Policy Implementation in Parishes 2016

The Diocese of Guildford recognises the importance of delivering safeguarding support to parishes, including the provision of safeguarding polices, practice guidance and protocols for Children and Adults at risk.

The Church of England provides national safeguarding policies and there is a requirement that dioceses, and parishes, implement these and the practice guidance.

Current National Policies

National Policies

These policies are being reviewed, and updated versions were to be completed by June 2016. This has now been delayed to the end of the year; the diocesan safeguarding team will inform parishes when the new policies have been agreed by the House of Bishops.

Current National Practice Guidance

The Church of England have produced a series of practice guidance documents which are available on the diocesan website and should be regarded as the same as policies.

National Practice Guidance

Diocesan Protocol

The Diocesan Safeguarding Protocol 'In safe Hands' was adopted by Diocesan Synod in the autumn of 2011 and updated in 2014, with additional information regarding Safer Recruitment.

In November 2015, the Diocesan Synod agreed to continue to adopt the Church of England Safeguarding Policies. Synod also agreed that the policies and protocols will only be provided electronically, with no hard copies being provided by the diocese.

When the Church of England safeguarding policy is updated later this year, the diocesan handbook 'In Safe Hands' will be withdrawn from use and replaced with protocols which complement the new Church of England policies. From that date no hard copies will be made available, all being online only. Parishes who print off copies will be responsible for ensuring that they are the most current documents.

Next Steps

The diocesan safeguarding team are currently working on local protocols to complement the updated policies when received. It is anticipated that there will be a single date when parishes will be circulated all of the revised policies and new diocesan protocols. This is likely to be at the end of the year.

What do Parishes need to do?

  • Parishes need to continue to annually adopt the policy in accordance with the current requirement outlined in the diocesan handbook 'In safe Hands'
    Section 1. Page 3 section entitled 'Protecting All God's Children (2010) and Promoting a Safe Church (2006
    NOTE: The additional national documents listed above also fall into this requirement
  • In practice, parishes will be following the policy and practice guidance documents listed above with the use of 'In Safe Hands' to assist in the implementation of those documents.
  • When advised, by the Safeguarding team, of the changes to the policies, PCC's should note these changes in the minutes to ensure that there is an audit trail for the move to the new policies. At that time, the information should be disseminated to relevant parish staff and 'In Safe Hands' withdrawn from use.

A revised parish policy statement for reporting the policy adoption process to the diocese, and for public display can be found below.

Parish Safeguarding Responsibilities

Every year, the PCC will review and adopt the Church of England Safeguarding Policies, displaying a copy of the signed statement in a prominent position in the church....
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Policy Statement for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults

Policy Statement to be adopted at a PCC meeting....
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