Safeguarding is something we take very seriously here at S. Saviour's. We want to be a place and a community where all can feel safe and welcome as they grow in their relationship with God.
Our clergy and lay leaders are all DBS checked and have received safeguarding training which is regularly updated. If you have a safeguarding concern please speak to either Fr Andrew or Pat Swinnerton our Safeguarding Coordinator, you can also email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Other contact numbers and useful websites can be found at the bottom of this page.
If a child or adult is at immediate risk of significant harm, in the first instance you should always contact the police on 999.
Below are some reflections on the importance of safeguarding from the Diocese of Lichfield website:
Safeguarding is not a new or merely fashionable agenda; vulnerability has been a concern for the Church from the very beginning. In the earliest centuries Christians were mocked and sometimes despised for the care they had for the poorest and weakest in their society, including children, women, slaves, widows, the poor and the sick. Women and slaves were drawn to the Church in great numbers by the dignity and protection it afforded them in a time when they were mere chattels to the rest of their world. One of the ways historians trace the spread of Christianity in the ancient world is by the decreasing of the practice of exposure of infants (infanticide) everywhere it went. It is said that the deacon St Lawrence of Rome, when told during the third-century persecutions to bring out the valuables of his church, brought out the sick, the lame, and the poor. This attention to the vulnerable is a natural consequence of Christians following of One who for our sakes became utterly vulnerable on the cross (Philippians 2: 6-8).
So for Christians vulnerability is not something to be feared or avoided, either in others or in ourselves. It was Christ in all his intrinsic human vulnerability whom God raised gloriously from the dead. We cannot call ourselves Christians if we do not cherish and respect all those put into our care, and if we do not honour vulnerability as a place where God chooses to be. There is no Christianity, and no Christian community, without a willingness to be vulnerable and a commitment to honour and care for that vulnerability in one another (1 Corinthians 12: 12-26).
There are many wonderful examples in this diocese of churches being alongside the vulnerable, caring for those in need, sharing the good news for the poor, as mandated in Luke 4: 18. But sadly, we also know of churches and ministers, including in this diocese, who have not always lived up to the imperative to honour and protect one another. Cases of sexual, emotional, physical and spiritual abuse which are being uncovered in increasing numbers across the country show our failure as an institution to live up to our calling. As we listen to the voices of those who found their vulnerability and trust abused in the very place where they should have been safe and cared for, we uncover ways in which ecclesiastical power has been used to hurt and destroy, or simply not to respond to what was known and seen. As a Church, we have much repenting still to do, many amends still to make for abuses that have occurred in our midst.
It used to be thought that abuse was a problem of a few disturbed or evil individuals infiltrating an institutional structure. However, we now know beyond doubt that unless institutions are vigilant and put in place proper safeguarding arrangements, unhealthy power dynamics will always arise and abusers will find a way to use them as a means of acquiring and grooming victims. We all have a responsibility, as members of the Church, to ensure that we do everything we can to try to ensure that such opportunities for abuse do not arise. To do this we will need to act on the best knowledge and understanding about safeguarding from the secular world as well as from within the Church.
Christians have always known the importance of accountability in community, whether through spiritual direction, sacramental confession, episcopal oversight, corporate prayer and testimony, or in other ways (James 5: 16-20). Now the need is for us all to examine together, and to keep on examining, how well we are responding to the vulnerable in our Church and community, and to put in place and maintain structures to ensure as far as we can the safety and protection of all. This is not a matter of fashionable ‘political correctness’ but a biblical, traditional and authentically Christian imperative.
NSPCC for adults concerned about a child – 0808 800 5000
Childline for children and young people – 0800 1111
Action on Elder Abuse helpline – 0808 808 8141
24-hour National Domestic Violence helpline – 0808 2000 247
NAPAC offers support and advice to adult survivors of childhood abuse – 08088010331
Stop It Now helps prevent child sexual abuse – 0808 1000 900
Cruse bereavement helpline – 0808 808 1677
Family Lives provides support and advice on family issues – 0808 800 222
Samaritans for people struggling to cope and needing someone to talk to – 116 123
Staffordshire/Stoke Children's Services
Office hours: 0800 1313126
Out of hours: 0345 6042719
Staffordshire/Stoke Adult's Services
Office hours: 0345 6042719
Out of hours: 0345 6042719
Office hours: 01543 306030
Out of hours: 0845 1204550
Sources of support for victims and families of abuse
The Survivors Trust – http://thesurvivorstrust.org
SupportLine – www.supportline.org.uk/problems/rape_sexual-assault.php
Victim Support – www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/childhood-abuse