Safeguarding at St. Martin's
We take the care, respect and dignity of all members of our community seriously. We have adopted the Church of England’s House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy’ as our policy. A full copy of that policy is available at the back of the church.
What to do if you have a concern that a child or adult is or may be being abused, or that a church officer is or may be abusing a child or adult.
IN AN EMERGENCY: If you believe a child or adult is in immediate danger of significant or serious harm, contact the emergency services on 999.
In a Non- Emergency: Contact: If you have non emergency concerns over Safeguarding matters at St. Martins please contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer Sylvia Shuttleworth via the Benefice Office on 01935 826113 or email on [email protected] They must then contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor. If neither are available, or if they may be the source of the concern please contact the DSA directly; simply click the link at the bottom of this page which will direct you to the DSA reporting page on the Bath and Wells Diocesan website.
In the extremely unlikely situation that neither the PSO/incumbent or the DSA are not available within 24 hours, contact Children’s Social Care or Adult Social Care and/or the police directly, if the concern is that a child or adult is being abused. Contact the Local Authority Designated Officer and/or police if the concern is that a church officer may be abusing a child or adult.
What will happen next? The DSA will act in line with the House of Bishops’ guidance. They will offer advice, support and guidance and refer the concerns to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and/or police within 24 hours.
The DSA will take over the management of the safeguarding concern in conjunction with the statutory agencies.
Safeguarding in the Diocese
Despite all of the protective measures we may put in place, those who are determined to exploit and abuse others can sometimes find a way to do so.
If you are a victim or survivor of abuse that happened in a church setting, whether it happened yesterday or many years ago, in this diocese or elsewhere, and you would like to talk to someone about what happened to you, please get in touch with us.
Abuse is never the fault of the child or vulnerable person who was abused, and it is always the responsibility of a person in a position of power or trust to ensure that appropriate boundaries are maintained, and that children and other people in their care who are vulnerable to abuse or neglect are kept safe.
The Diocesan team try to be available in the office Monday to Friday, but if we are out of the office please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as possible. Out of hours you can reach us on 07834 514842.
If you wish to make a complaint about a member of diocesan staff, you can download the complaints policy below.
If you have a concern about the behaviour of a member of clergy, you can also contact the Chaplain and Adviser to the bishops, the Revd Dr Graham Dodds.
What happens next?
Once we become aware that someone has failed in their duty to protect others and maintain those appropriate boundaries, we will take action to protect you and others that may be vulnerable.
We are here to help you, and will keep what you tell us confidential unless you give us permission to share it, or unless it’s clear that someone else is still at risk from the person who abused you, in which case we may need to inform the Police or Social Services. We will not publicly identify you or share any information about you without your permission.
If you would like us to, we can arrange support for you from one of our authorised listeners (people in churches specially trained to help those who have been abused) or from a counsellor outside of the Church.
We will work alongside you with other professionals such as the police to investigate the abuse, take action to protect you and others who may be at risk, and review our practices so that people will be better protected in the future.
If you want to contact a confidential source of support that is independent of the Church, Stop It Now is an organisation set up to tackle child and vulnerable adult abuse, and provide support to victims. They can also help if you are worried about your own or someone else’s behaviour towards a child or vulnerable adult
If you would like further information, visit the Diocesan site: