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Procedures on Serious Safeguarding Situations involving Church Staff, Senior Volunteers and Church Trustees.

​This procedure covers someone senior in the Church – either within a paid role, a senior voluntary role, or is a Trustee of the Church, and applies when the circumstances relate to; 

  1. Someone who has behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed, an adult or a child

  2. Someone who has possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to a child or adult

  3. Someone who has behaved towards a child or adult, or presented themselves in a way, that indicates that they may pose a risk to children and adults


The situation of abuse may relate to a current situation, or a “historical/non-current” situation will need to be considered under this policy.

  1. When information arises in relation to a Duke Street member of staff, senior volunteer and Church Trustee, this information must be reported to the Safeguarding Lead, unless it involves that person.   The Trustee responsible for safeguarding will be informed of the investigation, unless the situation involves that Trustee.  The Safeguarding Lead, in consultation with others, will decide whether the Senior Minister is informed at this point, and this will need to be evidenced in case recording if the Senior Minister is not to be informed.

  2. Information may reach the public domain about the concern, and it is important that there is a statement prepared which will give factual information only.  This also will be shared with the Church.

  3. Any information from any who disclose information must be heard by an appropriate person in a compassionate, sensitive and caring way, and must not be treated any differently to information that is disclosed about anyone else.  The protection and support to the person(s) reporting this abuse must be at the forefront of all practice. 

  4. Ideally, someone should be allocated to support the person who has given the information, ensuring that they are updated with the process, and that the option to report the incident/information to the police is given to them.  The police and Local Authority may investigate further, and the Church will need to respect this process, and ensure that this legal process is not compromised in any way. 

  5. In all situations where there is concerning information relating to a Church staff member, senior volunteer, or Church Trustee, that person must be asked to stand down from their duties with immediate effect.  It may not be appropriate to share with them the nature of the information, but it is also important that they have someone to support them in the process, who is different from the person supporting the victim.

  6. The agreement for this person to stand aside from their duties must be put in writing, and should be shared with others as appropriate.  There should be a clear factual statement made which is truthful, which is to be shared with those affected.

  7. The management of any serious situation will fall to the statutory authorities and they should lead, and their investigations and response should not be compromised by the Church in any way. 

  8. A small group of senior people in the Church, organized by and including the Safeguarding Lead, should meet together – this group can be known as “the core group”, and should meet to share accurate information, identify any information that needs to be passed on to other agencies/organisations and manage the case within the Church, reviewing as appropriate.

  9. If a case proceeds outside of the Church, the core group will need to ensure that they are updated, and should the case proceed to court, that there are appropriate support processes in place. 


The situation when serious allegations are made against church staff is difficult for any Church to manage, but the focus needs to be support and compassion for those who have suffered, and to ensure that there is protection for any other potential victims, as well as ensuring that any statutory processes are respected. 

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