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:

If you are a Parish Safeguarding Officer, visit our Support for Parish Safeguarding Officers for specific information to support you in your role.

We also have separate pages dedicated to:


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 developed by the Church of England. This additional guidance includes:

All these documents can be found on the Church of England's Policies and practice guidance pages. For practical materials referenced in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook and Code of Safer Working Practice, visit their Forms, templates, and resources page.

If you are unsure about anything relating to implementing safeguarding policy and procedure in your parish, please contact one of the Safeguarding Team (details below), or you may like to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Adopting The House of Bishops' Safeguarding Policy 

The care and protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities is the responsibility of the whole Church. Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all.

'Promoting a Safer Church' sets out the safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults policy of the Church of England. It has been approved by the House of Bishops and applies to all Church Bodies and Church Officers. 

Your PCC needs to adopt this every year and display the following statement of adoption your church:
Formal Parish Safeguarding Statement adopting House of Bishop's safeguarding policies


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. 
  • 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. 


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

Safeguarding training programme

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. 

Our Safeguarding Learning and Development Matrix gives a visual guide to the different training available, and who should undertake which training. 

Some training is 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:

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 and 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

You should prominently display throughout all your church premises 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.

  • Clear and accessible information about how victims and survivors can report abuse within the Church, where to gain support, and links to local services. You may wish to link to our Victim/Survivor support 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.

They are available to download below:

To request a set of cards for your parish. Please email:

Child-friendly poster
A child-friendly poster to match the wallet cards, which includes a QR directing to the Diocesan Safeguarding pages, and a space for churches to add their own local details.

Child-friendly poster

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:


Not found what you are looking for? Please contact one of our Safeguarding Team using the details below.

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

Ruth Campbell

Safeguarding Trainer
07585 101624

Get in touch



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