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Safe and welcome

We believe that Christian communities should be places where all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse, but particularly those who are less powerful and/or are without a voice in our society.

 

We are therefore committed to promoting the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults in all aspects of our life and work as the local church.

 

Reporting a concern

 

In an emergency, or if there is immediate risk of harm, contact the Police by ringing 999.

If you need to raise a concern for yourself or someone else, please contact:

Reverend

James Harris

Rector (Vicar)

01275 602331

Mrs

Mel James

Safeguarding Officer - Flax & Barrow

01275 464956

Mrs

Gill Miles

Safeguarding Officer - Long Ashton

Mr

Ben Goodhind

Diocesan Safeguarding Manager

Why is safeguarding important at church?

 

It is a tragic but inescapable fact that, throughout history, humans have shown a considerable capacity to abuse their power, position and privilege to damage each other and the communities in which they have lived.

 

This abuse takes many forms and its effects can be long-lasting and far-reaching.  It is often suffered disproportionately by those least able to protect themselves: the very young, the very old or those who are made vulnerable by all sorts of physical, mental or socio-economic conditions.

 

As a gathering of human beings, the Church is not immune from the potential for this sort of abuse to take place among us. Indeed, through reviews such as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and others, we are uncovering more and more evidence of the ways in which Christians in particular have failed in their responsibilities to love, protect and respect others and to promote the ‘fullness of life’ which we believe is God’s promise for all people.

 

Furthermore, because churches often want to open their doors wide in unconditional welcome to all, we can be an especially ‘soft target’ for those who would want to join our communities with abusive intent.

 

But all is not lost… In common with many other individuals and organisations of good will, we hold out the hope of a better, transformed world whose hallmarks are love, respect and justice for all.  We see it as part of our mission as local churches to help make that transformation a reality in our communities.  Our values, policies and procedures support this aim.

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