Everyone trusted Jesus from very small children, people with disabilities and socially stigmatising illnesses and minority groups who faced prejudice and discrimination and even soldiers in the occupying army that ruled Palestine at that time. The only people who really disliked him were leaders who he called out for abuse of their power. We know that churches were not always safe places for many people in the past.
We are totally committed that the churches in our benefice will feel and be safe for everyone who comes through our doors. For that reason we have policies and procedures in place in all of our churches and people appointed to ensure we all adhere to them, to enable that to be true.
Everyone who needs to be vetted according to Church of England policies has undergone the necessary checks and we follow the Church of England’s Safer Recruitment procedures.
Domestic abuse is covered by different laws than Safeguarding but is still a crime that is prevalent in our society and was exacerbated by covid lockdowns. Being a church member does not give immunity from being either an abuser or victim of domestic violence.
In the year ending March 2021, police in England & Wales recorded nearly 1½ million incidents and crimes of domestic abuse.
Ministers, churchwardens and PCC members in our benefice have all received training in domestic abuse. You can read our Domestic Abuse Statement here.
Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service: 01434 608030.
My Harbour provides domestic abuse support services in Northumberland to all victims regardless of sex or gender.
Churches are required to keep certain personal information about the people on their Electoral Rolls. This can only be used for purposes within the church. As a general principle we only keep personal date with people’s consent and for the purposes which they have given consent to.
The Electoral Roll is the list of everyone who has indicated they wish to be identified with a particular church and be committed to it. If you feel that one of our churches has become your ‘home’ church, please ask for a welcome pack to find out more.
Each year, we have annual meetings at which elections for officers take place and reports are given about what we have done in the previous year and our hopes for the year ahead.
1. The care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children, young people and adults.
2. The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults.
3. Being a safe and caring community which provides a loving environment where victims of abuse can report or disclose abuse and where they can find support and best practice that contributes to the prevention of abuse.
4. By adopting the House of Bishop’s ‘Promoting a Safer Church: safeguarding policy statement’ More information about Church of England policies and guidance can be found here.
Our Benefice Safeguarding Policy can be viewed here.
Our procedure for anyone with safeguarding concerns can be viewed here:
The contact information for the Newcastle Diocese Safeguarding Team are here.
Remember, if you believe someone to be in immediate danger please call the police on 999.
The Benefice of Scremerston, Spittal and Tweedmouth
PROMOTING A SAFER CHURCH
The following policy has been agreed annually by all of our Parochial Church Councils (PCC).
In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy our church is committed to:
• Promoting a safer environment and culture.
• Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.
• Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.
• Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.
• Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
• Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.
The Parish will:
• Create a safe and caring place for all.
• Have a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.
• Safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
• Ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.
• Display in church premises and on the Parish website the details of who to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
• Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.
• Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance, including notifying the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) and statutory agencies immediately.
• Offer support to victims/survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.
• Care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.
• Ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
• Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices at least annually.
Each person who works within this church community will agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.
This church appoints Barbara Donaldson as the Parish Safeguarding Officer
Incumbent Rev Rachel Hudson
Churchwardens Gordon Chapman (Scremerston), Audrey MacLaren (Spittal), Steven Barringham, Alastair MacPherson, Karen Strachan (Tweedmouth).