Safeguarding at St John's

This statement has been agreed by our PCC, and signed by many of our congregation:

“As the Body of Christ, we are called to love those around us, as Christ loves each of us.  We commit ourselves to care for one another, and for ourselves. 

We believe that all people are vulnerable, at different times in our lives and in different situations; knowing this, we seek to care for all those around us with equal respect and concern for their wellbeing.

However, we know that some are especially vulnerable and need particular support.  This includes the children amongst us; and there are also adults for whom we need to take extra care to ensure their wellbeing. This is not always visible or known, but will include those with physical disability, with mental health concerns, with learning difficulties, and many other forms of vulnerability.  For some this is lifelong, for others it is due to circumstances around us.

If we are concerned about the welfare of any vulnerable person, whether child or adult, we will share our concerns in line with the safeguarding policy of St John’s.

We will also take care of ourselves, taking note of the safety guidelines and notices approved by the PCC from time to time.  These will include safety in and around our building, and whenever we find ourselves on our own here.”

It is our aim to make everyone feel respected and have their individual rights upheld at all times, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religion or cultural background. They must also feel comfortable enough to use their chosen language or method of communication to voice their thoughts and feel that they are being heard.

We recognise that we must encourage an environment where vulnerable adults, children and young people can pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety. 

All church workers are recruited with care including the use of the Disclosure and Barring Service when legal or appropriate. Workers will receive training and continuing support. 

We will endeavour to respond to any allegations of mistreatment, abuse, harassment or bullying without delay whether the matter involves the church or not and there will be cooperation with the police and local authorities in any investigation. Sensitive and informed pastoral care will be offered to anyone suffering abuse, including support to make a complaint if so desired.

Within the Diocese there is a system in place to report any concerns or worries to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer however in the first instant St John's has its own Safeguarding Officer, Catherine Lynch who is available to contact on 01489 331727 or via email using safeguarding@stjohns-hedgeend.org.uk.  Alternatively, the vicar, Rev. Chris Rowberry, can be contacted on 01489 789578 or via email using vicar@stjohns-hedgeend.org.uk.  

In the event that neither the vicar or St John's Safeguarding Officer can be contacted please contact 01962 737 317 for immediate advice or help Monday to Friday between 6pm and 8am.  At weekends or bank holidays call the Hampshire out of hours service on 0300 555 1373.

Further useful contact numbers are:

0808 2000 247 - National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Freephone Helpline (run by Refuge)

0808 800 5000 - NSPCC 24 Hour Helpline

0845 790 9090 - Samaritans 24 Hour Helpline

0330 016 5112 - Stop Domestic Abuse Helpline

Additional contacts maybe found in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook, a copy of which is held in the Parish Office.

If you are concerned that a child or vulnerable adults welfare is at immediate risk contact the police on 999