In the Diocese of Chelmsford we have adopted the suite of Policy and Practice Guidance provided by the National Safeguarding Team for the Church of England.
The Parish Safeguarding Handbook
Click on a link below to take you to the relevant section:
- Diocese of Chelmsford Statements
- Church of England NST Statement
- Church of England NST Guidance, Handbook, E-manual & Fact Sheets
- Church of England NST Safer Recruitment
- Church of England NST Templates, Models & Resources
- Church of England NST Responding Well to Safeguarding Allegations or Concerns
- Safeguarding & Digital Communications
- Church of England NST Theology & Safeguarding
- Duty to have "due regard” to House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance
- An update from the National Safeguarding Team regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) (2020)
- Being connected with ZOOM safely (2020)
- Code of Safer Working Practice (2021)
- DBS Eligibility and related matters – Frequently Asked Questions (2017)
- Domestic abuse and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Duty to “have due regard” to House of Bishops safeguarding guidance (2020)
- Eligibility for an enhanced criminal records check
- Fact Sheet - Sexting (youth produced sexual imagery)
- Glossary reference document (2017)
- Guidance for dioceses and churches for the safe use of video-calling with young people (2020)
- Key roles and responsibilities of church office holders and bodies practice guidance (2017)
- Parish Safeguarding Handbook (Updated 2019)
- Roles eligible for a criminal records check
- Safeguarding e-manual
- Safeguarding in Religious Communities (2020)
- Safeguarding joint practice guidance for single congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships (2015)
- Safeguarding records: joint practice guidance for the Church of England and the Methodist Church (2015)
- Safer Environment and Activities (2019)
- Record Centre: Safeguarding Records - Retention (2015)
- Think safeguarding during Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice note for parishes (2020)
- Types of Abuse – Fact Sheet (2018)
- Statement of safeguarding principles
- Safer Recruitment and People Management (2021)
- Safer Recruitment & People Management Assessment Tool (2021)
- Safer Recruitment and People Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (2021)
- Safer Recruitment – Permission to Officiate
- The Safer Recruitment and People Management Process
- Safer Recruitment & People Management Assessment Tool
- Record of Recruitment Checks and Ongoing Management Template
- Volunteer Role Person Specification Template
- Volunteer Role Description Template
- Volunteer Role Application Form Template
- Confidential Declaration Form Privacy Notice (Oct 22)
- Confidential Declaration form (for roles meeting the criteria for an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check) (Feb 23)
- Example Interview Questions
- Volunteer Role Reference Request Form Template
- Volunteer Role Appointment Letter Template
- Code of Safer Working Practice (Jul 21)
- Volunteer Role Induction Checklist Template
- Volunteer Role Support Meeting Agenda Template
- Templates and Resources
- Model Activity Risk Assessment Template
- Model Consent Form - Transport
- Model interview discussion template
- Model Parish Recording Template
- Model Parish Safeguarding Checklist
- Model parish safeguarding officer role description
- Model Parish Safeguarding Policy
- Model Personal Risk Assessment tool
- Model Registration Form - Activities and Trips
- Model Risk Assessment Checklist for Home Visiting
- Model Volunteer Driver Agreement
- Model safeguarding provision that can be attached to any hire of church premises agreement
- Parish statement on domestic abuse
- Photo Release Template
- Promoting a Safer Church A3 poster for parishes (with logo space) (2021)
- Promoting a Safer Church A3 poster for parishes (without logo space) (2021)
- Promoting a Safer Church A3 poster for parishes (space for photos) (2021)
- Safeguarding in your parish - who's who?
- What to do if... Responding to Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations that relate to Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults practice guidance (2018)
- Responding to, assessing and managing concerns or allegations against church officers practice guidance (2017)
- Responding well to those who have been sexually abused practice guidance (2011)
- Church of England Responding Well to Domestic Abuse:
- Responding well to domestic abuse practice guidance (2017)
- Domestic abuse disclosure flowchart PDF / WORD Doc
- Domestic abuse fact sheet
- Confidentiality and data protection
- Marriage preparation: recommended good practic
- Parish statement on domestic abuse
- Resources on domestic abuse
- The Legal Context
- Template safety and exit plan
As more of us are now using digital and video communications in our ministry it is important that we are aware of the safeguarding implications and following best practice. Please ensure you are familiar with the following guidance and share it with those in your parish who organise online meetings or worship activity.
- Advice for using social media to reach young people (2020)
- Advice on Safeguarding during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Advice for using video conferencing for youth work during Covid-19 (2020)
- Using Zoom for video meetings with young people (2020)
- Filming and photography in churches – consent and GDPR | The Church of England (2021)
- Government Guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for parents and carers to keep children safe online (2021)
GDPR and permissions for adults
Those appearing in video or photographs will need to have given you their permission. A photo release form can be signed by adults. The form must include all the places that the photo or video may be used by the church.
The template photo release form can be downloaded HERE
GDPR and permissions for children
Videos containing children may be used by the church if consent has been given by their parent or guardian. This needs to be signed consent and should include the places which the photo or video may be used by the church. If permission has not been given, it can be helpful to identify these children by using a simple paper wristband, or by asking them to sit in a photo and video free zone. Practically, seeking permission may need a few extra helpers on the day, working from a safe social distance. Alternatively, prepare ahead by sending out the forms to your church newsletter list to avoid queues on the day.
More information can be found under the 'Video and Livestreaming' section
A resource to help local churches do some theological thinking around safeguarding has been published today (30th June 2016) by the Faith and Order Commission (FAOC). The text is meant to be read as a specifically theological resource alongside safeguarding policy and guidance documents from the local diocese and the national church.
- The Gospel, Sexual Abuse and the Church: A theological resource for the local church is available online via www.churchofengland.org/media/2535755/theologicalresourcefaocweb.pdf and is also available to pre-order as a book from Church House Publishing (Price £5.99, ISBN 978 0 7151 1109 3) via www.chpublishing.co.uk.
- Further information on the Faith and Order Commission, FAOC www.churchofengland.org/about-us/work-other-churches/faith-and-order-commission.aspx
- Further background on safeguarding in the Church of England www.churchofengland.org/clergy-office-holders/safeguarding-children-vulnerable-adults.aspx
The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 imposes a legal duty on all authorised clergy, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs (parochial church councils) to have 'due regard' to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops on matters relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults (this will include both policy and practice guidance).
The legal duty to have 'due regard' means that, as a matter of law, the guidance should be given great weight and must be followed unless there are ‘cogent reasons’ for not doing so. A person who is required to have due regard to the guidance should not simply take it upon themselves to decide that there are cogent reasons for departing from the guidance. Such a decision should be taken – if at all – only after case-specific advice has been obtained from both the DSA (Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser) and the Diocesan Registrar.
What are the repercussions for those who do not follow ‘due regard’ guidance?
- A failure by a member of the clergy to comply with the duty to have due regard to House of Bishops safeguarding guidance is misconduct under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (‘CDM’).
- A failure by a reader or lay worker to have due regard to House of Bishops safeguarding guidance would be grounds for the revocation of the reader’s or lay worker’s licence by the bishop.
- A failure by a churchwarden or parochial church council to have due regard to House of Bishops safeguarding could result in an investigation being carried out by the Charity Commission and the churchwarden or PCC members being disqualified as charity trustees.
- The Ecclesiastical Insurance Group has made it clear that their insurance cover is only valid where House of Bishops’ safeguarding policy and practice guidance is being followed.
For more info: