCC which involve children and vulnerable adults.

Useful links

Displaying safeguarding information well

Your church should prominently display the following information:

Safeguarding information on church websites

A parish's safeguarding arrangements should be clearly visible on the front page of the parish website. This means:

  • A link from the front page of your website to a page detailing your safeguarding policy and who’s who - either in the menu bar or on the body of the page.

  • If you do not have a website, your parish should offer some information on your parishes dedicated, A Church Near You (ACNY) pages. The ACNY website has a ‘safeguarding’ tab on every page which will take the user through to a map highlighting diocesan safeguarding details

If you have further questions, please contact the Safeguarding Team or Communications on


Sharing safeguarding information with young people

Sharing information with young people about where they can access help in the parish with a matter that is worrying them is really important.

We have created a number of resources to help:

Child-friendly wallet cards

Our child-friendly wallet cards (digital and printed) can be localised for each setting. They include a message of reassurance that the child or young person will be listened to and believed. There is room for a church to add its own Parish Safeguarding contact details as well as other key national helpline numbers.

  • Child wallet card (double-sided) download here / Young person wallet card (double-sided) download here / Child wallet card single image download here /Young person wallet card single image download here
  • Request a set of cards for your parish. Please email:
Dedicated child-friendly web page
We have created a webpage on the Diocese of Rochester website aimed at children and young people. Feel free to make the young people in your church aware of the website:

Policies, guidance and forms for parishes

All Church of England policies and guidance, as well as templates and resources (including those referred to in The Parish Safeguarding Handbook and Safer Working Practice) can be accessed on the Church of England website via the following links:

Policies and practice guidance
Templates and resources

The Diocese of Rochester has also developed some bespoke guidance, policies, forms and templates to help parishes further on some particular issues. Please click a category below:

Complaints and whistleblowing

Creating a good culture of safeguarding


We need to recognise that the few people who are determined to harm children or adults, deliberately seek out groups or organisations where they can meet children or other vulnerable people.

Churches are particularly vulnerable to these people. That's why we need to be aware that safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.

Creating and maintaining a positive culture around safeguarding will make it more difficult for those wishing to cause harm or to abuse children or adults, to do so.

A positive attitude towards safeguarding is one that doesn't just see it as a box to be ticked, or endure. Rather, it should be seen as a warm and protective layer around us; an awareness and alertness to risks that demonstrates our mutual care and concern for one another.

Ways you can develop a positive safeguarding culture in your church:
  • Raise awareness of the people who have particular responsibility for safeguarding in your church and why - celebrate and thank them.
  • Take regular opportunities to talk about why safeguarding is important.
  • Incorporate safeguarding matters into your liturgy and prayers.
  • Take part in the annual Safeguarding Sunday (10 October) and engage with the Diocese's Safeguarding Season.
  • Take the time to listen and learn from the voices of victims and survivors, and encourage others to do the same.
Useful resources, materials and ideas to help you:
  • Safeguarding Sunday: The Christian safeguarding charity thirtyone:eight has some excellent materials which you can use in your services to encourage conversation around the importance of safeguarding, whether you have five minutes, 15 or the whole service
  • Prayers of Lament- The Diocese has produced our own prayers. Written by the former Archdeacon of Tonbridge, Julie Conalty - in consultation with a survivor -  they were issued as part of our response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. They can be used at any time.
  • Letters to a broken church - Drawing on the personal experience of survivors of abuse and their allies, Letters to a Broken Church speaks directly into the abuse crisis facing the Church of England and other Christian denominations right now.


Below you will find a range of helpline numbers for a range of support organisations.
Children and young people
Adults and families
Church-context abuse
Older people
Local social services


Bexley: which includes Barnehurst, Blendon, Crayford, Erith, Northumberland Heath, Sidcup, Falconwood, Welling, Belvedere.

Office hours 0208 303 7777, Outside Office hours 0208 303 7777

Bromley: which includes Orpington, Bromley, Penge, Beckenham

Office hours 0208 461 7777, Outside Office hours 0300 303 8671

Kent County Council (KCC) Central Referral: which includes Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells

Office hours 03000 41 61 61, Outside office hours 03000 41 91 91

Medway: Adult: Office hours 01634 334466, Outside office hours 03000 41 91 91


Bexley: which includes Barnehurst, Blendon, Crayford, Erith, Northumberland Heath, Sidcup, Falconwood, Welling, Belvedere.

Office hours 0203 045 5440, Outside Office hours 0208 303 7171 /7777

Bromley: which includes Orpington, Bromley, Penge, Beckenham

Office hours 0208 461 7379 / 7026 / 7373, Outside Office hours 0300 303 8671

Kent County Council (KCC) Central Referral: which includes Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells                                         

Office hours 03000 41 11 11, Outside office hours 03000 41 91 91

Medway: Office hours 01634 334466, Outside office hours 03000 41 91 91

If you contact Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) for advice, please be aware that there is an Information Sharing Agreement between the Diocese of Rochester and Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS). This agreement enables information to be shared between Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) and the Diocese, this will include the following;-

Name, role and contact details of all persons contacting Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) (who identify themselves as from Rochester Diocese) as well as individuals who contact Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) who do not identify themselves as from the Diocese of Rochester but provide information relating to the Diocese of Rochester.

Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS) 0303 003 11 11

Not found what you are looking for? Please contact our Safeguarding Team

Key Contacts

Greg Barry

Lead Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
07585 952174

Get in touch

Caroline Smith

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
07768 036590

Get in touch

Anthony Glockling

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
07825 315748

Get in touch

Alison Jones

Safeguarding Administrator 

Get in touch